Nat King Cole starts off Those Lazy-Hazy-Crazy Days of Summer whistling at the girls on the beach and pretty much never looks back on this reissue of the fun and cheerful 1963 album.
When Collector’s Choice Music announced the release of a second set of Cole CD reissues, collectors around the world on message boards and collector’s groups got excited about the prospects of owning albums amplified by non-LP bonus tracks and all sorts of other goodies. Liner notes penned by Jim Ritz give the CDs a boost, too, as any Nat King Cole fan can find something to enjoy and any non-Cole fan will likely become one
With the reissue of Those Lazy-Hazy-Crazy-Days of Summer, Collector’s Choice once again added some bonus tracks (“Goodnight Little League,” “Early American,” “When It’s Summer,” and “Summer Is A-Comin’ In”) to flesh out the set. The album is by and large held in low esteem by purists, like Ramblin’ Rose, but it was a big hit all the same.
The merry character of the record is clear from “Those Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days of Summer” and carries right through to the reprise of the same song that closes out the album before the bonus tracks. Most of the disc features significant and often-overpowering background vocals and the same general pace to the songs, but it’s a pleasing and jubilant album that can be thrown on in the milieu of any summer BBQ or to let some light in on any wintery evening.
Each head-bopping song is simplistic lyrically and Cole’s vocals sound affectionate and friendly. “There is a Tavern in the Town” is a sweet little song that clocks in at a minute and a half and bounces its way through some out-and-out funny lyrics. Cole sounds obstinately blissful on the album, which fits the tone and pace of each track faultlessly. In fact, things don’t settle down or turn away from the bubbly beat until the bonus track “Early American” arrives. Even the moving “That Sunday, That Summer” seems to be light and airy.
All in all, Those Lazy-Hazy-Crazy Days of Summer is ideal for the scene found on the CD cover. Set on a beach filled with light-hearted couples basking in the euphoric glow of the summertime, this Nat King Cole album finds a rightful place in the sun and in any collector’s anthology of fine recordings.