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.
on February 18, 2006
Among 60s supergroups, The Four Seasons were something of an anomaly, their sound being very much of the 50s, clearly influenced by The Four Freshmen. In fact, Valli had been singing for a decade by the time of their first hit, in 1962, and he and his backing lineup had already gone though a number of name changes. There had also been changes of personnel and it was the arrival of Bob Gaudio in that year that changed everything. He penned Sherry, their breakthrough hit, and was writer or co-writer of most of the subsequent hits. In that youth-obsessed age, promoters were nervous of the fact that Valli was 28 (married with two kids, to boot) and the other Seasons were in their mid-thirties. So they lopped a few years off. The insert notes in this CD repeat the official line that Valli was born in 1937. It was actually 1934. In those days, it mattered. Watch a Stones concert today and marvel at how things have changed.
In the late 60s and into the 70s, their style changed, taking on R&B and disco elements, and Valli dropping his trademark falsetto. This is the best period, with 1975's Oh, What a Night as their classic.
The Anthology double CD has more tracks and is great value, but this album of remastered tracks of their biggest hits sounds better and will suit most listeners. Its span is just right, starting with Sherry and ending with Grease, and it includes 4 of Valli's solo efforts.
In giving this album 5 stars I'm not saying I think it's musically excellent - there are too many notes not quite hit and too many lyrics that are a bit too cutesy for that - but I am saying it's a solid, good value, 'Best of' collection of a definitive 60s and 70s group.
on March 21, 2006
A lot of the songs on this album are great. Of course, that's why I bought it. However, there are a number of lower-quality songs which I sometimes think would be better off of the album so as to not dilute its class.
However, the album's real problem is it's recording quality. Many, many of the songs, including some that are not so old, possess serious clipping and distortion, and become unpleasant to hear.
I started wondering - have these songs always had this distortion, and have I just been ignoring it - or has some form of remastering made this album particularly bad? Possibly this is the case, but the recordings sound very harsh, even for 'Can't Take Me Eyes Off You', which is a surprise given its later recording date. It is a veritable pleasure to listen to 'December, 1963', which is clearly much higher quality recording - much smoother and without any of the harshness of most of the rest of the album.
Still, I don't know if this is a problem that can ever be resolved, so this album may still be the best that you can get for a collection on Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.
The youth of America had a musical divide in the early sixties. While the west coast soft beach harmonies of the Beach Boys were in full swing, the youth of the east coast was stomping to the harder edged harmonies of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons. Frankie along with Bob Guadio, Tommy Devito and the late Nick Massi, hailed from Newark New Jersey and went on to become one of the most important vocal groups in history. Between 1962 to 1966, the Seasons charted 23 times, making them the most popular group in that states history[sorry Springsteen fans]. Their influence can be heard every time you hear a 1970's Bee Gees tune or Billy Joel singing "Uptown girl". Frankie Valli's trademark falsetto voice is as unmistakable as Dylan's whine or Joe Cocker's growl. This collection is a must for anyone who does not own a Four Seasons cd. It contains 16 of the their highest charting hits from 62-68, like "Lets Hang On", "Sherry", "Big Girls Don't Cry", "C'mon Marianne", "Opus 17" and 'Rag Doll" to name a few. Also 1970's Seasons hits like "December 1963 Oh What A Night" and "Who Loves You" are here as well. Making this set essential is the inclusion of all of Frankie Valli's top solo hits, like "Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You", "My Eyes Adored You", "Swearin To God" and "Grease", making this the only single disc available to include all of his solo hits. This is as perfect as a single hits disc can get and I highly recommend this to anyone young or old, who would like to relive their past or experience a ledendary vocal group for the first time, that was second to none during their hey-day. For a more detailed overview of their career "In Season" the two disc Anthology is recommended. This review is dedicated to the late Nick Massi, whose bass playing and vocal arrangements will always be in season.
