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giovedì 25 agosto 2016

The Four Seasons 1962 - 1992

The Four Seasons

I The Four Seasons (conosciuti dal 1967 come Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons) sono un gruppo rock e pop statunitense, distinto da altri gruppi dell'epoca (anni 1960) per il loro sound italo-americano. Aveva anche qualche reminiscenza di Doo-wop nonostante non sia un gruppo targato con questo genere. Nel 1999 la Vocal Group Hall of Fame, nell'inserire il gruppo nella prestigiosa lista, ha dichiarato che i Four Season è stato il gruppo rock più popolare prima dei Beatles.


Nel 1960 il gruppo (prima conosciuto come i The Four Lovers) cambiò nome in quello attuale con Frankie Valli come cantante guida, Bob Gaudio (precedentemente questi era nei The Royal Teens) alle tastiere, Tommy DeVito alla chitarra, e Nick Massi al basso (costui fu prima rimpiazzato da Charles Calello e poi da Joe Long nel 1965).
Tra il 1960 e il 1964 sono molto spesso in testa alle classifiche della rivista Cash Box con dei loro pezzi storici quali: Rag Doll che nel 1964 raggiunge la prima posizione nella Billboard Hot 100 per due settimane e la sesta in Germania, Walk Like A Man prima posizione nella Billboard Hot 100 per tre settimane nel 1963, Sherry che raggiunge la prima posizione nella Billboard Hot 100 per cinque settimane e la settima in Olanda nel 1962 e Big Girls Don't Cry che raggiunge la prima posizione nella Billboard Hot 100 per cinque settimane sempre nel 1962.
Nel 1976 il singolo December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night) arriva primo nella Billboard Hot 100 per tre settimane, nel Regno Unito per due settimane ed in Canada, secondo in Nuova Zelanda, terzo nei Paesi Bassi ed in Australia e sesto in Norvegia.
The Four Season sono stati un gruppo di considerevole importanza. Nessun altro gruppo di bianchi americani dell'epoca, a parte i Beach Boys, possono vantare simili armonie complesse, anche se erano molto più saldamente nella traditione del doo wop italo-americano. Le loro produzioni più raffinate erano al passo con i tempi e, per certi aspetti, innovative.
L'influenza R&B nella loro musica era grande, tanto che alcuni dei loro primi singoli avevano raggiunto il successo grazie al pubblico di R & B; ai loro esordi alcuni ascoltatori inoltre pensavano che i Four Seasons fossero neri. Il loro successo fu grande, tra il 1962 ed il 1967 raggiunsero per ben tredici volte la top ten, con pezzi come Sherry, "Big Girls Don't Cry" "Dawn" "Rag Doll" e Let's Hang On.


Nel 2014 il regista Clint Eastwood ha realizzato un film sulla loro storia: Jersey Boys.

The Four Seasons is an American rock and pop band that became internationally successful in the 1960s and 1970s. The Vocal Group Hall of Fame has stated that the group was the most popular rock band before the Beatles. Since 1970, they have also been known at times as Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. In 1960, the group known as the Four Lovers evolved into the Four Seasons, with Frankie Valli as the lead singer, Bob Gaudio (formerly of the Royal Teens) on keyboards and tenor vocals, Tommy DeVito on lead guitar and baritone vocals, and Nick Massi on electric bass and bass vocals.
The legal name of the organization is the Four Seasons Partnership, formed by Gaudio and Valli after a failed audition in 1960. While singers, producers, and musicians have come and gone, Gaudio and Valli remain the group's constant (with each owning fifty percent of the act and its assets, including virtually all of its recording catalog). Gaudio no longer plays live, leaving Valli the only member of the group from its inception who is touring as of 2015.
The Four Seasons (group members 1960–1966) were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990, and joined the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 1999. They are one of the best-selling musical groups of all time, having sold an estimated 100 million records worldwide.



