In the late sixties, Bobby Darin decided to shed his, insanely popular, swinging/rocking/balladeering, Vegas showman style for two introspective albums, quite unlike anything else in his catalog. He even started using Bob, as opposed to Bobby, presumably to mark the change, and I would assume as a nod to both growth and the inescapable Dylan influence.
In 1968, Darin started his own label, Direction, on which he released what could be considered, after many hit albums as Bobby Darin, his first solo record, Bobby Darin Born Walden Robert Cassotto. Darin took the reigns on this project, writing, arranging, producing, even creating to the album’s cover design. As a result, the world saw a new Bob Darin, and the question as to whether he could be relevant in a post-Dylan world was summarily answered. Though critically lauded, Born Walden Robert Cassotto proved his least commercially successful record to date. The following year’s, Commitment, fared no better in the sales department, but again proved Darin’s merit as an exceptional modern songwriter and arranger. Unfortunately the declining sales must have taken their toll on Bob Darin, as he soon returned to the name Bobby and largely discarded the previous several years. Not, of course, that there is anything wrong with Bobby Darin. It’s just that some of us would have liked to have known Bob Darin for just a little longer.