Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons Get Massive Box Set

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The cover of one of the Four Seasons’ 1964 albums

The team at Madfish Music has seemingly gone, well, mad. But we suspect they know their market. The British label has released another of their massive box sets: this one for ’60s hitmakers Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons. And not unlike recent Madfish giant collections for such album artists as John Mayall and Al Stewart, this one for the real-life Jersey boys spans a whopping 44 CDs (and one LP). The listing for Working Our Way Back to You: The Ultimate Collection, coming to the U.S. on June 2, 2023, indicates that it weighs in at a robust 11.46 pounds. (It includes a hardback coffeetable book.) The set has been compiled with the full cooperation and support of Valli and Bob Gaudio. (Its release was pushed back from Dec. 9, 2022.)

Thanks to an astounding 28 Top 20 singles (including several Valli solo hits), the group amassed sales of a reported 175+ million records. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990. Valli as a solo artist and with the Four Seasons had seven #1 pop hits: “Sherry” (1962), “Big Girls Don’t Cry” (1962), “Walk Like a Man” (1963), “Rag Doll” (1964), “My Eyes Adored You” (1974), “December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night)” (1975), to 1978’s title song to the movie Grease.

In between were such memorable songs as “Swearin’ to God,” “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You,” “Opus 17 (Don’t You Worry ‘Bout Me)” and “Dawn (Go Away).”

From the label’s announcement: The release chronicles Frankie Valli‘s every stride through a career of 195 singles and 31 studio albums. The package includes an extraordinary assemblage of unreleased treats, rare treasures and long-unavailable mixes, including much-sought-after tracks the group cut for Motown. The box set also includes a 144-page hardback book, a separate singles book showing a multitude of picture sleeves from around the world, and a book of collectors’ notes.

Working Our Way Back to You: The Ultimate Collection Contents

• Over 800 tracks including bonus live albums, demos, outtakes, b-sides and more
• A replica triple foldout sleeve LP issue of The Genuine Imitation Life Gazette (available for the first time ever on mono vinyl)
• A hardback coffeetable book that tells the full story of Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons by longtime Seasons’ expert Paul Sexton, including interviews conducted by Ken Sharp and contributions from Brian Wilson, Barry Gibb and Maurice Gibb, and Billy Joel
• A portfolio chronicling single and EP sleeves from around the world, including chart placings
• A ‘Collector’s Notes’ Book from Four Seasons’ Archivist Ken Charmer

See the complete track listing here.

Related: Madfish released a 50-CD Al Stewart set in 2022

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  1. Da Mick
    #1 Da Mick 3 August, 2022, 11:35

    I’ve always been a huge Season fan ever since I was a kid, in they heyday. Sure, you heard them all over the radio, but since my Dad liked them, we had their records in the house too. Plus being from northern NJ myself, I knew a guy in school who claimed his father knew and hung out with the Seasons before their fame. There were lots of stories like that in NJ in those days, as so many of the people you heard on the radio were from the area. But as special as the Seasons were, as a musician myself, I always thought so much of the great sound of their records had to do with the unique musicianship behind their vocals and recording styles of their records which brought many instruments, particularly the drums, up hotter in their mixes than other records of that time, especially as they were a vocal group. I’ve never found out specifically who played on the Seasons recordings, though I imagine it was the NYC version of the Wrecking Crew, but the arrangements and recording sound has to be laid at the feet of Bob Crewe, who produced many hit records for various artists beside the Seasons, but, who, I always felt, never really got his due as a producer/arranger in the light of so many other more famous producers of that era. Crewe was also involved in co-writing many of the Seasons’ hits, so in that way his intimate involvement really made him one of the Seasons, as they never would have had the records that had without him.

    On another Seasons topic, I’ve seen Franke Valli a number of times over the recent decades. And while he’s had the best trained backup singers one could ask for, who helped create amazing shows, those guys just did not have THAT sound of the original guys who made up the Seasons behind Valli. I guess there’s something to be said for the voices of Italian guys who sang together from the time they were kids. Or maybe it was the water in NJ, as both Felix Cavaliere and Eddie Brigati had those golden tones too, just to name a couple more of the many other Jersey Boys who could sing so soulfully.

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