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POSITIVE POINTS:

1 This 4-CD box set, released by Rhino Records (US) in 1995, remains the only box set that covers the ENTIRE career of Bobby Darin from 1957 to 1972. Because Darin covered a lot of different genres, this set was not programmed chronologically, but instead by style: Pop years (discs 1 & 2), Rock N Roll Years (disc 3) and Folk & Country Years (disc 4). All his major singles on various labels are included, plus many rare b-sides and album tracks. There are also 11 previously unreleased gems.
2 The sound is very well remastered by Bill Inglot.
3 There is a 64-page book with fantastic essays and detailed discography. Great job!

NEGATIVE POINTS:

1 Disc 2: 21 songs; disc 3: 22 songs. Rhino could have filled up the remaining empty spaces with more songs to make this set even more valuable.
2 The coverage on Decca (1956-1957) was completely missing. There is only 1 song on Motown. Fortunately, you can get the missing Decca recordings on “Complete US & UK A & B Sides 1956-62” (Acrobat Music, 2CDs, 2015, 60 songs) and “Motown Years” (Real Gone Music (US), 2CDs, 2016, 38 songs) to cover his rare and final Motown era.

FINAL THOUGHTS:

If you want wide coverage of the entire career of Bobby Darin, this set is for you. Beside great sound, the 64-page booklet is a treasure to keep. This set is highly recommended to all Bobby Darin fans.

PS I purposely leave the song listing to the end because of its length. If you have time and interested to know just how great this set is, please read on (BB Pop=Billboard Hot 100; UK=UK Singles Chart; BB200=Billboard Album Chart).

CONTENT:

DISC 1 (THE ROCK ‘N’ ROLL YEARS):
01 EARLY IN THE MORNING (The Rinky Dinks)(Atco 45-6121)(a-side, BB Pop 24/August 1958)
02 SPLISH SPLASH (Atco 45-6117)(a-side, BB Pop 3(1)/May 1958; UK 18/1958)*his first charted single
03 QUEEN OF THE HOP (Atco 45-6127)(a-side, BB Pop 9/September 1958; UK 24/1959)
04 DON’T CALL MY NAME (Atco 45-6103)(uncharted a-side, October 1957)
05 ALL THE WAY HOME*from album “For Teenagers Only” (Atco 1001)(1960)
06 LOST LOVE (Atco 45-6127)(b-side, September 1958)
07 PLAIN JANE (Atco 45-6133)(a-side, BB Pop 38/January 1959)
08 DREAM LOVER (demo version, previously unreleased)(1959)*stereo
09 DREAM LOVER (Atco 45-6140)(a-side, BB Pop 2(1)/April 1959; UK 1(4)/1959)*his biggest hit in UK
10 BULLMOOSE (Atco 45-6140)(b-side, April 1959)
11 SOMEBODY TO LOVE (Atco 45-6179)(b-side, BB Pop 45/September 1960)*double sided hit; a-side “Artificial Flowers” disc 2, track #16
12 I GOT A WOMAN*from album “Darin At The Copa” (Atco 33-122)(BB200 9/1960)
13 YOU MUST HAVE BEEN A BEAUTIFUL BABY (Atco 45-6206)(a-side, BB Pop 5/August 1961; UK 10/1961)
14 IRRESISTIBLE YOU (Atco 45-6214)(a-side, BB Pop 15/December 1961)
15 MULTIPLICATION (Atco 45-6214)(b-side, BB Pop 30/December 1961; UK 5/1961)*a-side in UK; from film "Come September"
16 WHAT’D I SAY (PARTS 1 & 2)(Atco 45-6221/London HLK 9540)(a-side, BB Pop 24/March 1962)*stereo
17 THE RIGHT TIME*from album “Bobby Darin Sings Ray Charles” (Atco 33-140)(BB200 96/1962)
