Category: Frankie Valli

Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons – Jersey Beat: The Music of Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons

ARTIST: Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons jersey beat

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.)

Frankie Valli – Solo

ARTIST: Frankie Valli MI0003597251
TITLE: Solo
YEAR RELEASED: 1967
CHART ACTION: #34
SINGLES: The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine (Anymore) (#128), (You’re Gonna) Hurt Yourself (#39), You’re Ready Now (#112), The Proud One (#68), Can’t Take My Eyes Off You (#2)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: My Funny Valentine
LINEUP: Frankie Valli, Bob Crewe, Bob Gaudio, Tommy Devito, Nick Massi, Charlie Calello, Joe Long, lotsa session guys
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Well, it really could be a Four Seasons album, but it’s more for the older crowd, and more in the crooner vein, so it’s a Valli solo joint.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Frankie Valli’s mom loved Sinatra, and while Valli made his bones (after struggling for so long) in the Four Seasons, part of him still wanted to please his mom and be a crooner. With the success of the group, he got his chance.

Ok, sure they were recorded during Four Seasons sessions (except for three songs which were whipped up for the album when “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” took off), but they’ve got a different tone and feeling. While it took a while for a Valli solo song to really hit, what did was an all-timer. No one else’s version of his monster hit “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” compares to the original. Valli’s vocal and the Vegas kitsch of the arrangements are spot on.

There’s also a significant song in here besides the hit. “The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine (Anymore)” stiffed here, unfortunately, but the Walker Brothers rode that one to the top in the UK and became stars over there.

This album was compiled from the singles above, a couple of b-sides and three standards made for the album. It’s hit or miss, and I exiled some, but if you like Valli you should hear this once at least.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: At this time, Valli and the Four Seasons also recorded as The Wonder Who? And Valli Boys.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No.

GRADE: C+: Some of it is too overwrought for me, but Mrs. Castelluccio would be proud. “Ma, I made a record just for you!”