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Bobby Darin: Live! at the Desert Inn (2005)

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Bobby Darin: Live! at the Desert Inn How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

Bobby Darin was a real swinger. He entertained with soul and spirit. Over the years, his performance was adapted to fit the changing times. This reissued album documents his February 6, 1971 appearance at the Desert Inn in Las Vegas. With backup singers, a powerful rhythm section and a large jazz orchestra, the popular singer gave us some of his best material.

This was back when big bands still worked for a living at places like the Desert Inn. Darin's accompaniment includes real people playing real instruments. Yet, it's a timeless session that incorporates the folk music of the time, the music of the Beatles, vibrant R&B classics, a kinship with Blood, Sweat & Tears, and a few of the singer's own trademark songs: "Splish Splash" and "Mack the Knife."

Neon Tonic Records has added several selections that were not available on the original Motown issue.

Darin's "Simple Song of Freedom" speaks of the war and more. He makes it quite easy to understand his lyrics. The music brings goosebumps to your arms and neck and tears to your eyes when you stop to think about what he's saying. It's a searing message that remains as relevant today as it was in 1971. He knew what the public wanted to hear.

"Work Song" moves slow and cool, with a loping sense of ease. Darin gives it a husky delivery as his bassist and drummer surround him with appropriate textures. The "chain gang" takes on powerful impressions as we feel the emotion that Darin exudes.

"Beyond the Sea" brings back the memories of what this guy could do. He was the consummate entertainer, and always gave his audience his all.

Track Listing: Save the Country; Mack the Knife; Fire and Rain; Hi De Ho; Beatles Medley: Hey Jude/Eleanor Rigby/Blackbird/A Day in the Life; Higher and Higher; I'll Be Your Baby Tonight; If I Were a Carpenter; Simple Song of Freedom; Encore: Chain of Fools/Respect/Splish Splash/Johnny B. Goode; Work Song; Beyond the Sea.

Personnel: Bobby Darin- vocals; Terry Kellman- guitar; Billy Aikens- piano; Quitman Dennis- bass; Tommy Amato- drums; The Jeannie Thomas Singers; The Carleton Hayes Orchestra.

Record Label: Neon Tonic

Style: Vocal


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