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Author Topic: frankie valli  (Read 3705 times)
Dutchie
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« on: November 05, 2013, 08:57:31 AM »

This icon still has a great voice. Nearly 80 years old WOW.  Really love the background singers, they really sound good. I liked the old Frankie Valli & 4 Seasons but this is also good.

live 2013
Frankie Valli And the Four Seasons Live- Rag Doll / Who Loves You / December 63: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x94RFKeSq5g
Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons live - Bye, Bye, Baby: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VbTmmm9gEow
Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons - Rag Doll: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ck-Fc7X7L1c
frankie valli and four seasons - silence is golden- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OEG_hf_ZbuI
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EgoHanger1966
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« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2013, 09:01:59 AM »

He's heavily processed and/or lipsyncing (personally, I think it's both!). He's coming around here this weekend and I've never seen him, but tickets are over $100, which is silly to pay for a guy who isn't even being honest in a live setting. I think he's an icon and a legend, though - some of those Four Seasons records rival ANYONE'S during that time period - Beatles and BBs included.
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« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2013, 09:46:31 AM »

I always got the feeling the productions and the songs themselves, all those amazing Crewe-Gaudio records, were the real draw and legend, and Frankie was part of the equation instead of the full star. I never warmed up to Frankie Valli himself on those records, his falsetto was too strident and had too much braggadocio for some of the tunes. But that's just me.

However...Frankie's crown jewel, one of the greatest ever, is "Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You". That record is as close to perfection in the 60's as any of it's peers. Just pure genius, blending big band arranging with a terrific pop song, great vocal, and having something that appealed to AM radio. That is a stone cold classic.

And it rescued Frankie Valli himself from a career in Doo-Wop revival hell and many 70's weeklong gigs at New Jersey area hotel lounges and dive bars where the PA speakers were covered in red shag carpeting.  Grin   When he got out of the group-vocal stereotypes, he had a wedding-disco classic and a major soundtrack theme produced and written by Barry Gibb, who was the hottest writer and producer in the mid 70's short of the Philly Sound crew.

Even there, on Grease, without Barry Gibb at the helm it wouldn't have been what it became if Frankie instead did his streetcorner act to tie in with the film. The right production nailed the song. I think having the right people making the records made Frankie Valli better than he may have been in other hands. But that could be said of most artists.  Smiley
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« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2013, 09:10:08 PM »

He's heavily processed and/or lipsyncing (personally, I think it's both!). He's coming around here this weekend and I've never seen him, but tickets are over $100, which is silly to pay for a guy who isn't even being honest in a live setting. I think he's an icon and a legend, though - some of those Four Seasons records rival ANYONE'S during that time period - Beatles and BBs included.

Yeah, he's definitely lip synching.
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Dutchie
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« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2013, 12:59:34 PM »

When watching the silence is golden clip It looks like he is singing live.
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EgoHanger1966
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« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2013, 03:05:28 PM »

When watching the silence is golden clip It looks like he is singing live.

Don't think so. Sad
I remember reading or hearing that he's partially deaf now due to a rare disease.
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« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2013, 06:28:48 PM »

"Who Loves You" is an awesome song.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ObG9bBJFcIM
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« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2013, 01:27:46 AM »

When watching the silence is golden clip It looks like he is singing live.

He definitely isn't. At some points he loses visibly sync with the track
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« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2013, 02:44:12 AM »

i watched it 4 times and i think youre right.  Undecided

Still its great to see him perform  Smiley
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« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2013, 02:45:21 AM »

"Who Loves You" is an awesome song.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ObG9bBJFcIM

yes it is.
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« Reply #10 on: November 07, 2013, 11:28:42 PM »

Frankie had some serious deafness issues back in the 70's, but  I thought it had been cured. Or did it return? I don't remember the name of the condition.
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« Reply #11 on: November 08, 2013, 10:13:27 PM »

Frankie had some serious deafness issues back in the 70's, but  I thought it had been cured. Or did it return? I don't remember the name of the condition.

He had something called otosclerosis and originally tried to gradually phase himself out of the Four Seasons (who were no longer really the Four Seasons) by having other members of the band sing lead vocals (for instance, that is clearly not Valli singing the verses on the song "December, 1963").  But he had successful surgery to fix it.
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« Reply #12 on: November 08, 2013, 10:55:48 PM »

Frankie had some serious deafness issues back in the 70's, but  I thought it had been cured. Or did it return? I don't remember the name of the condition.

