For wiseguys: They're playing your song; A law student has put together a "Mob Hits" CD, and it's selling like gangbusters.


NEW YORK -- Mob movie fan David Brinker does not sleep with the fishes. But he does spend a lot of time thinking in the bathtub, where he came up with the idea for "Mob Hits," a compilation CD of so-called "mob music."

Featuring songs by the likes of Dean Martin, Al Martino and Louis Prima, the two-CD set, pitched on late-night cable TV by singer Jerry Vale, is helping put Brinker, 25, through Fordham Law School

He got the idea to produce the album after a long night of studying. "[Most people] go to the bath to relax," he says. "But when I'm in the bath, I'm thinking or I'm on the phone doing business."

That night, he dreamed up what became "Mob Hits." About half the songs are from such films as "Casino," "Donnie Brasco," "Goodfellas" and, of course, "The Godfather."

With the help of a Web site and the TV ads, it has sold about 50,000 copies; Brinker and his investors are planning retail distribution.

Brinker doesn't have -- or at least doesn't admit to -- anything resembling mob ties. Instead, he just happens to be an avid collector of music and a big fan of mob movies. "I grew up spending every cent I had on music, all kinds," he says. "And then I became a mob-movie freak and I realized -- hey, some of the music in them is stuff my parents listen to, but it's great."

His parents, he says, used to go to nightclubs to hear Vale sing "Al-Di-La" and "Non Dimenticar." Both songs are on the album.

How authentic is "Mob Hits"? Well, some notable "mob-style" singers -- Frank Sinatra, Jimmy Roselli and Tony Bennett -- are not featured, but it was nothing personal -- just business. Brinker couldn't obtain the rights to their songs. ("That's why we have Paul Anka singing 'My Way,' not Sinatra. But it's Anka's song, he wrote it.")

"The songs are not about being in the mob. But ... if you put this music on while having dinner with friends, it's like -- well, it's hard to put it into words -- but it conveys the style, intrigue and adventure that you get from mob movies."

If that's not enough, there's always the "Mob Hits" cover -- a gold record pierced by what look to be .38-caliber bullet holes.

Pub Date: 02/21/99

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