18 IF A MAN ANSWERS (Capitol 4837)(a-side, BB Pop 32/September 1962; UK 24/1962)*from film "If A Man Answers"
19 TREAT MY BABY GOOD (Capitol 5019)(a-side, BB Pop 43/August 1963)
20 WHEN I GET HOME (Capitol 5443)(uncharted a-side, June 1965)
21 WE DIDN’T ASK TO BE BROUGH HERE (Atlantic 45-2305)(a-side, BB Pop 117/September 1965)
22 FUNNY WHAT LOVE CAN DO (Atlantic 45-2305)(b-side, September 1965)
23 SHE KNOWS (Atlantic 45-2433)(a-side, BB Pop 105/August 1967)
24 EASY RIDER*previously unreleased (1967)
25 SAIL AWAY (Motown M 1203F)(uncharted a-side, May 1972)*stereo

DISC 2 (THE POP YEARS, PART 1):
01 MACK THE KNIFE (Atco 45-6147)(a-side, BB Pop 1(9)/August 1959; UK 1(2)/1959)*his biggest US hit; mono
02 BEYOND THE SEA (Atco 45-6158)(a-side, BB Pop 6/January 1960; UK 8/1960)*mono
03 THAT’S THE WAY LOVE IS (Atco 45-6158)(b-side, January 1960)*mono
04 THAT’S ALL*from album “That’s All” (Atco 33-104)(BB200 7/1959); mono
05 CLEMENTINE (Atco 45-6161/London HLK 9086)(a-side, BB Pop 21/March 1960)*stereo
06 THE GAL THAT GOT AWAY*stereo; from album “This Is Darin” (Atco 33-115)(BB200 6/1960)
07 BLACK COFFEE*stereo; from album “This Is Darin” (Atco 33-115)(BB200 6/1960)
08 GUYS AND DOLLS*stereo; from album “This Is Darin” (Atco 33-115)(BB200 6/1960)
09 WON’T YOU COME HOME BILL BAILEY (Atco 45-6167)(a-side, BB Pop 19/May 1960; UK 34/1960)*mono
10 MINNIE THE MOOCHER (Atco 45-6334)(uncharted a-side, January 1965)*rare gem; mono
11 EASY LIVING*stereo; from album “Winners” (Atco 33-167)(1964)
12 I FOUND A NEW BABY (Atco 45-6244)(a-side, BB Pop 90/December 1962)*stereo
13 IT’S YOU OR NO ONE*stereo; from album “It’s You Or No One” (Atco 33-124)(1963)
14 MILORD (Atco 45-6297)(a-side, BB Pop 45/May 1964)*stereo; rare gem
15 TWO OF A KIND (with Johnny Mercer)*stereo; from album “Two of a Kind” (Atco 33-126)(1961)
16 ARTIFICIAL FLOWERS (Atco 45-6179)(a-side, BB Pop 20/September 1960)*mono
17 LAZY RIVER (Atco 45-6188)(a-side, BB Pop 14/January 1961; UK 2/1961)*mono
18 IT HAD TO BE YOU*stereo; from album “Love Swings” (Atco 33-134)(BB200 92/1961)
19 HOW ABOUT YOU*stereo; from album “Love Swings” (Atco 33-134)(BB200 92/1961)
20 NATURE BOY (Atco 45-6196)(a-side, BB Pop 40/May 1961; UK 24/1961)*stereo
21 BABY FACE (Atco 45-6236)(a-side, BB Pop 42/September 1962; UK 40/1962)*mono

DISC 3 (THE POP YEARS – PART 2):
01 AS LONG AS I’M SINGING (Capitol 5126)(b-side, February 1964)*stereo
02 OH! LOOK AT ME NOW*stereo; from album “Oh! Look at Me Now” (Capitol 1791)(BB200 100/1962)
03 A NIGHTINGALE SANG IN BERKELEY SQUARE*stereo; from album “Oh! Look at Me Now” (Capitol 1791)(BB200 100/1962)
04 THE PARTY’S OVER*stereo; from album “Oh! Look at Me Now” (Capitol 1791)(BB200 100/1962)
05 THIS ISN’T HEAVEN*stereo; from album “State Fair” (Dot 29001)(1962)
06 MY FUNNY VALENTINE*stereo; previously unreleased; recorded live at The Flamingos, Las Vegas, 1963
07 YOU’RE NOBODY TILL SOMEBODY LOVES YOU*stereo; previously unreleased; recorded live at The Flamingos, Las Vegas, 1963
08 HELLO, DOLLY! (Capitol 5359)(a-side, BB Pop 79/January 1965)*stereo
09 ONCE IN A LIFETIME (ONLY ONCE)*stereo; from album “Hello Dolly To Goodbye Charlie” (Capitol 2194)(BB200 107/1964)
10 LOOK AT ME*stereo; from album “Hello Dolly To Goodbye Charlie” (Capitol 2194)(BB200 107/1964)
11 CHARADE*stereo; from album “Hello Dolly To Goodbye Charlie” (Capitol 2194)(BB200 107/1964)
12 SUNDAY IN NEW YORK*stereo; from album “Hello Dolly To Goodbye Charlie” (Capitol 2194)(BB200 107/1964)
13 SOMEWHERE*stereo; from album “Venice Blue” (Capitol 2322)(BB200 132/1965)
14 THERE AIN’T NO SWEET GAL THAT’S WORTH THE SALT OF MY TEARS*stereo; from album “Venice Blue” (Capitol 2322)(BB200 132/1965)
15 SILVER DOLLAR (Atlantic 45-2317)(b-side, January 1966)*mono
16 LOVER COME BACK TO ME*stereo; from album “Bobby Darin Sings The Shadow of Your Smile” (Atlantic 8126)(1966)
17 RAININ’ (Atlantic 45-2350)(b-side, September 1966)*stereo
18 THE SHADOW OF YOUR SMILE*stereo; from album “Bobby Darin Sings The Shadow of Your Smile” (Atlantic 8126)(1966)
19 MAME (Atlantic 45-2329)(a-side, BB Pop 53/April 1966)*stereo
20 DON’T RAIN ON MY PARADE*stereo; from album “In A Broadway Bag (Mame)” (Atlantic 8126)(1966)
21 BEAUTIFUL THINGS*stereo; from album “Bobby Darin Sings Doctor Dolittle” (Atlantic 8154)(1967)
22 THE CURTAIN FALLS (live)*stereo; previously unreleased; recorded live at The Flamingos, Las Vegas, 1963

DISC 4 (THE FOLK & COUNTRY YEARS):
01 THINGS (Atco 45-6229)(a-side, BB Pop 3(1)/June 1962)
02 YOU’RE THE REASON I’M LIVING (Capitol 4897)(a-side, BB Pop 3(2)/December 1962)
03 (I HEARD THAT) LONESOME WHISTLE*from album “You’re The Reason I’m Living” (Capitol 1866)(BB200 43/1963)
04 SALLY WAS A GOOD OLD GIRL (Capitol PRO 2354)(uncharted a-side, 1963)*Promotional; rare gem; from album “You’re The Reason I’m Living” (Capitol 1866)(BB200 43/1963)
05 18 YELLOW ROSES (Capitol 4970)(a-side, BB Pop 10/May 1963; UK 37/1963)
06 WALKING IN THE SHADOW OF LOVE (Atlantic 45-2329)(b-side, April 1966)*rare gem
07 WORK SONG*from album “Earthy” (Capitol 1826)(1963)
08 I’M ON MY WAY, GREAT GOD*previously unreleased; recorded live at The Flamingos, Las Vegas, 1963
09 BLOWIN’ IN THE WIND*from album “Golden Folk Hits” (Capitol 2007)(1963)
10 IF I WERE A CARPENTER (Atlantic 45-2350)(a-side, BB Pop 8/September 1966; UK 9/1966)
11 THE GIRL THAT STOOD BESIDE ME (Atlantic 45-2367)(a-side, BB Pop 66/November 1966)
12 REASON TO BELIEVE (Atlantic 45-2367)(b-side, November 1966)
13 LOVIN’ YOU (Atlantic 45-2376)(a-side, BB Pop 32/January 1967)
14 THE LADY CAME FROM BALTIMORE (Atlantic 45-2395)(a-side, BB Pop 62/March 1968)*written by Tim Hardin; from album “Inside Out” (Atlantic SD 8142)(1967)
15 I AM (Atlantic 45-2395)(b-side, March 1968)*written by Bobby Darin; from album “Inside Out” (Atlantic SD 8142)(1967)
16 DARLING BE HOME SOON (Atlantic 45-2420)(a-side, BB Pop 93/July 1967)*rare gem; written by John Sebastian
17 BACK STREET GIRL*from album “Inside Out” (Atlantic SD 8142)(1967)
18 I’M GOING TO LOVE YOU*previously unreleased
19 LONG TIME MOVIN’*previously unreleased
20 LONG LINE RIDER (Direction 350)(a-side, BB Pop 79/November 1968)*written by Bobby Darin; first single for his label Direction; from album “Bobby Darin Born Walden Robert Cassotto)(Direction 1936)(1968)
21 IN MEMORIAM*from album “Bobby Darin Born Walden Robert Cassotto)(Direction 1936)(1968)