Before the Four Seasons

Frankie Valli's first commercial release was "My Mother's Eyes" (as Frankie Valley) in 1953. The following year, he and guitarist Tommy DeVito formed the Variatones (with Hank Majewski, rhythm guitar, Frank Cattone, accordion, and Billy Thompson, drums), which between 1954 and 1956 performed and recorded under a variety of names before settling on the name The Four Lovers. The same year, the quartet released their first record, "You're the Apple of My Eye", which appeared on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, peaking at #62. Five additional Four Lovers singles (on RCA Victor) were released over the next year, with virtually no sales, airplay, or jukebox play. In 1957, the group's seventh single (this time on Epic) had a similar lack of success.
From 1956 until 1958, the group stayed together, performing in clubs and lounges as the Four Lovers and recording on various record labels with various names: Frankie Tyler, Frankie Valley, Frankie Valley and the Travelers, Frankie Valley and the Romans, the Village Voices, and the Topics are some of the 18 "stage names" used individually or collectively by the members of the group. In 1958, Charles Calello replaced Nick Massi on bass in the lineup.
In 1959, the group started working with producer/songwriter Bob Crewe, primarily for session work (Crewe wrote "I Go Ape", which Valli recorded with the intention of releasing it as a "solo" single). Later that year, the Four Lovers were performing in Baltimore on the same stage as the Royal Teens, who were riding the wave of success of "Short Shorts", a song co-written by then-15-year-old Bob Gaudio, who was also the Royal Teens' keyboardist. In late 1959, Gaudio was added to the Four Lovers on keyboards and guitar, as a replacement for rhythm guitarist Hank Majewski. Early the following year, Nick Massi returned to replace Calello, who remained the band's musical arranger.
In 1960, despite the changes of personnel, the fortunes of the Four Lovers had not changed—they failed an audition for a lounge at a Union Township, Union County, New Jersey bowling establishment. According to Gaudio, "We figured we'll come out of this with something. So we took the name of the bowling alley. It was called the Four Seasons." Despite the last few years of frustration of the Four Lovers, this proved to be the turning point for the group. Later, on a handshake agreement between keyboardist/composer Bob Gaudio and lead singer Frankie Valli, the Four Seasons Partnership was formed.

The rise of the Four Seasons

The Four Seasons signed as artists to Crewe's production company, and they released their first Crewe-produced single under their new name in 1961 ("Bermuda"/"Spanish Lace" on Gone Records). The single did not chart. The group continued working with producer Bob Crewe as background vocalists, and sometimes leads under different group names, for productions on Crewe's own Topix label. As a follow-up, Bob Gaudio wrote a song that, after some discussion between Crewe and Gaudio, was titled "Sherry". After the song was recorded, Crewe and the members of the group solicited record labels to release it. It was Frankie Valli who spoke with Randy Wood, West coast sales manager for Vee-Jay Records (not the founder of Dot Records) who, in turn, suggested the release of "Sherry" to the decision makers at Vee-Jay. "Sherry" made enough of an impression that Crewe was able to sign a deal between his production company and Vee-Jay for its release. They were the first white artists to sign with Vee-Jay.
In 1962, the group released their first album, featuring the single "Sherry", which was not only their first charted hit but also their first number-one song. Under the guidance of Bob Crewe, the Four Seasons followed up "Sherry" with several million-selling hits, generally composed by Crewe and Gaudio, including "Big Girls Don't Cry" (their second #1 hit), "Walk Like a Man" (their third #1), "Candy Girl", "Ain't That a Shame", and several others. In addition, they released a Christmas album in December 1962 and charted with a unique rendition of "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town".
From 1962 to early 1964, only the Beach Boys matched the Four Seasons in record sales in the United States, and their first three Vee-Jay non-holiday single releases marked the first time that a rock band hit #1 on the Billboard singles charts with three consecutive entries (ignoring their version of "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town").
In 1962 they were invited to perform their hit "Big Girls Don't Cry" on the show American Bandstand.

