Bobby Darin

Bobby Darin Swings

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Annoyingly, few release/recording dates are given in the liner notes to this 18-song compilation. It doesn't spell it out, but basically most of this is taken from Bobby Darin's mid-'60s Atlantic albums, with early-'70s live versions of "Mack the Knife" and "Beyond the Sea" (note that Darin's famous original hit recordings of those tunes are not included on this CD). Getting past this packaging shortcoming, it's a decent sampling of the more pop-swing-oriented material Darin cut during the time, the selection heavily emphasizing popular standards and show tunes of both the uptempo and ballad variety. Darin's interpretations of "The Shadow of Your Smile," "Mame," "It's Only a Paper Moon," and "Don't Rain on My Parade" are all here, for example. He did a lot more in this vein than what's on this disc, of course, but it's a good representation of his skills with such material, which were in a league with those of Frank Sinatra, though these recordings have not attained the iconic status of the more celebrated of Sinatra's similar outings. Fans of Darin's earthier side might not be in the mood to hear a collection that focuses so intently on his more poppy one. But he does let some bluesy shades into the vocals and arrangements at times, as on "After You've Gone" and more particularly "Feeling Good," which is the highlight with its smoky jazz organ and sultry pace.

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