A Guide to The Wonderful Music of Vegas
(Click a Link to go to the required section)
Modern Swing & Lounge Acts / Previous Albums of the Month / Hip Swingin' Sounds / Cruising Classics / Club Copa Classic Cuts

Vegas - Album of the Month (Past)



(Selected by Sam Jose)

Mob Hits is available on Amazon - Click the Image to View More Details

Me and the guys were checkin' out some crazy new dive, where the drinks were long and the broads were cheap, or was it the other way around....?

Anyways, I don't remember much about the night. All I know is Dino
got busted, Bugsy got loaded, Frankie got lifted and me ? Well, I nearly got lucky.That's about it, apart from the music.

Some crazy cat had got hold of MOB HITS on EMI RECORDS.
20 tracks of rat packin' heaven. All the usual cats were there, plus
Louis, Nat, Tony, Sammy and even Mr Prima !

You'll know a lot of the tracks, I guess, from Let's Face The Music And Dance to a fabulous live version of Mack The Knife by Bobby Darin. There's a very easy Music To Watch Girls Go By with Joe Loss and His Orchestra and old Matt Munro pops up with Days like These. The ladies ain't been missed out, neither. Why not check out Julie London's Blues in the Night or even that Welsh dame, Shirley Bassey with her classic Big Spender.

With more great tunes from Duke Ellington, Dinah Washington and even the late great Timi Yuro you sure ain't gonna be disappointed ! Take it from me you'll not get a better swingfest for the price. MOB HITS is a cool slice of the action. Make sure you get some too....

Sam Jose
The Hollywood Hippy

MOB HITS is available from Amazon for delivery direct to your door. Click HERE.

Vegas - Album of the Month (Past)


Love Jones

Vegas Baby! is the latest instalment in the wonderful Ultra-Lounge series from the cats at Capitol. The stylishly packaged Leopard Print and Tiki Samplers combined quality music with hipster design to set the benchmark for retro reissues. The good news is that Vegas Baby! takes the Ultra-Lounge brand to a new level in both packaging and content. It’s Betting Time, a soundbite snatched directly from the craps tables at Caesar’s Palace, sets the scene right from the get-go. We’re transported back to the halcyon days of the Las Vegas, back before they strapped a sack of dynamite to The Sands, an era when Sinatra & Co. strutted imperiously on stage at any one of a dozen casinos plugged straight into the beating heart of the Vegas Strip, star delegates at the world summit of swing seemingly scheduled for every weekend in this gaudy, neon-lit oasis in the desert. This is the heyday of the Vegas lounges when Louis Prima, Keely Smith and their dynamite backing band The Witnesses ruled the roost, a time when stars like Sammy Davis Jr., Peggy Lee, Wayne Newton, Bobby Darin, Jack Jones, Tony Bennett and Dean Martin lit up the Vegas sky like stunning supernovae.
This is the town they call “Lost Wages” but we know we’ve tapped straight into a lucky streak when The Count Basie Orchestra’s swingin’ syncopation and hard drivin’ horns kick-start Tony Bennett’s With Plenty of Money & You. Dynamite drumming and a tremendous tenor sax solo provide the punctuation for Tony’s typically relaxed yet powerful vocals.
We realise the great start is not just beginner’s luck when Vic Damone’s Something’s Coming follows as naturally as night follows day. The lyrics “the air is humming and something great is coming” provide a fitting overture for our trip down the Strip. Musical magicians Louis Prima and Keely Smith spread a little of that Old Black Magic before Wayne Newton’s anthem Danke Schoen in turn gives way to Jack Jones’ This Could Be The Start of Something Big, another superb snapshot of hipster life (“There’s no controlling the unrolling of your fate my friend, Who knows what’s written in the magic book?, But when a lover you discover at the gate my friend, invite her in without a second look.”). This is when you start to realise that all those ageing swingers who told you they don’t make songs like they used to are bang on the money. They don’t.
Then Mr. Mack The Knife himself, Bobby Darin, hits us with Once in a Lifetime, a terrific tour de force from an inimitable performer at the peak of his powers. The stars keep twinkling bright as velvet-voiced Nat King Cole’s Shooting High precedes Judy Garland’s I’m So Lucky. In Ultra-Lounge’s version of Vegas, baby, we’re all winners!
Of course it wouldn’t be Vegas without Dean Martin crooning direct from the bar. Dino contributes a fantastic rare track Who’s Got The Action (“A gal is like a racehorse, I play her to win, But if I should lose her another may come in”). This hipster anthem is the essence of Vegas cool and it makes you wish Dino had recorded more material just like it. Joe South’s funky Games People Play is given the Mel Tormé treatment and “the Velvet Fog” does a stand-up job, as usual, on another rare Vegas groove.
Showstopper It’s Not Unusual by Tom Jones is followed by Keely Smith’s swingin’ On The Sunny Side of the Street before Sammy Davis Jr. puts his stamp all over Dino’s trademark tune Ain’t That a Kick in The Head. Just as we’re planning on heading to the bar for a martini the Count and Tony Bennett are back swinging most righteously with the jokey Are You Having Any Fun? Good job we got table service in this joint!
Steve Lawrence's take on Night and Day is “money” baby and Peggy Lee’s version of Big Spender has all the sassy style you’d expect from the divine diva.
We’re in the wee small hours of the morning now and the show is winding down but not before Louis Prima encores with Pennies From Heaven, Wayne Newton treats us to the eerie Shangri La and, just as we’re about to get our coats, Bobby D beams back in with Ace in the Hole live and direct from the floor of The Flamingo.
As a massive fan of the Ultra-Lounge series I couldn’t wait to hear Vegas Baby! and I’ve got to say this album has surpassed even my high expectations. It’s been a few years now since the U.L. crew delighted us with their Tiki Sampler but it’s been well worth the wait. Vegas Baby! is the best thing these cats have ever done. Viva Las Vegas! Viva Ultra-Lounge!