He had something called otosclerosis and originally tried to gradually phase himself out of the Four Seasons (who were no longer really the Four Seasons) by having other members of the band sing lead vocals (for instance, that is clearly not Valli singing the verses on the song "December, 1963").  But he had successful surgery to fix it.
I remember that - you don't hear Valli on "December 63" until the middle section; and the followup, "Silver Star", didn't feature him at all.
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« Reply #13 on: November 10, 2013, 10:59:46 PM »

I wonder why the Beach Boys don't make much mention of the Frank Valli or The Four Seasons? Outside of the reference at the end of 'South Bay Surfer'(?), I can't think of any time the Beach Boys have discussed them. Kind of surprising to me.
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« Reply #14 on: November 11, 2013, 08:11:14 PM »

I wonder why the Beach Boys don't make much mention of the Frank Valli or The Four Seasons? Outside of the reference at the end of 'South Bay Surfer'(?), I can't think of any time the Beach Boys have discussed them. Kind of surprising to me.

what's there to say?  It's not as if they were an inspiratiion to brain or any other BBs.
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« Reply #15 on: November 11, 2013, 08:30:57 PM »

I wonder why the Beach Boys don't make much mention of the Frank Valli or The Four Seasons? Outside of the reference at the end of 'South Bay Surfer'(?), I can't think of any time the Beach Boys have discussed them. Kind of surprising to me.

what's there to say?  It's not as if they were an inspiratiion to brain or any other BBs.

I think they were. I can envision the big production style of massive hits like "Dawn" and "Rag Doll" being an inspiration on the type of records Brian would be making in the following year or two.
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« Reply #16 on: November 11, 2013, 09:02:04 PM »

I wonder why the Beach Boys don't make much mention of the Frank Valli or The Four Seasons? Outside of the reference at the end of 'South Bay Surfer'(?), I can't think of any time the Beach Boys have discussed them. Kind of surprising to me.

what's there to say?  It's not as if they were an inspiratiion to brain or any other BBs.

I think they were. I can envision the big production style of massive hits like "Dawn" and "Rag Doll" being an inspiration on the type of records Brian would be making in the following year or two.

I'd argue Brian held the better hand in that card game. Brian's falsetto had an innate sweetness and vulnerability that made those records into something beyond what they should have been. And yet, that falsetto remained masculine at the same time. It's one of the greatest contradictions in rock history, for my money. And that combination of vulnerable and aggressive is what made those records transcend what they really were.

Seriously, how many people associate a song like Don't Worry Baby with racing cars? It's only what's in the lyrics, the voice singing lead transcends the subject matter.

Now don't get me wrong, I love those records like Dawn and Rag Doll, but Valli's voice is all swagger and streetcorner, I'm sorry that's all I hear. They're terrific productions, but that strident, swaggering voice trying to plead with his "Dawn" in the lyrics or trying to comfort singing regretfully about how people view his "Rag Doll" as something less than the girl who should be wearing pretty lace instead of ragged clothes just doesn't hit with much vulnerability or even sympathy. It's that same tone we hear as he's strutting around and swaggering singing "Walk Like A Man".

I could never latch onto those Four Seasons records because the lead voice always seemed to be bragging or showing off, no matter what the subject matter.

Again, a HUGE exception was Valli's "Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You". Not only did they have him not at all access his doo-wop screeching falsetto, but they took that overly-masculine swagger out of his voice and kept him in his middle register, in a quiet tone confessing his love for his girl. Then when the orchestra swells to an absolute climax in volume and intensity, Valli sings more like a big-band singer than a doo-wopper...he's fighting his own backing orchestra to reach the volume and intensity needed to cut through the sheets of volume from the band. "I love you baby!", simple as that.

That record is a classic, an all-time stone-cold classic that finally, I think, found the right tone and use for a voice like Valli. He was more mature, even though it was all in the span of a few years since he was screeching out "Rag Doll", but damn they found the perfect range, the perfect song, and the perfect blend for that voice.

Brian, from the most corny Beach Boys songs to the most emotional of the ballads and love songs, never sounded like he was singing outside his musical surroundings. It hit on exactly the right tone, range, and delivery for the music. And it created that contradiction of vulnerability I mentioned before. Valli too often stuck with the swagger.

Just my opinion.

« Last Edit: November 11, 2013, 09:03:42 PM by guitarfool2002 » Logged

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« Reply #17 on: November 12, 2013, 04:42:13 PM »

I wonder why the Beach Boys don't make much mention of the Frank Valli or The Four Seasons? Outside of the reference at the end of 'South Bay Surfer'(?), I can't think of any time the Beach Boys have discussed them. Kind of surprising to me.

what's there to say?  It's not as if they were an inspiratiion to brain or any other BBs.

