Friday, February 29, 2008

BOB DARIN not BOB DYLAN : Commitment & Cassotto

The times were a'changing, and just as the greasy Four Seasons bowed to The Beatles, doo wop and lounge act singers such as Dion Dimucci and Bobby Darin began to pay attention to Bob Dylan. Folk-rock and protest became "the new bag."
Dion would emerge with a hit single, "Abraham Martin and John."
Bobby Darin offered a well-received version of Tim Hardin's "If I were a Carpenter," and made two transition albums containing Hardin tracks and other less than finger-snappin' songs. These can be found via import CD as "If I Were a Carpenter/Inside Out." Ultimately he doffed his hairpiece and put on denims to record on his own label, fittingly titled Directions.
By this time another Kennedy was dead: Robert F. Kennedy, and Darin saluted him with a song called "In Memorium." He also offered a wry tune about the pursuit of money, and a tough one about the world of the chain gang. Ala Phil Ochs, he sang about "Change." He also sang some simple songs of freedom.
His albums were honestly titled "Born Robert Walden Cassotto" and "Commitment."
A few years later, he strapped his hairpiece back on, dusted off his tux, and once again became Bobby Darin, because times had changed again.
You'd think it would be a simple matter to re-issue his two "Bob Darin" albums together. It hasn't happened. Either one album would turn up, with a few mis-matched bonus tracks, or the other would be on a two-fer paired with one of Darin's sillier efforts, and frankly, there's a big difference between Darin singing a novelty like "If I could Talk to the Animals" and the moody "I Can See the Wind."
Nobody's gotten it right. These two albums belong together and finally, they are. At least on this obscure blog where we salute people who don't always do the ordinary, and sometimes take a chance, and sometimes in their efforts to be Phil Ochs, only end up ill folks. That's what happened to Bob Darin...he didn't get respect for these two releases and some felt he was just jumping on the folk-rock bandwagon to cash in. They were wrong. Find out for yourself.
TWO albums on the one download, just as if the two albums were released on one CD, which they haven't.


A Spoon said...

Wow, like, wow. I heard this incarnation of Darin sing "Distractions" on a TV variety show back then. Bald, drooping mustache, faded denims, strumming a guitar. I have had that song in my mind since then. I have now heard it for the first time in decades. Amazing how much of it I remembered! Shortly after that, the tuxedo and "tailor topper" came back as people demanded Mack the Knife. Thanks for reviving a swell piece of neglected piece of history.

pixelmutt said...

You know what I need, don't you IF?
You scare me more than I scare myself.

Dale said...

While I understand your aesthetic concerns,I personally would not want to be without the six bonus tracks or the Troubadour set that the Edsel reissue calls RARE DARIN. I love these tracks,especially BABY MAY,RX-PYRO,CITY LIFE and ROUTE 58.I do not regard them as mismatched. Perhaps a set titled DARIN:THE DIRECTION RECORDINGS with the two albums proper and the additional cuts so we have the entire period in one package. By the way- I too,choked at the pairing of CASSOTTO with DOLITTLE until I heard the album. Darin makes it work in my opinion. The project was his idea,NO ONE wanted him to do it,least of all his label. I feel I was a snob and all wet about it but would throw in with a total DIRECTION collection.

Dale said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TheAdamT said...

Ill Folks you are a gentleman and a scholar for uploading this. I had listened to half the songs on Commitment and was breathless with anticipation to hear the rest. It is now one of my favorite all-time albums. What a great night.

Barnaby Bennett said...

Any chance of a re-up on this gem?

Anonymous said...

Any chance for a re-up as the link is (long) dead?

Anonymous said...


Ill Folks said...

I don't have the bandwidth with BOX to do entire albums anymore, but I'll try and see what's missing or hard to find and hopefully do a fresh post for them.