Frankie Valli

Frankie Valli: Solo

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After three years of consistent success, 1962-1965, the Four Seasons (whose records were usually given the additional credit "featuring the 'sound' of Frankie Valli") branched out into two different recording units while continuing to make records under their regular name. The Wonder Who?, which was the group under a pseudonym, scored a novelty hit in the fall of 1965 with a cover of Bob Dylan's "Don't Think Twice" on which Valli impersonated the 1940s jazz singer Rose Murphy to comic effect. And in a more serious vein, Valli released a solo single, "The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine (Anymore)," written by the Four Seasons' usual writing team of Bob Crewe and Bob Gaudio, which did not become a hit although the Walker Brothers quickly copied the arrangement and hit with it first in the U.K., then in the U.S. Undaunted, Valli alternated Four Seasons singles with solo discs and began to score; "(You're Gonna) Hurt Yourself" peaked in the Top 40 in February 1966, and while its follow-up, "You're Ready Now," flopped, "The Proud One" was a chart entry in November. Valli finally broke through to solo success in the spring of 1967 with "Can't Take My Eyes Off You," which hit number two, and as it scaled the charts Philips Records rushed out Frankie Valli: Solo, his debut LP, which was assembled from the A-sides of all five of his 1965-1967 singles so far, plus "Ivy" (the B-side of "The Proud One") and "The Trouble With Me" (the B-side of "Can't Take My Eyes Off You"), filling out the album by having Valli quickly cut three standards, "My Funny Valentine," "Secret Love," and a remake of "My Mother's Eyes," a song he had first cut for his debut single in 1953. With such contents, the album is of course a jumble of styles and approaches, but its consistent point is to present a middle-of-the-road, easy-listening version of the singer whose Four Seasons performances leaned more toward rock. The obvious hidden gem is "The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine (Anymore)," which should have launched his solo career, and the obvious highlight is "Can't Take My Eyes Off You," which went on to become a standard but was never better sung than in its original version.

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