Discussion:
The Number Ones: Frankie Avalon’s “Venus”
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Bob Roman
2018-11-09 22:59:23 UTC
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A writer named Tom Breihan has been reviewing, in order, every song to hit #1 in the Billboard Hot 100.

Frankie Avalon – “Venus”
HIT #1: March 9, 1959
STAYED AT #1: 5 weeks

Frankie Avalon is a prototypical teen idol, one of those non-threatening and half-interchangeable smiley kids who flooded the era between Elvis and the Beatles. These days, he’s mostly famous for the innocuous, vaguely charming Beach Party movies he made in the early ’60s with Annette Funicello. (They also made the 1987 reunion movie Back To The Beach, which I thought was pretty funny when I saw it many, many years ago.) But years before those movies, Avalon got his first #1 with “Venus,” a song where he begs the Roman goddess of love to send him “a little girl for me to thrill.” It sucks.

Avalon could sing, at least a little, but you can’t really tell from “Venus.” He delivers the whole song in a simpering whine that does nothing to sell the thing emotionally. And there really is no emotion to sell; the song is an empty void, one that tries to get by on Avalon’s pure cuteness. If anything, the oohing backing vocals only make the whole thing more irritating, making sure there’s no dynamic variation to the song. It’s like a slightly noxious cloud. It doesn’t melt your flesh with pure offensive shittiness; it just makes your skin itch and your eyes sting for two minutes and 24 seconds, and then it’s gone.

GRADE: 2/10
t***@iwvisp.com
2018-11-10 00:29:36 UTC
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The 79/80 Disco version was much better. :)

Ray
Roger Ford
2018-11-10 07:19:06 UTC
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On Fri, 9 Nov 2018 14:59:23 -0800 (PST), Bob Roman
A writer named Tom Breihan has been reviewing, in order, every song to hit =
#1 in the Billboard Hot 100.
Frankie Avalon =E2=80=93 =E2=80=9CVenus=E2=80=9D
HIT #1: March 9, 1959
STAYED AT #1: 5 weeks
Frankie Avalon is a prototypical teen idol, one of those non-threatening an=
d half-interchangeable smiley kids who flooded the era between Elvis and th=
e Beatles. These days, he=E2=80=99s mostly famous for the innocuous, vaguel=
y charming Beach Party movies he made in the early =E2=80=9960s with Annett=
e Funicello. (They also made the 1987 reunion movie Back To The Beach, whic=
h I thought was pretty funny when I saw it many, many years ago.) But years=
before those movies, Avalon got his first #1 with =E2=80=9CVenus,=E2=80=9D=
a song where he begs the Roman goddess of love to send him =E2=80=9Ca litt=
le girl for me to thrill.=E2=80=9D It sucks.
Avalon could sing, at least a little, but you can=E2=80=99t really tell fro=
m =E2=80=9CVenus.=E2=80=9D He delivers the whole song in a simpering whine =
that does nothing to sell the thing emotionally. And there really is no emo=
tion to sell; the song is an empty void, one that tries to get by on Avalon=
=E2=80=99s pure cuteness. If anything, the oohing backing vocals only make =
the whole thing more irritating, making sure there=E2=80=99s no dynamic var=
iation to the song. It=E2=80=99s like a slightly noxious cloud. It doesn=E2=
=80=99t melt your flesh with pure offensive shittiness; it just makes your =
skin itch and your eyes sting for two minutes and 24 seconds, and then it=
=E2=80=99s gone.
GRADE: 2/10
I can tolerate this #1 "Venus" a lot better than I can the other
really dreadful #1 "Venus" from 1969

ROGER FORD
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SavoyBG
2018-11-10 13:13:03 UTC
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Post by Roger Ford
I can tolerate this #1 "Venus" a lot better than I can the other
really dreadful #1 "Venus" from 1969
The Shocking Blue classic gets a 9 from me.
Roger Ford
2018-11-10 16:57:00 UTC
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Post by SavoyBG
Post by Roger Ford
I can tolerate this #1 "Venus" a lot better than I can the other
really dreadful #1 "Venus" from 1969
The Shocking Blue classic gets a 9 from me.
Excuse me while I check if its April 1

ROGER FORD
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Dean F.
2018-11-10 10:27:45 UTC
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I've never liked Frankie Avalon, but I do find "Venus" more listenable than the execrable "Why," his second (and thankfully last) #1.
Roger Ford
2018-11-10 11:49:05 UTC
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On Sat, 10 Nov 2018 02:27:45 -0800 (PST), "Dean F."
Post by Dean F.
I've never liked Frankie Avalon, but I do find "Venus" more listenable than the execrable "Why," his second (and thankfully last) #1.
I agree with your sentiments entirely. But however bad Avalon's "Why"
is it can always be worse---as this other 1959 #1 version shows :-



ROGER FORD
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Dean F.
2018-11-11 11:12:56 UTC
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Post by Roger Ford
I agree with your sentiments entirely. But however bad Avalon's "Why"
is it can always be worse---as this other 1959 #1 version shows :-
http://youtu.be/G8iFpJ7_xZA
Good Christ!
SavoyBG
2018-11-10 13:16:13 UTC
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Post by Dean F.
I've never liked Frankie Avalon, but I do find "Venus" more listenable than the execrable "Why," his second (and thankfully last) #1.
"Why" is a great classic compared to this top tenner:


