2LP on 1CD
## 1-12 This Is Darin, Atco, 1960 (3*)
This Is Darin was the follow-up to his 1959 breakthrough LP, That's All, for which Bobby Darin won Grammies for Record of the Year and Best New Singer. This Is Darin showcases his confident phrasing with some moments of humor and a few trademark "hut hut"s (six in the first song!). Atco has digitally remastered all 12 songs, rendering the orchestration by Richard Wess crystal clear. Darin hoped this album would establish his reputation as an interpreter of standards. Gone is the bobby-sock rock of "Splish Splash" and even the crossover appeal of "Mack the Knife." In its place is a more mature Bobby Darin aiming for adult - not pop - credibility. "With rock & roll, I'm like a thousand other guys,'' he said, according to his son's book. "Now, I've got to prove I can sing." (In fact, This Is Darin is his first LP to not include a Bobby Darin original.) This album's covers include E.Y. Harburg's "Down with Love," Harold Arlen and Ira Gershwin's "The Gal the Got Away," Duke Ellington's "Caravan," and Frank Loesser's "Guys and Dolls." Every song in this set is good. "Clementine" should be a neo-swinger favorite; it's language about a large woman is mildly offensive now - but not for the time. The smooth sax, slinky piano, and piercing trumpet solos on "Have You Got Any Castles" make it one of the standouts. Darin's interpretation of Johnny Mercer's lyrics here are fabulously tongue in cheek. (Maybe producers Nesuhi and Ahmet Ertegun deserve credit for first matching Darin and Mercer, since the combo would strike such gold with 1961's Two of a Kind.) This Is Darin is highly recommended if you have long since tired of the Swingers soundtrack and want to discover Darin's more traditional fare. [This Is Darin was on the Billboard charts for 50 weeks and peaked at number six.]
- JT Griffith (All Music Guide)
## 13-22 That's All, Atco, 1959, (4.5*)
That's All, Bobby Darin's second LP, is his most important record. Darin's reputation as a teen idol was established in 1958 and 1959 with the Top Ten hits "Splish Splash," "Dream Lover," and "Queen of the Hop." Later in 1959, That's All broadened his appeal and secured his imortality. The LP begins with Darin's trademark song, Threepenny Opera's "Mack the Knife" which was number one for an impressive nine weeks. That's All won Grammy awards for Record of the Year and Best New Singer. In his first attempt to select more mature material, Darin chose songs like Ira and George Gershwin's "It Ain't Necessarily So" from Porgy and Bess and the Hammerstein song "Softly, as in a Morning Sunrise." That's All is an album of pop standards but also includes the Top Ten hit "Beyond the Sea." Much is made of Frank Sinatra's band leader Billy May, but Richard Wess shines on Darin's early LPs. His orchestration in "I'll Remember April" is a brassy and swinging success. That's All might not be a new fan's first Darin purchase. However, it is an important release in the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer's career. This LP proves that not every rocker suffers the "sophomore slump." [That's All was on the Billboard charts for 52 weeks and peaked at number seven.]
- JT Griffith (All Music Guide)
========= from the cover ==========
This Is Darin
Arranger And Conductor: Richard Wess
This if Darin!.....the most exciting personality to hit show business in many years. A string of pop record hits opened up the possibility of an all-around entertainment career for Bobby, and he has conquered one branch of it after the other. His is the kind of high-voltage talent that carries all before it.
For his whopping hit. Mack The Knife, Bobby won the "Best Record of 1959 award from the record industry's Academy. Members of the Academy also named him "The Best New Singer of 1959" and nominated him for two additional awards. On the award show, which was telecast from Hollywood by NBC, Bobby put on a performance whose polish and magnetic appeal made clear the reasons lor the honors showered upon him.
Youthful, almost boyish in appearance, Bobby Darin always impresses with his authority and complete control of his audience. He can carry a show; without tricks or gimmicks, he can stand up there at the mike and entertain. By offering a variety of songs in his characteristically energetic style, he charms any kind of a crowd.