From Vee-Jay to Philips


Despite the group's success, Vee-Jay Records was in financial distress. The label had released several early Beatles singles in America. When the Beatles became wildly popular, Vee-Jay was swamped with orders, and they shipped more than two million Beatles records in a single month. The huge demands of mass production, the cash-flow problems involved, and the loss of the Beatles when Trans-Global (a firm licensed by EMI to distribute its products) canceled Vee-Jay's contract on August 3, 1963, due to non-payment of royalties, found Vee-Jay hard-pressed to stay afloat. Vee-Jay continued to produce one Beatles album (in various forms) in defiance of the cancellation. After over a year of legal negotiations, Capitol Records was finally able to stop Vee-Jay, effective October 15, 1964.
While the label went through internal turmoil with the Beatles and Capitol Records, a separate royalty dispute between Vee-Jay and the Four Seasons headed to court. In January 1964, after several successful albums but a lack of money from Vee-Jay, the Seasons left Vee-Jay and moved to Philips Records, then a division of Mercury Records. In the 1965 settlement of the lawsuit, Vee-Jay retained release rights for all material the group recorded for the label. Vee-Jay exercised those rights liberally over the following year. The group was obligated to deliver one final album to Vee-Jay, which they did in the form of a "faux" live LP. (When Vee-Jay was finally declared bankrupt in 1966, the Four Seasons' Vee-Jay catalog reverted to the band to settle unpaid royalties, and the tracks were then reissued by Philips.)
The change of label did not diminish the popularity of the Four Seasons in 1964, nor did the onslaught of the British Invasion and Beatlemania. In fact, the Seasons were the only act to have had a Hot 100 #1 hit before, during, and after the years that the Beatles had their Hot 100 #1 hits. However, "Dawn (Go Away)" (recorded for Atlantic Records, but never released by them), was kept from the #1 spot on the Hot 100 by no fewer than three Beatles singles in the March 21, 1964, edition (two weeks later, the top five slots were filled by Beatles singles). In a two-record set dubbed The Beatles vs the Four Seasons: The International Battle of the Century!, Vee-Jay created an elaborate two-disc package that the purchaser could use to write on and score individual recordings by their favorite artist. The discs were reissues of the albums Introducing... The Beatles and Golden Hits of the Four Seasons, featuring each original album's label, title and catalog number. Today, this album package is a collector's item.

One group, several acts

Nick Massi left the Four Seasons in September 1965. The group's arranger, Charles Calello (a former member of the Four Lovers), stepped in as a temporary replacement. A few months later, Joe Long was permanently hired and became a mainstay of the group on bass and backing vocals until 1975, with Calello returning to arranging. In the meantime, the Four Seasons released recordings under a variety of names, including the Valli Boys, the Wonder Who?, and Frankie Valli. Every Valli "solo" recording from 1965 to "My Eyes Adored You" in 1974 was recorded by the Four Seasons at the same time and in the same sessions as other Four Seasons material. Valli's first post-1960 single without the Seasons was 1975's "Swearin' to God".
More Top 20 singles followed in 1965, 1966, and 1967, including "Let's Hang On!", "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right" (as the Wonder Who?), "Working My Way Back to You", "Opus 17 (Don't You Worry 'bout Me)", "I've Got You Under My Skin", "Can't Take My Eyes Off You" (released under Valli's name as a "solo" single), "Beggin'", "Tell It to the Rain", "C'mon Marianne", and "I Make a Fool of Myself" (Frankie Valli "solo"). In addition, other Crewe/Gaudio songs that did not become hits for either Valli or the Four Seasons became international hits in cover versions, such as "Silence Is Golden" (The Tremeloes) and "The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine (Anymore)" (The Walker Brothers). However, 1968's "Will You Love Me Tomorrow" was the group's last Top 40 hit for seven years (reaching #24), just after Valli's last "solo" hit of the 1960s, the #29 charted "To Give (The Reason I Live)".

