The two albums combined on this discount-priced reissue are quite different from each other, but they are similar in both being distinct from the bulk of Bobby Vinton's record releases. Programmed in reverse chronological order, Live at the Copa, recorded in June 1966, and Drive-In Movie Time, recorded in May and June 1965, represent different sides of Vinton that were not seen as frequently by his mass audience as his more familiar ballad-singing style, which brought him a string of hit records in the 1960s and '70s. Not surprisingly, neither of them made the charts. To take them in their correct order, Drive-In Movie Time is an album of screen songs no doubt prompted by Vinton's assignment to sing the theme song for the 1965 movie Harlow on the film's soundtrack. He assembled another 11 songs from movies of the late '50s and early '60s, and tried his hand. He is better at some than at others, notably negotiating the Henry Mancini melodies "Moon River" and "Dear Heart" well, but not "GoldFinger," a song that demands something more dramatic than his callow style. Also, some of the songs are better remembered for their melodies than for the lyrics written for them later, which occasionally makes hearing these vocal versions odd. Live at the Copa finds Vinton performing in an overtly show-business style, coming off more as an all-around entertainer than as the boyish singer of "Blue Velvet" and similar hits. He tells jokes, leads singalongs, and performs a wide range of material, from "Hava Nagila" to the patter song "Ya Got Trouble" from The Music Man. On his studio records, Vinton might come off as a soft rock balladeer, but Live at the Copa suggested that deep inside him beat the heart of a Rat Pack wannabe.
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AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann