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Who Loves Them? Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons Mix Hits, Rarities On New U.K. Comp

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Could anyone have expected the resurgence of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons that occurred in 2005 when the musical Jersey Boys opened at the Virginia Theatre on Broadway?  Suddenly, Valli’s profile was higher than it had been at any time since the mid-1970s, and today he continues to reap the rewards of the musical’s exposure in multiple cities in America, Canada, England and Australia.  Collector’s Choice launched a comprehensive album reissue program in 2007 which was the best such campaign since Ace’s splendid, if now nearly impossible-to-find, reissues of the mid-1990s.  (Alas, many of the Seasons’ albums are still only available in budget releases from Curb, some with altered track listings.)  Rhino commemorated the rich musical legacy of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees in 2008 with the release of the 3-CD/1-DVD box set Jersey Beat, and Hip-o Select unveiled the long-awaited The Motown Years the very same year.  Valli even returned to the recording studio in 2007 for Romancing the Sixties, and he maintains a busy schedule on the road with a new, young group of Seasons.

Despite an increase in catalogue attention, the most readily available Seasons packages remain compilations.  (Is it time for another installment of Greater Hits, friends?)  And so it’s no surprise that Rhino U.K. has unveiled another such anthology, over four years into Jersey Boys’ run in London’s West End.  Working My Way Back to You features 40 tracks over two compact discs, performed by both the Seasons and Valli, solo.  The selection consists of both the familiar hits and a number of harder-to-find B-sides and album tracks, although there is no unreleased material and every song has appeared on CD before.

Building on a foundation of doo wop and traditional pop vocals honed on the mean streets of New Jersey, the Four Seasons’ catalogue contains some of the most enduring pop songs of all time.  Most were the result of the collaboration between Bob Gaudio and Bob Crewe, both accomplished songwriters and producers.  The majority of these are featured on Disc One: early 1960s favorites like “Sherry,” “Dawn (Go Away)” and “Rag Doll” take their place alongside hits from the following decade like “December 1963 (Oh What a Night),” “Grease” and “My Eyes Adored You,” the latter two by Valli alone.  The second disc begins with “Who Loves You” and includes two songs more familiar to the U.K. audiences than those here, “The Night” and “Beggin’.”  There are a handful of tracks from 1985’s Streetfighter and 1992’s Hope + Glory that will be unknown to all but the most dedicated Seasons diehards, and a number of cuts from Valli’s solo LPs including “Lady Put the Light Out,” “Fallen Angel” and covers of “Walk Away Renee,” “Sunny” and “By The Time I Get to Phoenix.”  From the long out-of-print Seasons LP Big Hits by Burt Bacharach…Hal David…Bob Dylan comes a recording of Bacharach and David’s “Anyone Who Had a Heart.”

Hit the jump for more, including the full track listing and pre-order link plus discographical annotation!

Working My Back to You isn’t a greatest hits or a rarities package, but a hybrid of both.  “Swearin’ to God” and “Our Day Will Come” are the most notably absent Valli solo hits while “’C’mon Marianne” is just one bona fide Seasons classic that has been omitted.  There’s nothing from the psychedelic LP The Genuine Imitation Life Gazette, either, and longtime enthusiasts are still waiting for non-album sides like “Sassy” (the B-side of The Wonder Who’s “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right”) and “Night Hawk” (the B-side of “(You’re Gonna) Hurt Yourself” to show up on a commercial CD.  But if you’re looking for a Seasons hits set that goes just a little deeper, this might be the compilation for you.  It’s due in stores on May 23 from Rhino U.K. and can be ordered below!

Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, Working My Way Back to You (Rhino U.K., 2011)

CD 1

  1. Sherry
  2. Dawn (Go Away)
  3. Silence Is Golden
  4. Rag Doll
  5. Let’s Hang On
  6.  Walk Like a Man
  7. Big Girls Don’t Cry
  8. Bye Bye Baby (Baby Goodbye)
  9. Working My Way Back To You
  10.  Opus 17 (Don’t You Worry ‘Bout Me)
  11.  December 1963 (Oh What a Night)
  12. Candy Girl
  13. My Eyes Adored You – Frankie Valli
  14. I’ve Got You Under My Skin
  15. The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine (Anymore) – Frankie Valli
  16. Breaking Up Is Hard To Do
  17.  Will You Love Me Tomorrow
  18. Grease – Frankie Valli
  19. Can’t Take My Eyes Off You – Frankie Valli
  20. Ronnie

CD 2

  1. Who Loves You
  2. Once Inside a Woman’s Heart
  3. Marlena
  4. Expression of Love – Frankie Valli
  5. Girl Come Running
  6.  Just The Way You Make Love
  7. Beggin’
  8. Easily – Frankie Valli
  9. The Night
  10. Lady Put The Light Out – Frankie Valli
  11. Earth Angel
  12. Walk Away Renee – Frankie Valli
  13. Fallen Angel – Frankie Valli
  14. My Prayer
  15. By The Time I Get To Phoenix – Frankie Valli
  16.  In My Eyes – Frankie Valli
  17. Anyone Who Had a Heart
  18. You’re Ready Now – Frankie Valli
  19. Sunny – Frankie Valli
  20. This Time

Disc 1, Tracks 1, 7 from Sherry and  11 Others, Vee Jay LP 1053, 1962
Disc 1, Tracks 2 & 16 and Disc 2, Track 11 from Dawn (Go Away) and 11 Other Great Songs, Philips LP 124, 1964
Disc 1, Track 3 from Born to Wander, Philips LP 129, 1964
Disc 1, Tracks 4 & 20 from Rag Doll, Philips LP 146, 1964
Disc 1, Track 5 & Disc 2, Track 5 from The 4 Seasons’ Gold Vault of Hits, Philips LP 196, 1965
Disc 1, Track 6 from Big Girls Don’t Cry and Twelve Others, Vee Jay LP 1056, 1963
Disc 1, Track 8 & Disc 2, Track 14 from The 4 Seasons Entertain You, Philips LP 164, 1965
Disc 1, Track 9 from Working My Way Back to You, And More Great New Hits, Philips LP 201, 1966
Disc 1, Tracks 10, 14 from 2nd Vault of Gold Hits, Philips LP 221, 1966
Disc 1, Track 11 & Disc 2, Track 1 from Who Loves You, Curb/Warner Bros. LP 2900, 1975
Disc 1, Track 12 & Disc 2, Track 3 from Ain’t That a Shame and 11 Others, Vee-Jay LP 1059, 1963
Disc 1, Track 13 & Disc 2, Track 16 from Closeup, Private Stock LP 2000, 1975
Disc 1, Tracks 15 & 19 & Disc 2, Track 18 from Frankie Valli, Solo, Philips LP 247, 1967
Disc 1, Track 17 from Edizione d’Oro/The 4 Seasons’ Gold Edition- 29 Gold Hits, Philips LP 2-6501, 1968
Disc 1, Track 18 from Frankie Valli…Is the Word, Curb/Warner Bros. LP 3233, 1978
Disc 2, Track 2 from Streetfighter, MCA/Curb LP 5632, 1985
Disc 2, Tracks 4, 15 & 19 from Timeless, Philips LP 274, 1968
Disc 2, Tracks 6 & 20 from Hope  + Glory, Curb 77546, 1992
Disc 2, Track 7 from New Gold Hits, Philips LP 243, 1967
Disc 2, Track 8 from Valli, Private Stock LP 1014, 1976
Disc 2, Track 9 from Chameleon, MoWest LP 108, 1972
Disc 2, Track 10 from Lady Put the Light Out, Private Stock LP 7002, 1977
Disc 2, Track 12 from Our Day Will Come, Private Stock LP 2006, 1975
Disc 2, Track 13 from non-LP single Private Stock 45074, 1976
Disc 2, Track 17 from Big Hits by Burt Bacharach…Hal David…Bob Dylan, Philips LP 193, 1965

Written by Joe Marchese

May 20, 2011 at 12:02

Posted in Compilations, News, Reissues

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