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634603 Posts in 25389 Topics by 3612 Members - Latest Member: mikeloveSTL July 19, 2018, 10:47:12 AM
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Author Topic: New bass player with Mike & Bruce  (Read 4870 times)
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« Reply #50 on: March 26, 2018, 07:31:16 AM »

Am I the only one here who is not a fan at all of the Four Seasons?

No, I'm not really a fan.   I find Frankie Valli's high vocals to be grating (ie. big girls, they don't cry-y-y-).   
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« Reply #51 on: March 26, 2018, 07:36:41 AM »

Am I the only one here who is not a fan at all of the Four Seasons?

I can't say I've ever been a huge fan of Valli or the band specifically. But they released a string of great songs, great compositions. Yes, they often kind of reeked of being a year (or several) behind and trying to catch up to trends. The "Geniuine Imitation Life Gazette" is clearly, a few years too late, trying to do the Sgt. Pepper/Pet Sounds/Smile sort of thing. But they still had some good songs on there. "Saturday's Father" is a total PS rip-off, but it's a good rip-off.

I think they hit a stride where there were some undeniably catchy, excellent songs like "Tell it to the Rain" (another case of trying to hit a bit of a mid-era BB/Beatles note), "Opus 17", "Working My Way Back to You" and "Let's Hang On" (the former being somewhat of a rewrite of the latter, at least on the verses), and I love stuff like "Dawn" (and it's excellent knock-off/rewrite "Ronnie"). "Sherry" is good but rather overplayed and "Big Girls Don't Cry" is also good but kind of goofy, but I can't deny "Walk Like a Man" is a good one as well.

The stuff I tend to skip over is Valli's crooner stuff, "I've Got You Under My Skin", "Can't Take My Eyes Off You", "My Eyes Adored You", etc.

I think the idea that the Four Seasons were peers of the BBs is stretching it quite a bit. But as always, especially being a fan of the BBs and Beatles, I don't need other bands to measure up to the standard to still be enjoyable.

I have the four-disc "Jersey Beat" Four Seasons set, and that's a great set with all of the major stuff worth having. I even dig "Who Loves You" and "December 1963" as sort of mid-70s bubble gum.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2018, 07:51:20 AM by HeyJude » Logged

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« Reply #52 on: March 26, 2018, 07:42:10 AM »

Am I the only one here who is not a fan at all of the Four Seasons?

No, I'm not really a fan.   I find Frankie Valli's high vocals to be grating (ie. big girls, they don't cry-y-y-).   

I think Brian's "falsetto" was much more pleasing to the ears, and much more "musical" for lack of a better way to put it.

But props to Valli; in the 60s he could sing and did sometimes put some 'tude into his vocals. I'm not big on the "Tough Jersey Guys" stuff nor the Joe Pesci mob motifs and all of that, but I enjoy his vigorous vocals on stuff like "Let's  Hang On." I also think his falsetto stuff is just something you have to get used to. Listen to the end of something like "Ronnie." It's so ridiculously over the top high that's it's actually pretty impressive. He probably lost the ability to hit *those* notes before the end of the 60s (let us all remember he's EIGHT years older than Brian for instance), which is why it's especially noteworthy to listen to those original Four Seasons records.
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« Reply #53 on: March 26, 2018, 07:47:29 AM »

I'm not a fan of the "dancing" Four Seasons either. Give me old time players any day over the younger dancer/singer types.

Yeah, it's pretty lame that he adopted the "Jersey Boys" thing for his shows, bringing on four super generic young bleached-teeth guys in suits, all to mostly just add backing vocals to pre-taped leads.

His shows of the mid-late 70s into the early 80s and even the early 90s were at least respectable. He actually sang live, and just had a regular band behind him which included musicians who also sang backing vocals, and he even had an auxiliary guy by the late 80s/early 90s on keys to do the Gerry Polici lead bits ("Silver Star", "December 1963"). Even going back to the 80s (and maybe even 70s), Valli's shows had somewhat of a bloated Vegas-style vibe. But he had good musicians.

I recall he used to even feature his backing band doing an instrumental bit (I want to say at one show on tour in the 70s they did some music from the "Earthquake" soundtrack or something like that).

I always liked the first replacement guy on bass, Joe Long, who came on in 1965 and stayed until 1975. He survived into the early era of Polci/Ciccone, etc. I actually recently found a rare video from Mike Douglas in 1975, literally probably weeks before they fired Joe Long, of him performing "Who Loves You" with the younger guys. It's often forgotten Long was still in the band when they did that track.
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« Reply #54 on: March 26, 2018, 07:48:20 AM »

Am I the only one here who is not a fan at all of the Four Seasons?

No, I'm not really a fan.   I find Frankie Valli's high vocals to be grating (ie. big girls, they don't cry-y-y-).   

I think Brian's "falsetto" was much more pleasing to the ears, and much more "musical" for lack of a better way to put it.