22 ME & MR. HOHNER (Direction 351)(a-side, BB Pop 123/April 1969)*rare gem
23 SONG FOR A DOLLAR (Direction 351)(b-side, April 1969)*rare gem
24 SWEET REASONS (Bob Darin)(Direction D-4001)(b-side, November 1969)*rare gem
25 I’LL BE YOUR BABY TONIGHT*previously unreleased; recorded live at The Bonanza, Las Vegas, 1969
26 SIMPLE SONG OF FREEDOM (live)*previously unreleased
27 SIMPLE SONG OF FREEDOM (live)(Motown M 1193F)(uncharted a-side, November 1971)*original 1971 version of Live at The Desert Inn

I hope the above information is helpful to you.
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on May 4, 1998
This boxed set offers a good sample of the tremendous talent of Bobby Darin, who could sing rock, pop, showtunes, lounge, folk, country, blues, and gospel in the same show without breaking a sweat or missing a beat. The first disc consists of rock songs, while the second and third focus on his pop material. The fourth disc ends with a smattering of country hits (some of which topped the country charts), a bit of gospel, a good dose of folk, and several protest selections. Darin wrote or co-wrote 164 songs over his short career (he died in 1973 at the age of 37), and this boxed set includes several of his works from all genres. This is the ideal collection for the Darin fan, although there are CDs on the market that fill the gaps that a four-disc set inevitably leaves. (You'll want Capitol's "Spotlight on Bobby Darin" disc for his knock-out performances of Sinatra/Crosby standards only a few of which come on the boxed set.) I never tire of this set because it always offers a song to match my mood (and because Darin simply was one of the most talented people to appear on the recorded media).
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on September 29, 2003
Finally a box set of one of the great vocal innovators and one of the most underrated singers of the past 50 years. This will convince the casual listener that Bobby Darin was a superlatively talented artist.
What a tragedy that he died so young at 37. He is dwarfed by the huge shadow cast by Frank Sinatra. Though Darin didn't have the poignant and unmatched ability of Sinatra to phrase a lyric, his uptempo songs are nearly as good as the Chairman of the Board. He is cool, hip, has fine range and has an innate jazzy feel that infuses all of his swingier songs. The musical arrangements and musicianship displayed here is also exemplary. The orchestra that backs up Darrin is fantastic.
My personal favorite is "Beyond the Sea," one of the great swing pseudo-ballads of the 50's, recently resurrected as the backdrop of a TV commercial. Darrin proves he was the natural successor to Sinatra with his masterful vocal here. "Guys and Dolls" and "Down with Love" are nearly as good and showcases Darrin's talent. The best ballad is probably "Was There a Call for Me?" which reproduces the boozy hangover feeling of being dumped about as well as any song.
Darrin's later work was never as hip and contemporary-sounding as the music on this disc. This is an exceptional collection with many catchy, memorable tunes, and proves beyond a doubt that Darrin was an amazing talent.
