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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Bobby Darin

Highlight (10-inch vinyl)

Review by Gary Hill

This classy 10-inch vinyl record from Bear Family is a reissue of a 1961 Japanese record from Bobby Darin. That said, each side has two songs added from the original track list (the final two songs of the side). Bobby Darin's sound is more on the pop side (at least for the time) than some of the more "dangerous" rock and rollers. The songs here include a few classic hits. The music tends to move between jazz, crooner, contemporary pop and rock and roll zones. The package itself includes a postcard, and the record is printed on green vinyl.

You will find bonus video footage of this release available at the Music Street Journal Youtube channel here: .youtube.com/watch?v=egLznyHnhCk

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) form in Music Street Journal: 2021  Volume 2. More information and purchase links can be found at: garyhillauthor.com/Music-Street-Journal-2021.

Track by Track Review
A
                   
Oe-Ee Train
The pop of the time seems to merge with old-school rock and roll on this number. It has some jazzy shifts and elements. It's a playful tune.
Lazy River
More of a balladic cut, this is much more of a jazz tune. One could say that there is some rock and roll in the mix, but honestly, it's probably more of a blues edge.
Somebody To Love
There is a lot more rock and roll in the mix here. It feels like a more pop music oriented version of Jerry Lee Lewis in some ways. It's energetic and fun.
Mack The Knife
This classic crooner tune still holds up well all these years later. It's much more of a jazzy piece. It's an entertaining cut. It's also one of the highlights of this disc.
Nature Boy
The jazz stylings on this are a bit more musical theater based. In fact, this really feels like something that could have come from a movie soundtrack.
You Must Have Been A Beautiful Baby
I dig the guitar fills on this number. It's an energetic rock and roller with some horns added to the mix at times. It has a real early 60s guitar sound to it.
B
        
Clementine

This is very similar to "Mack the Knife." The jazz stylings and hooks work well on this piece. It is more driving and a bit meatier than "Mack the Knife."

I'll Be There
The strings really push this arrangement over the edge into the territory of schmaltzy. If there's a song to skip here, this is it, but it's actually not that bad.
Beyond The Sea
The jazz arrangement on this works well, as does the whole tune, really. This is one of my favorites here.
Dream Lover
Jazz and rock and roll merge on this classic old-school number. This is another standout.
Mighty Mighty Man
I like the energy and groove of this old school rock and roller. It's a fun tune.
Queen Of The Hop
We're in rock and roll zones on this romp, too. It's a fun cut. I dig the saxophone solo. The song feels a little like Chuck Berry to me.
 
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