As remarkable as this disc is, it isn't the definitive 'anthology' Rhino cracks it up to be. Yes, among the 26 tracks included are 23 Top-40 selections (16 are from the Top-10), as well as the Four Season's under the alias of 'The Wonder Who' performing Bob Dylan's 'Don't Think Twice' (in a way that is both flippant and entirely engaging at the same time), Frankie Valli's number two hit from 1967 'Can't Take My Eyes Off You', and the original version of 'Silence Is Golden' from 1964, which The Tremeloes turned into a number 11 hit in 1967. Despite all that, 6 Top-40 singles from the band produced between 1962 and 1976 are omitted.
While most people credit Frankie Valli for the success of the band, it is arguable that the famed falsetto voice of Valli would not be nearly as familiar to us had it not been for the remarkable songwriting contributions of bandmember Bob Guadio and producer Bob Crewe, whose names are associated with 17 of the hit tracks on this disc, including trademark songs such as 'Sherry', 'Big Girls Don't Cry', 'Walk Like a Man', 'Dawn', 'Rag Doll', 'Let's Hang On', all the way through the bands later hits such as 'Who Loves You' from 1975, and including Valli's solo hit 'Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You'. Obviously their influence is monumental, and recognizing their contributions signifies that The Four Seasons were far from being a one-man band. They hit their peak in 1964, charting 6 Top-40 songs, including two number one hits and 4 Top-10 singles.
The quality of these compositions, and the unquestioned talent that recorded them have rendered these 'golden oldies' timeless. Despite the rise of The Beatles, The Four Seasons hardly missed a beat in creating hit after hit in the same mold as 'Sherry', which introduced the band to the world in the summer of 1962. While their star faded for the most part by 1968, the band did score a number one hit in 1976 with 'December 1963', following up on 'Who Loves You' which had climbed the charts to number three in the previous year.
Unlike many bands of this stature, the seminal work of The Four Seasons can be collected on a single disc. Not many of the omissions from this Rhino collection would be considered essential, except for their 1963 cover of 'Ain't That a Shame', and perhaps their 1962 rendition of 'Santa Claus Is Coming To Town'. Certainly their body of work is essential to any collection of 1960's popular music, and Rhino's chronological presentation gives us a comprehensive and historic review of their achievements.