March 30, 2007

The Four Seasons’ “Raven”

March 30th, 2007

It’s amazing what you’ll find on Listen to “Raven,” which was a B-Side on the Four Seasons’ top 30 hit “Watch the Flowers Grow” in 1967.


  1. I put “Raven” on my iPod from “Rarities” and it has ended up #3 of ALL my songs in total number of plays. I really like the repeated chorus. It really grew on me recently after having the “Rarities” CD for many years. One improvement in the lyrics I would have made would have been changing “Reach for the sky Raven RUN” to “Reach for the sky Raven FLY”. RUN just seems to jolt me whereas FLY seems to fit better. But I’m sure the two Bobs had their reasons for the RUN lyric. But then again I would have changed “Dody” to “Jodi”.

    I also want to correct some misconceptions about the song “Can’t Get Enough of You, Baby”, written by “Dawn” cowriter Sandy Linzer and Denny Randell. Question Mark and the Mysterians released the song as a SINGLE a year or so AFTER the Four Seasons “Working My Way Back To You” LP with the song debuted. Boz Scaggs gets credit for “We’re All Alone”, not Frankie Valli, the first to release it as a single, so shouldn’t the Four Seasons get credit for the orignal of “Can’t Get Enough Of You, Baby”? Of course the two songs were made more famous by Smash Mouth and Rita Coolidge respectively, but that’s beside the point.

    Comment by Ted Hammond — April 1, 2007 @ 7:53 pm

  2. Ted

    Thanks for the input on “Can’t Get Enough of You Baby”(CGEOYB)and its first cover by Question Mark and the Mysterians. Didn’t know that.

    Actually I found the Smash Mouth version of CGEOYB by accident. I was listening to “Imus In The Morning” and one of his guys, I guess it would be Rob Bartlett, was doing a song parody during Bill Clinton’s Monica Lewinsky days and the name of the song parody was “I Had Enough of Lewinsky” done to the “Can’t Get Enough of You Baby” melody. It took me about 10 seconds to pick up on the melody and I said to myself how in the world would anyone know that melody from a 4 Seasons album cut. I mentioned it at dinner that night and my daughter Michelle told me about the Smash Mouth version and played it for me. When I played her the 4 Seasons version…let’s just say we were both quite surprised as to contrast of both versions. Smash Mouth’s version later became part of a Buick commercial.

    Comment by David Cace — April 2, 2007 @ 7:47 am

  3. Continuing on the “Can’t Get Enough Of You Baby” tangent, the later covers by both Colour Field (UK group track available on an 80s Rhino Collection) and Smash Mouth copied the Question Mark garage band arrangement with the Organ rather than the rich and much more musical arrangement with Piano, Saxophone, and Horns that the Four Seasons’ version had.

    In the last few months, the Question Mark and the Mysterians version has been reported as the original version of CGEOYB in stories of the tragic fire at Question Mark’s house in Michigan, in which he lost much memorabilia and four prized Yorkshire Terriers.

    Now, back to “Raven”.

    Comment by Ted Hammond — April 2, 2007 @ 9:05 am

  4. David, the Smash Mouth version of CGEOYB is now featured in a Pizza Hut commercial.

    Comment by Ted Hammond — April 27, 2007 @ 12:00 am

  5. Oh, one more thing, on CGEOYB, Smash Mouth apparently misheard the original lyrics:

    When you have to go,
    I hate it so,

    The above lyrics were present in the Four Seasons’ album track and Question Mark’s single version. Question Mark’s lyrics sounded somewhat slurred, and Smash Mouth’s apparently misheard lyrics became:

    When you have to go,
    I hated the thought,

    Comment by Ted Hammond — April 27, 2007 @ 12:12 am

  6. Thanks Ted, I will be on the lookout for the Pizza Hut commercial.

    In order to put your comment into perpsective I had to reread all the prior comments. I need others to chime in here to correct me if I am wrong but along the lines of songs first recorded by Frankie Valli but given credit to others as the original would be, I believe, “Native New Yorker” and “Lady Put The Light Out” the hit single versions for which are credited to Odessey (sp?) and Tom Jones, respectively. Frankie still does “Native New York” in his shows. (This list does not include “Silence is Golden” or “The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine (Anymore)”)

    Comment by David Cace — April 27, 2007 @ 12:14 pm

  7. I guess valid covers should include any covers of first uncharted singles, B sides, album cuts and Billboard “Bubbling Under The Hot 100″ singles too. “The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore” hit #128 Bubbling Under. Clearly the most successful remake of a Four Seasons song is the Spinners “Working My Way Back To You” though it had the short non Four Seasons medley part “Forgive Me Girl” added. That hit #2 Billboard Hot 100. If we included other countries, we would include “Bye Bye Baby (Baby Goodbye), by the Bay City Rollers. There are others, but I’ve gotten a little off topic.

