After failing to chart with his albums Valli (1976) and Lady Put the Light Out (1977), Frankie Valli appeared to have squandered the comeback he achieved in 1975, despite having made a formal break with the Four Seasons to pursue his solo career full-time. Then, a surprising thing happened. Valli was brought in to sing the newly written theme song for the movie adaptation of the Broadway musical Grease by Barry Gibb of the red-hot Bee Gees, and suddenly he was on the top of the heap again, as the single went to number one and was certified platinum. Naturally, Valli followed up with a new solo album, Frankie Valli...Is the Word (echoing the chorus of the hit, "Grease is the word"), but it served to demonstrate that "Grease" was more of a phenomenon related to the movie and the Bee Gees than to Valli himself. The album, otherwise produced by Valli's partner, Bob Gaudio, had some of the dance-pop sound of the single and the Bee Gees, and Gibb agreeably provided another tune, "Save Me, Save Me," which made some noise on the easy listening chart. As usual, Valli worked with the cream of session musicians, including flutist Hubert Laws, who contributed a lengthy solo to "A Tear Can Tell." But there really wasn't another "Grease" on the disc, and Valli's latest comeback proved a one-shot event.
Frankie Valli...Is the Word Review
by William Ruhlmann