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on January 7, 2012
If you're wondering what the differences are between the many CDs of greatest hits of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons (FV&4S), perhaps your research time can be shortened by checking these findings (from an afternoon spent not doing necessary chores, but instead copying and comparing various song lists to see which CD is missing any must-haves). Any prices I note are for used items in good or better condition with the $3 shipping included.

I chose FV&4S The Definitive Pop Collection ($11, 2006, Rhino label, mainly brown squares on cover--I mention color to make it easier to quickly find and click between the CDs). It has 30 hit songs on 2 discs and all positive reviews (and a good price).

Note the above is not The Definitive FV&4S. ($12, 2007, Rhino label, import, purple/red) This one has 26 songs on one disc; nice to have all on one disc-- didn't know so many could fit. Most are the same and in the same order as the above Definitive Pop, but a few are substituted and four are dropped. For a buck more. No thank you.

The Very Best of FV&4S: Jersey Boys ($15, 2008, 101 Distribution label, import, mainly red) is almost identical to Definitive, even in song order, with 30 songs on 2 discs (and only 3 reviews, but all positive). The label either copied Definitive or it is related to Rhino. Did not choose because it is $4 more, and Definitive has Silence is Golden and The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine while Jersey Boys substitutes You're Ready Now and The Night. (For me, Silence clinched it; listened to the 30 second samples of the other three and was not familiar with them.)

The Very Best of FV&4S ($11, 2003, Rhino label, mainly blue) is a shorter version of Definitive, with 20 songs on one disc, in about the some order, and all positive reviews. But why pay the same for less? The 10 missing songs: Marlena, Stay*, Silence is Golden*, Big Man in Town, Girl Come Running, Don't Think Twice*, The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine, Tell It to the Rain, Beggin', Will You Love Me Tomorrow*. (The four that I *ed are the only ones I knew and wanted, but that was enough to get me to delete this, my first choice, and choose Definitive.)

Greatest Hits I ($9, 1991, Rhino label, blue-gray) (I was still using cassettes in 1991, and BTW, maybe we should hang on to them: this recording in cassette is offered used for $21 and new for $73!) Almost identical to the first CD of Definitive, with 15 songs and all positive reviews.

Greatest Hits II ($8, 1991, Rhino label, blue-gray) Almost identical to the second CD of Definitive, with 15 songs and 21/22 positive reviews. The negative is one person noting it wouldn't play in his car stereo. Buying these two instead of the 2 CD Definitive costs $6 more. The second nail in the coffin is the omission of Silence is Golden, as well as The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine, and the two replacement selections, in my opinion, do not make up for the loss: Ain't That a Shame and Alone (Why Must I Be Alone).

Forever Legends ($10.50, 2007, blue tin case) looked like a good deal with 30 songs on 3 CDs (though I prefer Definitive's 15 songs per CD over these 10 per CD), but the reviews concerned me. Only 3/6 are positive, and the complaints are with the remastered sound quality and not being balanced between the right and left channels (which I probably wouldn't notice, especially as I sing along...but I'm leery of potentially noticeable problems.) (And I realize other CDs could have similar problems that no one wrote a review about, but we work with what we've got! Plus, no one complaining on Amazon, as is the case on most of the above CDs, usually IS a good sign.)

Collectors Edition ($9.50, 2008, Curb Records label, silver) could be good, with 32 songs (though at least 2 are different version repeats) on 3 discs and mainly good, though few, reviews. 32 songs = good. $9.50 = good. The omission of Sherry = deal breaker. (I mean, Come on...) Actually there's only about five songs that are the same choices as on Definitive; this is not a greatest hits, but a collection of a few hits with less popular songs. Probably very enjoyable, but since I'm only buying one, I want it to have the most hits possible.

Time Life FV&4S 1962-1967 ($8.50, Time Life label, red) seems good, but not good enough. It has 22 songs, 3 that are not on Definitive: Ronnie, Ain't That a Shame, and Alone (Why Must I Be Alone). It, therefore, lacks eleven that are on Definitive. Nuf said.

Jersey Beat: Music of FV&4S ($24 new--cheaper than used, 2007, Rhino label, orange/tan) is a contender. It costs more than I wanted to pay, but gives you more: 76 songs on 3 CDs and 12 performances on 1 DVD and an informative booklet. 35/39 positive reviews with four complaints about sound quality. It has every song on Definitive, in about the same order, plus 46 more, interspersed into that order, though many of those I do not know. I do know most of the songs on Definitive and it'll be great. I'm sure... Well, if I hadn't already hit "submit order," I might be out another 13 bucks.

There are six-plus pages of FV&4S options, so you're on your own from here. Some of the other collections I quickly dismissed if they had a mere 20 hits or other obvious flaws, such as the following:
FV&4S 25th Anniversary Collection ($42, 1990, Rhino label, green and pink)
54 songs (yea!) $42 (oh.)
In Season: The FV&4S Anthology ($138, 2001, Rhino label, black)
51 songs (yea!) $138 (whoa.)

One last recommendation to pass on: More than one reviewer hyped a new packaging of two albums together, Working My Way Back to You/ The Genuine Imitation Life Gazette. ($20, 2007, Collector's Choice label). The Genuine album is said to parallel Pet Sounds and Sgt. Pepper in its ambitiousness and creativity.

