Dean Martin

Dino

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Dino, Dean Martin's 1972 album, was another in a long line of country-pop confections designed for him by producer Jimmy Bowen, with whom he had worked since 1964. It had been Bowen who had the idea of doing the 1940s evergreen "Everybody Loves Somebody" in a 1950s rock & roll style, setting off a string of hits for Martin, and the producer had used the singer as his mouthpiece for redoing some of country music's biggest hits in the years since. It worked well for quite a while, but by the early '70s everyone involved was just going through the motions. This time, Bowen chose a couple of good Kris Kristofferson songs, "Just the Other Side of Nowhere" and "Kiss the World Goodbye," and got another contribution from longtime Martin songwriter Baker Knight, "The Right Kind of Woman." For old time's sake, he did Jesse Belvin's 1959 R&B hit "Guess Who" in the same manner as "Everybody Loves Somebody." The rest of the material was a collection of formula Nashville castoffs. Martin, who probably heard the songs for the first time upon entering the studio, nevertheless managed to bring his usual sense of personality to his interpretations. He was best on "Just the Other Side of Nowhere," which had the same sort of down-on-your-luck tone as numbers he had done well in the past, such as "King of the Road" and "Houston," and he had some fun with "Party Dolls and Wine," which quickly became a country hit for Red Steagall. Martin fans who enjoyed his latter-day country sound may have been pleased but, as the generic album title suggested, Dino was a minor effort. It also became his last album to hit the charts.

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