Rocking Retro: Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons

Up until 1965, this quartet was merely known as the Four Seasons, but you can’t keep a trilling falsetto like that of Frankie Valli out of the shadows for too long.  Once he launched a solo career, the other guys were happy to follow the money trail.

I think, for most of my generation, we associate this group with the scene in Mrs. Doubtfire where Robin Williams walks in step, in old-lady attire, to “Walk Like a Man.”  Of course, our college rock and roll history classes briefly cover Valli and the gang when discussing the post-Elvis/pre-Beatles period of the early ’60s, featuring Spector’s girl groups, the surf-rock fad (featuring the Beach Boys peak), and, my favorite, the doo-wop style.  The Four Seasons were probably the most popular of the last category, churning out almost 40 singles and over 20 albums on the Billboard pop charts.

The group’s fame began to wane around the time Rubber Soul and Blonde on Blonde were being released, but the Four Seasons continued to deliver hits sporadically throughout the 70’s.  They are a treasure of oldies and rock’n’roll music, and their songs were usually pretty airtight and awesome.  While other vocal groups of their time dabbled in cheekiness, the charisma of the group – and strong leadership of the talented Valli – made them stand out as the best.

A sampling of classics can be found after the jump.

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