When Bobby Darin signed with the Motown label in 1970, his career and his life were coming to an end. Due to a bout of rheumatic fever as a child, he lived with a damaged heart all of his life. He passed away December 20, 1973, at the age of 37, following heart surgery.
Today Bobby Darin is best remembered for his series of pop/rock hits during the late 1950’s and early 1960’s. Songs such as “Mack The Knife,” “Dream Lover,” “Splish Slash,” and “Queen Of The Hop” propelled him into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 1990.
When he signed with Motown in 1970, he was moving in a new direction. Leaving behind his teen pop and rock past, he was becoming an interpreter of songs. His voice had matured and his ability to adapt to a broad range of material was making him a Las Vegas favorite.
Unfortunately his Motown releases were not commercially successful and have long been out of print. Now Real Gone Music has gathered his last studio album and the one released after his death along with his single releases and some alternate takes and combined them under the title Another Song On My Mind: The Motown Years.
His Motown material was an eclectic mix of sounds and styles, which resulted in some hits and misses. He seemed most comfortable with what can be called singer/songwriter material. Randy Newman’s “Sail Away,” his own “Simple Song Of Freedom,” Tim Hardin’s “If I Were A Carpenter,” and Dylan’s “I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight,” and “Don’t Think Twice It’s All Right” are laidback and understated and fit his early 1970’s style well.
On the other hand, when he tackles such hits of the day such as “I Won’t Last A Day Without You,” “The Letter,” and “Someday We’ll Be Together” the results are less successful.
As with all the Real Gone releases the sound is clean and the enclosed booklet gives a nice history of Darin and the music.
Darin’s Motown years were a work in progress that was cut short. What is left is a glimpse into the music and mind of an artist in transition. It is music that should appeal to any fan of Darin.