Our Top 10 Bobby Darin Songs looks at the songs of an artist that crossed musical genres many times with great success. While many remember him for his larger than life hits such as “Mack The Knife,” and “Beyond The Sea,” the man also delivered some great rock and roll songs early in has career while dabbling in folk music in the mid to late 1960s after being clearly inspired by Bob Dylan. Bobby Darin often released three albums a year in the 1960s. The man worked hard releasing an abundance of music during his short life span. With his childhood health issues always on his mind, Bobby Darin lived a life lived to the fullest. A life that ended at the young age of only 37 years old. Our Top 10 Bobby Darin songs showcases many of his biggest hits while also presenting the variety of styles of music he recorded.
# 10 – Rock Island Line
We open up our Top 10 Bobby Darin songs with a historical note. The song “Rock Island Line,” was the first single ever released by Bobby Darin. It may not be what you expect with its spoken word intro, but the moment Bobby Darin begins to sing, one can hear something real special going on. The song was released in 1956 on Decca Records. The song has a long history dating back to the 1920s. It is part of the canyon of American Folk Music. It has been recorded by a diverse set of artists including Lonnie Donegan, Johnny Cash, Little Richard, Billy Bragg, Eric Church and many more. The song has also been performed or recorded by three member of The Beatles. Ringo Starr most recently released a version of the song on his 2012 album entitled Ringo 2012. John Lennon recorded a version of the song that found its way onto many bootlegs, George Harrison recorded a live version with Paul Simon.
# 9 – Million Dollar Baby
Continuing with our Top 10 Bobby Darin songs we turn to another classic song from the American canyon of music. The song “Million Dollar Baby,” was first released in 1931. It would become one of the most recorded songs of the 20th century. The song defines the trip that Bobby Darin was taking in the late 1950s trying to find his way and his own niche during a period when artists like Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley were mighty forces in music. A little blues, a little county, a little rock and roll. All of that is defined wonderfully in Bobby Darin’s version.
# 8 -Pretty Betty
Sticking with Bobby Darin song of the 1950s, we turn to a deep album track released on Bobby Darin’s first album released in 1958. The great track “Pretty Betty,” was written by Bobby Darin and soon to be legendary rock promoter Don Kirshner. The song was never released as a single, but it’s Buddy Holly riffs and hambone beat that made it one of our favorite Bobby Darin songs.
# 7 – Mighty Mighty Man
Its amazing how many musical artists jumped in on the twist craze made popular by Chubby Checker in early 1960s. The single “Mighty Mighty Man,” represented Bobby Darin’s contribution to the rock and roll twist music chapter. The song was released on Bobby Darin’s album simply titled Twist With Bobby Darin. “Mighty Mighty Man,” was nit a big hit. In fact it did not even chart. The song was written by Bobby Darin and timed in at 1:40, it goes by real quick.
# 6 – Queen Of The Hop
The great rocking song “Queen Of The Hop,” was written by Woody Harris. It was released as a single in 1958. It was a top ten hit on the Billboard R&B Charts. The song and it’s driving rockabilly feel was covered by Dion a few years later and the great Dave Edmunds in 1985.
# 5 – Splish Splash
If anyone tries to make the argument that Bobby Darin was not a rock and roller, play them this one. Its amazing how many people do not realize that this was Bobby Darin. “Splish Splash,” was one of the biggest songs of the 1950s. “Splish Splash,” was Bobby Darin’s first big time hit. The song hit number two on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1958. It also hit number two on the Billboard R&B charts. It was written by Bobby Darin and Murray The K.
# 4 – Things
Bobby Darin was not just an amazing singer, he was an incredible composer. Darin wrote so many of the songs that he recorded. “Things,” was one of his best. The song was released in 1961. It became a huge hit for the man. “Things,” hit number two on the Billboard Hot 100. It also was a top ten hit in the United Kingdom peaking at number two.
# 3 – Dream Lover
Everyone knows “Dream Lover.” Not everyone knows it was Bobby Darin. Unless of course you were over the age of fifteen when it came out. The song was released as a single in 1959. “Dream Lover.” would become the second highest charting single of Bobby Darin’s career. “Dream Lover.” just missed hitting number one on the Billboard Hot 100 as it peaked at number two. The song was written by Bobby Darin.
# 2 – Beyond The Sea
The next two songs on this Bobby Darin songs list are two fabulous pieces of music that helped define an era. Released in 1959 on Bobby Darin’s brilliant sophomore album entitled That’s All. the songs “Mack The Knife,” and “Beyond The Sea,” turned Bobby Darin into a mega star that seemed ready to go toe to toe with the likes of a Frank Sinatra. From teen rock star to major adult artist, Bobby Darin became a household name around the word These two numbers lit the world on fire. Beyond The Sea broke Billboard Hot 100’s top 10 in 1959 peaking at number six. The song had been written fourteen years earlier by Jack Lawrence. The melody was based on Charles Trenet’s “La Mer.”
# 1 – Mack the Knife
“Mack The Knife,” was the opening song on Bobby Darin’s second album entitled That’s All. One of the great albums of the late 1950s delivered one of the most famous songs of all time. The song was originally written on 1928 by Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht. Many artists have recorded versions of this song, but none come close to Bobby Darin’s roaring version. “Mack The Knife,” would become Bobby Darin’s first and only number one record. It hit number one in both the United States and The United Kingdom. One of the great recording in modern music history.
Top 10 article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2020
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