The Essential Al Martino

Al Martino

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The Essential Al Martino Review

by James Christopher Monger

Golden-throated Italian-American pop legend Al Martino may be best remembered as Johnny Fontane -- The Godfather's Sinatra-inspired lounge lizard -- but it's the countless recordings of standards, ballads, and perfectly rendered love songs produced during the '50s, '60s, and '70s that have earned him a place in the vocal pop hall of fame. The former bricklayer and mob exile recorded the definitive version of "Spanish Eyes," just one of the 24 tracks off of Fuel 2000's excellent retrospective, The Essential Al Martino. "Love Is Blue," "Volare," "Mary in the Morning," and his breakout smash, "Here in My Heart," are among the highlights on this treasure trove of nostalgia and romance. Next to Capitol's superior Collectors Series, The Essential Al Martino is a definitive overview of this "mafia music" icon.

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