The Motown Years

The Motown Years

by Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons

CD(Bonus Tracks)

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The Motown Years

Pop vocal combo Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons may be remembered for many things, but being Motown artists is probably not one of them. Yet, for a brief time in the early '70s, the New Jersey-based combo was active on the Mowest subsidiary, while Valli himself was a full-fledged member of the Motown family. The results were the band's Chameleon album released in 1972, Valli's solo Inside You from 1975, and a handful of leftovers that ended up on 45s and non-North American market pressings. The appropriately titled The Motown Years gathers all the associated material for the first time onto this two-disc compilation. The archivists at Hip-O Select have now made past, present, and future generations of Valli and Four Seasons enthusiasts very happy, particularly as the contents were formerly nearly impossible to find. They additionally provide curious parties with a valuable missing link between Valli and the Four Seasons' late-'60s and mid-'70s hits. The original quartet had disbanded in the mid-'60s, and remaining from the founding lineup were Valli and Bob Gaudio (keyboards/vocals). During the era (roughly 1972 through 1975) covered here, Valli and Gaudio were working in the Four Seasons in a lineup alongside Al Ruzicka (keyboards), Billy DeLoach (guitar), Lee Shapiro (guitar), Clay Gordon (guitar), and Paul Wilson (drums). Yet the primary influence, especially on the funky Chameleon sides "Sun Country" and "The Night," retains a distinct sonic link to the behind-the-scenes Motown collective known as "the Corporation." They are similarly credited with writing the song "Walk on, Don't Look Back," which ironically is the number that most effectively recalls Valli and company's '60s doo wop-influenced sound. Valli's Inside You sides were likewise occasionally augmented by top Motown producer Hal Davis, while Willie Hutch supplied the standout soul-rocker "Thank You." Reaching further back into the label's "classic" songbook is Valli's update of the Four Tops' venerable "Baby I Need Your Loving." Perhaps it was a lack of material that required a few tunes to appear on both projects, namely "The Night" (which was a huge dance hit in the U.K.), the midtempo ballad "Hickory," and the unimposing soulful rocker "Life and Breath," which was inked by one George Clinton. In a final bit of irony, as forgettable as Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons' Motown experience may have seemed at the time, they were able to redefine their respective and collective careers with the songs "My Eyes Adored You" and "December 1963 (Oh, What a Night)" -- both of which were worked up during the Motown time frame and subsequently rocketed into the upper echelons of singles charts worldwide.

Product Details

Release Date: 07/15/2008
Label: Hip-O Select
UPC: 0602517619159
catalogNumber: 001077702

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons   Primary Artist

Technical Credits

R. Dean Taylor   Composer
Bob Crewe   Arranger,Composer,Producer
Kenny Nolan   Composer
David Blumberg   Arranger
Charles Calello   Arranger
George S. Clinton   Composer
Hal Davis   Producer
Lamont Dozier   Composer
Bob Gaudio   Arranger,Composer,Producer
Roger Greenaway   Composer
Eddie Holland   Composer
Brian Holland   Composer
Willie Hutch   Composer,Producer
Mel Larson   Producer
Jerry Marcellino   Producer
Larry Miles   Engineer
Richard M. Sherman   Composer
Robert B. Sherman   Composer
Art Stewart   Engineer
Brian Chin   Liner Notes
Frank Wilson   Composer
Frank Mulvey   Art Direction
Joe Atkinson   Engineer
Ruzicka   Composer
Brit Gaudio   Composer
Pat Lawrence   Executive Producer
Joe Scott   Arranger
Ryan Null   Photo Coordination
Michele Horie   Art Direction
Andrew Skurow   Tape Research

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