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Archive for June 11th, 2014

Who Loves You: Rhino Celebrates “Jersey Boys” With Box Sets For Frankie Valli and Four Seasons, First Bob Gaudio Anthology

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Four Seasons - Classic AlbumsNext Friday, June 20, marks the highly-anticipated opening of director Clint Eastwood’s film adaptation of the smash 2005 Broadway musical Jersey Boys.  With John Lloyd Young reprising his Tony Award-winning performance as Frankie Valli opposite a cast of theatre and film veterans including Christopher Walken as Jersey mobster Gyp DeCarlo, Eastwood’s film promises to bring the gritty story of Valli and The Four Seasons (Nick Massi, Tommy DeVito and Bob Gaudio) to an even wider audience than ever.  Rhino is marking the occasion of the film’s release with four sets covering every aspect of the group’s immense legacy: an original soundtrack recording featuring new and vintage recordings alike; two career-spanning album collections for The Four Seasons and the solo Frankie Valli, respectively; and the first-ever compendium of the songs of songwriter-producer and founding Season Bob Gaudio.  The soundtrack arrives on June 24, while the remaining three collections hit stores the very next week, on July 1.

Most exciting might be The Classic Albums Box from Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.  This 18-CD box set includes nearly all of the group’s original albums released between 1962 and 1992:

  1. Sherry & 11 Others (1962)
  2. Big Girls Don’t Cry And Twelve Others (1963)
  3. The 4 Seasons Sing Ain’t That A Shame And 11 Others (1963)
  4. Folk-Nanny (1963)
  5. On Stage With The Four Seasons (1965)
  6. Dawn (Go Away) And 11 Other Great Songs (1964)
  7. Born To Wander (1964)
  8. Rag Doll (1964)
  9. The 4 Seasons Entertain You (1965)
  10. The 4 Seasons Sing Big Hits By Burt Bacharach… Hal David… Bob Dylan (1965)
  11. Working My Way Back To You (1966)
  12. New Gold Hits (1967)
  13. The Genuine Imitation Life Gazette (1969)
  14. Half & Half (1970) – one side of the Four Seasons, one side of Valli solo
  15. Who Loves You (1975)
  16. Helicon (1977)
  17. Streetfighter (1985)
  18. Hope + Glory (1992)

The Classic Albums Box is the first time the group’s catalogue has been available in one package.  It contains all of the group’s core albums with the exception of 1962’s The Four Seasons’ Greetings (also known as The Four Seasons’ Christmas Album), the 1968 compilation Edizione d’Oro (which features unique stereo mixes and alternate takes), 1972’s Motown-controlled release Chameleon and 1981’s Reunited Live.  (Of these, Edizione is still awaiting a definitive compact disc reissue.)

Frankie Valli - Selected Solo WorksA complementary box is being released for the solo albums of Frankie Valli, and includes all of his studio LPs with the exception of the Motown release Inside You (1975) and his most recent LP, Romancing the Sixties (2007).  Frankie Valli’s 8-CD Selected Solo Works box set includes:

  1. The 4 Seasons Present Frankie Valli Solo (1967)
  2. Timeless (1968)
  3. Closeup (1975)
  4. Our Day Will Come (1975)
  5. Valli (1976)
  6. Lady Put The Light Out (1977)
  7. Frankie Valli…Is The Word (1978)
  8. Heaven Above Me (1980)

After the jump, we have more details including the full scoop on Bob Gaudio’s Audio with a G and pre-order links and more for all titles! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

June 11, 2014 at 12:42

I Know A Place: Petula Clark, Scott Walker, Connie Francis Celebrate “The Songs of Tony Hatch”

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Colour My WorldAce Records’ latest addition to its Songwriters Series, Colour My World: The Songs of Tony Hatch, should come with a warning label – CAUTION: THESE SONGS WILL MAKE YOU HAPPY.   A composer, lyricist, producer, arranger and A&R man (whew!), Hatch was a hitmaker par excellence, and one of no small skill for imparting joy through his music. Petula Clark’s bright 1964 single “Downtown” alone would likely have assured Hatch a place in the Book of Pop, Swingin’ Sixties chapter. But listening to a whopping 25 of his best pop confections back-to-back, it’s apparent how this versatile craftsman deserves a place at the top of the pantheon. It’s also clear just how central the beat is to his work. A Tony Hatch song pulsates with energy, vibrancy, urgency and above all else, abundant heart. That throbbing thump is often surrounded by punchy brass or majestic strings, and always in service of a catchy melody that’s determined to lodge itself in your brain and never leave. Drawing on the period between 1960 and 1974, when Hatch was at his most active, Colour My World is a stunning and effervescent compendium from a songwriter who hasn’t always gotten his full due.

Two women figure prominently in the Tony Hatch story and on Colour My World: Petula Clark and Jackie Trent. Hatch, a key producer and A&R man at the U.K.’s Pye label, recorded enough songs with Clark between 1963 and 1970 to fill a 3-CD box set. About half of those songs featured lyrics by Jackie Trent. A prolific composer-lyricist, Hatch forged a partnership in early 1965 with Pye artist Trent, who would become his wife. In short order, “Hatch/Trent” would become as familiar a credit as “Tony Hatch” and the couple would record a number of successful albums together. Colour My World gives Hatch’s work with both ladies ample time.

Petula Clark was already a star when she began working with Tony Hatch, but 1964’s “Downtown” – written, produced and arranged by Tony – returned her to the U.K. Top 20 (only her first single since 1961 to do so) and earned her not just her first American hit, but a bona fide Number One. It’s one of four Clark/Hatch collaborations here. In two minutes and seventeen seconds, the song has it all: one of the best piano introductions ever, a compelling, inviting vocal, a killer hook, and a universal lyric with which anybody could, and did, identify. “Downtown” hits its ebullient stride with a powerful instrumental break just under the two-minute mark, but its liberating call had already proved irresistible. Though Hatch had scored hits prior to “Downtown,” the time was right for his breakthrough. The Tony Hatch sound was youthful, vibrant and hip enough for the kids, but smart and “safe” enough for the adults.

We have plenty more on the music man after the jump including the complete track listing with discography and order links! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

June 11, 2014 at 09:56