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Heaven Above Me (1980)

by Frankie Valli

About this title: In 1980, when Frankie Valli released his eighth solo album, Heaven Above Me, the goal he and his longtime creative brain trust of songwriter/producers Bob Crewe and Bob Gaudio were pursuing was the same one they had pursued five, ten, even 20 years before, whether on behalf of their group, the Four Seasons, or Valli solo: hit records. Valli, Crewe, and Gaudio would not claim to be musical innovators; on the contrary, their modus operandi always was to examine pop music trends closely and then apply them to Valli's nasal tenor. So, it would be surprising only to die-hard '60s fans of the Four Seasons that Heaven Above Me sounded like a lot of other pop music of the late '70s and early '80s. Specifically, Valli, Crewe, and Gaudio wanted to address two markets. They had their eye on the adult contemporary audience, for which they produced warm ballads such as the leadoff track, "Where Did We Go Wrong," which actually ascended the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart as high as number four. And, recalling their success in the disco field in the '70s with tracks like "Swearin' to God," they wanted to reestablish Valli as a dance-pop artist. To that end, they listened to Chic and Donna Summer and lots of other contemporary dance music, and their findings were presented in such tracks as "Let It Be Whatever It Is" and the ten-minute "Soul/Heaven Above Me," which enabled the album to spend nearly six months on the Disco/Dance chart, peaking at number 11. Curiously, the album never entered the pop chart, however, which may be some indication of a lack of record company support for a disc that was being released through MCA although Valli was directly contracted to Curb. Or it may have been a reflection of Valli's inability to tour due to illness, or, upon his recovery, to his decision to rejoin a reunited Four Seasons for touring purposes. ~ William Ruhlmann, Rovi

Tracks on this album

Note: This is a general synopsis. Each listing is described below.

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