A few gems, but there are better CDs with more songs.
Andrew Stein | Los Angeles, CA USA | 12/17/1998
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This CD includes a few Darin classics--Splish Splash, Dream Lover, and Eighteen Yellow roses--and live performances of two other Darin classics: Mack the Knife and If I Were a Carpenter. This version of Mack, as other reviewers note, bears little resemblence to Darin's famous studio recording of that song, but it does have a snazzy rock 'n' role quality that I like. If you want the classic version, however, it is available on other CDs, including Atlantic's "Mack the Knife: Best of, Vol. 2" Darin CD and on the magnificent four-CD boxed set "As Long as I'm Singing." Darin's live recording of If I Were a Carpenter, found on the Best of Bobby Darin CD reviewed here, however, is a beautiful rendition of that song that compares favorably to his studio recording. Blue Monday, which probably comes from a demo session of the Fats Domino tune, finds Darin singing the blues, while On Broadway presents Darin's take on the classic tune. These two recordings, though enjoyable, probably find their audience mostly among true Darin fans. Next, Darin takes the traditionally uptempo Fly Me to the Moon and converts it into a torch song worth listening to. The highlights of this CD, however, come from two songs. On La Bamba, Darin does a fantastic uptempo interpretation of the soft Richie Valens hit. I prefer Darin's unique take--nobody was better at giving a shot of adrenaline to slow standards and in the process transforming the songs into his own creations (e.g., Lazy River, That's All, Nature Boy, You Must've Been a Beautiful Baby). Finally, Darin renders an uplifting and soaring ballad in Happy, the love theme written by Smokey Robinson for the movie "Lady Sings the Blues." Happy, Darin's last Billboard chart before his death in 1973, also is a must-hear. That said, this CD is difficult to recommend. With Capitol's recent release of the three-CD "Darin: Capitol Years" import boxed set, "Best of Bobby Darin" offers nothing you can't find elsewhere. And elsewhere you'll find larger compilations with more hits. Still, this CD offers eight solid songs at a low price. But whether you're new to Bobby Darin or a long-time fan, you have many better choices."
A good album
David Hogan | Edison, NJ USA | 06/06/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"There are a few Darin compilations that have the annoying feature of not telling you certain songs are live...this is one of them. Mack the Knife and If I Were a Carpenter are not the studio originals. If you're just looking for an album with Mack the Knife, look elsewhere because this live version doesn't even come close to the original. But, if you're looking for a unique mixed bag collection of Darin songs, this really isn't bad.There are the original studio versions of a few early Darin rock n' roll songs like Splish Splash, Dream Lover, etc. His version of La Bamba is great, very unlike the original rock classic. Blue Monday is a catchy song with a good vocal performance. His slow and beautiful Fly Me To the Moon is also wonderful. But the highlight of this set for me is the live version of If I Were a Carpenter...also very different from the original, it is much slower, and contains some terrific acoustic guitar work and a lovely flute solo. I actually prefer it to the original."
Not the original "Mack the Knife"
David Hogan | 02/08/1999
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I ordered this cd because it had "Dream Lover", "Splish Splash", and "Mack the Knife." However, the "Mack" song is live and it is not indicated on the cd. It's just not the same."