Walk Like a Man

Album: Big Girls Don't Cry and 12 Others (1963)
Charted: 12 1
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  • It's hard to come off macho when you sing falsetto like Four Seasons lead vocalist Frankie Valli. Despite their high-frequency lead singer, the group didn't want to come off too soft - after all, they were from New Jersey. Their previous #1 hits, "Sherry" and "Big Girls Don't Cry," explored a sensitive side, so they needed a change in subject matter if they were going to toughen up their image.

    The solution was "Walk Like a Man," written by their ace songwriting team: producer Bob Crew and keyboard player/tenor vocalist Bob Gaudio. In the song, Valli mans up, telling his girl that he's not going to put up with her dirty lies.

    Despite the contrast between the vocal style and the lyric, the song worked, becoming their third chart-topper. In our interview with Gaudio, he said: "When the smoke cleared, it was just a good record. And the good records, they're hard to bury."
  • This was recorded under extraordinary circumstances - they recorded it in a burning building! According to guitarist Vinne Bell, their producer, Bob Crewe, locked the door to the studio (a standard practice on recording day), then after a while - and a couple of bad takes - the musicians smelled smoke and there was a pounding on the studio door. Crewe refused to unlock it, even though plaster was falling from the ceiling, because he wanted one more take to perfect the song. The musicians were afraid of electrocution as water leaked into the studio. The session ended when firemen axed open the studio door and knocked Crewe to the floor in the process.
  • Many baseball stadiums play this when their team draws a walk. The title has also been seen on aprons of Chinese chefs as "Wok Like A Man."
  • This was used as the title to a 1987 Howie Mandel movie about a man raised by wolves and returned to his family just as his scheming brother is about to get hold of the lost brother's inheritance. Somehow, this film was overlooked for an Academy Award. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Michelle - Beaufort, NC
  • This was the first Hot 100 chart-topper to feature a simile in its title. Others since have included Madonna's "Like A Virgin," the Bangles' "Walk Like An Egyptian" and more recently Maroon 5/Christina Aguilera's "Moves Like Jagger"and Adele's "Someone Like You."
  • In the Jersey Boys music, which tells the story of The Four Seasons, there's a scene where group member Tommy DeVito can't believe Frankie Valli is going to sing a song with this title. He says: "'Walk Like A Man' with this voice?"
  • In 1973, Grand Funk released a rock song called "Walk Like a Man" that had a similar refrain: "Walk like a man, and talk like a man."

    This prompted a lawsuit that forced Grand Funk to change their song title to "Walk Like A Man (You Can Call Me Your Man)."
  • A cover by the Rick James-assembled group the Mary Jane Girls ("In My House," 1985) reached #41 in 1986 when it was used in the movie Fine Mess starring Ted Danson and Howie Mandel.
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Comments: 23

