Motown released Darin 1936-1973 two months after the future Rock and Roll Hall of Famer's death in December of 1973. The ten-track LP (and second on Motown) contains some rare Bobby Darin material. Because of its purpose (grieving), this is one of the few depressing Bobby Darin records, lacking the hopeful romance and joyful concepts that characterized his other releases. Darin 1936-1973 also takes on a haunting, biographical depth, beginning with the heartbreaking "I Won't Last a Day Without You." Its sentiment runs though the LP: "When there is no getting over that rainbow/when my smallest of dreams won't come true/I can take all the madness the world has to give/but I won't last a day without you." Darin 1936-1973 celebrates the artist's life and love of music, especially its ability to convey emotion and connect with a listener. Highlights include "Happy" (the love theme from Lady Sings the Blues), "The Letter," and Randy Newman's "Sail Away." The only Darin original is the folky "Another Song on My Mind." Darin 1936-1973 reflects some of Bobby Darin's most important influences: R&B (Fats Domino's "Blue Monday") and politics (Bob Dylan's "Don't Think Twice, It's Alright"). Collectors should take note that the live versions of "Mack the Knife" and "If I Were a Carpenter" from the Desert Inn are different than those on the Live at the Desert Inn release. Overall, because the material here is largely non-hit covers, this is a record for the die-hard fans. While Darin 1936-1973 is the most somber Bobby Darin LP, it is also a fitting end to his career, focusing on the singer/songwriter he became late in his life.
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AllMusic Review by JT Griffith