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The 4 Seasons Entertain You/On Stage with the 4 Seasons

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Mail-order reissue label Collectors' Choice Music combines two successive Four Seasons albums from 1965 on this CD. The 4 Seasons Entertain You (originally released in March 1965) was the group's eighth studio album of new material, and it was a fairly typical effort, featuring their two most recent hit singles, "Big Man in Town" and "Bye Bye Baby (Baby Goodbye)." (After the LP's initial release, their new single, "Toy Soldier," was substituted for "A Sunday Kind of Love" on subsequent pressings. This disc is based on that more common second version.) Typically, the collection was filled out with covers of old doo wop hits (the Platters' "My Prayer," the Gladiolas' and Diamonds' "Little Darlin'") and Broadway show ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide
Mail-order reissue label Collectors' Choice Music combines two successive Four Seasons albums from 1965 on this CD. The 4 Seasons Entertain You (originally released in March 1965) was the group's eighth studio album of new material, and it was a fairly typical effort, featuring their two most recent hit singles, "Big Man in Town" and "Bye Bye Baby (Baby Goodbye)." (After the LP's initial release, their new single, "Toy Soldier," was substituted for "A Sunday Kind of Love" on subsequent pressings. This disc is based on that more common second version.) Typically, the collection was filled out with covers of old doo wop hits (the Platters' "My Prayer," the Gladiolas' and Diamonds' "Little Darlin'") and Broadway show tunes ("Where Is Love?" from Oliver!, "Somewhere" from West Side Story). But the songwriting factory the Four Seasons had developed to write their hit singles was also represented by some good material that was just below the quality needed for single release: producer Bob Crewe and group member Bob Gaudio's "Show Girl"; Gaudio and Sandy Linzer's "One Clown Cried"; Linzer and Denny Randell's "Betrayed" (used as the B-side to "Toy Soldier"); and group member Nick Massi's "Living Just for You." Such songs suggested that the Four Seasons might have what it took to continue to compete with self-contained groups like the Beatles as the album era began to emerge.

The album here called On Stage with the Four Seasons (which has also been called Live on Stage and Recorded Live on Stage) is a real curiosity, on the other hand. The Four Seasons left Vee-Jay Records for Philips Records by the end of 1963, but they were trailed by lawsuits that apparently were resolved in 1965 when it was decided the group owed Vee-Jay one more album. They then delivered this one, which is not really a live recording (it features canned applause and audience noise dubbed onto studio recordings) and is not at all characteristic of them. At least, it's not characteristic of them as of November 1965, when it was released. It sounds like what the group might have been like in, say, 1961, playing nightclubs before a big band. What the group liked to call the "sound of Frankie Valli", i.e., their lead singer's piercing falsetto, is largely absent, as are any of the Four Seasons' hits except, in part, for "Sherry." That song appears in excerpts during a comic piece called "How Do You Make a Hit Song?" (Another "special material" number is the track called "Mack the Knife," which contains very little of the familiar song by that name, instead being set to the tune of "MacNamara's Band.") On many tracks, the Four Seasons sing standards in harmony without any individual lead vocal, and even when Valli takes the microphone alone, on "By Myself" and "My Mother's Eyes" (the latter a remake of the first song he ever recorded, back in 1953), he sings in a straight tenor without taking off for the stratosphere. Vee-Jay made the LP one of its final releases, then went bankrupt, after which the Four Seasons bought back their masters, and this recording has largely languished in obscurity. (It previously appeared on CD in a different repackaging in the U.K. in 1995.) It's definitely one for the fans, but it does provide insight into the group's roots. ~ William Ruhlmann, Rovi
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/9/2007
  • Label: Collector's Choice
  • UPC: 617742073928
  • Catalog Number: 739

Album Credits

Performance Credits
The Four Seasons Primary Artist
Technical Credits
Leonard Bernstein Composer
Marc Blitzstein Composer
Stephen Sondheim Composer
Maurice Williams Composer
Bob Crewe Composer
Jimmy Kennedy Composer
Lionel Bart Composer
Betty Comden Composer
Bob Gaudio Composer
Adolph Green Composer
Sandy Linzer Composer
Jule Styne Composer
Nick Massi Composer
L. Wolfe Gilbert Composer
Abel Baer Composer
Georges Boulanger Composer
Nelson Cogane Composer
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