Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons: Frankie Valli, Bob Gaudio, Nick Massi, Tommy DeVito (vocals).
Compilation producers: Richard Foos, Gary Stewart.
Includes liner notes by Gene Sculatti.
The Four Seasons were never in a class with Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers or Little Anthony & the Imperials, and Franki Valli's voice tended to sound shrill. But despite their imperfections, Valli and friends came up with their share of fun, enjoyable teen pop in the early '60s. In fact, it's hard to imagine the early '60s without teen pop favorites like "Candy Girl" and "Big Girls Don't Cry." Spanning 1962-1965, Greatest Hits, Vol. 1 boasts many of the Newark, NJ, group's definitive early hits, including "Stay," "Walk Like a Man," "Sherry," "Big Girls Don't Cry." and "Candy Girl." One hears the group maturing somewhat on 1965's classic, Beach Boys-influenced "Bye, Bye, Baby," which became a major hit for the Bay City Rollers in 1975. Obviously, Greatest Hits, Vol. 1 isn't meant to be an in-depth study of Valli and the Four Seasons, but for the casual listener, this CD and its companion, Vol. 2, are easily recommended. ~ Alex Henderson