December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night)

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"December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night)"
Single by The Four Seasons
from the album Who Loves You
B-side"Slip Away"
ReleasedDecember 1975
Format7"
RecordedNovember 1975
GenreDance-rock, disco
Length3:36
3:20 (single version)
LabelWarner / Curb
Writer(s)Bob Gaudio, Judy Parker
Producer(s)Bob Gaudio
CertificationRIAA gold
The Four Seasons singles chronology
"Who Loves You"
(1975)
"December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night)"
(1975)
"Silver Star"
(1976)
 
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"December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night)"
Single by The Four Seasons
from the album Who Loves You
B-side"Slip Away"
ReleasedDecember 1975
Format7"
RecordedNovember 1975
GenreDance-rock, disco
Length3:36
3:20 (single version)
LabelWarner / Curb
Writer(s)Bob Gaudio, Judy Parker
Producer(s)Bob Gaudio
CertificationRIAA gold
The Four Seasons singles chronology
"Who Loves You"
(1975)
"December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night)"
(1975)
"Silver Star"
(1976)

"December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night)" is a hit single by the Four Seasons, written by original Four Seasons keyboard player Bob Gaudio and his future wife Judy Parker, produced by Gaudio, and included on the group's album, Who Loves You (1975).

The song features drummer Gerry Polci on lead vocals, with usual lead Frankie Valli singing the bridge sections and backing vocals, and bass player Don Ciccone (former lead singer of The Critters) singing the falsetto part (And I felt a rush like a rolling bolt of thunder / Spinning my head around and taking my body under).

Song origins[edit]

According to the co-writer and longtime group member Bob Gaudio, the song was originally set in 1933 with the title "December 5th, 1933," and celebrated the repeal of Prohibition,[1] 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.[2]

Composition[edit]

The song is an up-tempo, piano-led dance song with a distinct and easily recognizable opening drum and then piano riff. It is written in 4/4 and in the key of D-flat major.[citation needed]

1975 release[edit]

The single was released in December 1975 and hit number one on the UK Singles Chart on February 21, 1976.[3] It repeated the feat on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 on March 13, 1976, remaining in the top spot for three weeks and one week on Cash Box. Billboard ranked it as the No. 4 song for 1976.[4] On April 10th of the same year, it topped the RPM National Top Singles Chart in Canada.[5] Drummer Gerry Polci sang lead with bassist Don Ciccone and long-time frontman Frankie Valli singing the bridge and refrain.

1988 and 1993 remixes[edit]

in both 1988 and 1993, Dutch deejay and producer Ben Liebrand remixed the song and rereleased it as a single.[6][7] The 1993 rerelease spent 27 weeks on the Hot 100 (matching the chart life of the original 1975 single). The peak position of the 1993 remix version was #14. Adding together the two 27-week chart runs for the 1975 original single and the 1993 remix version (for a combined total of 54 weeks, two more weeks than a full year) gave the song the longest tenure ever on the Billboard Hot 100 music chart up to that time. The tenure has since been surpassed many times.[8]

Music video[edit]

A music video was produced to accompany the original 1975 release.[9]

Charts[edit]

Peak positions[edit]

Chart (1976)Peak
position
UK Singles Chart1
U.S. Billboard Hot 1001
Canadian RPM Top Singles Chart1
Chart (1994)Peak
position
U.S. Billboard Hot 10014

End of year charts[edit]

End of year chart (1976)Position
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[10]4
End of year chart (1994)Position
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[11]89

Cover versions[edit]

(Chronological)

Contemporary usage[edit]

Advertising and promotion[edit]

Favorites[edit]

Inspirations[edit]

Television[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "December 1963 (Oh What a Night)". Songfacts.com. Retrieved 2010-01-09. 
  2. ^ "Gaudio put words in Valli's mouth". sun-setinel.com. Retrieved 2014-12-16. 
  3. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 323. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  4. ^ Billboard Year-End Hot 100 singles of 1976
  5. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. Retrieved 2012-01-09. 
  6. ^ "Frankie Valli & Four Seasons, The - December 1963 (Oh, What A Night) (Ben Liebrand Re-mix) (CD) at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2012-01-09. 
  7. ^ "Four Seasons, The - December 1963 (Oh, What A Night) (Vinyl) at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2012-01-09. 
  8. ^ Billboard.com review of album "Oh, What a Night"[dead link]
  9. ^ "The Four Seasons - December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night)". YouTube. Retrieved 2012-01-09. 
  10. ^ "Billboard Top 100 - 1976". Retrieved 2010-09-11. 
  11. ^ "Billboard Top 100 - 1994". Retrieved 2010-08-27. 
  12. ^ "François". Rfimusique.com. Retrieved 2012-01-09. 
  13. ^ "Mitt Romney names the greatest tunes of all time". Politico. March 2012. 
Preceded by
"Forever and Ever" by Slik
UK number-one single
February 21, 1976 (2 weeks)
Succeeded by
"I Love to Love (But My Baby Loves to Dance)" by Tina Charles
Preceded by
"Love Machine" by The Miracles
Billboard Hot 100 number-one single
March 13, 1976 - March 27, 1976
Succeeded by
"Disco Lady" by Johnnie Taylor
Preceded by
"All by Myself" by Eric Carmen
Cash Box Top 100 singles
March 20, 1976
Succeeded by
"Dream Weaver" by Gary Wright
Preceded by
"Dream Weaver" by Gary Wright
RPM number-one single (Canada)
April 10, 1976
Succeeded by
"Lonely Night (Angel Face)" by Captain and Tennille