But props to Valli; in the 60s he could sing and did sometimes put some 'tude into his vocals. I'm not big on the "Tough Jersey Guys" stuff nor the Joe Pesci mob motifs and all of that, but I enjoy his vigorous vocals on stuff like "Let's  Hang On." I also think his falsetto stuff is just something you have to get used to. Listen to the end of something like "Ronnie." It's so ridiculously over the top high that's it's actually pretty impressive. He probably lost the ability to hit *those* notes before the end of the 60s (let us all remember he's EIGHT years older than Brian for instance), which is why it's especially noteworthy to listen to those original Four Seasons records.

I think if I were a bigger fan of their catalog, I'd get used to Valli's falsetto, but they're not my cup of tea.   I mean, I'm a fan of the vocal stylings of King Diamond and Justin Hawkins, both of whom can be very tough to take on first listen.  
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« Reply #55 on: March 26, 2018, 07:57:51 AM »

Am I the only one here who is not a fan at all of the Four Seasons?

No, I'm not really a fan.   I find Frankie Valli's high vocals to be grating (ie. big girls, they don't cry-y-y-).  

I think Brian's "falsetto" was much more pleasing to the ears, and much more "musical" for lack of a better way to put it.

But props to Valli; in the 60s he could sing and did sometimes put some 'tude into his vocals. I'm not big on the "Tough Jersey Guys" stuff nor the Joe Pesci mob motifs and all of that, but I enjoy his vigorous vocals on stuff like "Let's  Hang On." I also think his falsetto stuff is just something you have to get used to. Listen to the end of something like "Ronnie." It's so ridiculously over the top high that's it's actually pretty impressive. He probably lost the ability to hit *those* notes before the end of the 60s (let us all remember he's EIGHT years older than Brian for instance), which is why it's especially noteworthy to listen to those original Four Seasons records.

I think if I were a bigger fan of their catalog, I'd get used to Valli's falsetto, but they're not my cup of tea.   I mean, I'm a fan of the vocal stylings of King Diamond and Justin Hawkins, both of whom can be very tough to take on first listen.  

Yeah, for sure one has to like the songs first and foremost. I can only speak for myself in saying I'd be pretty surprised if someone who was into melodic 60s pop (BBs, Beatles, etc.) was *not* into at least the well-known Four Seasons tracks from the 60s. Especially the sort of mid-era 60s stuff after "Sherry" and "Big Girls Don't Cry" and all of that. Stuff like "Dawn", "Opus 17", "Working My Way Back to You", "Let's Hang On", and "Tell It to the Rain" are excellent 60s pop. Bob Gaudio wrote catchy stuff, no question. It didn't have the nuance and craft of a Brian Wilson, nor did their group vocals have the quality of the BBs. They sometimes sounded pretty stiff on the backing vocals, on stuff like "Big Girls Don't Cry" (they sounded *older* than the BBs for obvious reasons). But they had good songs, solid vocal arrangements, etc. They had good session guys.
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« Reply #56 on: March 26, 2018, 08:36:53 AM »

Am I the only one here who is not a fan at all of the Four Seasons?

No, I'm not really a fan.   I find Frankie Valli's high vocals to be grating (ie. big girls, they don't cry-y-y-).  

I think Brian's "falsetto" was much more pleasing to the ears, and much more "musical" for lack of a better way to put it.

But props to Valli; in the 60s he could sing and did sometimes put some 'tude into his vocals. I'm not big on the "Tough Jersey Guys" stuff nor the Joe Pesci mob motifs and all of that, but I enjoy his vigorous vocals on stuff like "Let's  Hang On." I also think his falsetto stuff is just something you have to get used to. Listen to the end of something like "Ronnie." It's so ridiculously over the top high that's it's actually pretty impressive. He probably lost the ability to hit *those* notes before the end of the 60s (let us all remember he's EIGHT years older than Brian for instance), which is why it's especially noteworthy to listen to those original Four Seasons records.

I think if I were a bigger fan of their catalog, I'd get used to Valli's falsetto, but they're not my cup of tea.   I mean, I'm a fan of the vocal stylings of King Diamond and Justin Hawkins, both of whom can be very tough to take on first listen.  

Yeah, for sure one has to like the songs first and foremost. I can only speak for myself in saying I'd be pretty surprised if someone who was into melodic 60s pop (BBs, Beatles, etc.) was *not* into at least the well-known Four Seasons tracks from the 60s. Especially the sort of mid-era 60s stuff after "Sherry" and "Big Girls Don't Cry" and all of that. Stuff like "Dawn", "Opus 17", "Working My Way Back to You", "Let's Hang On", and "Tell It to the Rain" are excellent 60s pop. Bob Gaudio wrote catchy stuff, no question. It didn't have the nuance and craft of a Brian Wilson, nor did their group vocals have the quality of the BBs. They sometimes sounded pretty stiff on the backing vocals, on stuff like "Big Girls Don't Cry" (they sounded *older* than the BBs for obvious reasons). But they had good songs, solid vocal arrangements, etc. They had good session guys.

True, but as a fan of prog bands like Floyd and Genesis, I should logically be a bigger Yes fan too. 
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« Reply #57 on: March 26, 2018, 08:47:17 AM »

I was in a similar discussion on this board a few years ago about Valli's falsetto. I'm not as much of a fan of the tone...the sweetness isn't there to my ears.