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on September 12, 2003
A quite legitimate argument could be proffered that Bobby Darin (born Cassotto) was the most unique and extraordinary singer in the history of American popular music. I know that in these sordid, pretentious, and intellectually-challenged times similar claims have been made about everyone from Snoop Dog to Big Head Todd. But a genuinely credible case could be made for Bobby Darin. Here's why: Darin was that rarest of performers capable of ingratiating himself to fans of all ages, races, and musical tastes. He had million-selling singles in musical categories as diverse as Jazz/Swing, Country & Western, Folk, and Rhythm and Blues. Darin was hailed as a brilliant performer from industry giants as diverse as Johnny Mercer, Perry Como and Henry Mancini on the one hand, and Neil Young, Rod Stewart and Elvis Presley on the other. He had a natural jazz feel and a sense of syncopation that eluded even Sinatra and Bennett. He had a sense of showmanship and an inborn panache that was unmatched. Sammy Davis Jr. and Wayne Newton both hailed Darin as the most connsummate cabaret performer in the world. Now, let's throw in the fact that Darin is a member of both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the American Songwriters and Composers (ASCAP) Hall of Fame. Add to all of this the fact that Darin, despite making less than a dozen films, was nominated for an Academy Award as Best Supporting Actor ("Captain Newman, M.D.") and was the recipient of the Golden Globe Best Actor Award ("Pressure Point"). He was nominated for four Grammies in 1959 and won two of them ("Best New Vocalist" and "Song of the Year" for "Mack the Knife"). He was nominated again in 1963 in the category of Best Rhythm and Blues vocalist ("What'd I Say"), and then was nominated still again in 1966 in the category for Best Male Ballad Singer ("If I Were A Carpenter"). And let's not forget that Darin was nominated and/or received these Grammies when the competition included Frank Sinatra, Jack Jones, Vic Damone, Ella Fitzgerald, Peggy Lee and Tony Bennett (as opposed to Madonna, Snoop Dog, Britany Spears, Jennifer Lopez and the rest of contemporary pop culture's cookie-cutter, mass-produced pseudo-talents). Finally, throw into this mix the fact that Darin was a talented dancer, impersonator, and multi-instrumentalist, and you have arguably the most talented performer in American show business. If all of these facts aren't sufficient in convincing you that Bobby Darin was, in so many tangible ways, in a class by himself, then simply access the most persuasive evidence---his recordings. Listen to "Beyond the Sea," "You're the Reason I'm Living," "Things," "Won't You Come Home, Bill Bailey?" "A Nightengale Sang in Berkeley Square," or "Try To Remember." You might even want to check out "Me and Mr. Hohner," which presaged rap and hip-hop by twenty-five years. Try and think of a more versatile singer---assuming of course that he or she, like Darin, had a genuinely pleasant voice. Try this on for size: Could Sinatra sing "Dream Lover?" Could Neil Young sing "Clementine?" Could Marvin Gaye sing "Artificial Flowers?" How about Michael Feinstein singing "You're the Reason I'm Living?" Such pairings of singers and songs would be ridiculous at best. Yet Bobby Darin sang'm all, and sang'm well. While Marvin Gaye is considerd a "soul singer," Neil Young a "rock singer" and Sinatra a "big band singer," Darin mastered all three of these genres and many more as well. So why isn't Bobby Darin an American icon? Sadly, Darin is underappreciated for two critical reasons: First, he died at the tragically young age of 37. Because he knew he would die so young, Darin ventured into all musical genres and, although he mastered them all, he didn't remain in any one long enough to become identified with it. Unlike Sinatra and Bennett who are identified soley as big band swing and ballad singers, Darin mastered that category but he was also a folk, rock and roll, and Country-Western singer. Ironically, his own masterful versatility was detrimental to his legacy: it was virtually impossible for a man who had only so many years to live and perform to become firmly ensconced in the American psyche. The second reason for Darin's being underappreciated is the fact that he had the misfortune of appearing on the show-biz scene contemporaneously with a swarm of limited-talents who were also of Italian-American lineage like Frankie Avalon, Fabian, Bobby Rydel, Dion DiMucci, Freddie Cannon, Lou Christie, etc. Hence, lots of WWII generation folks hastily and unfairly categorized Darin with these far lesser lights. They heard "Splish Splash" and walked away from their phonographs believing Darin was just another teenybopper. Only in retrospect is Bobby Darin beginning to receive the credit he has long been overdue. The apex of this deserved Darin renaissance might well be the forthcoming Darin biopic starring the talented Kevin Spacey. This film might well be the final, ultimate catalyst necessary to open the eyes of those who heretofore were hesitent to mention Bobby Darin in the same sentence as Sinatra and Bennett. Hopefully the Darin biopic will induce viewers to exit movie theatres with an inclination to learn more about the late, great Bobby Darin. Perhaps then whatever remnant of class, taste and sophistication still existent in the oxymoron known as "contemporary pop culture" will manifest to sing the praises of a genuinely brilliant performer who was every bit as talented, if not more so, than Mr. Sinatra and Mr. Bennett.
