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Jersey Beat: The Music of Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons

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Review

In the wake of the success of Jersey Boys, the theatrical production based on the Four Seasons' lives, Rhino issued this impressive three-CD, 76-track box set, which also includes a DVD of a dozen film clips from 1962-1975. It's never been hard to find a Four Seasons best-of that includes all their big hits (which are all here as well), but for those who want a bigger collection of the group's material, this fills the bill well. The usual intelligence Rhino brings to such large career retrospectives is in force here, the songs including numerous low-charting singles that usually don't make the cut for best-of anthologies; various LP-only tracks, and B-sides; Frankie Valli solo efforts; singles they released under the pseudonym of the Wonder Who?; and much more material from their post-1967 era than is found on most compilations. In fact, most of the really popular stuff is on disc one and the first half of disc two, though the box runs all the way through their comeback hits in the mid-'70s and a few stray releases from subsequent decades. With so much more bulk on this release than you hear on standard Four Seasons collections, two things are evident: that there are quite a few interesting songs by the group that rarely get played these days, and that nonetheless most of those songs, especially the ones postdating their early- to mid-'60s prime, aren't nearly as good as the familiar classics for which the group's most famous. Still, there are plenty of worthwhile lesser hits and obscurities here, like -- to name just a few -- the mid-'60s not-quite-hits "Toy Soldier" and "Girl Come Running"; the early Valli solo 45s "The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine (Anymore)" (covered for a hit by the Walker Brothers) and "(You're Gonna) Hurt Yourself"; the B-sides "Betrayed" and "Huggin' My Pillow," which sound like hits we all somehow missed; some erratic yet rather interesting attempts to move with the psychedelic times, like "Saturday's Father" and "Watch the Flowers Grow"; and a 1969 revival of "And That Reminds Me (My Heart Reminds Me)" that should have been a bigger single than the mild hit it was. The DVD disc is very solid, highlighted by a live 1962 performance of "Big Girls Don't Cry," a live 1964 medley of hits, and a strange 1968 clip of "Saturday's Father" mixing performance and video. The DVD, in fact, can only be criticized on the grounds that it leaves you hungry for more, particularly since there must be a lot more Four Seasons clips in existence considering the group's popularity. It's true that for all its size, some aficionados might find some of their favorite obscurities missing, like the early B-side "Connie-O" (a substantial regional hit in some areas), "No Surfin' Today," the early Phil Ochs cover "New Town," and the Wonder Who?'s version of "On the Good Ship Lollipop." It's also true that the energy flags on the final disc, which (despite the inclusion of the mid-'70s smashes "My Eyes Adored You," "Swearin' to God," and "December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night)") might start to wear on the patience of the average fan. But then, like many box sets, this isn't geared toward the average fan. It's for the big fan, who will treasure the breadth of this collection, and the non-fanatic who takes a chance on it will be surprised by how much more diverse the group's records were than is usually realized. And the Four Seasons certainly have a lot of big fans, including numerous celebrities who contributed comments on individual tracks to the 84-page liner note booklet. ~ Richie Unterberger
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  1. # Track Artist Length
  2. 1 Sherry The Four Seasons 2:34
  3. 2 Big Girls Don't Cry [DVD] The Four Seasons 2:23
  4. 3 Walk Like a Man The Four Seasons 2:13
  5. 4 Ain't That a Shame The Four Seasons 2:33
  6. 5 Candy Girl The Four Seasons 2:33
  7. 6 Marlena The Four Seasons 2:30
  8. 7 Peanuts The Four Seasons 2:18
  9. 8 Alone (Why Must I Be Alone) The Four Seasons 2:49
  10. 9 Stay The Four Seasons 1:52
  11. 10 Little Boy (In Grown Up Clothes) The Four Seasons 2:21
  12. 11 Dawn (Go Away) [DVD] The Four Seasons 2:44
  13. 12 Big Man's World The Four Seasons 2:32
  14. 13 Marcie The Four Seasons 2:16
