Bobby Darin: Seeing Is Believing [DVD]
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A selection of performances by Bobby Darin from his own popular variety show and other TV shows including The Ed Sullivan Show, plus rare footage of Darin performing songs such as 'Cry Me A River', 'Work Song' and 'Got My Mojo Working' and duets with Connie Francis and Bobbie Gentry.
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However, the whole thing is a bit of a mess. There is no title for each song, giving date and place which would have been nice. There is no indication of who the two duets are with (Bobbie Gentry and Connie Francis). The switch from 1973 to 1959 for the Ed Sullivan clips is jarring. There are not even any opening credits.
It's great to have these clips released, but a little bit of thought could have gone into the production side of things. It would have made sense to excise the Ed Sullivan clips from the main programme and to have included them as bonus features, for example. Giving dates of performances wouldn't have been difficult. And it would have been nice to open the DVD with, perhaps, the opening credits of the Darin TV series from which they are taken. Most sad of all is that the opening rocking Splish Splash (from, I think, Midnight Special TV series) is cut short and a previously released one included at the end of the show instead. The opening version is much better and would have been appreciated in full.
That should not take away from what we have here - the 1959 Ed Sullivan performances in good quality, a rare live version of Work Song, a unique version of Sweet Caroline (even if it doesn't quite come off), a nice Cry Me A River, a heartfelt If, nice live versions of Mame and Artificial Flowers and the highlight of the CD: Come Rain Or Come Shine which seems to mix Sinatra with Ray Charles and is totally stunning! Darin fans will lap this up, it's just a shame about the editing and production - especially for a full priced DVD
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Talent and showmanship aside, this artist's catalogue can actually overwhlem the senses: it's all first-class and contains an amazing A & R range. '50s Rock and Roll, Pop, Middle-of-the Road, Country, Jazz, standards - I never heard a dud. Darin was in the best tradition of distinguished show people who obviously believed in quality control - just witness the extaordinary show band he had - I gotta "Google" the name and career of his drummer from those '70s-appearing shows.
As everyone knows, Bobby appeared on the Mike Douglas Show as co-host for one week in July of 1970, and I recall the duet he did with Little Richard, on his arrangement of Muddy Waters' "I've Got My Mojo Working" - Bobby actually played piano! I did purchase this DVD hoping that this title would be taken from that telecast, reported as 07-29-70. It is another rendition from that decade, with BD playing vibes. While I witnessed *that* show of genius, I had to say, this is probably the best alternative to the aforementioned event.