Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
As Long As I'm Singing: The Bobby Darin Collection
Genres: Folk, Pop, Rock, Broadway & Vocalists
Move Over Frank and Tony...Make Room For Bobby!
bix lang | Davenport, Iowa USA | 09/12/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A quite legitimate argument could be proffered that Bobby Darin (born Cassotto) was the most unique and extraordinary singer in the history of American popular music. I know that in these sordid, pretentious, and intellectually-challenged times similar claims have been made about everyone from Snoop Dog to Big Head Todd. But a genuinely credible case could be made for Bobby Darin. Here's why: Darin was that rarest of performers capable of ingratiating himself to fans of all ages, races, and musical tastes. He had million-selling singles in musical categories as diverse as Jazz/Swing, Country & Western, Folk, and Rhythm and Blues. Darin was hailed as a brilliant performer from industry giants as diverse as Johnny Mercer, Perry Como and Henry Mancini on the one hand, and Neil Young, Rod Stewart and Elvis Presley on the other. He had a natural jazz feel and a sense of syncopation that eluded even Sinatra and Bennett. He had a sense of showmanship and an inborn panache that was unmatched. Sammy Davis Jr. and Wayne Newton both hailed Darin as the most connsummate cabaret performer in the world. Now, let's throw in the fact that Darin is a member of both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the American Songwriters and Composers (ASCAP) Hall of Fame. Add to all of this the fact that Darin, despite making less than a dozen films, was nominated for an Academy Award as Best Supporting Actor ("Captain Newman, M.D.") and was the recipient of the Golden Globe Best Actor Award ("Pressure Point"). He was nominated for four Grammies in 1959 and won two of them ("Best New Vocalist" and "Song of the Year" for "Mack the Knife"). He was nominated again in 1963 in the category of Best Rhythm and Blues vocalist ("What'd I Say"), and then was nominated still again in 1966 in the category for Best Male Ballad Singer ("If I Were A Carpenter"). And let's not forget that Darin was nominated and/or received these Grammies when the competition included Frank Sinatra, Jack Jones, Vic Damone, Ella Fitzgerald, Peggy Lee and Tony Bennett (as opposed to Madonna, Snoop Dog, Britany Spears, Jennifer Lopez and the rest of contemporary pop culture's cookie-cutter, mass-produced pseudo-talents). Finally, throw into this mix the fact that Darin was a talented dancer, impersonator, and multi-instrumentalist, and you have arguably the most talented performer in American show business. If all of these facts aren't sufficient in convincing you that Bobby Darin was, in so many tangible ways, in a class by himself, then simply access the most persuasive evidence---his recordings. Listen to "Beyond the Sea," "You're the Reason I'm Living," "Things," "Won't You Come Home, Bill Bailey?" "A Nightengale Sang in Berkeley Square," or "Try To Remember." You might even want to check out "Me and Mr. Hohner," which presaged rap and hip-hop by twenty-five years. Try and think of a more versatile singer---assuming of course that he or she, like Darin, had a genuinely pleasant voice. Try this on for size: Could Sinatra sing "Dream Lover?" Could Neil Young sing "Clementine?" Could Marvin Gaye sing "Artificial Flowers?" How about Michael Feinstein singing "You're the Reason I'm Living?" Such pairings of singers and songs would be ridiculous at best. Yet Bobby Darin sang'm all, and sang'm well. While Marvin Gaye is considerd a "soul singer," Neil Young a "rock singer" and Sinatra a "big band singer," Darin mastered all three of these genres and many more as well. So why isn't Bobby Darin an American icon? Sadly, Darin is underappreciated for two critical reasons: First, he died at the tragically young age of 37. Because he knew he would die so young, Darin ventured into all musical genres and, although he mastered them all, he didn't remain in any one long enough to become identified with it. Unlike Sinatra and Bennett who are identified soley as big band swing and ballad singers, Darin mastered that category but he was also a folk, rock and roll, and Country-Western singer. Ironically, his own masterful versatility was detrimental to his legacy: it was virtually impossible for a man who had only so many years to live and perform to become firmly ensconced in the American psyche. The second reason for Darin's being underappreciated is the fact that he had the misfortune of appearing on the show-biz scene contemporaneously with a swarm of limited-talents who were also of Italian-American lineage like Frankie Avalon, Fabian, Bobby Rydel, Dion DiMucci, Freddie Cannon, Lou Christie, etc. Hence, lots of WWII generation folks hastily and unfairly categorized Darin with these far lesser lights. They heard "Splish Splash" and walked away from their phonographs believing Darin was just another teenybopper. Only in retrospect is Bobby Darin beginning to receive the credit he has long been overdue. The apex of this deserved Darin renaissance might well be the forthcoming Darin biopic starring the talented Kevin Spacey. This film might well be the final, ultimate catalyst necessary to open the eyes of those who heretofore were hesitent to mention Bobby Darin in the same sentence as Sinatra and Bennett. Hopefully the Darin biopic will induce viewers to exit movie theatres with an inclination to learn more about the late, great Bobby Darin. Perhaps then whatever remnant of class, taste and sophistication still existent in the oxymoron known as "contemporary pop culture" will manifest to sing the praises of a genuinely brilliant performer who was every bit as talented, if not more so, than Mr. Sinatra and Mr. Bennett."
An Extraordinary Achievement
bix lang | 07/30/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Bobby Darin was simply one of the most talented performers of all time. At a time in music when performers took few chances, Darin did it all. What's amazing is how he excelled in every genre he attempted.Even Sinatra, arguably the all-time greatest pop singer, often sounded foolish when attemping contemporary material. Check out Darin's folk songs, they are the real deal. Darin refused to be typecast, and in the long run it probably hurt him. If he would have stuck to the standards, he would probably be right behind Sinatra in stature. I would never fault an artist, however, for attempting to expand his, and our, horizons. The Rhino box is a tremendous testament to a vastly underrated artist."
Incredible collection of endless talent crammed into one box
Andrew Stein | Los Angeles, CA USA | 05/05/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This boxed set offers a good sample of the tremendous talent of Bobby Darin, who could sing rock, pop, showtunes, lounge, folk, country, blues, and gospel in the same show without breaking a sweat or missing a beat. The first disc consists of rock songs, while the second and third focus on his pop material. The fourth disc ends with a smattering of country hits (some of which topped the country charts), a bit of gospel, a good dose of folk, and several protest selections. Darin wrote or co-wrote 164 songs over his short career (he died in 1973 at the age of 37), and this boxed set includes several of his works from all genres. This is the ideal collection for the Darin fan, although there are CDs on the market that fill the gaps that a four-disc set inevitably leaves. (You'll want Capitol's "Spotlight on Bobby Darin" disc for his knock-out performances of Sinatra/Crosby standards only a few of which come on the boxed set.) I never tire of this set because it always offers a song to match my mood (and because Darin simply was one of the most talented people to appear on the recorded media)."