Dean Martin

Sittin' on the Top of the World

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Dean Martin stayed away from the album racks for 16 months between the release of his winter 1972 album Dino and Sittin' on Top of the World, in the spring of 1973, a surprisingly long time even for a recording artist who had become less active over the last several years. He and producer Jimmy Bowen took a different tack this time. For the most part, they had spent the last nine years pursuing a country-pop sound, the only real exception being the standards album called The Dean Martin TV Show in 1966. Sittin' on Top of the World returned Martin to the familiar territory of Tin Pan Alley, as he resurrected some fairly ancient material such as the 1925 title song "I'm Sitting on Top of the World," done, like some other songs on the record, in a Dixieland style. There were 1940s songs like Peggy Lee's "It's a Good Day" and "Almost Like Being in Love" from Lerner & Loewe's score for Brigadoon, and "Ramblin' Rose" was the early-'60s Nat "King" Cole hit. But many of the songs dated back much further. Arranger Van Alexander tried various styles for these songs, and Martin, who no doubt knew them much better than the country tunes Bowen usually got him to do, turned in effective, good-natured performances. Martin's most recent efforts had been commercially negligible, so Bowen was well-advised to try something different, but, especially because Martin albums were becoming so occasional, his audience had largely lost track of him, and Sittin' on Top of the World became his first new album not to chart in ten years.

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