Recently I have been listening to Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons a lot, and I am really falling in love with this music. Now I know why so many teenage girls were so obsessed with it way back when - it just has a certain quality that is completely absent from any current music.
I’m convinced that pop/rock singing has taken a serious downturn since the rise of the guitarist/singer. Singers have gone from mediocre to absolutely horrible - I mean, the clarity of Frankie Valli’s voice, and his range, is just not possible while worrying about playing the guitar. This is why Led Zeppelin was so good - Robert Plant was free to just sing. Some guys, like Billy Joel and most recently Ben Folds can pull off the piano/vocal combination, but I think nobody now is really competent as a singer while playing the guitar at the same time.
There is nobody with the voice of Frankie Valli in pop music today. Even these emo singers with high voices don’t have the clarity that those old crooners had. It’s a dead form of music. Too bad, really, because it’s amazing.
I like Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons as their sound seemed to be a mix of a new sound reminscent of an older style. When I think of Frankie Valli, I think of Buddy Holly, Gene Pitney, Bobby Vee, and so many more. Yet, I must remind myself Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons started circa 1962 thru late 1970’s!
Just the lifespan of Frankie Valli by itself is very impressive… - Jinx
That is an interesting observation because I had never really thought about it but now that you say it it just seems so true. It is easy to think of lots of non-guitarist vocalists with fine distinctive styles but I can only think of three guitarist/vocalists who I like most for their vocals - John Lennon, Elvis Costello and Chris Isaak.
I have to agree…the level of difficulty in today’s music is equivalent to one hunting and pecking at a PC keyboard; yet, considering that person a professional! Likewise, their vocal abilities is non-existant. Along with that, memorable and/or moving lyric writing is a lost art.
In conclusion, today’s music is not to produce anything worthwhile. It is a business, and nothing more. It is a puppymill no better than Harlequin romance novels - a dime a dozen. Pour it in a mold, bake at 350 for 30 minutes, and ship it out!
American Idol just serves to fan the flames burning down the stacks of good wax.
When I was a kid, I loved Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, enough to beg my parents to buy me a three-CASSETTE Greatest Hits compilation they advertised on TV. They still have the cassettes back home, one in orange, one in green, and one in pastel blue. Terrific version of “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?”. I still have a fondness for their songs and harmonizing, but I like doo-wop and acapella music in all its forms.
I love this group, and have many of their albums and singles. I saw them at the Skydome in Toronto not long after it opened. I think the first concert they held there was this oldies show. They had Chuck Berry, Fats Domino, Little Richard, Chubby Checker, several others, and The Four Seasons. They were great! This happened while Billy Joel’s “Uptown Girl” was on the charts, and they actually played a bit of it! Bob Crewe was a visionary in pop music. With The Four Seasons, he created a series of pop classics.
You should make your way to New York then. There’s a very well-received musical that chronicles the Four Seasons’ rise to fame called Jersey Boys. The group’s music is used to tell the story, and although I haven’t seen it yet, I heard the vocalists are amazing.
The Four Seasons were big in my youth, and, though I liked them, I never considered them a major act. Partly because they were just too commerical, and because their songs were nothing more than songs, while others were trying to be more ambitious. It’s fun, but a throwback.
Actually, they have very much in common with today’s “American Idol” stars – pure singers who sing other people’s songs (Valli was never a songwriter).
Though there are plenty of examples of rock musicians who were geat singers. Steve Winwood, Jack Bruce, Rick Danko, Richard Manuel, Levon Helm, Greg Lake, Lyle Lovett, Justin Haywood, Barry Gibb, John Sebastian, David Crosby, Steve Stills, Graham Nash etc. Not many women, though: .Joni Mitchell, Joan Baez, Tori Amos are the few that come to mind.