Bobby Darin

Dr. Doolittle

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Bobby Darin's 1967 album, Sings Doctor Doolittle, was his personal pet project (pun intended). Darin chose to sing ten songs from the musical film over the objections of his label, extending his repertoire from standards to folk to rock and now (kind of) kids music. Atlantic must have wondered to whom to market Sings Doctor Doolittle, which is completely fair, considering that the theatrical bomb almost ruined 20th Century-Fox. (And that this is not the official soundtrack.) Songwriter Leslie Bricusse won an oscar for the song "Talk to the Animals," which is included here. Not an essential Darin album, even to crazed fans. The songs are solid but the material is (obviously) neither his most weighty nor his most fun. An album of Oscar-nominated songs is one thing, but Sings Doctor Doolittle contains no great songs. It is interesting to note that only three of these songs appear on any Darin compilation: Swingin' the Standards, Moods/Swing: The Best of the Atlantic Years 1966-67, and As Long As I'm Singin'. But none are on any greatest hits CDs. Not a coincidence. Worth buying for completists. But Sings Doctor Doolittle will not be among the most listened to albums in anyone's collection. One of the few genuine missteps in Darin's career.

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