However - I think having Valli sing in that lower tenor-baritone range was a stroke of genius on the solo tracks, especially "Can't Take My Eyes Off You". It was a slam-bang hit song to begin with, a perfect example of mid-60's songwriting and arranging coming together beautifully, but Valli sang it in that lower register and that's where his sweetness was.

Brian's falsetto had that magic, that sweetness in the sound yet he could also cut loose and belt out in that range as he did on WIBN. But Valli's was more of a screech and had less tenderness. Too much swagger for my taste.
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« Reply #58 on: March 26, 2018, 08:59:11 AM »

I certainly think Valli's mid-range, "non-falsetto" voice was more pleasing/less grating. Even in later years he sounded okay in the mid-range, stuff like his (relatively minimal) parts on "Who Loves You" in 1975.

I've *never* listened to Valli and the Four Seasons for the falsetto. That was never what attracted me to the good songs. But I guess I could say the same for the BBs. It's always about the songs; the compositions, first and foremost for me. Obviously, the greats pull it off because the material is good *and* the performances are as well.

The Four Seasons for awhile there had a good supply of good songs. Little if any of it was BB/Beatles caliber (especially the Beatles), but they did some very good stuff. I've never thought the Four Seasons were up there with the top tier of Brian/BBs/Beatles, etc. But I've also never listened to the really good Four Seasons stuff I like only to think "Well, pffft, it's not as a good as 'Pet Sounds'" or something.
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« Reply #59 on: March 26, 2018, 09:12:04 AM »

But there is something to be said for the falsetto being one of the main attractions when it is being used as the hook of a song. The falsetto voice will naturally cut through the mix and dominate the soundscape because it sits above everything else in that mix by design. Listeners who don't know what a falsetto is will be drawn to that part because it's so upfront.

I was playing "I Get Around" with a student last week. As soon as Brian's falsetto "wooo-ooh" wordless phrase comes in on that intro right after the "round round get around..." part, the student said "that's what makes the whole song", and I was like "Yep!". It grabs the listener within 10 seconds of the record starting up.

But it's a smooth falsetto that sits in the mix while soaring above it at the same time. Compare that to Big Girls Don't Cry or even Dawn which is a better record than Big Girls. Valli's falsetto has that screechiness that doesn't sound as pleasing to me. As someone mentioned that cry-y-y part is kind of grating.

Just imagine Valli's falsetto doing Brian's parts on I Get Around and the differences I hear will be obvious.

« Last Edit: March 26, 2018, 09:12:39 AM by guitarfool2002 » Logged

ďSome people think you have to knock somebody down in order to build yourself up, I donít look at it that way. To the mentality that likes to disparage other people, I say perhaps you should get a life. Itís just wrong thinking in my opinion and I donít mind saying that.Ē - Mike Love

"Every single person who criticized Brian for having She & Him, Kacey Musgraves, Sebu and Nate Ruess guesting on his solo album can now officially go heartily f*** themselves." - Wirestone
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« Reply #60 on: March 26, 2018, 09:19:16 AM »

Valli was a weird sort of partial mixture of a Brian and Mike type in terms of doing the leads and the falsetto bits. I can't imagine Brian sounding like Valli on some of those Four Seasons hits where he does that sort of "tough guy" snarly sort of singing.

To be clear, Valli and Gaudio and the Four Seasons were not in Brian's league in terms of writing or performance. But his falsetto deal was different from Brian's. No doubt their material was famous back then (and now) in part because of Valli's notorious falsetto, which I don't think is in any way preferable to Brian's.

But I'm only speaking for myself when I say what I like most about the Four Seasons stuff is the *songs.* They're good songs, well crafted and catchy. They never got past the "really good pop song" stage. They never had a "Surf's Up/Heroes and Villains/A Day in the Life" moment. Their band set up was never something that would have led to that, nor was the talent there.

But they simply cranked out a dozen or two great songs, and Valli's falsetto and vocals in general were never too grating to drag down the songs in any huge way (as opposed to, say, Jan Berry who literally sang flat on some J&D tracks).
« Last Edit: March 26, 2018, 09:20:47 AM by HeyJude » Logged

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« Reply #61 on: March 26, 2018, 09:33:14 AM »

Agree that his (Valli's ) falsetto was better suited to his own songs and visia versa. .  Imagining Frankie and Brian singing falsetto on each other's songs gave me a smile!
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« Reply #62 on: March 28, 2018, 03:19:01 PM »

Agree that his (Valli's ) falsetto was better suited to his own songs and visia versa. .  Imagining Frankie and Brian singing falsetto on each other's songs gave me a smile!

Can't forget Brian doing that little bit of Walk Like a Man at the end of Surfers Rule.
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« Reply #63 on: March 28, 2018, 03:31:19 PM »

Yep.
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« Reply #64 on: March 29, 2018, 03:40:06 AM »

Can't forget Brian doing that little bit of Walk Like a Man at the end of Surfers Rule.

Or the "Big Girls Don't Cry" sound (and "lie") of the vocal harmonies at "Finders keepers losers weepers"...
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