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on June 25, 2003
The Bobby Darin box set, "As Long As I'm Singing," is a showcase of Mr. Darin's unique ability to sing jazz, rock, folk, country-western, gospel, and standard Tin Pan Alley as no other vocalist in the history of popular music. He was naturally gifted with innate rhythm, timing, and musicality. Yet, Bobby Darin does not receive the respect and recognition that he has long deserved. I believe the reason for such an incongruity and injustice is the fact that Darin dabbled successfully in so many musical genres, that the "purists" in each one refused to fully accept him---since he did not focus his entire energy on any one musical subfield in particular. Thus, the rockers didn't fully accept the swinging, finger-popping cabaret singer in Darin because "genuine rock singers" must look filthy, take drugs (or at least act like they do) and sing exclusively loud, three chord, twelve barre songs. The middle-of-the-road lovers of popular standards only partially embraced Darin because Bobby didn't wear his tuxedo and sing Tin Pan Alley classics one hundred percent of the time. The jazz world only partially accepted Darin because "true jazz singers" surely don't sing meticulously arranged, structured ballads like Bobby. In truth, Bobby mastered all of these musical genres, whether or not the alleged "purists" in each one is sufficiently intelligent or honest to acknowledge that fact. Darin was indeed an anamoly---he sang all musical forms as though he were born to do so. This fact didn't sit well with the pretentious, full-of-themselves critics who guard their respective musical genres from incursion by those who just might be more talented than they are. Could you picture Eric Clapton singing "Beyond the Sea?" Or, conversely, could you imagine Tony Bennet singing "Splish Splash?" How about Johnny Cash doing "Artificial Flowers?" Or The Rolling Stones doing "If I Were A Carpenter?" You see, Darin did them all, and he did them all magnificently. Alas, time wasn't on his side. Any vocalist who attempts to master all popular musical genres and, subsequently, be accepted by the snobbish guardians of their respective gates, requires at least a normal life span to overcome such simplemindedness and become universally accepted and acknowledged. Because of his heart affliction, Darin was not afforded such longevity. But in this sensational retrospective collection, the listener can hear why Bobby Darin is now being hailed as a great jazz singer, pop singer, rythm and blues singer, etc. Perhaps now he will begin receiving the praise his enormous talents warranted, but never received, while he was still with us.
