Thanks for all the great comments in support of our campaign to get the Motown Unreleased researched, finished and released.
But do the fans have any entitlement to ask for these. The Four Seasons Partnership might answer…NO!! It is our work and we don’t believe it is good enough ! And our blog posts showed not everyone likes the Four Seasons….and why should they.?
As "ian pryke" commented on the Motown Treasures e-group…..
"Why all the fuss over The Four Seasons? They had some hits in the 60's, Let's face it, they weren't the Four Tops or The Tempts. They had an extremely annoying falsetto lead in Valli. At no stage did he even come close to Eddie Kendricks.[I mean, has anyone actually played a ‘best of’ by them all the way thru in one sitting?] Their connection with The Mafia is not unique in the music industry of the time. The stage show Jersey Boys has been a success everywhere. Saw it, ....Ho-Hum, So again, why all the fuss?”
Maybe this is an extreme view but it was one I had to respond too…..
“If you can't appreciate the Four Seasons then you don't get the 60s. Motown may be your bag and you are entitled to stay just there but try to broaden the musical horizon. Many Motown acts were second rate and I would never put them down or put the Four Seasons ahead of the Temptations or the Tops as Top US groups. They were ‘not so smart’, aged singers (apart from Bob Gaudio) and owed so much to Bob Crewe and Charlie Calello. But they created some pop classics. The reason for my/our interest in the Motown Unreleased is that we have been lied to( by MU and The Partnership) and deprived of great music they recorded at Motown.. We have a right to feel aggrieved. I suppose next you'll be saying that the 'Chameleon' album is a 'c#@p' album and 'The Night' is over-rated ....Oh well, to each their own!!”
And Eric Charge was quick to jump to the defense of the Four Seasons sound…” I remember taking my copy of EDIZIONE D'ORO to school and having the other kids being blown away by two albums' worth of fantastic pop hits. I suppose the Seasons spoilt me because not a living soul could make records that classy in Britain (with the possible exception of Dusty).” But then EDIZIONE D'ORO is a whole new subject we will return to later this year.
And another reason to ask for these Motown recordings is that they represent covers or perhaps the originals of some very good and well loved songs and we still haven’t heard the Four Seasons interpretation of these songs. Just sample these and think how the group may have performed them..
A You Tube check on our list was quite revealing.......
Multi-track tape P2389 contains a recording of ‘Star’ from 1973 . Could it be the same song that ‘Stealers Wheel' took into the charts in 1974 and how would the Seasons have interpreted it?
Then there is the Bob Crewe produced version of 'I Won’t Last A Day Without You' which some think may have The Four Seasons on backing vocals. Perhaps but 2 Track reel T3912 suggests that perhaps Valli and Darin used the same backing track.
Then there is ‘Wigs and Lashes’(Reel P2113) which the Miracles performed on their 1973 ‘’Renaisance’ album which is re-mixed below
Looking further.......you notice Multi-track Reel P2203 and ‘Torn Between Two Lovers’. Wikipedia tells us of this song…"Torn Between Two Lovers" is the title of a pop song written by Peter Yarrow (of the folk music trio Peter, Paul & Mary) and Phillip Jarrell. It was inspired by Boris Pasternak's 1957 novel, Dr. Zhivago, which featured a man in love with two women. Yarrow originally intended the song to be sung by a man. It was recorded by St. Paul, Minnesota-born singer Mary MacGregor in 1976, and was a number-one single on the U.S. pop chart in February 1977 and the easy listening chart in the final week of 1976 and first week of 1977. The song inspired the title of a television movie aired in 1979, starring Lee Remick, George Peppard, and Joseph Bologna, in which the song is played. “ Perhaps Frankie Valli’s version is the definitive ‘male’ orientated vocal.even if the lyric doesn't appeal to everyone.
And finally....... the well known song from 1954 that dozens of artists have covered ‘That’s All I Want From You’ was released in 1968 with a ‘harmony/Seasons style sound’ Perhaps the version on reel P2111 features a similar treatment.?