Although they were one of the very biggest rock & roll groups of the 1960s, the Four Seasons -- unlike, say, the Beatles, Rolling Stones, or the Byrds -- don't excite automatic respect from listeners and critics. A big factor is their most distinguishing trademark, the high falsetto vocals of their lead singer, Frankie Valli. Many also found their material -- romantic tunes with tightly arranged group harmonies that updated the doo wop ethos into the '60s -- a little too clean-cut. Whatever your feelings about the group, though, there's no denying their considerable importance. No other white American group of the time, save the Beach Boys, boasted such intricate harmonies, though the Four Seasons were much more firmly in the Italian-American doo wop tradition. Their uptown production values were contemporary and, in certain respects, ...
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