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on August 9, 2002
It really does take a 4 disc nearly 100 song box set-- or something even bigger-- to capture the amazing versatility of Bobby Darin. So if you're into rock, swing, country, folk or just about any kind of music, treat yourself to a fascinating journey through the career of this unique pop icon. Disc One covers rock, Two and Three take care of the swing and torch song area, and Four displays Darin's talents in the genres of country and folk. Nat King Cole and maybe Perry Como could also sing it all, but they pretty much kept the same vocal style in any type of music, kind of like Jimmy Stewart playing Glenn Miller or Charles Lindbergh. Bobby Darin, on the other hand, transforms himself with each type of music-- he can rock with the best of them in "Splish Splash" and "If A Man Answers," and after challenging Elvis he can take on Sinatra in "Mack the Knife," of course, but especially in standards like "A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square." Then hear his voice suddenly become genuine country in "Things" and "18 Yellow Roses." In folk Darin once again transforms his voice and delivers the definitive "If I Were A Carpenter" plus a convincing "Blowin' In The Wind." Total commitment had a lot to do with it: Darin was known for being one of the most honest, emotionally raw singers out there. Another reason for Darin's versatility was his understanding of popular song, in any genre. He was a great songwriter himself, someone who could come up with a great lyric and melody in just fifteen minutes-- this spontaneity and nervousness, the finger-snapping race against the clock is part of his appeal. He wrote famous rock songs like "Dream Lover," country songs like "Things" and "18 Yellow Roses," the protest song "Simple Song of Freedom," and a number of swingin' standard Cole Porter-type songs that are very underrated ("That's the Way Love Is" being one). I love his rock song "Multiplication" that he sings in such a cool way in the movie "Come September" with Rock Hudson and Gina Lollobrigida. "Rainin'" is quite simply one of the most haunting and moving ballads I've ever heard. So Darin got inside a song, many of them originating in his own heart and head, and seemed to sing beyond his abilities-- no great voice like Frank or Bing, but supreme courage to hold notes longer than we think he can, or climb up and grab a high note with gutsy security. I especially admire Bobby Darin because he's the only singer I know of who truly carried on the Sinatra style of singing. Of course, he brought his own rocker mentality to "Mack the Knife," but Frank had the edge of a rocker himself that set him apart (according to U2's Bono anyway). Darin really jumps inside, out, over and around the beat the way Frank did, and is supremely cool and confident, tossing aside lines, inserting his own lyrics, but not doing it like a cheesy lounge singer. Many singers-- like Dean and Perry-- carried on the Bing style, but Frank pretty much just has Bobby Darin who could tackle a song like "Beyond The Sea" with that same fresh, direct, subtle swinging style. Of course Bobby had his own style and personality (imitated nicely by actor Kevin Spacey), and this box set does a great job in introducing the many sides of Darin's legacy, with excellent photos and a nice essay (though the author does take a few unnecessary shots at Sinatra). You might like to hear more of Darin's swing efforts-- the album "That's All" is as essential as they get, but a lot of Darin's albums on Capitol like "Oh! Look At Me Now" with great arranger Billy May are hard to live without too. And you've got to hear Darin doing "More"-- has anyone ever sounded so cool?
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on February 2, 2002
The title says it all he was excellent! Here is my opinion on the set:
This box set contains the three stages of Bobby Darin: The first CD is "The Rock N' Roll Years." It contains songs like the classic "Splish Splash" and "Queen Of The Hop." These songs you just want to get up dance to. It also contains his song Dream Lover (personally I don't think it is a rock song.) It has a "Dream Lover Demo" in which Bobby Darin Is practicing backstage. (Although they are not as popular as the others I enjoy the songs Bullmoose, Plain Jane, You Must Have Been A Beautiful Baby, and All The Way Home. I recommend them.

The next two Cds are The Pop Years (My favorite part in the set.)in which is Bobby Darin does the Sinatra style of music. I think when Bobby Darin sang these songs he still has a Rock N' Roll touch to him so he jazzes up his songs and makes them jumpy and lively. They contain his signature song "Mack The Knife" which he does better than anyone and won a well deserved Grammy. It also contains his song "Beyond The Sea" (a personal favorite) which did well on the pop charts. It also contains "Two Of A Kind" which he sang with Johnny Mercer. Recommendations: Minnie The Moocher, Baby Face, As Long As I'm Singing, (which the set is named after)Hello Dolly!, and Somewhere (from The West Side Story.)
