Beyond The Sea

Beyond The Sea

     
 

Actors trying their hand at music usually induce little more than groans. But give credit to Kevin Spacey, who does a fine job portraying his musical hero Bobby Darin in the biopic Beyond the Sea, which the actor also directed. Spacey goes the extra mile by singing the 18 songs that appear on the film's soundtrack. To honor Darin's legacy, Spacey worked withSee more details below

Overview

Actors trying their hand at music usually induce little more than groans. But give credit to Kevin Spacey, who does a fine job portraying his musical hero Bobby Darin in the biopic Beyond the Sea, which the actor also directed. Spacey goes the extra mile by singing the 18 songs that appear on the film's soundtrack. To honor Darin's legacy, Spacey worked with musical big guns, including Frank Sinatra producer Phil Ramone and Darin's former music director Roger Kellaway, and recorded with a 73-piece orchestra at Abbey Road's legendary Studio 2. The material on the disc was drawn from different phases of Darin's career, so along with the Sinatra-like swing of the title track, Spacey slips into protest mode on the acoustic "Simple Song of Freedom" and the brisk, orchestral "Fabulous Places," with its snappy mix of strings and galloping tempo. Most impressive is the casual swagger with which the Oscar-winning thespian delivers "Mack the Knife," the Kurt Weill classic that's arguably Darin's best-known song. The only slight misstep is Spacey's fairly mannered take on Darin's breakout rock 'n' roll smash "Splish Splash," but all is forgiven with his nuanced crooning on the yearning, R&B-flavored classic "Dream Lover." Spacey's Oscar prospects for this role are still unclear, but if his treatment of Darin's music is any indication, he's sure to introduce a younger generation to this timeless talent.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
For years, Kevin Spacey's dream project was a biopic on '60s crooner Bobby Darin, starring himself as the lead. After over a decade of struggling to get it made, he finally got a green light in the early 2000s to start production, not just as the lead actor, but as the director and producer of Beyond the Sea. One of Spacey's key decisions in the film was to use newly recorded music for the soundtrack, and for him to sing in character as Darin. This is an unquestionable act of either courage or chutzpah, but Spacey had skills to back it up. In fact, part of the reason he was able to get the project off the ground was that he made a public display of his singing when he belted out a powerful "Mind Games" when he MCed a 2001 John Lennon tribute concert, a move that illustrated his roots in musical theater and paved the way to Beyond the Sea. That musical theater background is still evident on the soundtrack, where Spacey's occasionally mannered performances bear the inflections of somebody singing for stage, not record. Instead of hurting the album, it's part of what makes the whole exercise somewhat fascinating. With the assistance of producer Phil Ramone, Spacey has carefully captured the spirit of Darin's original recordings, sometimes duplicating arrangements, other times altering them slightly ("Dream Lover" no longer has the appealingly heavy-handed strings that punctuated the chorus). The album emphasizes Darin's big-band crooning, but touches on his Brill Building rock & roll and folk material as well, offering a good cross section of his music. While a hits collection would be a better introduction for a neophyte, this is a good listen in its own right, particularly because there is real passion behind Spacey's go-for-broke, splashy performances. It doesn't make it better than Darin's recordings, but it makes Beyond the Sea an inspired listen, and a satisfying one as well.

Product Details

Release Date:
11/23/2004
Label:
Rhino
UPC:
0081227844424
catalogNumber:
78444

Related Subjects

Album Credits

Technical Credits

Marc Blitzstein   Composer
Kurt Weill   Composer
Henry Mancini   Composer
Tim Hardin   Composer
Hoagy Carmichael   Composer
Bobby Darin   Composer
Richard Rodgers   Composer
Charles Trénet   Composer
Sheldon Harnick   Composer
Jerry Bock   Composer
Sidney Arodin   Composer
Alan Brandt   Composer
Leslie Bricusse   Composer
Shelton Brooks   Composer
Howard Dietz   Composer
Oscar Hammerstein   Composer
Jack Lawrence   Composer
Johnny Mercer   Composer
Phil Ramone   Producer
Arthur Schwartz   Composer
Charles Strouse   Composer
Bryan Lasley   Art Direction
Kevin Spacey   Liner Notes,Executive Producer
Bob Haymes   Composer
Einar A. Swan   Composer
Sol Weinstein   Composer
Lee Adams   Composer
Jay Maidment   Still Pictures
Murray "The K" Kaufman   Composer

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