Today Bobby is still king with his teen-age fans, but he is equally popular with older people who patronize the Copa in New York, the Sands in Las Vegas,the Chez Paree in Chicago, the Cloister in Los Angeles, and the other posh niteries u lu're he is booked, between TV shows and making movies. He is also a favorite of jazz enthusiasts; he appeared, with great success, at the Los Angeles Jazz Festival last year and has been booked for several others next summer. This new album, more than anything he's previously done, shows the full range of the Darin talent. His musicality, his showmanship, his originality are everywhere evident. Powerfully dynamic as his work is, it is amply demonstrated here that it is never lacking in finesse and taste.
This is Darin... and he is great!
Bobby Darin is a singer who defies classification. In each of business today. Isn't the same implied homage to the blues his single records he has come up with something different and evident in the best of the older singers." Certainly that explains uniquely Darin. Nothing he has done before, however, can have the special quality of Frank Sinatra, Peggy Lee and Kay Starr, prepared you for the artist that emerges from this LP. In Turning to the tunes in the album, I think that just a it, Bobby presents a specially conceived program of standards quick glance at the titles knocks that "Angry Young Man" in a broad pop vein. It will take only a few minutes of stuff out the window. The titles are an index of Darin's listening to establish that, with this LP, Bobby permanently interest in, and respect for, the past. They evidence both takes his place among the ercats of American popular song, taste and range. Trenet's Beyond The Sea and Gershwin's Rock & roll hits of Bobby 's, like Splih Splash, Queen Of It Ain't Necessarily So are not the songs you expect from The Hop and Plain Jane, have created one public image of a musical fledgling, him, his frequent TV and personal appearances yet another. Of course, Bobby may have a feeling of nostalgia for some Bobby's free-swinging interviews with newspaper people, in of the older tunes in the LP from having heard them at which his outspoken individualism has more than once caused the movies when he was a kid in knee panes. I'll Remember him to be called an "Angry Young Man", complete the April, for example, was first heard in "Ride 'Em Cowboy", confusing picture. All these are pans of him, but together lo these many years ago. Through A Long And Sleepless Night. Do not add up to the whole, was the only thing that held together a tear jerker ("Come It is an album like this that brings the many-sided talents To The Stable"), in which Celeste Holm starred ten years of Bobby Darin into something like complete focus for the hack, first time. From beginning to end, we never lose sight of the Then again, Softly At In A Morning Sunrise (from "New fact that this is the work of a mature, disciplined anist, of Moon') takes you back to 1928, long before Bobby was born, someone who seriously thought through what he intended to That was the same year Kurt Weill wrote the "Threepenny do here. Opera" score, of which Mack The Knife has become the best. What is great about Bobby Darin is the richness and known tune. To know the complete history of Some Of variety of his musical experience, in his rock & roll hits he These Days, you would have had to know Sophie Tucker has proved how much he absorbed from that quarter. Equally when she was a young girt, and nobody goes back that far. Important for him, however, have been ia22, blues, folk music. Let it not be said that Bobby has anything against the "old and the older tradition of pop ballad styling. In this album, songs".
His individual combination of all these strains creates What makes anything new and exciting is interpretation and something all his own. Bobby often expresses his special styling. Bobby's program here convinces because of its strength debt to the blues. Some of the present-day figures who inspired in those two respects. He has authority, he has temperament, him are Ray Charles, Fats Domino and Little Richard. Perhaps he has heart. Perhaps most important, he has an insinuating that isn't terribly obvious in an album like this, but if you sense of humor that gives a glow to all these proceedings.. Remember that, it's easier to understand whence the feeling That's why That's All is both a smashing closer and a fitting and little stylistic touches that make his work seem so unique title to this LP. You'll see why! In comparison to that of other young people in the music.
- Gary Kramer