Drift Sunday Classic: Bobby Darin - Commitment

Drift Sunday Classic: Bobby Darin - Commitment

In one of our most favourite ever career left-turns, the chart-topping, multimillion-selling, Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter decamped to Big Sur and returned with an album of counterculture Country-belters.

Bobby Darin
was a legit superstar, top-ten hits like “Splish Splash” and “Beyond the Sea” topping charts and selling millions of copies, not to mention winning Darin Grammy Awards. His accolades weren't just limited to music, with his Hollywood exploits in the early-sixties also winning him a Golden Globe in a short but prolific career that saw him star opposite Steve McQueen, Rock Hudson, Sidney Poitier, Peter Falk, Gregory Peck, Tony Curtis, Angie Dickinson, Robert Duvall and his future wife Sandra Dee.

But as the sixties started to wind down, Darin became increasingly disenfranchised and more politicly active, becoming close to, and greatly effected by the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy.

Bobby Darin

Originally released under the name Bob Darrin (including a a gatefold sleeve that's right up there with Isaac Hayes' Black Moses), the 1969 Commitment album was a firm line in the Big Sur-sand under his Hollywood years. Sonically the album has such a great vibe, a lightness that rolls around through stoned grooves. But there is plenty of grit too, a politically charged set making direct and overt reference to both drugs and The Man.

But, as is so often the way with firebrand albums like this, Commitment was both critically and commercially derided. The album was a product of time away from show business, reflecting on who Darin was as a man, but his audiences still wanted Splish Splash... It didn't go well.

Bobby Darin

Although his gestures towards folk and balladeering had been there since the mid sixties - Darin covered songwriter Tim Hardin's classic “If I Were A Carpenter’’ - people were just not ready for Commitment. The album has plenty of sneering lines, but the musicality and the easygoing vibe are both hugely underrated. There is such a searching energy to cuts like Sausalito and the soulful Baby May with flashes of brass, the gospel-rich Maybe We Can Get It Together is also a proper highlight.

But this killer album is all about the mood he creates with the track that opens proceedings, the anthemic Me and Mr. Hohner.

Bobby Darin

Commitment is an absolute belter, we're so delighted that is has been reissued. The bell rings as true as it did fifty years ago.

Drift Sunday Classic

• Limited Edition run of 3,000 on Opaque Blue vinyl.
• Includes 4 Bonus Tracks from the “Commitment” sessions.
• Includes 12 Page Booklet of Liner Notes by Critically Acclaimed Writer, Michael Krugman.


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