Some great prompts from Jim Adams this weeK for the Song Lyric Sunday challenge. He has given us facial body parts – Chin, Ears, Eyes, Face, Mouth and Nose. I’m sure we will see many songs about eyes and faces, but ears and chin, I don’t know so much!
I have chosen Can’t Take My Eyes Off You by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. There is a great backstory to this song and if you have seen Jersey Boys, the musical, you will remember it. It was almost the song that never was.
In 1960, after a failed audition at a bowling establishment in Union Township, songwriter/pianist Robert Gaudio shook hands with lead singer Frankie Valli and formed the Four Seasons Partnership, and Gaudio, Valli, Tommy DeVito and Nick Massi became The Four Seasons. Gaudio wrote their first hit Sherry, 15 minutes before a rehearsal in 1962 and was responsible for a string of their subsequent hits. In an interview with Terry Gross of WBUR in 2014, Robert Gaudio was asked
“When Frankie Valli was solo you wrote a song for him that became a huge hit for you – “Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You.” Can you tell us the story behind the song?”
GAUDIO: I think he and I had talked about solo for ages. One reason – A. He would love to do a solo – B. He deserved to do a solo because of all the lead singers that I know in this business he’s one of the people that had the potential to rise above a career that he had that was pretty huge. “Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You” was the first major shot – not the first time he recorded as a solo artist – but the first major try at bringing Frankie to the forefront and even at that it sat in the can for over a year. When I mean the can we made the record and it went into the archives because the record company as it says in the show didn’t think it had the potential to be top 40 radio and at the time top 40 radio was in a transition period. It didn’t know if it was pop, if it was Andy Williams if it was, you know, the Rolling Stones and, you know, the Beatles. It didn’t know what was. So it was a void and “Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You” it sounds soft music now, but at the time when those drums came in and that chorus came in it was not an easy sell for soft stations and it was a hard sell for hard stations because it wasn’t hard enough. So, it was a chore getting that record played, but it also made Frankie’s dream come true and if you notice I can’t think of a record that was a Frankie Valli solo that he sang falsetto on and that was on purpose because we wanted to have a clear delineation between the two – sound wise and song wise.
GROSS: Oh, I know that never occurred to me.
GAUDIO: Well, there you go.
GROSS: There you go, yeah, OK.
According to Songfacts:
The song reeks of success, and just about everybody involved in it went on to a smash career. The song itself is almost an institution – it’s a contender for one of the top most-covered songs of all time. Cover versions include artists Andy Williams, Engelbert Humperdinck, Diana Ross & the Supremes, The Temptations, Julio Iglesias, Gloria Gaynor, Maureen McGovern, Manic Street Preachers, and Lauryn Hill (who got a Grammy nomination – Best Female Pop Vocal Performance – for her version).
You're just too good to be true I can't take my eyes off you You'd be like heaven to touch I wanna hold you so much At long last love has arrived And I thank God I'm alive You're just too good to be true Can't take my eyes off you
Pardon the way that I stare There's nothing else to compare The sight of you leaves me weak There are no words left to speak But if you feel like I feel Please let me know that is real You're just too good to be true I can't take my eyes off you
I love you baby And if it's quite all right I need you baby To warm the lonely nights I love you baby Trust in me when I say Oh pretty baby Don't bring me down I pray Oh pretty baby Now that I've found you stay And let me love you, baby Let me love you
You're just too good to be true I can't take my eyes off you You'd be like heaven to touch I wanna hold you so much At long last love has arrived And I thank God I'm alive You're just too good to be true Can't take my eyes off You
I love you baby And if it's quite all right I need you baby To warm the lonely nights I love you baby Trust in me when I say
Oh pretty baby Don't bring me down I pray Oh pretty baby Now that I've found you stay Oh pretty baby Trust in me when I say