Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Darin vs. Sinatra

Let me say first that I don't go for the whole sacred cow, untouchable thing. There are people who will see this and their first reaction will be "Oh no, you can't compare Sinatra to anybody" and my response to those people is, why not? As good as his music is it is not the be all end all. I like him too much to see him become the Marilyn Monroe for men.

Now that we got that out of the way lets get on with the match. I am talking music here and that's it, whose music do I deem better. I do however have a slight bias (slight is an understatement) but I will try to be fair. 
Remember this? I was this close to going up to strangers and asking them  if they had heard the word of Darin.

Earlier this week I compiled a playlist of some songs that both Darin and Sinatra sang and I've been making notes all week. I understand that not all of you have access to all of the songs, perhaps all of your Bobby Darin albums were the victim of an unspeakable accident, so just click on the video file to hear them. 

Round 1: Call Me Irresponsible 
Winner: Bobby Darin!
Even though it's the same song I get two different vibes. In Frank Sinatra's version I envision a man singing to a woman that he's somehow messed up with and he's trying to use his sexy voice to win her over again. In Bobby Darin's version I get the idea that he's in the same type of situation and yet he knows that he's not very practical but he loves his lady, there's a different kind of sexiness to this version. Especially that grunt like thing he does near the end of the song, ugh! Is it getting hot in here? Okay, now I don't want you to think that I'm grading these men only on the sexiness of their voices but it is a factor, people like things that sound pleasing. I also like the build of the Bobby Darin  version,I do love a song with a good build

Round 2: Fly Me to the Moon
Winner: Frank Sinatra
The Bobby Darin version is beautiful and languid, the man could emote! I have always loved the Frank Sinatra version though, it makes me feel as if I should be dancing on a terrace bathed in moonlight. His version also has a nice build up to it. 

Round 3:More


Winner: Bobby Darin
I feel like the lyrics of this song are celebratory and the music should fit that. The way Bobby Darin sings the song and the way the music builds make for a fantastic tune. 

Round 4: I Wanna be Around

Winner:Bobby Darin
The intro to the Bobby Darin version is a spine tingling piano intro and I think it gives the whole song a darker mood. The way Bobby Darin sings the song gives me the impression that he was a man scorned, he's mad as hell and wants to see his former lover suffer like he did. The Frank Sinatra version just makes me feel like he's a victim and that's that.

Round 5: Once Upon a Time

Winner: Bobby Darin
This wasn't a fair round really as I will always have a soft spot for the Bobby Darin version since I used it as part of my Poppop's memorial video. This version just conveys the sadness of the song better then the Frank Sinatra version.

There was going to be a round 7 but it was going to be "Mack the Knife" and I decided that didn't even deserve an explanation of why Bobby Darin's version is better, it's the only version you need to hear. I realize people have covered this song before and after him but I think that once you hear it you will need no other version. 

 I love to listen to both of these gentleman but the ultimate winner is Bobby Darin. Frankie is great, I even have a pair of Frank Sinatra earrings that I bought when I was a freshman in high school. Musically, I think that Bobby Darin's life played out in his music. He knew he didn't have a lot of time to live and so he injected the vitality of ten men into his work. I also like that in his way too short of a career he tried out different musical styles and he was even evolving as a person near the end of his career. I like that when he started to cover a lot of mid to late 60's rock, folk and country music he didn't "Bobbyize" it. I use that term because Frank Sinatra covered some popular songs from the 60's and I find that when Frank Sinatra covers a song he Sinatraizes it, which is good in a way since you want to find some new interpretation of a song you're covering as an artist but it's not good when you do the same thing every time. 

I want to know what you think. I especially want to know what you think if this is the first time you're hearing any of these songs (where have you been?) as it will be interesting to know what one thinks when reputations aren't part of the judgement. Like I said in the first paragraph, I dread the day when Frank Sinatra goes the way of Marilyn Monroe, posting stupid things on facebook that put words that she never said like "don't worry if you're not a size zero"but that's a tirade for another time. 

1 comment:

  1. Very informative. I saw no bias with this article. Now, having said that, #NoMoreFrank (you understand lol)