Thursday 13 July 2023

Frankie Valli - Swearin' To God

Frankie Valli - Swearin' To God (1975)
Francesco Castelluccio with Bob Crewe producing and writing, you can't go wrong. Sweet funky disco love song with an ace guest appearance from Patti Austin. The more you listen the more you realise there is a lot going on here. I mean Swearin' To God's got those divine strings, big brass action, that funky wah-wah Shaft scratch guitar and an even funkier bassline. This epic is also a trumpet and saxamophone extravaganza, with an array a saxes including my favourite saxophone, the rarely heard in pop music outside of Pet Sounds, baritone sax. 

For me though it's all about those congas. Conga players never get the credit they deserve and yet they contribute so much to a dance floor number. I mean they are integral just about more than anyone else as to whether your disco track is going to be a toe-tapping success or not. So I'd like to highlight the wonderful Miss Bobbye Hall. I'm assuming this is her as she's the only one credited in the sleeve notes with playing congas although there are also several percussionists with credits too. Hall's credits are vast and many, you've heard her play congas and bongos on a lot of records throughout the years including those by Judee Sill, Boz Scaggs, Marvin Gaye, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Bill Withers, Stevie Wonder, The Doobie Brothers etc. 

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