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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). ~ Richie Unterberger

1) Roller Coaster - Les Baxter (02:53)
2) Hey, Bellboy! - Gloria Wood (03:22)
3) This Could Be the Start of Something - Dave Pell (02:22)
4) The Pink Panther Theme - Hollywood Studio Orchestra (02:22)
5) Like Young - David Rose (03:39)
6) Underwater Chase - Al Caiola (02:17)
7) Binga Banga Bongo/Percolator - All-Stars / Earl Palmer / Terry Snyder (04:44)
8) Call Me - New Classic Singers (02:23)
9) Mountain Greenery - Ernie Freeman Combo (02:48)
10) Charade - Si Zentner (02:37)
11) Shooting Star/Jungalero - Les Baxter (05:18)
12) Honorable Hong Kong Rock - The Out-Islanders (02:38)
13) Odd Job Man/I Wanna Be a James Bond Girl - Leroy Holmes (05:04)
14) Heap Big Chief - Muzzy Marcellino (02:07)
15) Blue Danube Rock - Jonah Jones Quartet (01:59)
16) Pussy Cat - Cy Coleman (02:32)
17) Teach Me Tiger - April Stevens (02:23)
18) Lolita Ya-Ya - Nelson Riddle (02:39)
19) [Untitled Spoken Track] - Renzo Cesana (02:29)

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Ultra-Lounge, Vol. 8: Cocktail Capers | Various Artists