Remembering Bobby Darin
When it comes to remembering the day we lost Bobby Darin, it’s simply impossible not to be depressed by just how young he was when he left us. That said, the fact that he did indeed live to the age of 37 is rather remarkable in and of itself, given that his health had always been subpar, and few can claim to have accomplished as much in the music business in as short an amount of time as Darin did. That’s why on this, the day of his death, we celebrate his life by offering up not only a playlist of his greatest hits from his tenure on Atlantic Records but also a six-pack of covers that you may not have realized that he tackled.
1. The Everly Brothers, “All I Have To Do is Dream” – Darin delivered his take on the Everly Brothers classic on his 1972 variety show, The Bobby Darin Amusement Company, performing it as a duet with Petula Clark. It later saw a CD release on the 2004 compilation Aces Back to Back!
2. Gilbert O’Sullivan, “Alone Again (Naturally)” – In another moment from the aforementioned Bobby Darin Amusement Company, Darin turns in his take on one of the most depressing pop songs of the 1970s.
3. Frankie Valli, “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” – Yes, this one’s from The Bobby Darin Amusement Company, too, and although we don’t love having to keep typing it, you have to admit, it’s just a wonderfully 1970s name for a series. Given that Rhino is home to the Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons catalog, we’re obviously partial to the original version, but we’ll happily give Darin his due for putting his own spin on the song.
4. James Taylor, “Fire and Rain” – Taken from Darin’s LIVE! AT THE DESERT INN album, which was recorded in February 1971, this Taylor tune was pretty representative of Darin’s cover choices in the early ‘70s, when he was also heard to tackle Laura Nyro’s “Save the Country” and Tim Hardin’s “If I Were a Carpenter.”
5. Bob Dylan, “I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight” – Darin also covered this Dylan track during his Desert Inn performance, releasing it as the B-side to his self-composed Motown Records single “Simple Song of Freedom.” Unfortunately, it suffered the same fate as virtually all of his Motown singles: it failed to chart.
6. Randy Newman, “Sail Away” – Darin selected his rendition of this Newman song as the first single from his first full-length studio album for Motown…and when we say “first,” well, it was actually his last one, too. As it happens, though, this wasn’t the first time he’d done a Newman song: on Darin’s 1964 album FROM HELLO DOLLY TO GOODBYE CHARLIE, Newman co-wrote the track “Look at Me.”