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Songs from Big Sur

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All Music Guide - Richie Unterberger
The period in the late 1960s during which Bobby Darin turned to a sort of vague folk-rock style has always been difficult to grasp. In part, that's because some of the recordings particularly those on his own Direction label have been difficult to find, whether on the original vinyl or via reissue; in part, that's because his folk-rock material was interspersed with other releases during the same era in which he recorded in much different styles. Songs From Big Sur does collectors and Darin fans a favor by assembling much of his more obscure folk-rock-ish 1965-70 material in one place, largely taken from his 1968-70 Direction releases both on LP and 45, although ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Richie Unterberger
The period in the late 1960s during which Bobby Darin turned to a sort of vague folk-rock style has always been difficult to grasp. In part, that's because some of the recordings particularly those on his own Direction label have been difficult to find, whether on the original vinyl or via reissue; in part, that's because his folk-rock material was interspersed with other releases during the same era in which he recorded in much different styles. Songs From Big Sur does collectors and Darin fans a favor by assembling much of his more obscure folk-rock-ish 1965-70 material in one place, largely taken from his 1968-70 Direction releases both on LP and 45, although there are also a couple of little-known Atlantic singles. Best of all, from the hardcore Darin fanatic's viewpoint, there are also eight previously unreleased tracks, as well as two done for Atlantic that were not released at the time they were cut. So, does it add up to a major chapter of Darin's discography? Not really, though it was an interesting one. It was a time where Darin was moving to more personal and socially conscious songs, and by including nothing but Darin compositions no "If I Were a Carpenter" here, this CD represents that facet of his work well. Musically, however, Darin's brand of folk-rock was mild, and this material in particular was rather unimpressive, if heartfelt in its sentiment. At times, too, his more ambitious reflections could be awkward in their bluntness, sounding a little like a man from the older generation who was hitching a ride with the changing times just a little too late. Not that it counts as a strike against what he was doing, but not all of this was conventional folk-rock by any means: "Jingle Jangle Jungle" sounds a little like the Monkees' more serious material borrowing a little too liberally from the "Last Train to Clarksville" riff, in fact; "Funny What Love Can Do" is close to Jimmy Reed-like blues; the Nick Venet-produced "Long Time Movin'" is good-timey country-pop; "I Am" is orchestrated baroque folk; and the previously unissued "My Baby Needs Me" is close to poppy blue-eyed soul. It's often at its best, a little surprisingly, at its bluesiest, particularly on the very small hit single "Long Line Rider." Some of the best of the previously unreleased tracks, incidentally, are the four live songs from a 1969 appearance at the Troubadour in Los Angeles, with a gutsy full-band arrangement of "Long Line Rider" and a couple of tunes "Simple Song of Freedom" and "Questions" that are not represented by studio counterparts elsewhere on the CD.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/14/2004
  • Label: Varese Fontana
  • UPC: 030206656626
  • Catalog Number: 066566

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Baby May (2:38)
  2. 2 Jingle Jangle Jungle (2:57)
  3. 3 Change (2:24)
  4. 4 The Harvest (3:15)
  5. 5 Funny What Love Can Do (2:52)
  6. 6 Rx-Pyro: Prescription: Fire (2:52)
  7. 7 Distractions, Pt. 1 (3:35)
  8. 8 Jive (2:08)
  9. 9 Long Time Movin' (2:53)
  10. 10 City Life (2:27)
  11. 11 Long Line Rider (2:59)
  12. 12 I'm Going to Love You (2:30)
  13. 13 Me and Mr. Hohner (3:17)
  14. 14 I Am (1:59)
  15. 15 My Baby Needs Me (2:59)
  16. 16 Everywhere I Go (2:58)
  17. 17 Maybe We Can Get It Together (3:57)
  18. 18 Route 58 (2:59)
  19. 19 Distractions, Pt. 1 (4:58)
  20. 20 Long Line Rider (2:50)
  21. 21 Simple Song of Freedom (4:21)
  22. 22 Monolog: Questions (7:42)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Bobby Darin Primary Artist
Jimmie Haskell Conductor
Technical Credits
Bobby Darin Arranger, Composer, Producer
Van McCoy Composer
Jimmie Haskell Arranger
Charles Koppelman Producer
Don Rubin Producer
Bill Pitzonka Art Direction
Jon Maher Producer
Jimmy Scalia Liner Notes
Jimmy Scalia Liner Notes
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Customer Reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A note from the compilation producer

    This collection presents songs Bobby Darin recorded for his own label Direction Records label in the late 60s. His many fans have long been aware of these recordings and have requested their re-release for years. This compilation features 11 songs for the first time on CD anywhere, including four previously unreleased songs. The collection also features four never before released performances from the fall of 1969, when Bobby Darin played the Troubadour in Los Angeles.

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