Continuing their tradition of creating alternative versions of rare or hard to find vinyl albums, Bear Family Records have released an extremely sought after Japanese compilation from around 1961 on coloured 10-Inch vinyl. It features twelve tracks recorded between 1959 and 1961 on Atco records; Is it worth picking up?
Darin was never one to stick to just one genre, and that is clear on this album. The selection begins with the rocking Oo-Ee-Train, a simple premise with a lot of universal charm. Through tracks Lazy River and Somebody To Love, Darin shows his ability to deliver a catchy pop tune. The original side A ends with one of his most well-known tracks, the story-led Mack The Knife which still sounds as fresh as ever. The tracks that feature on Side B slow things down a tad, but still showcase Darin at his finest. Hearing the familiar sounds of Dream Lover and Beyond The Sea on vinyl is a pleasure, and close to the original experience.
Besides the material included on the original pressing, Bear Family has included four bonus tracks to bolster the offering. The four tracks, ‘Nature Boy’, ‘You Must Have Been A Beautiful Baby’, ‘Queen Of The Hop’ and ‘Mighty Mighty Man’, are a nice extra that provides a little more value for the money, and fit right in with the initial selection.
It is clear Bear Family Records have sourced these recordings from the highest sources, as they sound excellent here. Tracks that normally lack clarity on cheap compilations are nice and clear here.
A Little Something Extra…
Although we have no access to the extremely rare original pressing of Highlight, Bear Family Records had access to a copy in order to make sure this reproduction was as accurate as possible. The included sleeve features the original cover image and Japanese language sleeve notes, track listing and English language lyrics to songs Oo-Ee Train, Lazy River, Mack The Knife, Clementine, Beyond The Sea and Dream Lover. The label on the nicely finished green vinyl is an accurate representation of the original artwork. The main difference denoting the reproduction status as opposed to original pressing, as far as the cover is concerned, is the credits and release information from Bear Family Records.
Bear Family Records has created a seemingly accurate version of a hard to find vinyl album by Bobby Darin. Most of these tracks are readily available on a range of compilations released each year, but this isn’t really about the material. As with most releases of this type, the vinyl experience is the selling point. This vinyl recreation will appeal most to collectors of Bobby Darin, and those who purchased other high-quality entries in this series.
- Lazy River
- Somebody To Love
- Mack The Knife
- BONUS: Nature Boy
- BONUS: You Must Have Been A Beautiful Baby
- I’ll Be There
- Beyond The Sea
- Dream Lover
- BONUS: Mighty Mighty Man
- BONUS: Queen Of The Hop