When I Hold You in My Arms (Comm'e Belle a Stagione)
Eh Marie, Eh Marie
Pepino's Friend Pasqual (The Italian Pussycat)
What Did Washington Say (When He Crossed the Delaware)
Originally released on Reprise (6118).
While certainly not the most comprehensive of the Lou Monte greatest-hits compilations out there, Golden Hits is still a fun collection of some of what the singer offered his listeners. Sung in a mixture of English and standard and dialectic Italian, the 12 songs on the album show off Monte's strong clear voice, various influences (besides Italian folk, also there's jazz and traditional American pop), and sense of humor (as, for example, he pretends to be Luigi, a sailor on one of Columbus' ships, asking him to "turna da ship around"). It's Italian enough that listeners looking for that type of music should be satisfied, but it also has enough American sensibility to not put off non-Italian speakers. And while tracks like "Witch Doctor," "Angelina," "Calypso Italiano," and the Italian-American holiday favorite "Dominick the Italian Christmas Donkey" are unfortunately not included, Golden Hits still has enough on it -- "Roman Guitars," "Eh Marie, Eh Marie," "Lazy Mary" -- to make it a worthwhile and enjoyable selection. ~ Marisa Brown