The Silencers

Dean Martin As Matt Helm Sings Songs From “The Silencers”
LA Gloria Records 1966 (New Zealand pressing)
Produced by Jimmy Bowen. Arranged by Ernie Freeman and Gene Page.

When The Silencers was released at the cinemas in the mid sixties, two albums were released to accompany it. First there was Elmer Bernstein’s soundtrack album, which features the incidental music and a few numbers by Vicki Carr (Carr dubbed the singing for Cyd Charisse in the film). The second was Dean Martin As Matt Helm Sings Songs From “The Silencers”. It looks like a soundtrack album, but it is just Dean Martin singin’ a few songs that were featured in the movie – BUT with a difference. In the movie, Matt Helm spends a bit of time fantasizing about bikini clad dolly birds. During the fantasies, he sings a few old standards, but with cheeky revised lyrics. But here on the album, the songs are performed straight.

These are the notes from the back of the album cover…they are written in some weird sixties ‘hip’ jargon which at times borders on indecipherable…fun, none-the-less.

‘DEAN MARTIN, in his neat role as super secret Matt Helm – sophisticate of the world, gutty guy, virile adventurer, devil with the dollies – “thinks” snatches of favorite songs thruout “The Silencers”. These “think” songs explode in this album. Martin sings out loud all of the evergreen pops from the film, and sings them with some of the most exciting, hit-sounding arrangements ever suscitated.

Backed by the big bands of Ernie Freeman and Gene Page, Martin goes moseying through the grand songs from “The Silencers”, and does it with the same easy style that has recently made him into America’s most consistent best-selling recording artist. Surrounding his songs are four Elmer Bernstein-authored instrumentals, all themes from the picture, performed in lofty swinging style by the Freeman-Page orchestras.

In “The Silencers”, Martin plays no poor man’s secret agent. Martin secret agents right: dressed up snappy by Sy Devore…chased by nasty Chinese bandits…surrounded by kiss-n-kill cuties…ambushed in motel rooms with supine Slaygirls…every girl he meets makes Apassionata Von Climax look like one runt kid.

Fun as females can be, they can also be nasty-deadly, as “The Silencers” proves. But songs by Martin can never be deadly, nor nasty. This zingy album proves that. It’s the nicest thing that ever happened to a super secret agent.’

TRACK LISTING:
Side One
01 The Glory Of Love
02 Empty Saddles In The Old Coral
03 Lovey Kravezit (Instrumental)
04 The Last Round Up
05 Anniversary Song (Instrumental)
06 Side By Side

Side Two
01 South Of The Border
02 Red Sails In The Sunset
03 Lord, You Made The Night Too Long (Instrumental)
04 If You Knew Susie
05 On The Sunny Side Of The Street
06 The Silencers (Instrumental)

If you’re a fan of Dean Martin, then this album is okay. If you’re after a ‘soundtrack’ album, then you’re bound to be disappointed. The four instrumentals featured on the album aren’t really from the film either.

The Elmer Bernstein score can be found over at THXJay’s The Crime Lounge.

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