Frankie Valli

Lady Put the Light Out

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After the commercial failure of his 1976 album, Valli, Frankie Valli seemed to have gotten the stars aligned for another comeback with his 1977 follow-up, Lady Put the Light Out. He assembled a studio full of high-priced New York session players and chose good songs by such notable songwriters as Eric Carmen, Paul Anka, Carole Bayer Sager, and the team of Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil for a collection meant to compete in the adult pop market with the likes of Barry Manilow. Private Stock Records, his label, released as singles the Anka song "Second Thoughts," Carmen's apparently specially written "I Need You," and Sager and Albert Hammond's "I Could Have Loved You." And nothing happened. Why? For one thing, Valli was still dividing his time between his solo career and the Four Seasons, touring with them to promote their Helicon album, although this was his farewell outing with them and he would formally announce his separation from the group at its end. Still, he may have taken his eye off the ball when it came to promoting Lady Put the Light Out. Curiously, the hit he needed was right there on the album, but it went to somebody else. The disco-inflected "Native New Yorker," at the end of side one, had been written by longtime Valli associates Sandy Linzer and Denny Randell (who had written hits for the Four Seasons back in the '60s). But Valli's version remained buried on the LP, while Odyssey recorded it and took its version into the Top 30 of the pop charts and the Top Five of the disco charts. So, instead of marking a career resurgence for Valli, Lady Put the Light Out was another flop that unfortunately came just as he was preparing to turn his full attention to his solo career.

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