Frankie Valli... Is the Word

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Frankie Valli...Is the Word
Studio album by
ReleasedAugust 1978 (August 1978)
LabelWarner Bros.
ProducerGibb-Galuten-Richardson (track 1), Bob Gaudio (other tracks)
Frankie Valli chronology
Lady Put the Light Out
Frankie Valli...Is the Word
Heaven Above Me

Frankie Valli...Is the Word is an album by Frankie Valli, released in 1978 on the Warner Bros. Records label.[1]

Background, composition, and recording[edit]

The Four Seasons, the band Valli had fronted since 1960, had broken up in 1977 to pursue other projects, and though Valli had released Lady Put the Light Out that year, he was left without a record label when Private Stock Records ceased operations in early 1978.[2] Shortly thereafter, while recovering from surgery to restore his hearing, he received an offer from RSO Records to participate in the movie adaptation of the Broadway musical Grease. He was given the choice of either the theme song or "Beauty School Dropout" and, believing that the theme would be the bigger hit (despite the fact that he would not be able to act or appear on-screen in the film, a longstanding wish of his), chose the theme song.[3][4] The single went to number one and was certified platinum.

Valli was unwilling to sign with RSO due to Robert Stigwood's control over his clients' careers (Valli and Bob Gaudio had a policy of retaining and licensing the rights to their music)[4] and instead approached Warner Bros. Records, which had released the two previous Four Seasons albums. This album was released as a follow-up of the success of this song, its title echoing the chorus of the hit, "Grease is the word". The "Grease" theme, which had been on the Grease soundtrack, was also included as the lead-off track on this album.[5]


In a retrospective review, William Ruhlmann of AllMusic recalled that the album's release "served to demonstrate that 'Grease' was more of a phenomenon related to the movie and the Bee Gees than to Valli himself."[5] In his November 1978 review for Stereo Review magazine, Peter Reilly remarked that:

Even though he's beginning to look a lot like the late Katina Paxinou (a shade less rugged, perhaps), the current Frankie Valli still sounds deadeningly like the early Frankie Valli. The film Grease breathed some new life into his career, but his latest album demonstrates that Frankie firmly intends to prolong his adolescence, Fifties style, into recording eternity. No matter what he sings here [...] he still comes on like that same old grossly unrequited teenage lover nervously baying outside the corner candy store. I'm sure that there are middle-aged matrons around who still get the hiccups when Frankie starts up, just as I'm sure also that he'll still be the rage among certain citizens of Sun Cities in the 1990s. But by that time I hope to be quite deaf.[6]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Grease" (Barry Gibb) – 3:27
  2. "Needing You" (Frankie Valli, Kevin Tighe, Lee Shapiro) – 3:24
  3. "Sometimes Love Songs Make Me Cry" (Bill LaBounty, Jay Senter, Milo Adamo) – 4:26
  4. "Without Your Love" (Kevin Tighe, Lenny Lee Goldsmith) – 4:10
  5. "Over Me" (Bob Gaudio, Judy Parker) – 3:32
  6. "Save Me, Save Me" (Albhy Galuten, Barry Gibb) – 3:26
  7. "You Can Do It" (Ben Weisman, Evie Sands, Richard Germinaro) – 3:27
  8. "A Tear Can Tell" (Bill LaBounty) – 3:55
  9. "You Better Go" (Fred Webb, Lenny Lee Goldsmith) – 3:42
  10. "No Love at All" (Frankie Valli, Kevin Tighe, Lee Shapiro) – 3:18


  1. ^ Marymont, Mark (9 July 2008). "Reissue report: Collection of solo classics makes it Valli's season to shine". The New Press. p. G2.
  2. ^ "Larry Uttal, Executive In Music, Dead at 71". obituary. Retrieved 2014-04-21. He folded Private Stock in 1978, moved to London and entered the film business.
  3. ^ Robins, Wayne (September 3, 2013). "Frankie Valli Q&A: Looking Back at 50 Years of The Four Seasons". Billboard. Retrieved October 12, 2019.
  4. ^ a b Willman, Chris (2023-08-27). "Frankie Valli on the Four Seasons' Legacy and Their Massive New 45-Disc Boxed Set: 'We Didn't Want to Try to Sound Like Anybody Else'". Variety. Retrieved 2023-08-27.
  5. ^ a b "Frankie Valli...Is the Word – Frankie Valli". AllMusic. Retrieved 9 June 2018.
  6. ^ "Stereo Review" (PDF). 1978-12-01. p. 122. Retrieved 2 April 2022.