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Explorer
17-01-2018 18:44
Review of the rather splendid `Hornal` album is in the works too.

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Dave and Jeff's best of 2017 wrap-up's just around the corner too.. computer work

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There is a three-part article coming up for E.L.O (Eldorado, A New World Record and Out Of The Blue). Look out for it soon.

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Articles Hierarchy
Articles Home » 1984 Articles » Valli, Franke (And The Four Seasons) - 1985 Streetfighter
 
Valli, Franke (And The Four Seasons) - 1985 Streetfighter



ARTIST: Valli, Franke (And The Four Seasons)
ALBUM: Streetfighter
LABEL: MCA/Curb
SERIAL: MCA-5632
YEAR: 1985

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Frankie Valli - vocals * Dann Huff, Fred O Tackett, George Doering - guitars * Neil Stubenhaus, Paul M. Jackson Jr - bass * Vince Colaiuta, John Robinson - drums * Paulinho Da Costa - percussion * Bob Gaudio, Randy Kerber - keyboards * Andrew Gold, Gerald M. Polci, Jerry A. Corbetta, Ken M. Edwards, Larry G. Lingle, Matthew Wilder, Rex D. Robinson, Richard Page, Robert Caldwell, Steve George, Tom Kelly, Tommy Funderburk - backing vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Streetfighter * 02 Veronica * 03 Moonlight Memories * 04 Book Of Love * 05 Did Someone Break Into Your Heart * 06 Commitment * 07 Once Inside A Woman's Heart * 08 What About Tomorrow

WEBLINKS: www.frankievallifourseasons.com


Background
Sometimes when you come across an album like this you almost have to ask yourself if it's real, such is the improbability. Then again seemingly everyone tried their hand at AOR during the 80's, so the Four Seasons were no exception. By this stage of their career the band was essentially Frankie Valli and a selection of hired guns (hence the bands moniker), although fellow original Four Seasons member Bob Gaudio was still in the fold, if not as prominent. As they did during the disco boom in the 70's, Valli and Gaudio attempted to keep up with the times, therefore adopting a slick melodic rock direction and enlisting some of the crack session artists of the time. With this mentality they really couldn't go wrong and the results are sometimes quite superb to say the least.


The Songs
The title track is a forgotten gem, heavily synthesized and in the high-tech arena, verging on the same ground as then current acts like Go West or Jefferson Starship. The melodic guitar work is a standout and Valli had a natural knack for this genre, reflecting on his early days as tear away in New Jersey. 'Veronica' veers towards the extremely lighter side of AOR, a harmless rocker with synthesizers all over the place. This one could almost be an outtake from Gregg Rolie's 1985 solo album. Ballad 'Moonlight Memories' has more in common with the bands vintage 60's material and would have been a hit in that era, but was probably out of date in 1985. Breaking back into contemporary sounds is 'Book Of Love' and its extremely overblown keyboard attack, which is pure pop fluff and could have been a hit for The Pointer Sisters. It's precisely in that region. The synth solo is such overkill that it's hard to dislike. The long-winded title of 'Did Someone Break into Your Heart Last Night' almost hurts to type out, but happily it's another subdued AOR cut, where the guitars are more prominent and Valli pours out his distinctive wail to good effect. 'Commitment' is almost hard rock, the temp increased a few notches and the vibe given the undercover lover treatment by Valli. There's some tasty sax work competing with the usual synths and guitars, making for a quality AOR track. A syrupy ballad is inevitable after this and it appears in the form of 'Once Inside a Woman's Heart.' Strings and syrupy melody lines are at the forefront and it's the type of song Valli excelled at, displaying his timeless vocals. They even segue into some doo-wop as if to reinforce exactly who this is. The short 32 minute album concludes on another confident AOR note, 'What About Tomorrow' co-written by Gaudio and clearly so, automatically handing it the feel of prime Four Seasons, simply updated with keyboard overdose.


In Summary
Expectedly the album went nowhere, the notion of an AOR Four Seasons not appealing to the general public. I think it's a well-crafted album however and contains several moments of inspired AOR, particularly the title track and 'Commitment'. When you look at it on the surface Valli was 51 at the time, so he was hardly a geriatric yet, making this a valid attempt at breaking new ground.


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Comments
#1 | gdazegod on June 13 2016 21:34:01
Frankie Valli (And The Four Seasons) - 1985 Streetfighter
YouTube Video:
#2 | dangerzone on June 15 2016 15:49:46
The title track is a classic and it's a shame it isn't more well known.
 
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