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Best Frankie Valli And The Four Seasons Songs: 10 Jersey Boys Classics
Pictorial Press Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo
List & Guides

Best Frankie Valli And The Four Seasons Songs: 10 Jersey Boys Classics

From street-corner soul to floor-filling disco, the best Frankie Valli And The Four Seasons songs remain evergreen pop classics.

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Hit after hit after hit – yet for years, the brilliance of Frankie Valli And The Four Seasons was taken for granted. It’s not like we hadn’t had the opportunity to appreciate just how remarkable their records were: Frankie had scored in the US Hot 100 more than 50 times. The Four Seasons’ hit run began with Sherry in 1962, and once the group’s chart attack had apparently finished at the end of the 60s, Frankie did it all over again as a solo artist, culminating in a No.1 smash with the theme song from Grease. Meanwhile, The Four Seasons soared again with a soulful disco sound. As fashions changed in the 80s, the group slipped from stardom, but in 2005 the wildly successful jukebox musical Jersey Boys brought the best Frankie Valli And The Four Seasons songs back to the stage, where they belonged.

Here are just ten of their greatest moments on record.

Listen to the best of Frankie Valli And The Four Seasons here, and check out our best Frankie Valli And The Four Seasons songs, below.

10: Sherry (1962)

Pop music was shifting from teen rock’n’roll to soul and beat in 1962, and The Four Seasons were ideally placed to deliver the new sound, having grown up on the street-corner symphonies of doo-wop just as their soulful black contemporaries had. The super-tight, astonishingly crisp Sherry was the first of three consecutive US chart-toppers for the group, and is the perfect introduction to the remarkable voice of Francesco Stephen Castelluccio – Frankie Valli – which would resonate for two decades on both sides of the Atlantic.

9: Big Girls Don’t Cry (1962)

The Four Seasons’ second smash was written, like many of the group’s hits, by group member and producer Bob Gaudio, this time alongside producer Bob Crewe. Gaudio got the idea for Big Girls Don’t Cry while watching a movie in which the title was a line of dialogue. There’s a strict quick-march feel for the choruses, setting up a tension which relaxes for the bridge and the revelation that, yes, they do cry – especially when you take this record off!

8: Walk Like A Man (1963)

The group’s third straight US No.1 nearly didn’t happen: the building where they were recording it was gutted by fire. The Jersey boys and their song survived, however, and their first single of 1963 went on to become one of the best Frankie Valli And The Four Seasons songs. It enjoyed an unexpected and amusing afterlife in the 80s when Divine covered it, but Frankie’s astonishing vocals could never be bettered.

7: Silver Star (1976)

At the peak of their second spell of fame, The Four Seasons hit an unanticipated crisis: Frankie lost his hearing through illness, making it far harder for him to sing. Hence, he only performed background on the slick disco groove of Silver Star, a Bob Gaudio song fronted by the group’s drummer Gerry Polci. However, this symphonic disco gem still beautifully delivers The Four Seasons’ unique sound and retains all its glittering charm and class some 45 years later. Frankie regained his hearing thanks to an operation, saving his unique tones for the world.

6: My Eyes Adored You (Frankie Valli solo) (1974)

Frankie’s success seemed to have run its course by the start of the 70s, despite his ability to create incredibly ambitious records, including The Four Seasons’ psychedelic album, 1969’s The Genuine Imitation Life Gazette, and some gems that were more soul than pop. Celebrity is fickle but talent is permanent, and towards the mid-70s Frankie’s star soared again. My Eyes Adored You, a love-from-afar ballad delivered with well-judged subtlety by a solo Frankie, was the giant leap in his return to supremacy in 1974.

5: Let’s Hang On! (1965)

Opening like a sad ballad but quickly changing its mood with some incendiary fuzzbox guitar, this 1965 smash combined the irresistible sound of Northern soul with a touch of The Beach Boys’ sunny style, resulting in one of the best Frankie Valli And The Four Seasons songs of the mid-60s. It was later a hit for both Barry Manilow and Darts, and Frankie guested on Manhattan Transfer’s 1995 update, but the original remains unsurpassed.

4: Grease (Frankie Valli solo) (1978)

Frankie’s solo theme is not the song most associated with the biggest teen movie of the late 70s, but Grease was a US No.1 in 1978. The Four Seasons’ frontman was a shoo-in to sing it, since his career began in the early rock’n’roll era which provided the backdrop to the movie. But the production of the song, penned by Barry Gibb of Bee Gees, was entirely up-to-date, despite retro-sounding lyrics. While other songs from the movie have passed into the realm of kitsch nostalgia, Grease sounds surprisingly contemporary.

3: Beggin’ (1967)

Frankie Valli And The Four Seasons scored so many hits that many have tended to slip out of style, but Beggin’ always beats in fans’ hearts. Full of drama and urgency, Bob Gaudio and Peggy Santiglia’s soul-soaked thriller went Top 20 in the US but did not chart in the UK. However, it was often played on Britain’s Northern soul scene and drew admiration down several pop generations, attracting covers by Timebox, Shocking Blue, Pilooski and The Saturdays, among others. But perfection cannot be improved upon: The Four Seasons’ cut remains the greatest.

2: Who Loves You (1975)

Who Loves You was monster hit in 1975, proof there was room for both The Four Seasons and Frankie Valli as a solo act in the mid-70s charts. Riding a slippery silken groove, yet with a muscular swagger in its strut, it’s a clever, multi-layered record, with Frankie singing the verses and the Seasons handling choruses. It became the closing number of Jersey Boys and still fills dancefloors today.

1: December, 1963 (Oh, What A Night) (1975)

Penned by Bob Gaudio as a belated celebration of December 1933, when Prohibition was lifted in the US, December, 1963 (Oh, What A Night) was amended by Bob and his wife Judy at the request of Frankie Valli, who felt a story of a guy remembering his first intimate encounter made a more identifiable tale. Topping our list of the best Frankie Valli And The Four Seasons songs, it is an entirely joyous affair that achieved the perfect balance of pop and disco, and hit No.1 on both sides of the Atlantic. Oh, what a tune.

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