    Comment by Ted Hammond — April 27, 2007 @ 2:11 pm

  8. One other song that comes to mind is Frankie Valli’s solo single “The Proud One,” which charted in the upper-reaches of the Hot 100 (#68)in 1966 and was later covered by the Osmonds in 1975 and peaked at number 22.

    Comment by Len Gersten — April 28, 2007 @ 1:59 am

  9. The Movie “Love Actually” has a line that states that the Four Seasons were the original artists to do “Silence Is Golden”.

    “The Proud One” by the Osmonds hit #1 Billboard Adult Contemporary also in 1975.

    About a year later, Donnie Osmonds’s Seasons remake “C’mon Marianne” hit #38 Hot 100/#25 AC. “C’mon Marianne” was written by Larry Russell Brown and Raymond Bloodworth. They wrote several songs recorded by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. Brown and Bloodworth were discovered by FV4S producer Bob Crewe, who also wrote their 1966 #102 “Bubbler” called “She Ain’t Lovin’ You (No More)”, recorded as by “The Distant Cousins.”

    Comment by Ted Hammond — April 28, 2007 @ 1:07 pm

  10. Ted: That line in “Love Actually”….wasn’t it a comment that the 4 Seasons were the first to do Bye Bye Baby, after the version by The Bay City Rollers was played? Maybe my memory is going…”too many memories”!

    Comment by John Hornsby — April 28, 2007 @ 6:10 pm

  11. I just looked it up in IMDB for the Soundtrack of “Love Actually”. The Bay City Rollers are played in the movie doing “Bye Bye Baby (Baby Goodbye)”, but were omitted from the Soundtrack CD. IMDB misspells Bob Crewe’s name as “Crew” in the songwriter credits. They managed to get “Gaudio” right. If you do a search on [Love Actually Soundtrack "Silence Is Golden"], it will turn up some links with the actual movie quote.

    I think the Tremeloes sang the “Silence Is Golden” one half step higher than the Four Seasons, whereas I think that the Four Seasons are in a key one half step higher than Smash Mouth on “Can’t Get Enough Of You Baby”. Theres’ some trivia I can’t even find on the web!

    Comment by Ted Hammond — April 28, 2007 @ 8:59 pm

  12. I did a little more research about the timing of the earliest charted track versions of “Can’t Get Enough Of You Baby”.

    Several Wikipedia articles claim the Toys’ version was from late 1965, when “A Lover’s Concerto” came out on DynoVoice 209. Tim Neely’s Goldmine Publication shows CGEOYB on DynoVoice 219 as an uncharted Toys single released in 1966. Joel Witburn’s “Top Pop Singles” shows a Toys release on DynoVoice 218 as charting in April, 1966.

    Charlie Calello was almost certainly the arranger for both the Four Seasons’ and Toys’ versions of CGEOYB, in association with the writers and producers of The Toys and the song, Denny Randell and Sandy Linzer. I gave a listen to a YouTube “video” online of CGEOYB by The Toys. The Toys arrangement is quite simple compared to The Four Seasons arrangement. But as we have seen, “The Entire Four Seasons Organization” works very quickly. Regardless of which arrangement was first, Charlie Calello could have probably made the arrangement more or less elaborate in short order, in days or even hours.

    I think only an insider could tell us who went into the studio first, both probably in late 1965. In any event, THE FOUR SEASONS charted on 1/29/66 on the ALBUM charts with the “Working My Way Back To You”, LP. THE TOYS LP, “The Toys Sing A Lover’s Concerto and Attack”, charted a week later on the ALBUM charts on 2/5/66. So in any event, THE FOUR SEASONS had the first CHARTED track of CGEOYB, and both tracks charted well over a year before Question Mark’s version, and decades before Colour Field and Smash Mouth.

    Comment by Ted Hammond — February 25, 2009 @ 11:56 am

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