Motown Unreleased

More ‘reality checks’ for 4 Seasons fans

Who wants to find this Tape.? Clearly not enough of us to justify the cost of finding it !!

Example 5 inch reel with Master Tape elsewhere

Back in 2008 I was writing about the academic studies on “Fandom, Blogging and the Internet” and how Jersey Boys Stage Show was creating a myth...”The events of the last 2 years culminating in the opening of ‘Jersey Boys’ in London last month appear to have created a kind of “Four Seasons myth”. As Joe Long said to me recently…."I have been following the goings on of the various fan groups. The only problem I've been having is they now seem to be "Jersey Boys" fan clubs, rather than Four Seasons. We took a view at that time and re-set ourselves as a fan club [as this linked article says] and we remain alive to say that today……..just look at what we have achieved!!

 

By 2018 the JB Myth was ready to be ‘buried’ as Snapper Music persuaded the ‘Partnership’ [FSP] and Warner/Rhino/Universal Motown to commit to a career spanning album and ‘unreleased’ gems Box Set. Then the pandemic and the delays!!! We sadly lost Tommy DeVito and Joe Long….but the fan base ‘hung in’. Then the reality of the world wide internet fan base came home to roost for us all.

 

Back in May 2022 I wrote this post re the fact that Beach Boys fans and their music have far more world wide support than the Four Seasons and Frankie Valli.

 

Stealing a March???......

The Beach Boys continual approach to milking their catalogue as we still await the Snapper Box Set could be a bit depressing for Four Seasons fans who want the 44 CD Box Set from Snapper Music. This to some will be very frustrating when we read..of SOUNDS OF SUMMER as their latest release.......”The collection boasts 24 new mixes including two first-time stereo mixes, plus 22 new-and-improved stereo mixes, which in some cases feature the latest in digital stereo extraction technology, allowing for the team to separate the original mono backing tracks for the first time.”

As I have been showing such sound 'extraction' tools have enabled me to demonstrate how the Four Seasons best songs can sound with DES Re-Mixes. Such an approach will with our backing surely happen in a follow-on project in the next year or so on the Four Seasons HITS. I am in fact working on a complete STEREO RE-MIX of the Dawn and Rag Doll albums. I am hoping to find some interest in such a project.

And the future is ATMOS as the Beach Boys release states.......”All 30 tracks on disc 1 of Sounds Of Summer have been mixed in immersive Dolby Atmos, joining the group’s Christmas Album which was mixed in spatial audio and released this past holiday season, and continuing the initiative to present the group’s catalog in the enveloping and exciting new audio format. “

And obviously the strength of the 'BRAND' and how to market and sell as the web site shows

Obviously the Beach Boys with a dedicated tape research team and engineers are ahead of Bob Gaudio and Frankie Valli, as they do not have a dedicated and well managed record company team [i.e Warner/Rhino !!!] that will market and collaborate with fans. BUT this Snapper Project will show them what is possible and the size of their potential market This Snapper Music Box Set will be 'incredible' and will inspire similar follow-on projects. [We hope..ed!] The 60s STEREO versions deserve such treatment with centred vocals and a spread of instruments.......and the MOTOWN Catalogue needs a 'special' box set as I have maintained”

The facts show the strength of the ‘brand’, with’The Beach Boys’ facebook group with 1.9 million followers whilst ‘The Ultimate Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons Fans Group’ has a mere 30.2 K. So is it any wonder our voices as fans are finding little success or any response some 9 months after what was for us and the FSP a landmark release…..four years in the making…….over 15 years since the concept.

 

Whilst many of the Four Seasons fans world-wide continue to celebrate and enjoy the vast variety of great music in the Snapper Music Box Set released last June, the serious ‘Collectors’ Facebook groups [like our Four Seasons Motown Unreleased Campaign - a mere 1.1k members!!!] continue to push for much better support for fans and collectors wishes. The aim of our ‘campaign’ group [as I set it up in 2016] was to get a reaction and we got one through the pressure of a very BIG BUDGET project......however reluctantly in the final list of tracks......but eventually once we got the product, we are grateful to Bob Gaudio, Frankie Valli and Snapper Music. It took a high level of exposure on social media within that group after the lies, deceit and misinformation over many decades re the Motown Unreleased and huge work by me in particular to prove what was there.....even Universal Vault Services did not know what they had. Nor did they collaborate. In a way the project was the FSP supposedly 'working their way back to us'.....with us paying big bucks for the privilege of a catalogue spanning digital collection on CD......with limited 'unreleased' from known or owned storage. [including our archive]

 

