December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night)

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"December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night)"
December 1963 oh what a night.JPG
Single by The Four Seasons
from the album Who Loves You
B-side"Slip Away"
ReleasedDecember 1975
RecordedNovember 1975
StudioSound Factory (Hollywood)
Genre
Length3:36
3:20 (single version)
LabelWarner Bros., Curb
Songwriter(s)Bob Gaudio, Judy Parker
Producer(s)Bob Gaudio
The Four Seasons singles chronology
"Who Loves You"
(1975)
"December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night)"
(1975)
"Silver Star"
(1976)
Official music video
"December, 1963 (Oh What A Night!)" on YouTube

"December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night)" is a song originally performed 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 Frankie Valli, the group's usual lead vocalist, singing the bridge sections and backing vocals, and bass player Don Ciccone – – singing the falsetto part ("And I felt a rush like a rolling ball 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's lyrics were 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]

Reception[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 US 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. On April 10 the same year, it topped the RPM National Top Singles Chart in Canada.[4] It was the final Four Seasons' song to reach number one, although Valli would have one final chart-topper as a solo act in 1978 with the theme song to the film Grease.

Billboard said that it has "the flavor and fun of '60s rock with a disco feel," and praised the production and the lead and harmony vocals as well."[5] Cash Box said it has "one of the sweetest melody lines you'll have heard throughout 1975" and that the song is "easy enough to sing along to, combined with an unforgettable bass line."[6]

Ben Liebrand remix[edit]

In 1988, Dutch DJ and producer Ben Liebrand remixed the song and re-released it as a single.[7][8] In 1993, Curb Records, who released the original version of the song, picked up the 1988 remix and released it to the U.S. market. The 1993 re-release spent 27 weeks on the Hot 100 (matching the chart life of the original 1975 single). The peak position of the remix version was #14. Adding together the two 27-week chart runs for the 1975 original single and the remixed 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.[9]

Music video[edit]

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

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[40] Platinum 70,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[44] Gold 10,000*
United Kingdom (BPI)[45] Platinum 600,000double-dagger
United States (RIAA)[46] Gold 1,000,000^

* Sales figures based on certification alone.
^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.
double-dagger Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.

Clock version[edit]

"Oh What a Night"
Oh What a Night.jpg
Single by Clock
from the album About Time 2
Released1996
Genre
Length3:28
LabelMCA Records
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)
  • P. Pritchard
  • S. Allan
Clock singles chronology
"Whoomph! (There It Is)"
(1995)
"Oh What a Night"
(1996)
"U Sexy Thing"
(1997)

British pop/dance act Clock released a dance cover of "Oh What a Night" in 1996. It peaked at number 13 in Ireland, number 12 in Scotland and number 13 in the UK.

Other covers[edit]

The French singer Claude François also recorded a version of this song called "Cette année-là".[47][48] Singers of musical Belles belles belles covered the Claude François' song.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "December 1963 (Oh What a Night)". Songfacts.com. Retrieved January 9, 2010.
  2. ^ "Gaudio put words in Valli's mouth". Sun-setinel.com. Archived from the original on July 18, 2014. Retrieved December 16, 2014.
  3. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 323. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  4. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. Archived from the original on October 21, 2012. Retrieved January 9, 2012.
  5. ^ "Top Single Picks" (PDF). Billboard. December 13, 1975. p. 58. Retrieved July 13, 2020.
  6. ^ "CashBox Singles Reviews" (PDF). Cash Box. December 20, 1975. p. 28. Retrieved December 11, 2021.
  7. ^ "Frankie Valli & Four Seasons, The - December 1963 (Oh, What A Night) (Ben Liebrand Re-mix) (CD) at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved January 9, 2012.
  8. ^ "Four Seasons, The - December 1963 (Oh, What A Night) (Vinyl) at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved January 9, 2012.
  9. ^ Billboard.com review of album "Oh, What a Night"[dead link]
  10. ^ a b Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970-1992. St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  11. ^ "The Four Seasons – December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night)" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved February 26, 2022.
  12. ^ "The Four Seasons – December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night)" (in French). Ultratop 50. Retrieved February 26, 2022.
  13. ^ a b "Top 100 Músicas Mais Tocadas em 1976" [Top 100 Most Played Songs of 1976]. Retrieved June 18, 2022.
  14. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. April 10, 1976. Retrieved October 9, 2018.
  15. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. April 3, 1976. Retrieved October 9, 2018.
  16. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night)". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved June 28, 2020.
  17. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 15, 1976" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40. Retrieved February 26, 2022.
  18. ^ "The Four Seasons – December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night)" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved February 26, 2022.
  19. ^ Flavour of New Zealand, 16 April 1976
  20. ^ Flavour of New Zealand, 11 June 1976
  21. ^ "The Four Seasons – December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night)". VG-lista. Retrieved February 26, 2022.
  22. ^ "SA Charts 1965–March 1989". Retrieved September 5, 2018.
  23. ^ "The Four Seasons – December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night)". Singles Top 100. Retrieved February 26, 2022.
  24. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  25. ^ Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955–1990 - ISBN 0-89820-089-X
  26. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1993). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961–1993. Record Research. p. 90.
  27. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – The Four Seasons – December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night)". GfK Entertainment charts. Retrieved February 26, 2022.
  28. ^ "The Four Seasons – December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night)". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved May 19, 2020.
  29. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 2669." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved May 19, 2020.
  30. ^ "Top RPM Adult Contemporary: Issue 2663." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved May 19, 2020.
  31. ^ "The Four Seasons – December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night)". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved May 19, 2020.
  32. ^ "Jaaroverzichten 1976". Ultratop. Retrieved February 26, 2022.
  33. ^ "Top Singles – Volume 26, No. 14 & 15, January 08 1977". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Archived from the original on March 19, 2016. Retrieved March 6, 2017.
  34. ^ "Top 100-Jaaroverzicht van 1976". Dutch Top 40. Retrieved February 26, 2022.
  35. ^ "Jaaroverzichten – Single 1976". dutchcharts.nl. Retrieved February 26, 2022.
  36. ^ "The Official New Zealand Music Chart".
  37. ^ "Top 20 Hit Singles of 1976". Retrieved September 2, 2018.
  38. ^ "Top 50 Singles of 1976". Music Week. London, England: Spotlight Publications: 25. December 25, 1976.
  39. ^ "Billboard Top 100 - 1976". Longboredsurfer.com. Archived from the original on January 5, 2010. Retrieved September 11, 2010.
  40. ^ a b "1993 ARIA Singles Chart". ARIA. Retrieved July 12, 2019.
  41. ^ "Billboard Top 100 - 1994". Longboredsurfer.com. Archived from the original on March 1, 2009. Retrieved August 27, 2010.
  42. ^ "End of Year Charts 1995". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved December 3, 2017.
  43. ^ "Billboard Hot 100 60th Anniversary Interactive Chart". Billboard. Retrieved December 10, 2018.
  44. ^ "New Zealand single certifications – Four Seasons – December 63 (Oh What a Night)". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved July 12, 2019.
  45. ^ "British single certifications – Frankie Valli/The Four Seasons – December 1963 (Oh What a Night)". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved April 16, 2021.
  46. ^ "American single certifications – The Four Seasons – December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night)". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved July 12, 2019.
  47. ^ "Claude François "Cette année-là" The Four Seasons "December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night)"". whosampled.com. Retrieved June 12, 2022.
  48. ^ "Claude François – Cette année-là". Ultratop. Retrieved June 12, 2022.

External links[edit]