The end of the 1960s and move to Motown

By 1969 the group's popularity had deteriorated as public interest moved towards rock with a harder edge and music with more socially conscious lyrics. Aware of that, Bob Gaudio partnered with folk-rock songwriter Jake Holmes to write a concept album titled The Genuine Imitation Life Gazette, which discussed contemporary issues from the group's standpoint as men in their thirties, including issues such as divorce ("Saturday's Father") and Kinks-style satirical looks at modern life (e.g., "American Crucifixion and Resurrection", "Mrs. Stately's Garden", "Genuine Imitation Life"). The album cover was designed to resemble a newspaper's front page, pre-dating Jethro Tull's Thick as a Brick by several years; however, the album was a commercial failure, although it did catch the attention of Frank Sinatra, whose 1969 album Watertown was also done by Gaudio, Holmes and Calello. However, the group's new direction led to group's departure from Philips shortly thereafter. The Seasons' last single on Philips, 1970's "Patch of Blue," featured the group's name as "Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons," but the change in billing did not alter the act's lack of success. Reverting to the "Four Seasons" billing without Valli's name up front, the group issued a single on Crewe's eponymous label, "And That Reminds Me," which got as high as number 45 on the Billboard chart.
After leaving Philips, the Four Seasons recorded a one-off single for the Warner Brothers label in England. John Stefan, the band's lead trumpeter, had arranged the horn section parts for these recordings. This single was never released in the USA. The songs were "Sleeping Man" backed with "Whatever You Say". Following that single, the group signed to Motown. The first LP, Chameleon, failed to sell after it was released by Motown subsidiary label MoWest Records in 1972. A Frankie Valli "solo" single from 1971 ("Love Isn't Here" on Motown) and three Four Seasons singles ("Walk On, Don't Look Back" on MoWest in 1972, "How Come" and "Hickory" on Motown in 1973) sank without a trace. A song from Chameleon that was later to become a Northern soul hit and reach the top 10 of the UK Singles Chart, "The Night", was not commercially released as a single by Motown in the United States after promotional copies (showing the artist as Frankie Valli) were distributed in 1972.
In late 1973 and early 1974, the Four Seasons recorded eight songs for a planned second Motown album which the company refused to release to the public. Later in 1974, the record label and the band parted ways. On behalf of the Four Seasons Partnership, Valli initially tried to purchase the entire collection of master recordings the group had made for Motown. Upon hearing the amount needed to buy them all, Valli arranged to purchase one recording for $4000 (US): "My Eyes Adored You". Valli took the tape to Private Stock Records' owner and founder Larry Uttal, who, after repeated listenings of the Four Seasons recording, wanted to release it as a Frankie Valli "solo" single. While the group remained unsigned in the later part of 1974, Valli had a new label—and a new solo career.


While the hits for the Four Seasons had dried up in the first half of the 1970s, the group never lost its popularity as a performing act. Longtime member Joe Long stayed in the group until 1975. The new lineup boasted two new lead singers in Don Ciccone (formerly of the Critters) and Gerry Polci, who eased the singing load on an ailing Frankie Valli (who was gradually losing his hearing due to otosclerosis, though eventually surgery restored most of it). As "My Eyes Adored You" climbed the Hot 100 singles chart in early 1975, Valli and Gaudio managed to get the Four Seasons signed with Warner Bros. Records as the disco era dawned. At the same time, Uttal was persuaded to release The Four Seasons Story, a two-record compilation of the group's biggest hit singles from 1962 to 1970. It quickly became a gold record, selling over one million copies before the RIAA started awarding platinum records for million-selling albums.
In 1975, record sales exploded for both Valli and the Four Seasons as both acts had million-selling singles in the United States ("My Eyes Adored You" hit #1 on the Hot 100 for Valli in March, "Who Loves You" peaked at #3 in November for the group). In the United Kingdom, Tamla Motown released "The Night" as a single and saw it reach the #7 position on the UK Singles Chart. "My Eyes Adored You" was also a Top 10 hit in the United Kingdom, in February of that year. Valli had his first truly solo hit in the summer of 1975 when the Bob Crewe-produced "Swearin' to God" followed "My Eyes Adored You" into the upper reaches of the Hot 100, peaking at the #6 position and capitalizing on the growing disco craze. The song was released in three forms: the eight-minute album version, the ten-minute extended 12-inch single version, and the four-minute single version. This record featured Patti Austin on bridge vocals, before she became well-known. Valli followed this with a discofied #11 hit version of Ruby & the Romantics' "Our Day Will Come", also featuring Austin.
The album Who Loves You became a surprise million-seller for the group, as it was the first Four Seasons album to prominently feature lead vocals by anyone other than Valli ("Sorry" on Half & Half had featured Gaudio, DeVito and Long minus Valli, while "Wall Street Village Day" on Genuine Imitation Life Gazette featured Valli on just a couple of 'bridge' section lead vocal lines). Gerry Polci did about half of the lead vocals, sharing them with Valli and one lead by Ciccone ('Slip Away'). The title song had Valli doing the lead on the verses, but none of the trademark falsettos in the chorus. It was a Top 10 British hit in October 1975, relaunching their career there. "December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night)" had Polci singing lead on the verses, Ciccone featured on specific sections, and Valli doing lead vocals only on the two bridge sections and backup vocals on the chorus. "Silver Star" had Polci doing all the lead vocals, with Valli on harmony vocals.
The Four Seasons opened 1976 atop the Billboard chart with their fifth #1 single, "December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night)", co-written by Bob Gaudio and his future wife Judy Parker. The single also hit number one in the United Kingdom. Although the group also scored minor chart placements with "Silver Star" (#38), "Down the Hall" (#65 in 1977) both sung by Polci, and "Spend the Night in Love" (#91 in 1980) which again featured Polci as main Lead vocalist and Valli singing the bridge section and contributing to backup group vocals, "December, 1963" marked the end of the Seasons' hit-making run. Both singles were hits in the United Kingdom, with Silver Star making the Top 10. (A dance remix version of "December 1963" returned them briefly to the upper reaches of the Billboard singles charts almost two decades later.)

