That's All

That's All

Though a successful, teen-pleasing pop singer who'd ridden such emblematic '50s fare as "Splish Splash," "Dream Lover" and "Queen of the Hop" to considerable success, Bobby Darin dared dream of something bigger than mere stardom: artisanship. Thus this, his second album became one of the most stunning mid-career course corrections in pop music history, a 1959 collection of adult-oriented big-band swing and ballads that not only challenged Sinatra and Bennett on their own turf, but triumphed. "Mack the Knife," his swinging, Vegas-ized retooling of Bertolt Brecht, became not only a massive hit and modern pop signature, it powered the collection to the Grammy's highest honor, Album of the Year, knighting him as Best New Singer in the bargain. His elegant "Beyond the Sea" was also a chart success, while the buoyant title track and such savvy, eclectic catalog choices as "I'll Remember April" and "Softly, As in a Morning Sunrise" showcase an ambitious singer whose talent was every bit the match of his audacity. Darin would go on to become a legend for his dynamic stage shows before undergoing yet another unlikely transformation to somber folkie at the end of his career, but he never produced another studio album as accomplished and thoroughly entertaining as this one.

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