August 24, 2012

Friday Flashback: The Four Seasons’ Rendition of ‘We Can Work It Out’ from the ‘All This & World War II’ Soundtrack

August 24th, 2012

“All This and World War II” is a 1976 musical documentary that juxtaposes Beatles songs, performed by a number of musicians, with World War II newsreel footage and 20th Century Fox films from the 1940s. It lasted two weeks in cinemas and was quickly sent into storage.

The original intention of the filmmakers was to use actual Beatles music in the film. The decision to use other artists covering Beatles music was made by the film’s producers after they realized additional money could be made through a soundtrack album. The decision was a sound one, as the soundtrack actually generated more revenue than the film.

Along with The Four Seasons’ rendition of “We Can Work It Out,” Frankie Valli recorded the solo track, “A Day In the Life.” Other artists on the soundtrack included The Bee Gees, Tina Turner, Peter Gabriel, Rod Stewart, and several others.

What do you guys think of this rendition with leads shared by Frankie Valli and then-Seasons members Don Ciccone and Gerry Polci?


  1. This must be the single mix of the song. It is quite enhanced from the recording on the Rarities Volume. There are a few added recording tracks and hooks added. The vocals are much more pronounced. If you have the old LP versions of “Who Loves You” and “Helicon”, you are already used to Frankie Valli, Gerry Polci, and Don Ciccone switching off on lead vocals.

    I recall that this was a modest hit in the UK. It is fascinating to look at the FV4S songs that were hits in the UK. Along with a lot of obscure R & B tracks from the US, FV4S also has some presence in the Northern Soul phenomenon in the UK.

    Comment by Ted Hammond — August 24, 2012 @ 9:57 pm

  2. Clever throwing in the riff from the Beatles’ “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)” from Abbey Road a couple of times there.

    Comment by stubbleyou — August 25, 2012 @ 9:11 am

  3. Clever indeed. Stubbs, you listened to that aircheck I sent you of Stevie Wonder singing along and playing harmonica to “Don’t Think Twice” by The Wonder Who. Since then, I had to “Wonder” whether Stevie had the Dylan/Bacharach/David 4 Seasons album. The next year, he released “Blowing In The Wind” and the piano arrangement reminded me a lot of the Four Seasons piano arrangement on “Queen Jane Approximately”.

    All this goes full circle when you think about Stevie Wonder doing the great cover of “We Can Work It Out”, but that was five years before the Seasons’ version.

    Comment by Ted Hammond — August 25, 2012 @ 12:41 pm

  4. Ted, never knew about that Stevie Wonder connection. Interesting.

    I thought it was also very clever that they “borrowed”
    some piano cords from Vince Gualardi(?)1963 hit “Cast Your Fate To The Wind” for their version of “Blowing In The Wind”.

    My bet is that it was a Calello idea.

    Comment by Ray — August 27, 2012 @ 10:15 am

  5. Clever indeed as well, Ray. Everyone knows it’s Charlie?

    Comment by stubbleyou — August 29, 2012 @ 2:15 am

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