Darin at the Copa is the live document from Bobby Darin's standing-room-only engagement at Jules Podell's Copacabana club in New York City, an appearance that confirmed for the adult pop crowd that the former singer of ephemera like "Splish Splash" had made the complete transition from rock & roll to more "serious" music. Serious this record certainly isn't, though. A complete entertainer, Darin only occasionally concentrates on the business of singing, making Darin at the Copa the type of concert work that rarely succeeds as a purely aural recording. Bobby Darin is obviously performing, not just singing, and listeners are often left out during his countless jokes and vocal asides -- each of which get enormous responses from the original audience. The music is solid and Darin does his finger-popping best, but he walks a thin line between swinging and an outrageous parody of same. At the time, his big hits -- "Mack the Knife" and "Dream Lover" -- were such common currency that he thought it only natural to play around with them; listening decades later, it's difficult to avoid the wish he'd played this date just a bit more straight.
Darin at the Copa Review
by John Bush