Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons

Walk Like a Man

Composed by Bob Crewe / Bob Gaudio

Song Review by

This doo-wop-tinged pop classic brought the Four Seasons their third consecutive #1 hit in 1962 as well as solidifying the style of the group’s hit-making songwriter team, Bob Crewe and Bob Gaudio. The lyrics strike a macho stance as they present a young man turning to his father for advice on how to handle a lying girlfriend and getting the following words of wisdom: “Walk like a man, talk like a man/Walk like a man, my son/No woman’s worth crawling on the earth/So walk like a man, my son.” The music backs this narrative up in a tough but stirring style, combining verses that bounce high and low in a percolating style with a soaring chorus that adds plenty of dramatic punch. The Four Seasons’ recording of “Walk Like A Man” benefits from a taut arrangement that combines gutsy rhythms and vocal power in equal measure: after a pair of bone-rattling drum rolls, the song kicks into a jazzy, shuffling rhythm anchored by a syncopated combination of percussion and hand claps and fleshed out with scratchy rhythm guitar hooks. The group adds a sophisticated vocal arrangement that adds hooks galore to an already catchy tune: the unforgettable intro layers Frankie Valli’s soaring falsetto wail over rhythmic chants of ‘walk’ and the rest of the group provides “ooh-wah” counter harmonies that enrich Valli’s lead on the verses. All these touches added up to a can’t-miss slice of vocal pop that topped the pop charts and shot to #3 on the R&B charts. “Walk Like A Man” was also given a memorable cover in the mid-1980's by the Mary Jane Girls, whose stylish, synth-laden version provided an interesting female variation on this macho classic.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
25th Anniversary Collection 1987 Rhino 2:21
Anthology 1988 Rhino
Greatest Hits, Vol. 1 1991 Rhino 2:16
The Very Best of Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons [Crimson] 1998 Crimson Productions 2:16
Oh What a Night: The Best of Frankie Valli 1999 WEA International
No Image 1999 MCA
In Season: The Frankie Valli and the 4 Seasons Anthology 2001 Rhino 2:17
The Very Best of Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons [Rhino 2002] 2002 Rhino 2:17
Big Girls Don't Cry and Other Hits 2003 Flashback Records / Rhino Flashback 2:15
The Definitive Pop Collection 2006 Rhino 2:18
The Very Best of Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons: Jersey's Best 2008 Rhino 2:17
Working My Way Back to You 2011 Rhino 2:16
blue highlight denotes editor's pick