Sunday, April 04, 2021

Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons: The Night

I was on the way home after settling my Mum down for the night when I called in at a garage whose shop was still open.

A song was playing on the radio. I recognised it and knew that it was by the Four Seasons, but didn't know its name.

It turns out that The Night made number 7 in the UK singles chart in 1975 - I don't suppose I have heard it since.

The song has an interesting history. The Four Seasons (Valli was the lead singer but did not originally feature in the billing) were huge in the early 1960s and enjoyed success through most of that decade.

By 1969 they were in decline and, seeking a revival, they signed to Motown. But it did not work out.

Valli attributed this to Motown's poor promotion of their records. Listening to this wonderfully dramatic song, he has a point. The Night was not even appear as a single in the US.

Originally released in the UK in 1972, The Night became a Northern Soul classic. Not having been a chart hit is central to that status.

In 1974 Northern Soul became fashionable beyond Wigan and began to influence the singles charts. It may be that the success of The Night is down to that.

Anyway, in the mid-1970s Valli and a recast Four Seasons began to enjoy chart success again and he was even asked to record the theme song for the film of Grease.

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