The Top 10 Frankie Valli Songs of All Time

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

Born Francesco Stephen Castelluccio on May 3, 1934, Frankie Valli rose up from his more common origins to become a legendary artist and the frontman of the acclaimed singing group the Four Seasons, which began its career in 1960.

Blessed with a powerful falsetto voice, Valli earned a whopping 29 Top 40 hits with the group. He also boasted one Top 40 hit with the group’s alternative name, The Wonder Who? and nine more as a solo artist. Here, we will dive into what we consider to be the Top 10 of all these top 40 hits.

So, get ready to swoon while listening to the best of this now-88-year-old, Newark, New Jersey-born artist’s work.

1. “Sherry”

This 1962 number is a jungle of harmonies intertwined with percussive smacks and strikes. If the Beach Boys are the California harmony standard-bearers, then the Four Seasons are the Jersey equivalent, evidenced by this song here.

2. “Big Girls Don’t Cry”

Another smash hit from 1962, this song hit No. 1 that year and followed the smash, “Sherry.” Today, the song has been featured in a myriad of films, television shows, and even commercials. With an other-worldly voice that reaches as far as the rafters of the Sistine Chapel, Valli wows.

3. “Walk Like a Man”

In the following year, 1963, this song dropped and has stayed beloved ever since, another that’s appeared in countless shows and films. Written by Bob Crewe and Bob Gaudio (keyboardist for the band), the Four Seasons put their signature rollick and harmony to this number. From Valli’s falsetto to Nick Massi’s bassy voice, this song is timeless.

4. “Rag Doll”

Another penned by Crewe and Gaudio, this 1964 track is a bit smoother and mellower. It’s less rollicking and more pensive. The song is about poverty, those living without. Such a pretty face should be dressed in the best! sings Valli.

5. “December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night)”

You’ve heard it hundreds of times, most likely. This song was released in 1975 by the band. Written by Gaudio and his future wife Judy Parker, this song is likely the most famous of the Four Seasons’ hits. The song of celebration, the sounds of laughter, heels clacking, and music rolling through skyscrapers.

6. “My Eyes Adored You”

Sometimes, no matter how big a star you are, perseverance is still necessary for your vision to find the world. Such was the case for the 1974 solo hit from Valli. Written by Crewe and Kenny Nolan, the song was initially recorded by the Four Seasons but Motown didn’t release it and the rights were sold to Valli for just $4,000. Other labels rejected it before Valli found Private Stock Records, the owner of which wanted Valli to release it as a solo single. Nevertheless, in 1975 the song topped Billboard.

7. “Grease”

The disco song was written by Barry Gibb and recorded by Valli for the 1978 movie of the same name. It honors the greaser lifestyle, from a leather jacket to a back pocket comb. The song both opens and closes the movie and sold over seven million copies worldwide.

8. “Who Loves You”

From the 1975 album of the same name, this song has the pulse of a toe-tapper and the glossy singing of a harmony-rich ballad. It bridges genres and offers a propulsive urgency that the earlier songs of the Four Seasons didn’t work with. It shows evolution, and adaption with the times.

9. “Beggin'”

This 1967 song displays the power of the Four Seasons. It’s dramatic and mature, but it’s as sticky as a fresh piece of bubble gum. It’s got depth and grip. Put your lovin’ hand out, baby! The song also enjoyed a skillful and popular cover by the current rock band Måneskin.

10. “The Night”

The Four Seasons 1972 hit, this song could be released today and it would have the same success. The idea begs the question: why don’t more songs these days sound like this? In a way, it’s perfect.

Photo by Paul Natkin/Getty Images

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