ARTIST: Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons
TITLE: Jersey Beat: The Music of Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons
YEAR RELEASED: Compilation
CHART ACTION: Not this, but their albums all charted until 1972 (except for a weak-ass contractual obligation record)
SINGLES: Top 10: Sherry (#1 US, #6 UK), Big Girls Don’t Cry (#1 US, #13 UK), Walk Like a Man (#1 US, #12 UK), Candy Girl (#3 US), Dawn (Go Away) (#3 US), Ronnie (#6 US), Rag Doll (#1 US, #2 UK), Save It for Me (#10 US), Let’s Hang On (#3 US, #4 UK), Working My Way Back to You (#9 US, #50 UK), I’ve Got You Under My Skin (#9 US, #12 UK), Tell It to the Rain (#10 US, 37 UK), Can’t Take My Eyes Off You (#2 US), C’mon Marianne (#9 US), My Eyes Adored You (#1 US, #5 UK), Swearin’ to God (#6 US), Who Loves You (#3 US, #6 UK), The Night (#7 UK), December 1963 (Oh, What a Night) (#1 US, #1 UK), Grease (#1 US, #3 UK)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Bye Bye Baby (#12 US), Our Day Will Come (#11)
LINEUP: Four Seasons: Frankie Valli, Bob Gaudio, Tommy DeVito or Gerry Polci, Nick Massi, Charles Calello, Joe Long, or Don Ciccone. Bob Crewe and other session musicians augmented them in the studio as well.
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: A massive collection of the Four Seasons and Frankie Valli’s ‘solo’ work, more than you’ll ever need.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: After reviewing some individual albums by the Four Seasons & Frankie Valli’s first solo album, it came to me that for the most part that these albums were always going to be “two hits, some quick filler we wrote and a couple of covers to please friends of ours”. So why not just go and review a collection that contains the hits and maybe some of the better B-sides / deep cuts? So, that’s what I’m doing. There is ONE Four Seasons LP I am reviewing, and there’s a reason for that when it comes up.
What’s there to say about this conglomeration? The soaring voice of Frankie Valli grabbed the headlines and the steady, on-point harmonies of the rest of the group added needed color. In later years, Ciccone or Polci took some leads as Valli’s voice was giving out due to a medical condition. The arrangements, for the most part, are pleasantly pop and kept with the times in pop, with some innovative fuzz guitars in the mid-60’s and a move to disco in the mid-70’s.
There are 76 tracks here, and of course some are going to be duds. But look up at the singles – that’s quite a career of hits and history, and some of the B-sides and lesser hits are worthy of several spins as well thanks to the harmonies and arrangements. Just pick this up and exile what you don’t like. That’s what I’m doing.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: For the most part, whether it’s the Four Seasons or a Frankie Valli solo cut, the whole conglomeration recorded and produced it. It was just a marketing thing. Especially the songs they did as the Wonder Who? which didn’t really fool anyone.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Um, isn’t 76 tracks enough?
GRADE: A-: The best songs are definitely A and A+. There’s some goop here, especially the later you go. It’s the only collection you’ll need, though. (I am keeping the other reviews up, just to let the masses know about the individual albums I heard.)