Unlike Bob Crewe's 1977 adult contemporary release Motivation, where the record executive is a singing cross between Barry Manilow and Jerry Vale, this '60s album, The Bob Crewe Orchestra Plays the 4 Seasons' Hits! has the producer's 40-piece band going through some of the Four Seasons' biggest chart-climbers in a wonderfully lush Muzak sort of way. And had you co-written "Rag Doll," "Big Girls Don't Cry," "Ronnie," "Walk Like a Man," and "Save It for Me" as Crewe did -- three number one hits and two others Top Ten -- you'd probably want to release a similar "tribute" adding another five instrumental songs for a total of ten Top 40 hits from the popular vocal group's 1962-1964 initial run of 14 titles. Charles Calello, future Four Seasons member and musical arranger, repeats that role here as well as conducting the big band. What might appear to have been a slick business move by the guy who in 1967 had a Top 15 hit with the Diet Pepsi commercial "Music to Watch Girls By" (as the Bob Crewe Generation) is years later a nice addition to the body of work by the songwriters and other technicians who were at work behind the scenes on recordings by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees. Years after its creation it works. You can even play karaoke with it -- and that's meant as a compliment.
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