However despite my optimism that the release and marketing would bring a response in a meaningful way re the future, from the FSP, this remains both unlikely and the underwhelming response now, [by Rhino releasing ‘GILG’ on vinyl] is somewhat depressing. There are also around the world, it seems, too few people who want the Motown Unreleased FB group to be an effective 'campaign' anymore. So the question arises…..’is it a worthwhile title for those 'completists' who want more? ‘ I did plan to move it to be a 'Rare and Unreleased' interest group eventually once we had exhausted the Archives, but that is not going to be achieved in a foreseeable future. As I have said in blog posts the prospect that anyone at the artists level will take note of social media or be encouraged by sales potential remains remote. I personally have exposed all of the prevarication and lack of collaboration I can by the FSP and Universal Motown Vault Services over the decades and there is nothing left to say re the ways they have failed us all. It seems clear there is little hope [or interest] for any fan based network getting further results. The above tape with original Masters and an unheard song by Artie Schroeck, remains ‘lost’ in the FSP storage of un-marked tapes as it was not in its correct box. So from The UK Four Seasons Appreciation Society, I will focus on the ARCHIVING of remaining 'unreleased' tracks we have and in finding ‘a future generation host’ for the Masters Library I have compiled. All tracks are high quality mastered versions and complement and extend the Snapper Music Box Set.

 

Copies of the Box Set remain available at heavily discounted prices [over 25%] on Amazon and E-Bay and there are clearly too few ‘completists’ [Snapper’s primary target in the project plan] or those with the funds to acquire this great compilation. Bob and Frankie are perhaps valid in saying anything further is ‘not worth the money….or trouble’. Frankly there are too many barriers to retrieving more and without a funding ‘champion’, any optimism at Snapper’s launch has dissipated. Streaming remains the biggest barrier to both ‘innovative’ research and physical product, and some have said in our group’s...’let’s enjoy what we have rather than chase what we haven’t’. But we have always been more than just ‘accepting that’, when there is more to be found

 

The rise of fandom through the Internet over the last 20+years has been the subject of many studies re the relationships created between artists and fans through posts and blogging, and my presence with Lynn Boleyn here since 2006 has been used by the FSP as a promotional tool for concerts, and by Snapper in the promotion of the Box Set since 2018. With ‘fan groups’ [now substantially established on Facebook(FB)], the relationship between ‘experts’ sharing in depth data re tracks and releases has now become the fundamental connection point for news and opinion and FB groups can be easily administered to avoid abusive or bogus posts by non-fan people. These are public members groups that give us as fans ‘identity’ and a sense of community. But as for ‘the stars’…...they have no involvement…..and why should they?…...they have their personal lives to live. In the case of Frankie Valli he is deep into his ‘Final Encore’ Tour as he approaches 90…..basking in the loyalty of devoted lovers of both him and his music. Bob Gaudio has his interests in production and has been invested in the Neil Diamond Stage Musical. He and Frankie gave us enough time in the Snapper Music Box Set project to make it ‘unique’…..and we did the rest with the Snapper Music team of tape researchers, engineers, designers, writers and copy administrators to produce an ‘apparent’ complete Anthology of music and illustrated back-story

 

But let us not allow the FB groups to be a trivia question post box or just repeated last decade ‘audience recorded’ live concert’ repeats. There are more unheard and unreleased masters to be found including ‘unique’ LIVE non-hit versions from the 20th century. Can we keep a focus on the sheer quality in the original music and its production? There are a small band of interested fans who will discuss such subjects on our social media. You Tube remains the best place to enjoy the ‘rare and unreleased’. …….and our in-depth Podcasts ‘4 Seasons on Saturday’ to find a connection. These sources, in the main, are what led to the Snapper Music Box Set…only your voices can bring change……..but in reality ….is anyone listening? For now..as far as the artists are concerned……..NO!!

 

We will however continue to highlight the recent finds and share some of the still ‘vaulted’ gems that we have on You Tube. More people may find us and also want more…...….miracles can happen…….they already have!!

 

But there is a ‘cliff-edge’ of change ahead. Bob and Frankie must realise that. The ‘road’ will end and that will leave a fan base without the LIVE experience. We will adapt and write as we always have through a network of information managers and hope enough of us remain alive long enough to persuade the ‘Partnership’[FSP] to get the tape research work re-started, recover the rest of the 'unreleased and a find a way to  a marketable outlet.

Blog_lost

We won’t become lost……!!!! We are ‘The FOUR SEASONS CULTURE’…….”you don’t have to be embarrassed about loving the 4 Seasons”…….as Bob Fisher said back in 2008…...”we have been ‘validated’”…....again…..this time by THE BOX SET.


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Four Seasons UK Appreciation Society

Dr. George Ingram...Newsletter Editor: Ray Nichol—Record Researcher: Lynn Boleyn—Secretary; Ken Charmer—Webmaster/Researcher

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