Prior to the release of this 2003 compilation, there had been several other CDs also titled "The Exotic Sounds of Martin Denny," either as the full title or part of the title. Those included a two-CD 1996 anthology on Capitol with the exact same title; Scamp's The Exotic Sounds of Martin Denny: Forbidden Island & Primitiva, which packaged together the two albums mentioned in the subtitle; and Afro-Desia: The Exotic Sounds of Martin Denny, devoted to songs with pseudo-African themes. But this here 2003 anthology, on the Rev-Ola label, is not, confusingly, the same as any of those prior compact discs proudly bearing the slogan "The Exotic Sounds of Martin Denny" in one way or another. In reality, it's a straightforward 20-song best-of. In fact, it duplicates -- exactly! -- the same 20 songs, in the same order, that appear on the best Denny best-of, Rhino's Exotica: The Best of Martin Denny. One does wonder if, in the dozen years or so separating that Rhino collection and this Rev-Ola CD, there really continues to be demand for the same Denny material to get circulated over and over again. But here 'tis, and should you not have that Rhino comp already, it's a good overview of his output, drawing from eight of his albums, and including his big hit "Quiet Village" (and his only other Top 40 hit, "Enchanted Sea"). If you have to chose between the pair, there's little grounds for discrimination. They both come with historical liner notes, but only the Rhino release includes original release information for the tracks, which tilts the balance in its favor, a busty picture of model Sandy Warner on the Rev-Ola cover notwithstanding.
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AllMusic Review by Richie Unterberger