After disco

The success of Who Loves You increased the popularity of the Four Seasons as a touring group and reignited recording unit, but when 1977's Helicon album was released by Warner Bros., the climate was changing again, both for the group and for Valli. The new record yielded only one USA single, "Down the Hall", which limped onto the Hot 100. In the UK they had chart hits with both "Down The Hall" and "Rhapsody" (with verses sung by Don Ciccone and Valli appearing to notable effect only as lead voice over group harmonies on the chorus). At the same time, Valli's string of solo hits had come to an end as he parted ways with Private Stock Records. Helicon saw Polci and Ciccone heavily featured as lead vocalists, Valli, besides his co-lead chorus vocal on "Rhapsody" and some backing vocals, only taking a brief bridge lead vocal on two songs that were largely sung by Polci, though on "New York Street Song (No Easy Way)", Valli also clearly stands out over the group harmonies on two notable a cappella sections. Plus Valli took one solo lead vocal role on the album's concluding song, the brief Gaudio-Parker-penned "I Believe in You".
Excluding Valli's 1978 "Grease" single, which hit #1 while the motion picture of the same name became the highest-grossing musical in cinematic history, the last Top 40 hit for the group was behind them. Both Valli and the group released singles and albums on an occasional basis, but after "Grease", only a remixed version of their biggest seller, "December 1963" would visit the upper half of the Hot 100 (in 1994). In January 1981, Warners released Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons Reunited Live. Produced by Bob Gaudio, it was a double album of concert recordings which included the two studio recordings "Spend The Night in Love" and "Heaven Must Have Sent You (Here in The Night)" sung by Valli. The latter became a UK single but failed to chart, while the former was released as a single in America, inching its way into the Hot 100.
In 1984, a long-awaited collaboration between the Four Seasons and the Beach Boys, East Meets West, was released on FBI Records, owned by the Four Seasons Partnership, which included most of the surviving Beach Boys (including Brian Wilson). However, the record did not sell well. Even after the rise and fall of the group's sales in the disco era, the Four Seasons, in one version or another (the group became a sextet as Jerry Corbetta, formerly of Sugarloaf, joined the lineup), continued to be a popular touring act, with Valli being the only constant in the midst of a fluctuating lineup. Although Gaudio is still officially part of the group (he and Valli are still equal partners in the Four Seasons Partnership), he now restricts his activities to writing, producing, and the occasional studio work. In August 1985, MCA Records released the group album Streetfighter which yielded two singles in the title track and "Book Of Love", a post-disco-style revamp of the Monotones' 1957 recording. In September 1992, a group album was released entitled Hope + Glory on the MCA/Curb label.
The latest edition of the Four Seasons, including Valli, conducted a North American tour in the latter half of 2007. Incidental to this tour, the massive 3CD + 1DVD box set ...Jersey Beat... The Music Of Frankie Valli & the 4 Seasons was released in mid-2007, marketed as the most comprehensive collection of Four Seasons music yet. The album title Jersey Beat is a play on Jersey Boys, a wildly successful Broadway musical about the Four Seasons, as well as on "Mersey Beat", a term first coined as the title of a music magazine published in Liverpool, U.K., from 1961 but subsequently also used to describe Liverpool's "beat music" culture of the early 1960s.
In 2008, the Four Seasons' "Beggin'" was revived not by one but by two acts. Pilooski made an electro remix of that song, while rap act Madcon used it as the basis of their song "Beggin'". The latter went to number 5 in the UK charts and was a hit across Europe. The song was featured in a TV commercial for adidas shoes entitled "Celebrate Originality". The Adidas commercial is a popular hit on YouTube and features a house party with famous celebrities such as David Beckham, Russel Simmons, Kevin Garnett, Missy Elliott, Katy Perry, and Mark Gonzales. Since 2008 Frankie Valli has continued to tour worldwide with a new group of Four Seasons consisting of Todd Fournier, Brian Brigham, Brandon Brigham, and Landon Beard providing him with backup vocal harmonies.

