Dean Martin was an Italian-American singer, actor, comedian, and film producer. One of the most popular and enduring American entertainers of the mid-20th century, Martin was nicknamed the "King of Cool" for his seemingly effortless charisma and self-assurance. He and Jerry Lewis were partners in the immensely popular comedy team Martin and Lewis. He was a member of the "Rat Pack" and a star in concert stages, nightclubs, recordings, motion pictures, and television. He was the host of the television variety program The Dean Martin Show (1965–1974) and The Dean Martin Celebrity Roast (1974–1985). Martin's relaxed, warbling crooning voice earned him dozens of hit singles including his signature songs "Memories Are Made of This", "That's Amore", "Everybody Loves Somebody", "You're Nobody till Somebody Loves You", "Sway", "Volare", and "Ain't That a Kick in the Head?".
While this two-disc compilation is hardly definitive, it does contain many, many classic performances and it lists for a good price. There are original recordings of "That's Amore," "In the Cool, Cool, Cool of the Evening," "Lucky Song," "Georgia on My Mind," "That Lucky Old Sun," "Under the Bridges of Paris," and a few dozen others. What a compilation like this reveals about an artist like Dean Martin is simply how talented he was. Sure, there are the sappy Italian songs and the saloon songs, but there are also country songs, pop standards, and jazz tunes thrown in this mix, and like his pal Frank, Martin could sing anything he wanted to at will. Memories Are Made of This portrays how gifted he was, and makes even the most casually curious listener want to dig for more. That is the function of a good compilation, and this one merits attention for that alone.