Can this man salvage the ‘lost’ Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons tracks from the Motown Universal vaults? Or will an intransigent Four Seasons Partnership continue to deprive fans of these gems? Are they right to do so and maintain these are not ‘fit for purpose’….or release?. As the tracks emerge we can debate the relevant positions.
Hymn To Her, caused quite a reaction amongst fans and thanks for your comments. Firstly, it is clear to me these are recorded from demos.....but I have had so many discussions with Jean Thomas (former ‘Rag Doll’)on the relative qualities of 'demos' (and she did thousands) that I believe the term is misleading in suggesting they are inferior or incomplete. We have information that shows these tracks are stored as 16 track multi-tracks and as 2 track stereo mix-downs which indicates to us that a degree of completeness was achieved.
We will continue to encourage Motown Universal to ‘rescue’ the Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons lost tracks and alternative versions like this original version of ‘Hickory’ which Bob Crew enthusiast ‘TheCrewezer’ has uploaded to You Tube. This version has an extra verse and falsetto bridge. It also contained a horns fault but we understand that was easily corrected. However Lee Shapiro tells us that this is recorded in the wrong key…so maybe the Four Seasons Partnership were right in saying….” tracks were not even in the proper key and they were never intended for commercial release”
Maybe the mastering engineers at Motown couldn’t fix this version adequately for inclusion on the ‘Motown Years’ 2 CD set whereas the alternative version of ‘Charisma’ did make it. It is not surprising that after a few listens I got to prefer this longer version.
You can judge for yourselves if this is a version you would like in your collection. And would the rest of the unreleased cassette tape finds be worthy ‘acquisitions’ if released ‘officially’ on CD by Motown Universal or one of their ‘licencees’.? We will see what else can be ‘salvaged’ from tape. Whether these can also be salvaged from the Motown vault we can’t say but Charles Calello is supportive of a CD issue as he told us….”I think what you are doing, assembling the past, is a really good idea because eventually, when they all die, the old tracks will be released or if not destroyed”
Better now if someone can manage it!!
The second Part of our ‘Seasons’ Wiki-leaks’ articles (here) covers the problems of the Motown vaults, the record keeping and the state of the masters. We await news if other tracks have been salvaged from cassette and will be back soon with more information of what might be found based on the ‘Motown unreleased lists’.