Various Artists

Ultra-Lounge, Vol. 8: Cocktail Capers

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If you've been following the Ultra-Lounge series this far, you know what to expect: a mixture of stars (Les Baxter, Nelson Riddle) and no-names from the Capitol vaults, playing space age pop/cocktail music of all hues in the 1950s and 1960s. Yet this has an edge over most of the previous titles in the series: there's more of a sense of swing, groove, even (dare we say) danger on much of this, albeit danger of a very safe sort. Hints of rock'n'roll and spy music even creep in from time to time, with James Bond-type reverb guitar decorating cuts like Al Caiola's "Underwater Chase," and top rock & roll session drummer Earl Palmer getting into the bongo/lounge vibe on "Binga Banga Bongo/Percolator." Another highlight is the highly sought-after theme song to Stanley Kubrick's 1962 film Lolita, performed as a tongue-in-cheek rock & roll satire by Nelson Riddle (with surfish twangy guitar, orchestration, and a chipper chorus of young girls adding wordless "ya-ya" vocals throughout).

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