Vegas - Album of the Month (Past)


Love Jones

Club Montepulciano has been London's hippest club for a good few years now. The critically acclaimed Club M hipsters are no strangers to the compilation album with last years "Bongo Beach" release providing an excellent selection of modern lounge music. "Showgirls and Sugardaddies" has certainly consolidated their reputation as purveyors of high quality contemporary lounge music for discerning modern listeners. The music here is more overtly dancefloor friendly and reminiscent of contemporary club culture than most of the stuff we play at Vegas but it's all high quality stuff with a distinct retro flavour. The album opener "Easy Tiger" by Club M d.j. Nick Hollywood's Lemon project sets the tone. Kitsch, retro-influenced but modern and danceable. An adept patchwork of samples (most prominently "Watermelon Man") with an alluring female vocal imploring the listener to take it "Easy, Tiger". A good start. "Here Kitty Kitty" by Jacknife Lee is a big beat track which has been doing the rounds on the nation's more discerning dancefloors for a good while (including Vegas). From the sampled "It's showtime ladies and gentlemen" intro, big beat drum break and Jimmy Smith Hammond organ sample this track is a winner all the way. Much heard on tv sports programmes "Here Kitty Kitty" is a guaranteed mover and shaker. Doing Time's "I Was a Ye Ye Girl" is great. Fresh out of Italy this is a hugely infectious and danceable track with a great hook. Ye Ye refers to a French teenie bop dance craze from the 60's and you can imagine Bridget Bardot gyrating seductively to this one. The cheesy filtered disco effects suggest this track would sound equally at home track pumping out of the speakers at "Manumission" as working the more discerning dancefloor at Club M. Cheesy Italo-disco or impossibly cool irony fest? Who cares, it's a great record. Truby Trio's "A Go Go" is a cool, funky track with an insistent rhythm verging on drum and bass using a sample from Latin legend Mongo Santamaria. Skeewiff rework Mexican musical maestro Esquivel's classic "Mini Skirt". The original is well known as the soundtrack to Louis Theroux's Weird Weekends. Esquivel was a South American sound sculptor who recently passed away. He collaborated with neo-lounge acts like Combustible Edison in his later years and was a source of inspiration to countless artists from Stereolab to Brian Eno. Skeewiff give the track a dancefloor friendly remix but for my money the original still rules. "Voulez Vous" by Arling and Cameron has been used in "The Sopranos" t.v. series, Capsule from Brighton display a Parisien sensibility on "Le Salon" and Hipkiss's "Glamour Pussy" is an intoxicating ode to feline power with a frisky, fun attitude. Stereo de Luxe's "Soul Sauce" is a fresh and funky floor filler and "Viva Planet M" by Club M's house band Montepulciano is a sexy spacecapade sampling lunar lounge lizard Neil Armstrong! Nice. Kerphunk's "Phunk Phoolin'" samples a strorming Lulu track "Stop Fooling Around" and turns it into a dancefloor detonator of fearsome potency. Wonderful. All in all a top quality album from London's most stylish club. Looking forward to the next album already.
You can order showgirls and sugardaddies from the Club M website www.clubmontepulciano.com


Search for Music to be delivered to your door

Search by keywords:
In Association with Amazon.co.uk

Just type in what you're looking for and press GO!

Take me back to the Vegas Home Page