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Frankie Valli

Our Day Will Come/Lady Put the Light Out

Format: CD   Release Date: 06/24/2008
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The mail-order reissue firm Collectors' Choice Music began its series of two-fer CDs of the solo LPs of Frankie Valli with Valli's first two albums, the singles compilation Frankie Valli: Solo (1967) and Timeless (1968). Logically, a two-fer combining Valli's third and fourth albums, Closeup and Our Day Will Come, both originally released in 1975, would have followed, then a disc containing his fifth and sixth LPs, Valli (1976) and Lady Put the Light Out (1977). (Inside You, an album of outtakes from Valli's early-'70s stint at Motown Records assembled and released in 1975 to take advantage of his commercial comeback that year, is not part of the series.) Instead, Collectors' Choice paired Closeup with Valli and, here, Our Day Will Come with Lady Put the Light Out. Why? The answer probably lies in marketing considerations. Closeup and Our Day Will Come were chart albums boasting hit singles ("My Eyes Adored You" and "Swearin' to God" for the former, the title song for the latter). Valli and Lady Put the Light Out were commercial failures. So, somebody must have decided it was more advantageous to pair each of the hit albums with a weak sister instead of putting the two flops together, even if that violated chronology. Fair enough. Actually, there is something that ties Our Day Will Come and Lady Put the Light Out together, and it is that they are both underrated collections that deserved to do better than they did. The bulk of Our Day Will Come (tracks one through nine) was recorded quickly to create a tie-in LP after the title song, Valli's revival of the 1963 Ruby the Romantics hit with a disco arrangement, took off for the Top 20 in the fall of 1975. Despite the rush, it's a solid collection of more disco numbers and jazz-pop ballads performed by high-quality New York session players and sympathetically sung. If he hadn't resurrected the Four Seasons at the same time and they hadn't hit immediately with "Who Loves You" and "December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night)," Valli might have mined further hits from Our Day Will Come, particularly his treatment of the perennially popular "Walk Away Reneé." Lady Put the Light Out probably also suffered commercially because Valli was in the midst of a "farewell" tour with the Four Seasons in 1977. A soft rock collection in the Barry Manilow mold, it actually might have given Valli another disco-styled comeback hit in "Native New Yorker," written by his longtime associates Sandy Linzer and Denny Randell, who had written hits for the Seasons in the '60s. Instead, somehow the song got away and became a hit for Odyssey instead. Nevertheless, Lady Put the Light Out remains a collection of good adult pop songs by such top-flight songwriters as Eric Carmen, Paul Anka, and the team of Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil. ~ William Ruhlmann, Rovi

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