Also known as ...

From 1956 until "My Eyes Adored You" in 1975, records which the Four Seasons recorded had the following artist credit (a sampling):


Frankie Valli

1960 and after

The Four Seasons
Hal Miller and the Rays
Johnny Halo featuring The Four Seasons
The 4 Seasons
The Wonder Who?
Frankie Valli
The Valli Boys
Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons
The Romans

Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons - Sherry ( 1962 ) - YouTube

06 dic 2011 - Caricato da TheVideoJukeBox4
Big 60s hit for Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons. ... The Four Seasons "Sherry" 1967 (Reelin' In The Years ...

Frankie Valli The Four Seasons - Big Girls Don't Cry Subtitulada ...

19 dic 2011 - Caricato da v43r
Frankie Valli The Four Seasons - Big Girls Don't Cry Subtitulada ... me parecio muy chistosa la voz cuando ...

Big Girls Don't Cry - Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons - YouTube

06 ago 2010 - Caricato da wolverine9391
Big Girls Don't Cry (1962) by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.
Big girls don't cry
Big girls don't cry
Big girls don't cry
(They don't cry)
Big girls don't cry
(Who said they don't cry?)
My girl said goodbye
(My oh my)
My girl didn't cry
(I wonder why?)
Told my girl we had to break up
(Silly boy) Hoped that she would call my bluff
(Silly boy) When she said to my surprise
"Big girls don't cry"
Big girls don't cry
(They don't cry)
Big girls don't cry
(Who said they don't cry?)
I was cruel
(I was cruel)
Baby, I'm a fool
(I'm such a fool)
Shame on you, your mama said
(Silly girl) Shame on you, you're cryin' in bed
(Silly girl) Shame on you, you told a lie
Big girls do cry
Big girls don't cry
(They don't cry)
Big girls don't cry
(That's just an alibi)
Big girls don't cry
Big girls don't cry
Big girls don't cry
Big girls don't cry
Big girls don't cry

Dawn (Go Away) - Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons - YouTube

06 ago 2010 - Caricato da wolverine9391
Dawn (Go Away) [1964] by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.

Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons - Dawn (live) - [STEREO] - YouTube

16 gen 2008 - Caricato da Super Channel from
Great Early 80's Four Seasons! ... Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons - Dawn (live) - [STEREO]. Super ...


Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons "Rag Doll" 1964 - YouTube

13 mag 2009 - Caricato da Bobby Cole
Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons "Rag Doll" 1964.

Let's Hang On ~ The Four Seasons (Excellent quality) - YouTube

04 mag 2011 - Caricato da Peter Fair
The Four Seasons feat.Frankie Valli, from: Top of the Pops February 25, 1971 I do not own the copyrights to ...

The Four Seasons - December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night) ¨¨HD - YouTube

14 apr 2011 - Caricato da wuizlaca
Single by The Four Seasons from the album Who Loves You Released December 1975.

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