Let's Hang On!

Album: Very Best Of The Four Seasons (1965)
Charted: 4 3

Songfacts®:

  • Four Seasons producer Bob Crewe wrote this song with Sandy Linzer and Denny Randell, who were frequent collaborators with the group. The song is a plea for reconciliation, with Frankie Valli trying to convince his girl to stay together. In our interview with Denny Randell, he explained, "That was the first record that had a certain sound about it. We put some R&B there, we came in with a really interesting horn section that wasn't one of the big things in their repertoire at that time. We really put it into a pop R&B bag with the horns and different kinds of background vocals."

    Linzer and Randell followed up this song by writing the Four Seasons hit "Working My Way Back To You," which as Denny explained, used a horn section, R&B feel, and unusual bass lines that were modeled on "Let's Hang On!"
  • In 1966, this was reworded as a jingle for a Beech-Nut Spearmint Gum TV commercial. The Four Seasons sang on the ad, and Frankie Valli was the narrator, explaining how the flavor of the gum hangs on. It was an early use of a hit song being transformed for a commercial.
  • This song marked a big musical departure for The Four Seasons. Frankie Valli didn't use his distinct falsetto, and the group's second tenor Bob Gaudio sang in a higher range. This was the sound of the day, and along with the big backbeat and horn section, it aped the hit formula from songs like "1-2-3" by Len Barry and "Rescue Me" by Fontella Bass. By adapting to changing musical times, The Four Seasons continued their string of hits alongside stiff competition from The Beatles and other British Invasion groups.
  • "Let's Hang On!" made three more chart appearances in the UK. Johnny Johnson & The Bandwagon took it to #36 in 1969, and in 1980, The Darts made it to #11 with their version. A 1981 recording by Barry Manilow made #12 in the UK and also returned the song to the American charts, where it hit #32 in April 1982. Frankie Valli also recorded a new version of the song with the Manhattan Transfer in 1995.

Comments: 9

  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn January 27, 1966, the Four Seasons performed "Let's Hang On" on the Dick Clark produced ABC-TV weekday-afternoon program, 'Where The Action Is'...
    The week before the song was at #45 on Billboard's Top 100, that was also it's sixteenth and last week on the chart, six weeks earlier it had peaked at #3 {for 1 week}...
    It reached #4 on the United Kingdom's Singles chart...
    Between 1962 and 1977 the New Jersey quartet had forty songs on the Top 100; sixteen made the Top 10 with five reaching #1, "Sherry" for 5 weeks in 1962, "Big Girls Don't Cry" for 5 weeks in 1962, "Walk Like A Man" for 3 weeks in 1963 , "Rag Doll" for 2 weeks in 1964, and "December, 1963 (Oh! What A Night)"* for 3 weeks in 1976...
    Original bass singer/bass guitarist Nick Massi, born Nicholas Macioci, passed away on December 24th, 2000 at the age of 65...
    May he R.I.P.
    * In 1994 a remixed dance version of "December 1963" was released, and it peaked at #14 on the Top 100.
  • Jennifur Sun from RamonaWould love to know who did the opening guitar.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn January 2nd 1966, the Four Seasons performed "Let's Hang On" on the CBS-TV program 'The Ed Sullivan Show'...
    At the time the song was at #11 on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; a little under on month earlier on December 5th, 1965 it peaked at #3 for one week.
    {See 2nd post below}.
  • Rick from PhiladelphiaOpening hook reminiscent of The Beatles' "Day Tripper" and the Rolling Stones' "Satisfaction".
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn December 5th 1965, "Let's Hang On" by the Four Seasons peaked at #3 (for 1 week) on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; it had entered the chart on October 9th, 1965 and stayed on the Top 100 for 16 weeks...
    Sixteen years later in 1981 Barry Manilow covered it, his version reached #6 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary Singles chart...
    Frankie Valli, born Francesco Stephen Castelluccio, will celebrated his 80th birthday come next May 3rd, 2014.
  • Matthew from Toronto, OnComposed by Sandy Linzer & Denny Randell, who were also responsible for the group's "Dawn [Go Away]," "Working My Way Back to You," and "Opus 17," surely 4 of their most interesting songs. This one had a driving rhythm influenced by Motown and kept the group relevant at a very competitive time on the charts.
  • Jimmy T from Nyc, OrI think the Manilow remake was an example of one of the better remakes of an old song. The bass is great and it has a good beat. Jimmy T from NYC
  • Melissa from Duluth, MnI like it too Mary...I'm playing it right now, on oldies station KOOL 101.7, Duluth, MN!
  • Mary C. from Chicago, IlThis song ROCKS! I like it, anyway.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Steve Morse of Deep PurpleSongwriter Interviews

Deep Purple's guitarist since 1994, Steve talks about writing songs with the band and how he puts his own spin on "Smoke On The Water."

Barry Dean ("Pontoon," "Diamond Rings And Old Barstools")Songwriter Interviews

A top country songwriter, Barry talks about writing hits for Little Big Town, Tim McGraw and Jason Aldean.

"Private Eyes" - The Story Behind the SongSong Writing

How a goofy detective movie, a disenchanted director and an unlikely songwriter led to one of the biggest hits in pop history.

Annie Haslam of RenaissanceSongwriter Interviews

The 5-octave voice of the classical rock band Renaissance, Annie is big on creative expression. In this talk, she covers Roy Wood, the history of the band, and where all the money went in the '70s.

Emmylou HarrisSongwriter Interviews

She thinks of herself as a "song interpreter," but back in the '80s another country star convinced Emmylou to take a crack at songwriting.

Sub Pop Founder Bruce Pavitt On How To Create A Music SceneSong Writing

With $50 and a glue stick, Bruce Pavitt created Sub Pop, a fanzine-turned-label that gave the world Nirvana and grunge. He explains how motivated individuals can shift culture.