I would argue that Brian wasn't much more musically inspired by the Beatles. Yet he talks about them all the time. Four Seasons were their biggest American competition as far as record sales. Isn't that true?
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« Reply #18 on: November 13, 2013, 02:27:00 AM »

I wonder why the Beach Boys don't make much mention of the Frank Valli or The Four Seasons? Outside of the reference at the end of 'South Bay Surfer'(?), I can't think of any time the Beach Boys have discussed them. Kind of surprising to me.

Well, Bruce has, in Record Collector, September 1990:

"A record that I thought got that across really well was the collaboration you did with the Four Seasons - "East Meets West"."

"I hated that. Oh my God, I don't know why we ever did that. Those guys never understood harmony. It was like World Cup beer-drinking harmony compared to ours."

http://troun.tripod.com/bruce.html
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« Reply #19 on: November 13, 2013, 06:19:23 AM »

I wonder why the Beach Boys don't make much mention of the Frank Valli or The Four Seasons? Outside of the reference at the end of 'South Bay Surfer'(?), I can't think of any time the Beach Boys have discussed them. Kind of surprising to me.

Well, Bruce has, in Record Collector, September 1990:

"A record that I thought got that across really well was the collaboration you did with the Four Seasons - "East Meets West"."

"I hated that. Oh my God, I don't know why we ever did that. Those guys never understood harmony. It was like World Cup beer-drinking harmony compared to ours."

http://troun.tripod.com/bruce.html

Meh, give me a break. "Those guys never understood harmony". Bruce being Bruce. Listen to the opening of "Rag Doll" and tell me those guys couldn't harmonize. It's downright spiritual. Nick Massi was their vocal arranger before he was fired/quit.

I disagree with guitarfool's assessment above, but hey, opinions are opinions and I can respect his. For me, I find a lot of passion and sincerity in Valli's vocals on the more serious songs - I think his voice and falsetto were a key ingredient to the Four Seasons success. In retrospect, I like the way the Four Seasons operated in those days - everyone was dependent on one another - Frankie for the voice, Gaudio and Crewe for the pop symphonies, Charlie Callello for the musical arrangements, Massi handling the vocal arranging duties.

The "Rag Doll" album of 1964 consists of entirely original songs, and most of them are top notch. The Beach Boys, at the same time, weren't even doing this yet. Of course, Brian was much more self-dependent so it makes sense, but still - having "Save It For Me", "Rag Doll", and "Ronnie" on THE SAME ALBUM with other cuts that aren't filler (for the most part)? Genius. This is the Seasons at the top of their game - they never made an album as cohesive (barring the Gazette). I'd recommend some of you check it out. But, by the way, don't pick up the cheap Curb reissue - it has an altered tracklist. The original album ends with the theme song to "On Broadway Tonight" and NOT their hit cover of "I've Got You Under My Skin", which came two years later.

I think I've heard "Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You" one too many times to consider it a masterpiece. Smiley
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« Reply #20 on: November 13, 2013, 08:50:46 AM »

Just a few points:

It does play into the nature of how everyone hears and listens to music differently and individually. So it's not a case of saying one opinion is right over another, but it can be debated by discussing the differences in opinions without directly challenging one over another. That's what makes music great!

So with that in mind, the points about Bruce need to be mentioned. I think he has a point there, whether he chose his words carefully enough is another story but that's his opinion. I think to understand where that comes from, consider these points. I know for a fact that one of Bruce's favorite and most influential records from the time he was young was "I Only Have Eyes For You", by the Flamingos in 1959. They took what was a jazz standard, a tune full of already thicker and more complex chords, and through the vocals and the production created one of the most haunting, foreboding, and beautiful records of the 20th century. It's something you need to hear to really grasp the sound, and even then you'll either get it or you won't.

So you have a guy who was inspired to do what he does in a lot of ways from this one record, a very distinct record with specific types of harmony singing, and that's his frame of reference. Much like Brian Wilson's own experiences with his favorites the Four Freshmen, and musically his favorite Rhapsody In Blue.

If you remove the Freshmen and Gershwin from Brian's childhood influences, I doubt you'd have the types of harmonies he became known for, where it's taking it steps beyond the doo-wop and streetcorner styles and into more of a jazz style. It's the same as Bruce, in some ways, growing up obsessing over a record like "I Only Have Eyes For You" and then later working with Brian Wilson, singing his Freshmen inspired harmonies, and then being asked about a group who for all intents and purposes when they worked together were still doing the finger-snapping streetcorner sound, at that time (and even now) more of a retro thing like Sha-Na-Na doing "At The Hop" rather than the kinds of harmonies Bruce himself was more in tune with, personally.

