Utopian Turtletop. Monsieur Croche's Bête Noire. Contact: turtletop [at] hotmail [dot] com

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Re my post on Bobby Darin last night.

It’s not just that his “Mack the Knife” and “Up a Lazy River” are over-the-top. In both songs, his interpretation goes against the grain of the song’s intent.

“Mack the Knife,” a sardonic song about a serial killer, which Darin turns into a party romp. Have to give him the benefit of the doubt and acknowledge that his version might be the most Brechtian of all, at least until that late ‘80s MacDonald’s campaign where a cartoon crescent-moon-faced lounge pianist sang about “Mac,” the Mac in this instance being MacDonald’s. Brecht’s play is about the celebrity-celebration of a murderer, and nobody outside of MacDonald’s does that better than Bobby Darin.

“Up a Lazy River,” a sweet nostalgic number that Darin starts sweetly enough but turns into a menacing rage number before it’s over.

These performances make all rock-era lounge parodies I’ve ever heard sound weak, tame, redundant, and irrelevant.
Comments: Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?