January 26, 2017 I’m Ready For My Closeup

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Frankie Valli, Closeup, Private Stock 2000, 1975

The Four Seasons were not doing too well by the early 70s.  Their records weren’t selling and they were dropped from their record label, Philips.  Bizarrely, they signed with Motown Records, who also dropped them after an album and a half.  The group paid $4000 to buy one of their unreleased tracks back.  It was money well spent, and released as a Frankie Valli solo single, My Eyes Adored You went to #1.  This was the album that they made to accompany it.

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When I say they, I mean the bedrock partnership of Valli, Bob Gaudio and producer Bob Crewe.  By the time this record rolled around, records got released under the name Frankie Valli, The Four Seasons, and Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons, but it didn’t matter.  It’s all the same people on the records.

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The record also has one of the first songs I can think of on a pop record that is longer than 10 minutes.  This is not necessarily a disco album, but some of it is proto-disco, with all 10:09 of Swearin’ To God as my evidence.  One other fun fact is that the female vocalist is a young Patti Austin.  It’s a great album for what it is, and it’s always great to find a long album version of a single that you know so well.

Today’s Summary:
Cost: $2, $456 Remaining

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January 13, 2017 Working Their Way Out Of Jersey

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The 4 Seasons, Working My Way Back To You, Phillips PHS 600-201, 1966

The amazing success of The 4 Seasons musical Jersey Boys not only set box office records, but it increased the value of actual records.  It used to be that albums like this by the groups were essentially free, owing to the fact that they really sold well originally but not many people kept them.  4 Seasons greatest hits packages were always available, so holding original albums like this one with only one hit that anyone would know made little sense.

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It’s not like The 4 Seasons albums ever had the cache of The Beatles’ or even The Beach Boys for interesting album tracks.  There are one or two here I like, but the group never considered their albums as concepts like other groups did.  This album is really just a collection of throw aways, plus the one great hit.

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As depicted in the show, this album came out just after original bassist Nick Massi left the group.  Even though he is pictured on the cover and wrote one of the songs, he neither played or sang on it.  After settling on Joe Long as a replacement, the group continued on releasing hit after hit with the “sound” of Frankie Valli becoming one of the greatest pop voices of all time.

Today’s Summary:
Cost: $7, $492 Remaining