Bob Dylan is one of the most prolific singers and songwriters. He is often regarded as one of the greatest songwriters of all time and is a major figure in the music culture. His most celebrated work comes from the 1960s, with songs like ‘Blowin’ in the Wind’, and ‘The Times They Are a-Changin.’ And according to him, he reveals that there is an artist whose caliber is so much that he “doesn’t need words“.
His book ‘The Philosophy of Modern Song’ has shed some light on such matters. The book is filled with his analysis of 66 songs which is crucial in the development of the format of a song. The book has been released through Simon & Schuster.
In his book, he mentioned the artist whose talent he admired, and he is Bobby Darin. Bobby Darin was an American musician and actor, who performed jazz, pop, folk, rock and roll, and country music. Many people are not really familiar with this artist. He was a person to look forward to as he was a great artist throughout his life until his untimely death in 1973 in New York.
Bobby Darin’s career started as a songwriter for Connie Francis. He went on to mainstream with the hit ‘Splish Splash’ in 1958. This was followed by ‘Dream Lover’, and ‘Mack the knife’ which were very successful. He was a constant presence in the chart with his series of great songs.
Bob wrote that his favorite track from him is ‘Beyond The Sea’. In his book he wrote, “This is a good day if there ever was one. Round the clock, day and night, the breezes belong to you — all the waves are your friends. You’re going over to the far side, above and beyond, going off limits. You’ve been knocking about on this voyage forever, riding on the crest of a high rippling wave, heading for a place you never heard of. You’re the skipper.”
Then in the following sentences, Dylan explained Bobby’s ability to adjust to changes. He wrote about him and said that Darin’s chameleon-like tendencies were the one thing about him. It was both his asset and flaw. Dylan wrote, “Bobby Darin could sound like anybody and sing any style. He was more flexible than anyone of his time. He could be Harry Belafonte. He could be Elvis. He could be Dion, he could be a calypso singer, he could be a bluegrass singer, or a folk singer. He was a rhythm and blues singer. The guy was everybody if anybody.” He also wrote,
“But here’s the thing about chameleons, if you don’t watch them changing colors they just look like an ordinary lizards. Their uniqueness lies in their transformative nature. So, more fairly, Bobby Darin was more than a chameleon, for each of his guises he inhabited with verve and gusto and even in repose he just about vibrated with talent.”
Bob explained, that Darin didn’t need many words because of his approach. His approach to his work was easier and ‘Playful,’ which made him different from any other songwriter. He wrote, “His phrasing, especially on a pop ballad like this, is the driving wheel of the production,” he also added,
“Time and time again he’ll slip the first few words of a line upstairs into the end of the previous line. He’s very subtle and you don’t realize he’s doing this. But if he sang songs like this straight, it probably wouldn’t reach you. He’s playful. He’s a playful melodist and he doesn’t need words. He keeps it simple even when he’s singing about nothing. The sea, the air, the mountains, the flowers. It all floats. It never touches the ground.”
Listen to ‘Beyond The Sea’ by Bobby Darin on any major music platform.