Random Song: December, 1963 (Oh, What A Night)

Hey, remember when this song randomly dominated the radio back in the day? Because I do. At some point in the early 90s, this song dominated the airwaves on Q103. I never really objected to the song, per se. At the time, I don't think I really picked up on the meaning of the song and I don't think I realized that it was a remix of a Four Seasons single that was originally released back in December of 1975.

Some fascinating tidbits about this song, courtesy of Wikipedia:

  • It's not Frankie Valli on lead vocals- it is, in fact, the drummer Gerry Polci, which I guess makes this the Four Seasons equivalent of 'Octopus's Garden' or 'Yellow Submarine' (Valli is singing the bridge sections and backing vocals and it's the bass player, Don Ciccone on the Falsetto.
  • Originally, this was set in 1933. "with the title 'December 5th, 1933' and celebrated the repeal of Prohibition, but the lyrics were changed at the urgings of Frankie Valli and lyricist Parker to reposition the song as a nostalgic remembrance of a young man's first affair with a woman, and, more specifically, Gaudio's courtship with his wife, Judy Parker."
  • It was remixed in 1988 by Dutch DJ and producer Ben Liebrand, who remixed it and re-released it as a single. In 1993, Curb Records who released the original version of the song picked it up and put it out to the US Market, and the rest is history.
Outside of this song and Frankie Valli's appearance in Grease, I have quite literally no other knowledge about The Four Seasons and their music. I have never seen Jersey Boys (which is apparently both a musical and a Clint Eastwood movie?) and I don't really have the desire to do so. I'm sure there's a certain demographic (Boomers, probably), that absolutely loves this music and it is to them what I guess either the early 90s electronica/dance/techno or maybe grunge would be to my generation- the formative music of their youth.

I do love that it's got a nice sheen on top of it, so people can listen to it and think "oh, that's nice." (Unlike say, Meatloaf and 'Paradise By The Dashboard Light' where the metaphor is, appropriately enough, like a baseball bat to the face.) There's also kind of a wink and nudge about it though that makes it pretty clear (at least to me) what happened. The dude met a pretty lady and lost his virginity. (Also, imagine the weirdness if this song happened a month earlier?)


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