The Very Best of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons
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2. Big Girls Don't Cry
3. Walk Like A Man
4. Candy Girl
7. Dawn (Go Away)
8. Silence Is Golden
10. Rag Doll
11. Save It For Me
12. Valli - You're Ready Now
13. Bye Bye Baby (Baby Goodbye)
14. Girl Come Running
15. The Wonder Who? Don't' think Twice, Its Alright
1. Let's Hang On
2. The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore - Frankie Valli
3. Working My Way Back To You
4. Opus 17 (Don't You Worry 'Bout Me)
5. I've Got You Under My Skin
6. Tell It To The Rain
8. Can't Take My Eyes Off You - Frankie Valli
9. C'Mon Marianne
10. Will You Love Me Tomorrow
11. The Night
12. My Eyes Adored You - Frankie Valli
13. Who Loves You
14. December, 1963 (Oh What A Night)
15. Grease - Frankie Valli
- In the wake of the success of Jersey Boys, the theatrical production based on the Four Seasons' lives, Rhino issued this impressive three-CD, 76-track box set, which also includes a DVD of a dozen film clips from 1962-1975. It's never been hard to find a Four Seasons best-of that includes all their big hits (which are all here as well), but for those who want a bigger collection of the group's material, this fills the bill well. The usual intelligence Rhino brings to such large career retrospectives is in force here, the songs including numerous low-charting singles that usually don't make the cut for best-of anthologies; various LP-only tracks, and B-sides; Frankie Valli solo efforts; singles they released under the pseudonym of the Wonder Who?; and much more material from their post-1967 era than is found on most compilations. In fact, most of the really popular stuff is on disc one and the first half of disc two, though the box runs all the way through their comeback hits in the mid-'70s and a few stray releases from subsequent decades.
- With so much more bulk on this release than you hear on standard Four Seasons collections, two things are evident: that there are quite a few interesting songs by the group that rarely get played these days, and that nonetheless most of those songs, especially the ones postdating their early- to mid-'60s prime, aren't nearly as good as the familiar classics for which the group's most famous. Still, there are plenty of worthwhile lesser hits and obscurities here, like -- to name just a few -- the mid-'60s not-quite-hits "Toy Soldier" and "Girl Come Running"; the early Valli solo 45s "The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine (Anymore)" (covered for a hit by the Walker Brothers) and "(You're Gonna) Hurt Yourself"; the B-sides "Betrayed" and "Huggin' My Pillow," which sound like hits we all somehow missed; some erratic yet rather interesting attempts to move with the psychedelic times, like "Saturday's Father" and "Watch the Flowers Grow"; and a 1969 revival of "And That Reminds Me (My Heart Reminds Me)" that should have been a bigger single than the mild hit it was. The DVD disc is very solid, highlighted by a live 1962 performance of "Big Girls Don't Cry," a live 1964 medley of hits, and a strange 1968 clip of "Saturday's Father" mixing performance and video. The DVD, in fact, can only be criticized on the grounds that it leaves you hungry for more, particularly since there must be a lot more Four Seasons clips in existence considering the group's popularity.
- It's true that for all its size, some aficionados might find some of their favorite obscurities missing, like the early B-side "Connie-O" (a substantial regional hit in some areas), "No Surfin' Today," the early Phil Ochs cover "New Town," and the Wonder Who?'s version of "On the Good Ship Lollipop." It's also true that the energy flags on the final disc, which (despite the inclusion of the mid-'70s smashes "My Eyes Adored You," "Swearin' to God," and "December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night)") might start to wear on the patience of the average fan. But then, like many box sets, this isn't geared toward the average fan. It's for the big fan, who will treasure the breadth of this collection, and the non-fanatic who takes a chance on it will be surprised by how much more diverse the group's records were than is usually realized. And the Four Seasons certainly have a lot of big fans, including numerous celebrities who contributed comments on individual tracks to the 84-page liner note booklet. ~ Richie Unterberger
|Format:||CD (0 Disc); Stereo|
|Release Date:||29 September, 2008|
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Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons were hugely successful in America, where they had a long string of major hits, especially in the sixties. They were less successful in Britain but still managed seven top ten hits including a number one. Here you can find all the classics. From the sixties, there are Sherry, Big girls don't cry, Walk like a man, Rag doll, Let's hang on and many others. From the seventies, there are My eyes adored you, Who loves you, December '63 Oh what a night (their only British number one hit) and Grease. Two obvious omissions from the seventies are Night (a track recorded for Motown) and Silver star ( a UK top three hit), but you can't include everything by such a successful group.
Aside from their own hits, covers of their songs were also successful for others. Four of their songs were UK number one hits for others. Their versions of Silence is golden (Tremeloes) and The sun ain't gonna shine anymore (Walker brothers) are not included, but you do get their original versions of Bye bye baby (Bay city rollers) and Working my way back to you (Detroit Spinners).
This is an excellent single CD collection of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, one of the best American groups of the sixties and seventies.
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