  15. 14 Silence Is Golden The Four Seasons 3:5
  16. 15 Huggin' My Pillow The Four Seasons 2:34
  17. 16 Ronnie The Four Seasons 2:54
  18. 17 Rag Doll The Four Seasons 2:57
  19. 18 Save It for Me The Four Seasons 2:34
  20. 19 Big Man in Town The Four Seasons 2:45
  21. 20 Bye, Bye, Baby (Baby, Goodbye) The Four Seasons 2:30
  22. 21 Betrayed The Four Seasons 2:54
  23. 22 Toy Soldier The Four Seasons 2:30
  24. 23 Girl Come Running The Four Seasons 2:56
  25. 24 Let's Hang On! [DVD] The Four Seasons 3:15
  26. 25 Don't Think Twice (It's All Right) The Four Seasons 2:55
  27. 26 The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine (Anymore) Frankie Valli 3:27
  28. 27 (You're Gonna) Hurt Yourself [DVD] Frankie Valli 2:29
  29. 28 Pity The Four Seasons 2:33
  30. 29 You're Ready Now Frankie Valli 2:15
  31. 30 Cousin Brucie Go Go The Four Seasons 1:25
  32. 55 Genuine Imitation Life (2007 Remaster) The Four Seasons 6:11
  33. 1 Working My Way Back to You [DVD] The Four Seasons 3:5
  34. 2 Can't Get Enough of You Baby The Four Seasons 2:21
  35. 3 Everybody Knows My Name The Four Seasons 3:18
  36. 4 Comin' Up in the World The Four Seasons 2:51
  37. 5 Beggars Parade The Four Seasons 2:57
  38. 6 Opus 17 (Don't You Worry 'Bout Me) The Four Seasons 2:31
  39. 7 I've Got You Under My Skin [DVD] The Four Seasons 3:40
  40. 8 The Proud One Frankie Valli 2:56
  41. 9 Tell It to the Rain The Four Seasons 2:33
  42. 10 Beggin' The Four Seasons 2:45
  43. 11 Can't Take My Eyes off You [DVD] Frankie Valli 3:23
  44. 12 C'mon Marianne Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons 2:32
  45. 13 Lonesome Road The Four Seasons 2:28
  46. 14 Around and Around (Andaroundandaround) The Four Seasons 3:7
  47. 15 I Make a Fool of Myself Frankie Valli 3:35
  48. 16 Watch the Flowers Grow The Four Seasons 3:17
  49. 17 Raven The Four Seasons 3:12
  50. 18 To Give (The Reason I Live) Frankie Valli 3:21
  51. 19 Will You Love Me Tomorrow The Four Seasons 3:16
  52. 20 Good-Bye Girl The Four Seasons 3:13
  53. 21 Saturday's Father [DVD] The Four Seasons 3:13
  54. 22 Electric Stories The Four Seasons 2:42
  55. 23 Something's on Her Mind The Four Seasons 2:44
  56. 24 Idaho The Four Seasons 3:2
  57. 25 Genuine Mountain Life The Four Seasons 6:16
  58. 1 And That Reminds Me (My Heart Reminds Me) The Four Seasons 3:26
  59. 2 The Girl I'll Never Know (Angels Never Fly This Low) The Four Seasons 3:37
  60. 3 She Gives Me Light Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons 3:10
  61. 4 Patch of Blue The Four Seasons 3:0
  62. 5 Heartaches and Raindrops The Four Seasons 3:1
  63. 6 Lay Me Down (Wake Me Up) The Four Seasons 3:35
  64. 7 Where Are My Dreams The Four Seasons 3:12
  65. 8 Sleeping Man Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons 4:7
  66. 9 The Night Frankie Valli 3:21
  67. 10 My Eyes Adored You Frankie Valli 3:28
  68. 11 Swearin' to God [Single Version] Frankie Valli 3:59
  69. 12 Who Loves You [DVD] The Four Seasons 4:7
  70. 13 Our Day Will Come [Single Version] Frankie Valli 3:56
  71. 14 December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night) [DVD] The Four Seasons 3:33
  72. 15 Silver Star [Single Version] The Four Seasons 3:56
  73. 16 Fallen Angel Frankie Valli 4:3
  74. 17 Rhapsody [DVD] The Four Seasons 5:18
  75. 18 Grease Frankie Valli 3:21
  76. 19 East Meets West Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons 4:1
  77. 20 Streetfighter The Four Seasons 4:1
  78. 21 Hope and Glory The Four Seasons 4:3
  79. 1 Big Girls Don't Cry [DVD] The Four Seasons null:null
  80. 2 1964 Medley: Sherry/Big Girls Don't Cry/Dawn (Go Away)/Rag Doll/Brother [Remix] The Four Seasons null:null
  81. 3 Working My Way Back to You [DVD] The Four Seasons null:null
  82. 4 Can't Take My Eyes off You [DVD] Frankie Valli null:null
  83. 5 Let's Hang On! [DVD] The Four Seasons null:null
  84. 6 Saturday's Father [DVD] The Four Seasons null:null
  85. 7 (You're Gonna) Hurt Yourself [DVD] Frankie Valli null:null
  86. 8 I've Got You Under My Skin [DVD] Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons null:null
  87. 9 Dawn (Go Away) [DVD] Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons null:null
  88. 10 Who Loves You [DVD] The Four Seasons null:null
  89. 11 Rhapsody [DVD] The Four Seasons null:null
  90. 12 December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night) [DVD] The Four Seasons null:null

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