Full title: The Pink Panther, Moon River, Baby Elephant Walk & Other Hits.
Recorded between 1961 & 1963.
Taken from four of Mancini's best soundtracks -- Breakfast at Tiffany's and Charade (1961), The Pink Panther and Hatari! (1963) -- this 21-track set provides a very fine introduction for those new to the ?ber-lounge composer's work. Sure, some samples of his excellent Peter Gunn, Touch of Evil, and Mr. Lucky backdrops would have been welcome, but there's so much bounty here that one will not be left wanting, at least not until the "grooves" have been worn out. It's all classy and classic stuff, from the after-hours glow of "Royal Blue" and bolero sultriness that is "Latin Snowfall," to noirish whimsy like "The Pink Panther Theme" and the perennial "Moonriver." Not a replacement for RCA's excellent three-disc retrospective, The Days of Wine and Roses, but still a very enjoyable way to get some top-notch Mancini on a single disc. ~ Stephen Cook