CD Review: Frankie Valli and the 4 Seasons

Frankie Valli and the 4 Seasons
Jersey Beat: The Music of Frankie Valli and the 4 Seasons
By David Chiu

The continued audience turnout for the smash Broadway musical Jersey Boys is a testament to the popularity of the Four Seasons’s music for 45 years since “Sherry.” Yes the group is best known for Valli’s distinctive falsetto voice and the Bob Crewe-Bob Gaudio-penned hits such as “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Walk Like a Man” and “Rag Doll.” And while those are certainly hallmarks of their history, this 3-CD/1 DVD box also covers the stylistic breadth of their career including forays into the psychedelic era (the very Beatlesque “Genuine Imitation Life Gazette” and “Where the Flowers Grow”) to disco-era funk (the massively popular “Who Loves You” and “December, 1963 (Oh What a Night)”). In between are some decent to underappreciated gems of the group’s latter incarnations including the soulful “Rhapsody,” “Fallen Angel,” and the more recent Hope and Glory. The primary draw to Jersey Beat however remains the early hits, which occupy nearly all of disc one—it makes one appreciates the songwriting and production talents of Gaudio and Crewe respectively, and the group dynamic between the original members—Frankie Valli is definitely one of the greatest singers in pop music. Jersey Beat is a lovingly assembled and lavishly packaged document of a great American pop act and a golden musical age. (Read more about “Jersey Boys” the musical)


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