From its founding in the 1940s until after it became the label of the Beach Boys and the Beatles in the 1960s, Capitol Records devoted itself to solo pop singers, its flagship artist being Frank Sinatra. Stars like Dean Martin, Nat King Cole, and Judy Garland flourished at Capitol, and the company also contracted such performers as Peggy Lee and Bobby Darin for a stint. All that material has served as a basis for EMI/Capitol's Ultra-Lounge series of compilations, which reaches its 25th volume with Ultra-Lounge: Vegas Baby!. The only surprise is that it took so long for the concept of a Las Vegas volume to come to fruition. The 20 tracks include a number of artists closely associated with the city of sin, including those mentioned above (with the exception of Sinatra, whose recordings generally are not available for compilations) plus Tom Jones, Steve Lawrence, and Wayne Newton. Usually, the songs themselves also have some connection with Las Vegas' principal business of gambling ("With Plenty of Money and You," "I'm Shooting High," "Lucky Day," etc.) or at least can be interpreted that way. (Joe South wasn't thinking of Vegas when he wrote "Games People Play," covered here by Mel Tormé, but the title and Tormé's lively treatment justify its inclusion.) The arrangements tend toward the loud and brassy, the better to be heard over those slot machines, and the singers are equally demonstrative. The result is an excellent compilation of traditional pop, Vegas-style.
AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann