This budget compilation of appearances by Bobby Darin is not as slipshod as the generic artwork and less than forthcoming liner information might indicate. For starters, there are absolutely no credits pertaining to exactly what the source of the material is. All of the recordings were done with a live vocal in front of either a studio or nightclub audience, primarily the former. The strictly monaural fidelity and "on-cue" applause suggests the contents of Live: Beyond the Sea (2004) originated as either television or radio broadcasts. Throughout the various performances, Darin is backed by the typical house band orchestration found circa the late '50s and early '60s. He is in good voice and exudes the sort of personable charisma that is usually associated with members of the Rat Pack. The opening title track "Beyond the Sea" bops briskly, accompanied by Darin's trademark fingerpoppin' and generally refined interpretation. Judging by the response, "Mack the Knife" is an obvious favorite, unleashed with a discernible swagger as Darin somewhat predictably cuts loose during the final verse. Another well-received number is the primordial rocker "Queen of the Hop" with the unfettered chugging R&B vibe providing nothing short of an invitation to do the twist. The medleys alone are worth the modest admission price, especially the "I Got a Woman/What I'd Say/When the Saints Go Marching In" trifecta. Despite the less-than-perfect audio quality, Darin swings with emphatic soul, building to a crescendo on the traditional "When the Saints Go Marching In." Not bad at all for a disc that on average will probably run you under a ten spot.
AllMusic Review by Lindsay Planer
Track Listing - Disc 1
Track Listing - Disc 2