Let me say this first: I absolutely adore late-60s music, especially the doo wop and soul. Until recently, though, I never paid attention to the groups or the history behind the music — just the singles.
What surprises me is that so many groups I had assumed based on vocal styling alone to be black were, in fact, very white. The Four Seasons (maybe because I often confused them with The Four Tops) fell into this group.
Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons — Beggin’
The Four Seasons belted out Beggin‘ in 1967, right as the group was overshadowed by Frankie Valli’s exploding solo career. The song doesn’t get a lot of modern air play on the oldies stations I listen to, and that might be in part because it never climbed higher than number 16 on the Billboard top 100 even when it was first released.
I don’t know why. This song is terrific, with its dirty back-up vocals over the loose piano keys. It’s got that same dark, velvety tone as The Turtles or The Grass Roots.
Adidas Originals House Party commercial
I hadn’t heard this song in a long time, and then while flipping through channels I heard it revamped with a lot of bass and a heavier snare. It was an advertisement for Adidas, with The Four Seasons track revamped by French dance musician Pilooski (see the video below for his full edit).
Some of my friends in the British Isles have informed me this song was big there last year, was overplayed on radio and in clubs, and is hated by a large section of the populace. To the haters: I assure you it’s new to my ears, so bear with me.
Pilooski — Beggin’ (Remix)
Apparently, the song was released in June 2007, but I never heard it — maybe because I rarely listen to radio. Truth is, I like the pseudo-retro 50s clothes and dance moves almost as much as the music. I really wish we would see more old 50s and 60s songs — especially Motown grooves — updated like this.
Video edit commissioned by 679 Recordings
I don’t know if either vid aired stateside, but there were two versions of the Pilooski edit. This one almost looks like Flash — pretty low-budget — and remixes the Seasons’ own dance moves across a surreal landscape with trees of snapping fingers.
Madcon – Beggin’
Norwegian rappers Madcon definitely ghettofied the tune in 2007 with a blaxploitation aesthetic and added rap breaks. Once again, the best part of this video is the dance routine, which just screams “Jackson Five meets Good Times.” If you can get past the irritating XBox 360 product placement, then there’s an extremely sexy three-second shot starting at 3:07.