 That's all, folks.  Assume I'll love Definitive when it gets here. Or I'll let you know if not!

Update: It's here and it's great! And quit staring at me at the red lights when I pull up and you look over and notice I'm wholeheartedly singing along as the Fifth Season!
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon March 10, 2008
Frankie Valli & The 4 Seasons are an American pop music gem! Their music helped define a whole era and musical genre, and they sound just as great today as they did back then. Of course the theatrical production 'Jersey Boys' helped to resurrect their music, and that's a good thing. These songs are absolutely timeless, and just as importantly, this recording sounds GREAT! Obviously, the 'brass' at Rhino Records did a meticulous job of transferring and remastering these great songs, and they jump out of your speakers with clarity and energy i've never heard before! And yes, CD's DO sound better than MP3's because of better dynamic range and less compression.
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on February 14, 2008
After seeing "The Jersey Boys" I knew I had to get some of their music. I chose "The Definitive Pop Collection" because the two disks had most of their well known hits. (30 tunes all together) I have been playing these disks constantly, and I guess you could say that I am addicted!!! HA!!!
The music is so GREAT!!!!
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on February 5, 2009
I shopped around for a good Four Seasons collection, and found this one to be the best value. It includes all of the great hits that I remember from my youth, as well as some others that I don't recall hearing before, but that point out the great talent that the Seasons had. The quality of the sound is very good.
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on February 12, 2011
After watching Jersey Boys in London I rediscovered my love for the music of the Four Seasons, and sought a collection of their big hits. I found several here on Amazon, but this was the most comprehensive, and it's the only one that contains every song featured in the musical. Fantastic collection, well worth the money - I listen to it all the time! Take it from THIS Jersey boy; this set is the goods!
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on January 9, 2010
I really enjoy listening to these hits. Nice collection of songs with most of The 4 Seasons greatest hits. Highly recommend.
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on November 30, 2007
I had forgotten how much I liked the Four Seasons until I saw Jersey Boys. This collection brings back all of the good memories. Wonderful!
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on December 16, 2008
I saw the production Jersey Boys in Las Vegas in November and just loved it as the oldies brought back many memories. This particular cd sold for $25.00 in the Jersey Boy Store in Vegas.
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on August 30, 2015
Want a great collection of Frankie Valli & The 4 Seasons that's not too little nor too much? Look no further here. Thirty songs total featuring all the classic 4 Seasons hits, five Frankie Valli solo, plus one under the pseudonym The Wonder Who with a rendition of Bob Dylan's "Don't Think Twice(It's All Right)".
I picked this collection specifically because it has all my favorite cuts by the 4 Seasons and by Valli solo. You can't go wrong with what's on here. Half the number of this collection are 15 Top Ten hits by The 4 Seasons[Five of them chart toppers]. Four out of the five Valli solo material are Top Ten hits[Two of them chart toppers]. The best of two Valli chart toppers is the title hit of the movie Grease supplied to him by head Bee Gee Barry Gibb, who also co-produced the track. This cut in particular was Valli's only single for RSO[Home label for the Bee Gees, Eric Clapton and various other recording acts back in the '70s]. Of course Frankie Valli and The 4 Seasons have been on several labels before disbanding in 1977 such as Vee-Jay, Phillips, and Curb/Warner Bros.. They have even recorded for Motown as well but you won't find any of those recordings on here I'm afraid.
Besides the title song of Grease there are some selections here that have also been used in movies to mention a few. Two instances are "Walk Like A Man" and "Can't Take My Eyes Off You". For the former one can help but think of the scene of Mrs. Doubtfire where Robin Williams in his disguise as the title character gets mugged by a purse-snatcher then fights him off. As for the latter who could not help but think of how Heath Ledger wins over Julia Stiles in The 10 Things I Hate About You by singing acapella over the school PA and having the marching band back him up before fleeing past school security guards(which probably prepared him for celluloid swansong as the Joker the way he ran back and forth amongst the bleachers).
For some reason I always thought the 4 Seasons next-to-last Top Ten hit "Who Loves You" sounded like the Beach Boys. After all, that group had an album out around the same time(1977) called The Beach Boys Love You. Was that a mere coincidence?
Also we can't forget their renditions of other artists' work such as Maurice Williams("Stay"), Cole Porter("I've Got You Under My Skin"), Gerry Goffin and Carole King's "Will You Love Me Tomorrow" and, of course, the Dylan one.
My main favorites are "Sherry", "Big Girls Don't Cry", "Walk Like A Man", "Candy", "Stay", "Dawn", "Rag Doll" , "Save It For Me", "Don't Think Twice", "Let's Hang On", "Working My Way Back To You", "I've Got You Under My Skin", "Can't take My Eyes Off You", "Swearin' To God", "Who Loves You", "December 1963(Oh, What A Night)" and "Grease".
I totally recommend this collection without hesitation. Get it TODAY!
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on May 21, 2016
Fantastic collection of music to begin with and the digital remaster work made it even better. I had recorded essentially all of this music back in 70's to cassette and nearly played that to extinction. Then, my son took my old audio equipment (Millennials are enamored with that stuff now), and completed the "extinction process" of that tape.

Shopped around and found this collection and couldn't be happier. Son found out I purchased this - and is on his way over to get "his" music back. We had seen the Jersey Boys a few years back and as good as it was, nothing beats the originals.
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