You probably remember Frankie Valli with the Four Seasons, the supergroup known for bankable soft rock hits like “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Walk Like a Man,” and “Oh, What A Night.” But Valli’s solo work is a different story entirely. From R&B covers to movie soundtracks, there was no genre of music Valli didn’t conquer, and that’s why we’re here today. What are the ten best Frankie Valli songs of all time?
10. Let’s Hang On (from the Album “Big Candy Girl” – 2015)
The Four Seasons started the music business with this song, the first rock and roll hit to feature a string section. It was their last hit ever to feature their bass singer and bassist, Nick Massi. Charles Calello would temporarily replace him as the band’s arranger before Joe Long took over from him on the bass.
9. Grease (from the Soundtrack “Grease” – 1978)
Featuring more of Frankie Valli’s cool baritone crooning, this song is a classic example of making the soundtrack to “Grease” so great. Frankie singing right alongside John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John makes for one of the best ‘feel-good’ beach songs ever recorded.
8. The Night (from the Album “Chameleon”– 1972)
In what is arguably his best solo album, Valli sings to a string section about the dark side of love. It’s a little more somber than other songs on this list, but it gives us a taste of the range that Frankie could capture whether he was singing with a full band or just by himself. He sings, “But the night begins to turn your head around, And you know you’re gonna lose more than you found,” and you can’t help but feel the weight of those words. Frankie Valli was a master of creating emotions with his music, and this song is the best example of that.
7. Who Loves You (from the album “Who Loves You” – 1975)
Following in the footsteps of Elvis’ “Can’t Help Falling In Love,” this song finds Valli telling a girl he loves her without saying it outright. The song was written by Bob Gaudio and Judy Parker and featured Frankie’s signature falsetto outro, echoing the disco sound of the ’70s, and remains a fan favorite even today. It’s remembered as the first album that the group released without including Frankie’s name on the album cover. So instead of Frankie Valli And The Four Seasons, they were now just The Four Seasons.
6. Working My Way Back to You (from the Live Album “Working My Way Back to You” – 1966)
Originally released in 1965, this song was re-recorded for its live album (“Working My Way Back to You”). The title itself is one of the best examples of how Frankie Valli could write a love song with just a few words. It’s also worth mentioning that a few Four Seasons songs did not feature a lead guitar. However, it did include Gary Chester on drums and Artie Ripp (the owner of their label) on piano. That’s probably the only time you’ll ever see “record label owner” next to “piano player” in the same sentence.
5. Dawn (Go Away) (the album “Dawn (Go Away)”– 1963)
In 1964, the Four Seasons would go head to head with the Beatles on the Billboard 100 chart, competing for the number one spot with this song. Were it not for the Beatles “I Want to Hold Your Hands” and “She Loves You,” this song would have made it to number #1. However, Frankies’ song managed to find the top ten on the Billboard 100 for an impressive five weeks. It features a few quirky touches, like sound effects to simulate the song’s intro and outro. However, its mellow sound made it one of their most popular songs at the time.
4. Walk Like a Man (from the Album “2nd Vault of Golden Hits” – 1966)
The song commences with a guitar riff right off the bat before Frankie even opens his mouth. And boy, does this song make for one of the best introductions to an album in music history! It’s one of the most popular Four Seasons songs, recognized for helping cement them as one of the best bands ever. Written by Bob Crewe and Bob Gaudio, the song would become their third single to make it to number one on the Billboard 100 charts. And if you listen closely, you can hear Frankie Valli’s falsetto at work in this song.
3. Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You (from the album “Solo” – 1967)
It’s hard not to include a ballad on any list that features Frankie Valli. It’s not that his ballads are particularly better than the happy love songs he was singing, but it’s more to do with how well he could sing a song like this. In fact, if you were to close your eyes and listen to Frankie Valli sing anything from “Dawn (Go Away)” to “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You,” you would have a hard time telling them apart. What’s most impressive is that he had been singing the same type of songs since 1963 and still found something new and exciting to add to it.
2. Rag Doll (from the album “Rag Doll and Other Hits of the 60’s” – 1966)
When you think of this song, what comes to mind? Is it the piano line Bob Gaudio used for the intro, or Frankie Valli singing to his boo-boo under a tree? Or is it the line “I’m feelin’ like a bad boy Hmm, just like a bad boy”? It’s too bad Frankie Valli never wrote a sequel to this. He would have made a fortune had he done so.
1. Sherry (from the Album “Sherry & 11 Others” – 1962)
“Sherry” was the first number one hit for Frankie Valli and the 4 Seasons. Bob Gaudio recorded the song in 1962, but it wouldn’t be released until 1963, and immediately climbed to number one on Billboard 100, staying there for six weeks. It remains one of the most popular songs by the Four Seasons and their singer, Frankie Valli. Unlike many of the smash hits that would follow, this was recorded with minimal instrumentation. It actually sounds like Frankie Valli is singing to you through a megaphone!