Dean Martin

The Hit Sound of Dean Martin

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Dean Martin's career turnaround in 1964 came as a result of his hit recording of "Everybody Loves Somebody." It led to a higher profile on television and in the movies, which may have given the entertainer less time to make records. Nevertheless, the demand for them remained constant, and Reprise, his record label, satisfied that demand by mixing the new sides he managed to cut with previously issued ones. The Hit Sound of Dean Martin, like the previous year's Dean Martin Hits Again, had a title that implied it was a hits compilation. In fact, it was a combination of Martin's two most recent Top 40 pop and Top Five easy listening hits, "Come Running Back" and "A Million and One," with six newly recorded songs, the B-side of "A Million and One" (Lee Hazlewood's "Shades"), and two tracks, "Any Time" and "Ain't Gonna Try Anymore," that had been released originally on Country Style in 1963. ("Any Time," in fact, was making its third LP appearance, also having been used on Somewhere There's a Someone only four and a half months earlier.) The new songs, as usual arranged in a style that would define them as country music if they had been recorded in Nashville by a singer with more of a twang in his voice, were no great shakes. (The chart for "A Million and One" was a dead ringer for the Ray Charles version of "I Can't Stop Loving You.") And there was evidence that Reprise's blatant exploitation was starting to hurt Martin with record buyers. Previously, his albums had been reliable Top 20 entries and gold-sellers. The Hit Sound of Dean Martin only made the Top 40 and became his first LP since "Everybody Loves Somebody" hit not to go gold.

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