  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn February 22, 1963, the Four Seasons performed "Walk Like A Man" on the Dick Clark ABC-TV weekday-afternoon program, 'American Bandstand'
    At the time the song was in it's second of two weeks at #3 on Billboard's Top 100 chart, the following week it would peak at #1 {for 3 weeks} and it spent thirteen weeks on the Top 100...
    It reached #12 on United Kingdom's Singles chart.
  • Jennifur Sun from RamonaLOVED THE OPENING DRUM ROLL. the drummer was the reason I fell in love with this song many years ago. And there have been times as a girl, I have thought No Guy Is Worth crawling on the earth, so it works both ways.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn January 20th 1963, "Walk Like A Man" by the Four Seasons entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #40; five weeks later on February 24th it would peak at #1 {for 3 weeks} and it stayed on the chart for 13 weeks...
    It reached #3 on Billboard's R&B Singles chart...
    Between 1962 and 1977 the quartet had forty* songs make the Top 100; fifteen made the Top 10 with five reaching #1, "Sherry" for 5 weeks in 1962, "Big Girls Don't Cry" for 5 weeks in 1962, this one, "Rag Doll" for 2 weeks in 1963, and "December, 1963 (Oh! What A Night)" for 3 weeks in 1976...
    Bass singer 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.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn February 10th 1963, the records at #2 and #3 on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart both had the word 'Walk' as the first word in the song's title...
    At #2 was "Walk Right In" by the Rooftop Singers (it was in its 2nd week at #2)
    And at #3 was "Walk Like A Man" by the Four Seasons (it was up from #6)...
    The #1 record was "Hey! Paula" by Paul and Paula.
  • Michael De Patria from Paterson Nj, NjThis song jets me back to a very precious time in my life. I was very very young and my sister who passed away 13 years ago was a big 4 seasons fan. Everytime I hear the 4 Seasons songs of the early 60's it reminds me of her. Frankie Valli must take great pride in knowing that these compositions and recordings can bring back and hold such precious memories for people. This is truley the great gift and power of music.
  • Viktor from Vänersborg, SwedenThe movie "The Wanderers" has this song in the opening.
  • Darren from Warrington, EnglandThere used to be a member of a show I do that could sing and speak as high as Frankie Valli
  • Fred from Laurel, MdAdding to what was said by Mark/Ohio and Muzza/Auckland: also think Neil Sedaka and Lou Christie. To everyone else, if you think THIS song sounds funny, take a listen to "Lightning Strikes Again" by Lou Christie.
  • Byron Balagtas from Baguio, PhilippinesFinally, I found this great song. Since I watched the movie " heart and Soul ". Frfiends, I'm an avid fan of old musics... Can anyone sing what frankie do? hehehe a man sings like a woman...champ!!!
  • Muzza from Auckland, New ZealandThis song is a classic,and researches through the roof on our Radio station auditorium tests(Focus groups). Falsetto was a hall mark of early rocknroll, Frankie Valli was not alone,think of Frankie Lymon.
  • Vinny from Hoboken, NjAlso done with justice in the movie "Heart and Soul"
  • Joe from Perth, Australiathe best valli song nuff said
  • Mark from Lancaster, OhThe instrumentation, including the voices, are superb on this. They had one heck of a band, and Bob Crewe did everything perfectly. There's nothing the slightest bit effeminate in any of their productions.
  • Josh from TorontoYeah people are way too harsh on Frankie Valley I mean the guy's like a legend and just cause he can sing way higher than most people he gets insulted. Also this was recorded in a burning studio....wow...
  • Taylor from Red Lion, PaThis song was written about break-ups. It is saying you have to walk like a man when a girl breaks your heart. Thus the lyric, "Walk like a man from you."
  • Mark from Lancaster, OhThe falsetto sound wasn't considered all that odd, probably because there was a fair amount of falsetto in men's ensemble singing in the 1950's and '60's. Think of all those a capella do-wop songs.
  • Nick from Tampa, FlComedian Gallagher quipped
    "Frankie Valli sings 'Walk Like A Man, Talk Like A Man'... sings it like a woman!"
  • Lynz from Ontario, CanadaYes it was in the movie Sleepers (btw AMAZING MOVIE!!!). You have to admit that the song is kinda funny, but nonetheless, still a good song.
  • Sam from North Vancouver, CanadaI kinda wonder if the falsetto was meant to be ironic...probably not, but it's an interesting thought.
  • Mary C. from Chicago, IlWhy are you guys being so harsh about Frankie's falsetto? It seems to me you might be jealous, since not many people can sing as good as he can.
  • Billy from Chicago, Mnthis song was in the movie sleepers too
  • Keith from Slc, UtI remember the legendary Art Leboe' comment after playing that song on KRLA: "Walk like a man, sing like a girl?"
  • Dave from Houston, TxLong after this song left the charts, I acquired a roommate who couldn't resist shouting at this Frankie Valli falsetto recording, "SING like a man, dammit".
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