Frankie Valli

Solo/Timeless [Collectors' Choice]

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The Solo/Timeless compilation contains all of the released recordings made by Frankie Valli as a solo act between 1965 and 1968. Valli, lead singer of the Four Seasons, relaunched his solo career (he had also recorded solo in the 1950s) without leaving the group with a series of singles that began with 1965's "The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine (Anymore)," the original version of a song that went on to become a hit for the Walker Brothers in an identical arrangement, though Valli's record flopped. More modestly successful singles followed until the spring of 1967, when "Can't Take My Eyes Off You" became a number two hit, leading to the release of the LP Frankie Valli: Solo, which was for the most part a compilation of previously released singles tracks with some newly recorded standards ("My Funny Valentine," "Secret Love") thrown in. More down-chart singles followed, and then in July 1968 Valli released his second solo album, Timeless, a more carefully considered collection that attempted to position him as a middle-of-the-road pop singer with covers of songs like "By the Time I Get to Phoenix," "For All We Know," and "Sunny." Simultaneously, the Four Seasons were trying to keep up with the more psychedelic sounds coming from London and San Francisco, and the stylistic split may have been too much for their audience. Lacking a major hit, Timeless went almost unnoticed, and Valli and the Four Seasons went into a popular slump until 1975. Heard more than a quarter century later, Valli's mid-'60s solo work is a testament to his versatility, suggesting that he had the talent to be a traditional pop singer if he had wanted to pursue that sort of career full-time.

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