on December 20, 2004
I had heard the name Frankie Valli and of the group the Four Seasons but I never knew what songs Frankie Valli or the Four Seasons had done. Nor did I know that Frankie Valli was even in the group the Four Seasons! I thought the Four Seasons was just another one of those corny, one-hit wonder, old timey groups of the 50s and 60s that just, quite frankly, didn't have any soul. So for me to like anything remotely Frankie Valli or the Four Seasons is rather uncanny. But PBS had a special on music of the 70's in particular Disco music, and since there was nothing edifying on TV, I decided to watch and get a couple of laughs. Not long after watching, Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons were introduced, and I'm thinking what are Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons doing on this show-this is a show about disco music--not 50's and 60's oldies music--even though the guys that were performing with Frankie Valli as the "Four Seasons" looked to have been more around my age--singing about 1963 and looking to have been born in 1973 or later. And so, because I didn't know any better, I thought, oh, someone in 70's must have remade one of their old songs from the 50's or 60's into a disco hit and they simply came to perform it, not knowing that they indeed had some disco hits in the 70's. So I watched this cute little old guy come on stage, and he was dancing--well moving--and able to keep up with those young guys, and he actually had SOME soul, so much so, that, well, I was converted. Suffice to say, I fell in love with Frankie Valli, and it propelled me to learn more about the songs the group did, including Frankie Valli's solo projects, and the group's history. As I listen to these old songs I am finding that not only did Frankie Valli have a soulful voice, but the songs actually HAD rhythm! And what can I say--now I'm hooked.
It's unfortunate that my generation (gen-xers) don't really know or aren't familiar with these artists of the past. Sure we sample their music, and remake their songs, but we don't give them any props. Many have had such a profound influence on popular music, and yet they remain relatively forgotten. VH1 used to have shows like Behind the Music and Legends--which was short-lived--that showcased groups and artists of the 50's, 60's and 70's but lately I don't see shows like Legends anymore, which again, is unfortunate.
It's ironic that one editor called their disco stint as misguided--for had it not been for those disco songs I would have never had that chance encounter with Frankie Valli and never would have known that this group was responsible for so many of the classics that have been remade or heard in movies or even in television advertisements.
This is a great CD. And it has the essentials--so whether you've been a Frankie Valli and Four Seasons fan for years or you're a neophyte like me, newly discovering and appreciating this group--you won't be disappointed. And while I still loathe most goldies oldies (or whatever it's called). I make an exception for the Four Seasons. Who knew they had soul!
on August 2, 2003
This CD is aptly named the Very Best of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. It contains their very best hits from the 60's and 70's. The titles include "Sherry", "Dawn", "Rag Doll", "My Eyes Adored You", "December 1963", and "Grease" just to name a few. In all there are 20 songs on this CD and it is highly recommended!
on July 8, 2003
I made a review of this wonderful album before being 100% familiar with this; just being excited over the couple of songs previously named. I am not doing that this time. Every song is better than the last; for that there is no need to name individual songs. This album includes the best of the best, and the sound quality on here is totally fabulous!
Naysayers may say that the Beach Boys or the Beatles were the best; while those are great bands nobody nearly compares to the wonderful Frankie and his awesome band. Listening to this a few times over & over again made me buy more Frankie!
I now also own the great In Seasons anthology; the terrific single-disc Anthology, the Off Seasons collection (love that as much as the biggest of hits ... check out Big Man's World & Coming Up In The World) & now the drumroll please .... I managed to find a NEW (!) copy of the 25th Anniversary Collection, and found a million more reasons to fall in love with Frankie (like I needed them ... )
Please do a favor to yourself & buy this one first. You will discover very quickly just how wonderful the Four Seasons really are and will want to rush out to buy more fast!
on April 16, 2006
This has got to be the best one-disc compilation of the band that's out there. Rhino have once again done a great job in remastering this album so that the sound quality is very, very good. All the great Four Seasons tracks are here as well as the great solo works of Frankie Valli like "Can't Take My Eyes Off You", "Grease", "Oh, What a Night" and "My Eyes Adored You". With 20 tracks on one disc, you also get great value for money in addition to the great tracks selections and great sound quality. Highly recommended.
on February 16, 2004
Man oh man, You just can't beat these 4 guys!! I don't think I own a cd that I play so much & still enjoy so much!! This to me is a staple for any 60's music fan and Frankies' disco hits from the 70's are fantastic too. I could go on and on, but I'll spare you. Suffice to say, buy this one and you won't be disappointed.
on September 9, 2005
This CD covers all the major hits of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, from the early 1960s through the Disco era and up to the title song from 1978's "Grease" - quite a career. For those who like the Four Seasons, this is an excellent collection. Highly recommended.