The Last is the Folk And Country Years. IT contains "Things" a song that made No.3 on the Pop Charts. It also contains the classic "If I Were A Carpenter" And The Demo and Live version of "A Simple Song Of Of Freedom." A rebelious song of the 60's. Recommendations: You're the Reason I'm Living,18 Yellow Roses, and Sally Was A Good Old Girl.
The set contains a book that tells about his life. In the back of the book it has all the songs he sang and when they were recorded and how they did on the Pop charts.
If you buy this set you will treasure it for a lifetime. I know I will!
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on October 26, 2001
Bobby Darin may have only lived to the ripe old age of 37,but what a tremendous talent he was-I just purchased a CD player over a year ago & this collection was the first one I bought-Keep in mind that Bobby wasn't content on just doing rock & roll-As this anthology shows,he was capable of covering other genres of music,most notably,country,folk,& pop-True,there were those who branded Darin as a Frank Sinatra wannabe,but that's what put bread on the table-Also,it should be noted that Darin was a great intepreter of other people's work-Listen to his rendition of Ray Charles'"I've Got A Woman",Randy Newman's "Sail Away" & John Sebastian's "Darling Be Home Soon".The folk portion of his career was memorable,as well-"If I Were A Carpenter",written by Tim Hardin,was Bobby's last top 10 hit in 1966 & a great song,to boot-The achingly beautiful "Simple Song Of Freedom" is another favorite of mine-The enclosed booklet contains testamonials from people such as his son,Dodd,Dick Clark,& Roger Mc Guinn-A biopic of Darin was supposed to have been released some time ago,but unfortunately,that has been shelved for the time being-Kevin Spacey was supposedly chosen to portray Darin-Good choice-He has a decent singing voice & would do justice to Darin's material-In conclusion,if you're a major league Darin fan,buy this boxed set-It's worth every penny.
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on December 26, 2000
Having grown up with Bobby Darin on the radio and big screen I knew he was good, but I had forgotten how good until I listened to this 4 set album. The set starts with his pop hits, moves into his ballad /Vegas years and ends on the 4th cd with his final change into his protest style Dylan-esk stage. His ability to slip into these three styles from pop,to lounge singer, to country is remarkable. He is so comfortable in all arenas of music that you will be amazed how utterly smooth he is. His best? "A Nightingale sang..." is a man at the top of his form. He out Franks Frank in the best lounge singer tradition. Smooth as polished steel. My wife found his ballards romantic and my teenage son was replaying several songs. The enclosed book is most informative,filled with stories of his tragic relationships and personality flaws,his triumphs, why he was so driven, pictures and recording histories. This man could sing. This man could sing. Buy it.
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on January 12, 2003
Bobby Darin could sing any kind of song and make it sound like he was born to sing it---rock, jazz, standards, folk, gospel---you name it. On swing numbers ("Beyond the Sea," "A Nightengale Sang in Berkeley Square," "Mack the Knife,") he swung with far more groove and syncopation than Sinatra at his best. In fact, whereas Sinatra often sounded like a square attempting certain jazzy uptempo tunes---straining to keep in tempo-- Darin is a natural. Darin was also a live performer of unmatched ability (as no less than Sammy Davis, Jr. and Wayne Newton attested)----he did tremendous impersonations, played a dozen instruments, and had the wit of a Vaudeville genius. He won Golden Globes and Fench Film Critic's awards for his intense acting, and was nominated for an Academy Award (which he should have won). I sometimes listen to the rather square and uncharismatic Tony Bennett scream songs in his "veins popping in his neck" style and realize how he has nonetheless become popular with the youngsters, and I really feel bad for Darin. He had a thousand times the magnestism, stage presence, and singing style that Bennett possesses. He was also cool without trying to be so. In all honesty, if one were to objectively assess twentieth century entertainers, Bobby Darin may well have been the greatest natural talent of them all. Yeah, I know---we're all conditioned to believe Sinatra was the best. But if you open your mind and ears, Darin outswung Sinatra like nobody's business. Man, it's not even close! Buy this CD---it a remarkable collection of a brilliant vocalist who bridged the generations long before it became fashionable. Darin swings, man!
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