When you attend Jersey Boys at the Center, music fans of all stripes will recognize most (if not all) of the massive Four Seasons hits sung throughout the show. But there’s more to the band than meets the ear. The Four Seasons were highly influential and still resonate with musicians today.
We asked Dallas music legend and KXT 91.7 DJ Paul Slavens to unpack the hidden gems, audacious covers and even trippy tunes of the Four Seasons in one beautiful playlist. Check the playlist over at Spotify and make sure to catch Paul’s insightful and always delightful commentary while you’re listening.
1962 was the year I was born and the year that Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons had their first hit single. I have been hearing this song all my life and its still the quintessential Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons song.
Big Girls Don’t Cry
If you really want to get that classic Frankie falsetto this is the perfect manifestation. A huge hit too and one I heard a million times growing up.
Dawn (Go Away)
I have a thing for songs with women’s names. As I was perfusing the catalog of Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons songs I saw this one and didn’t recognize it by the title. Once I got into the meat of the song it all came back to me.
I remember hearing this song as a kid and thinking how odd the chorus seemed to me. Listening to all these old songs again I find myself being impressed with the novel nature of all the Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons music. Odd, catchy, unlikely and always engaging.
Let’s Hang On!
This is just a fun song, and of course another smash hit. Really like the arrangement of the accompaniment on this track.
Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright
Going through the songs I was reminded of just how many cover songs Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons did. Of course doing other peoples songs was pretty common then, but they they covered a lot of territory. Check out this almost hilarious version of a Dylan classic.
Opus 17 (Don’t You Worry ‘bout Me)
You like modulations? We all like modulations. You love modulations. You are gonna love this song.
I’ve Got You Under My Skin
Another lovely cover, this time of the standard by Cole Porter. Always imaginative in the way they interpret great songs, Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons prove they can handle the greats and make them their own.
Who Loves You
This one just transports me back to my bedroom at home as a kid. More of a feeling than a memory. I wonder how many times I sang along with this one.
December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night)
The common thread throughout all the catalog of Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons is songwriting. Complex compositionally, simple but heartfelt lyrically. This song seems a long ways away from the band that was recording in Dec. 1963, but you can still hear traces of the old sound, and the solid songwriting is still right there.
Silence Is Golden
Another classic Frankie Falsetto song. You just gotta hear this one from time to time, especially in the age of Facebook.
The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine (Anymore)
I am a definite fan of Scott Walker, but this is the original, beautiful and perhaps more restrained than the Walker Brothers version which was actually a bigger hit.
Can’t Take My Eyes Off You
Well, there you have it. I could have sworn this was a Bacharach/David song, it’s THAT good. But nope it was written by the amazing team of Bob Crewe and Bob Gaudio, both longtime members of the Four Seasons and the ones responsible for most of their songs.
I remember hearing the Jackson Browne version a million times. But even though I was a clueless kid I could tell it was a redo of an old song. Yep, it was Frankie and the Boys, making hits out of other peoples songs and having their songs be big hits for others.
Come on now, you gotta have some deep cuts on any list. Check out this kind of surreal paen to the great state of Idaho. Maybe Sufjan Stevens could have a hit with it.
Around And Around (Andaroundandaround)
Ok another deep cut. I like this one because I can hear the influence that the British Invasion had on The Four Seasons.
Genuine Imitation Life
This is the Four Seasons at their trippiest. Yep. They definitely got trippy. Just another tribute to the longevity, inventiveness and inquisitive explorative nature of this hugely successful musical collaboration.
Listen to the music over at Spotify and get your tickets to Jersey Boys at the Winspear Opera House now through December 27.