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Oldies 30/10/2006

Eleven Out-of-Print Albums by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons are Reissued on Collectors' Choice

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Los Angeles, CA (Conqueroo Music) - Throughout the '60s, there was rarely a moment that the Four Seasons didn't have a hit record on the radio. With songs like "Sherry," "Rag Doll," "Walk Like a Man" and "Working My Way Back to You," the Four Seasons brought their New York/New Jersey street-corner doo-wop roots into the rock 'n' roll mainstream, and found ways to keep the sound exciting and fans entranced - even at the height of Beatlemania. Now that the quartet has been immortalized in the Tony-award-winning Broadway hit musical "Jersey Boys," Collectors' Choice Music seems to have chosen the perfect season in which to reissue 11 Four Seasons albums - from hits to outright oddities - on four single-CD releases and two double-CD releases. Street date for the rollout is January 9, 2007.

The reissues all feature liner notes by music historian Bill Dahl based on lengthy interviews with longtime Four Seasons producer Bob Crewe and songwriter Sandy Linzer.

The Four Seasons and Frankie Valli reissues on Collectors' Choice consist of the following two-fers:
• The Four Seasons: Folk-Nanny / Born To Wander. 1963's Folk-Nanny was misleadingly titled. Instead of hearkening to the then-prevalent hootenanny sound, it was a compilation of odds and sods from the band's Vee-Jay years, before signing to Philips Records where they hit their stride. The CD also contains the 1964 album Born To Wander, which did find the group performing in the folk context of the Kingston Trio and Limeliters. Frankie Valli's soaring falsetto, however, is front and center.
• The Four Seasons: The Four Seasons Entertain You / Love on Stage with the Four Seasons. Entertain You from 1965 contained the hits "Big Man in Town," "Toy Soldier" and "Bye Bye Baby (Baby Goodbye)," showing the evolution from the street corner to the Great White Way. 1966's Live on Stage, on the other hand, wasn't really live! One of the great oddities of the group's career, this Vee-Jay "deal breaker" album featured fake crowd noise and spoken introductions of the group. There was one hit from the collection, "Little Boy in Grownup's Clothes," but the real highlight is "How Do You Make a Hit Song," which has vocal references to their simultaneous Philips Records hit "Sherry."
• The Four Seasons: Working My Way Back to You / The Genuine Imitation Life Gazette (2-CD Set): The 1966 Philips release Working My Way Back to You takes its title from one of the Four Seasons' greatest hits, which charted No 50 nationally, along with its stellar B-side "Too Many Memories." 1969's The Genuine Imitation Life Gazette, on the other hand, was the group's answer to Sgt. Pepper, Pet Sounds and other transformative albums of its era. Many of Gazette's songs were written by New York folk singer/songwriter Jake Holmes, best known for penning Led Zeppelin's "Dazed & Confused." AllMusic.com compares the album's satirical songs to the best work of Van Dyke Parks and Ray Davies.
• The Four Seasons: Half & Half / Helicon: True to its title, 1970's Half & Half devoted half its tracks to Frankie Valli's budding solo career, and half to group recordings in the twilight of the Philips era. And 1977's Helicon was supposed to be the group's final album, but, as is the case with so many "farewell" releases, wasn't. Gregg Allman is featured on organ!
• The Four Seasons: Streetfighter / Hope & Glory (2-CD Set): The Four Seasons returned from an eight-year hiatus with the old gang (Frankie Valli, producer/writer Bob Crewe, and writers Bob Gaudio, Sandy Linzer and Charles Calella) and this 1985 MCA/Curb album was the happy result. Gaudio also wrote all but three of the tunes on 1992's Hope & Glory.
• The Four Seasons: Reunited Live: Unlike 1966's "fake" live album, this double-live album captured the Four Seasons on a real stage (in their native New Jersey's Garden State Arts Center, no less) performing their medleys of their hits: "Let's Hang On," "Rag Doll," "Dawn," "Walk Like A Man," "Big Girls Don't Cry," "December 1963 (Oh What a Night)," "Who Loves You" and Valli's solo hit "Can't Take My Eyes off You." Bob Gaudio produced the live set, Don Ciccone of the Critters plays guitar and Sugarloaf's Jerry Corbetta is heard on keyboards.






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