Life in the fast lane came to an abrupt halt for the Four Seasons in 1968
with the release of Genuine Imitation Life Gazette. Having strayed from their
heretofore surefire formula to produce what has been called the group's attempt at a
"relevant" or progressive album, the Four Seasons were faced with their first
monumental failure. It was around this time that Bob Crew ended his association with Valli
and company, Gaudio assuming the role of producer. Further difficulties loomed when the
strain of constant touring, compounded by litigation with Philips Records, pitted the
Seasons against one another. In 1970, Philips released Half and Half, featuring
the single "Patch of Blue," which rose only as high as Number 94.
For several years the group languished without a label, until they joined Mo-West, Motown's subsidiary on the West Coast. And with the exception of the 1972 Mo-West album Chameleon, the Four Seasons did not record together again until 1975. Valli, however, made a solo comeback in 1974 with the mellow number "My Eyes Adored You," a Number One hit that was eventually certified double platinum. Two more singles, 1975's "Swearin' to God" and "Our Day Will Come," solidified his return to the limelight.
In 1975 the Four Seasons united to record the Warner Bros. release "Who Loves You," co-written by Gaudio, which pushed them back into the Top Ten. The following year, they went all the way to Number One--for the first time in over a decade--with the infectious coming-of-age ditty "December 1963 (Oh What a Night)," also co-penned by Gaudio.
Valli continued to record with the Four Seasons until their breakup in
1977. He also concentrated on his solo act but did not score another significant success
until 1978. With the release of Grease, the soundtrack of the phenomenally
popular movie for which Valli sang the title track, some of his lost audience was
reclaimed and a whole new crowd of swooning teenagers won over. The film, which was set in
the 1950s and starred Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta, also provided Valli with a bit
of acting experience--in a cameo role playing himself. Many of the album's songs were
written by Bee Gee Barry Gibb, which undoubtedly helped the disc soar to its Number One
position during the height of the disco era, created in part by the Bee Gee's
record-selling soundtrack to Saturday Night Fever. Valli was at the zenith of his career
with a triple-platinum hit.
The following decade saw Valli and Guadio re-formed The Four Seasons in 1980 and formed FBI Records in 1984. They also recorded and occasionally toured with a new Four Seasons, by this time comprised of six members.
Many of the original group's best-known songs became standard fare for club and concert performances.
1992 found Valli working on a new solo album as well as promoting the Four
Seasons disc Hope and Glory.
Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons were recognized in 1990 for their impact on popular music with induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame alongside other classic acts such as The Who and the Four Tops. Considering his still-driving energy, it seemed likely that Valli's famous falsetto would delight listeners for another 30 years.