So I'd cut him some slack. Maybe the words weren't chosen that well, but the sentiment makes sense if you consider where he's coming from musically, and going back to that Flamingos record.

As far as vocals, I do think Valli was a limited singer in many ways, and when he eventually got some records which made him break out of that vocal bag, he found a different voice which made the records themselves stand out from the Seasons. But with the Seasons, he had basically two ranges and one emotion to call on, and he used it on every song, no matter the context.

In Beach Boys terms, would the voice Carl used on "Wild Honey" have worked on "God Only Knows"? Would the voice Mike used on "Papa Ooo Mow Mow" or "Fun Fun Fun" have worked on "Kiss Me Baby"? You can't have the same swaggering, streetcorner voice work the same in such different contexts and moods. Yet you also can't deny that the 4 Seasons records were classics, either, yet I think the classic nature comes into play as much from those incredible productions as they do the voice.

That's my personal taste, though, and I'm not as big a fan of that doo-wop swagger loud voice across an entire library of songs. It just gets tiring much as I don't enjoy hearing some guitarist soloing for 10 minutes over a blues, and playing the same way over another blues. I used to, but now it just gets to be too much on the ears. It's just not for me.

Understanding that the style came from Valli's background and the way they'd have streetcorner "throwdowns" and sing-offs with other vocal groups puts it into context, just like a singer like Dion has that same louder, grittier style because that was the scene he came from where the bragging and swagger was part of the scene on the streets and within these battles with other groups in the neighborhoods, but it's hard to move that style into other contexts that are not doo-wop or even blues based.

Again, all opinion!

About this comment:

I think I've heard "Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You" one too many times to consider it a masterpiece.

I have a hard time believing this.  Smiley  Maybe it's just this song, but the way a record is such an influence on someone that it causes them to play it over and over again is one of the joys of finding that connection with any piece of music. I have a bunch of these "classics" like "Wouldn't It Be Nice", where I'll play them endlessly and repeatedly, like Brian Wilson and "Be My Baby" where you can play it literally thousands of times and still get that undefined feeling in your soul when you hear it again, the whole reason you're into music but can't define exactly what that reason may be. But when you spin that record, you feel it and it reaffirms your soul.  Grin

I hope the feeling of hearing a classic "one too many times" to consider it a classic doesn't transfer to other forms of art, otherwise the Mona Lisa might as well be taken down, crated up, and stored in a "Raiders Of The Lost Ark" type of warehouse purgatory because it's been seen too many times to be considered a masterpiece.

I'm having a bit of fun there, obviously, but I guess it's just the difference in how we all listen to and enjoy music.  Smiley
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« Reply #21 on: November 13, 2013, 12:05:28 PM »

Alright, yeah...I should rephrase that one a bit. There are several records I could listen to over and over and not get tired of....and for me, Can't Take My Eyes isn't one of them. I'm glad you really like it - and I like it, too - but I can't place it on the same level as many other Valli/Four Seasons productions. It's a song I enjoy if it's in the right context - maybe within the confines of a chronological Seasons comp. But I can't say I'd get the same enjoyment if I heard it "out" somewhere unexpectedly, I've just heard it one too many times in a movie, or a commercial, or maybe it's because it's one of the few songs that oldies radio still plays - but neglects many other important hits.
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« Reply #22 on: November 16, 2013, 12:47:53 PM »

I like the Four Seasons. I was surprised to hear that they have out sold the Beach Boys world wide. I thought the Beach Boys were the most successful American band.
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« Reply #23 on: November 16, 2013, 03:05:52 PM »

I like the Four Seasons. I was surprised to hear that they have out sold the Beach Boys world wide. I thought the Beach Boys were the most successful American band.

I have a hard time believing this. Where have you heard that?

I love the Seasons by the way but I understand those that can tire of Valli's voice and swagger. One of my all-time favourite comps is the 'Off Seasons: Criminally Ignored Sides of Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons' compilation that came out years ago, featuring choice cuts from their later 60s Work. Great, great stuff on there!

http://www.allmusic.com/album/off-seasons-criminally-ignored-sides-from-frankie-valli-the-4-seasons-mw0000003301
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« Reply #24 on: November 16, 2013, 08:32:58 PM »

My all time favorite by FV/4S is The Puppet Song.  The song has a sort of Motown/Northern Soul feel to it.  Do yourself a favor and have a listen:

http://m.youtube.com/index?&desktop_uri=%2F

This is a mobile link, if viewing on a standard computer it might not work, but you can find it by searching YouTube.

Also, very little to no swagger/falsetto.
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