Roger Ford
2018-11-10 17:00:45 UTC
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On Sat, 10 Nov 2018 02:27:45 -0800 (PST), "Dean F."
Post by Dean F.
I've never liked Frankie Avalon, but I do find "Venus" more listenable than the execrable "Why," his second (and thankfully last) #1.
This is probably his most tolerable outing from 1957





ROGER FORD
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"Spam Free Zone" - to combat unwanted automatic spamming I have added
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SavoyBG
2018-11-10 18:24:18 UTC
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Post by Roger Ford
On Sat, 10 Nov 2018 02:27:45 -0800 (PST), "Dean F."
Post by Dean F.
I've never liked Frankie Avalon, but I do find "Venus" more listenable than the execrable "Why," his second (and thankfully last) #1.
This is probably his most tolerable outing from 1957
http://youtu.be/40FB9grCVts
I like "De De Dinah" a lot. Not because of his screeching, but because the record rocks.
Bill B
2018-11-10 18:46:06 UTC
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Post by SavoyBG
Post by Roger Ford
On Sat, 10 Nov 2018 02:27:45 -0800 (PST), "Dean F."
Post by Dean F.
I've never liked Frankie Avalon, but I do find "Venus" more listenable than the execrable "Why," his second (and thankfully last) #1.
This is probably his most tolerable outing from 1957
http://youtu.be/40FB9grCVts
I like "De De Dinah" a lot. Not because of his screeching, but because the record rocks.
Let's summarize. You don't care about lyrics. You don't care about vocal quality. Please define "rocks."

"De De Dinah," "Venus," "Why" and every other Frankie Avalon record suck.
Bill B
2018-11-10 18:49:05 UTC
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Post by Bill B
Post by SavoyBG
Post by Roger Ford
On Sat, 10 Nov 2018 02:27:45 -0800 (PST), "Dean F."
Post by Dean F.
I've never liked Frankie Avalon, but I do find "Venus" more listenable than the execrable "Why," his second (and thankfully last) #1.
This is probably his most tolerable outing from 1957
http://youtu.be/40FB9grCVts
I like "De De Dinah" a lot. Not because of his screeching, but because the record rocks.
Let's summarize. You don't care about lyrics. You don't care about vocal quality. Please define "rocks."
.

I think I've got it: "I like the beat."
RWC
2018-11-14 00:22:45 UTC
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Post by Bill B
Post by Bill B
Post by SavoyBG
Post by Roger Ford
On Sat, 10 Nov 2018 02:27:45 -0800 (PST), "Dean F."
Post by Dean F.
I've never liked Frankie Avalon, but I do find "Venus" more listenable than the execrable "Why," his second (and thankfully last) #1.
This is probably his most tolerable outing from 1957
http://youtu.be/40FB9grCVts
I like "De De Dinah" a lot. Not because of his screeching, but because the record rocks.
Let's summarize. You don't care about lyrics. You don't care about vocal quality. Please define "rocks."
.
I think I've got it: "I like the beat."
and the snappy punchy delivery with a novel ('gay' in hindsight? :-) timbre,
*and the sax*
Eric Ramon
2018-11-10 20:04:42 UTC
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Post by Bill B
Post by SavoyBG
Post by Roger Ford
On Sat, 10 Nov 2018 02:27:45 -0800 (PST), "Dean F."
Post by Dean F.
I've never liked Frankie Avalon, but I do find "Venus" more listenable than the execrable "Why," his second (and thankfully last) #1.
This is probably his most tolerable outing from 1957
http://youtu.be/40FB9grCVts
I like "De De Dinah" a lot. Not because of his screeching, but because the record rocks.
Let's summarize. You don't care about lyrics. You don't care about vocal quality. Please define "rocks."
"De De Dinah," "Venus," "Why" and every other Frankie Avalon record suck.
De De Dinah and Gingerbread are winners. I hate his Venus.
RWC
2018-11-14 04:43:43 UTC
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Post by Bill B
Post by Roger Ford
On Sat, 10 Nov 2018 02:27:45 -0800 (PST), "Dean F."
Post by Dean F.
I've never liked Frankie Avalon, but I do find "Venus" more listenable than the execrable "Why," his second (and thankfully last) #1.
This is probably his most tolerable outing from 1957
http://youtu.be/40FB9grCVts
I like "DeDe Dinah" a lot. Not because of his screeching, but because the record rocks.
Let's summarize. You don't care about lyrics. You don't care about vocal quality. Please define "rocks."
"DeDe Dinah," "Venus," "Why" and every other Frankie Avalon record suck.
"Avalon was the first of the manufactured teen idols, before Fabian and Bobby
Rydell and the myriad of other pretenders to the throne ."
DeDe Dinah and Ginger Bread are winners.



I'm guessin' then, that you'd also like "Shy Guy"

these 3 sides are on his 3rd, 5th and 2nd Chancellor singles, respectively,
according to: http://www.45cat.com/artist/frankie-avalon

and, overlooking some weak points, "Heartbeats" might keep you 'boppin'':


The flip to "Shy Guy" is "Teacher's Pet", yet another upbeat number, and this
YouTube link has a video of the young, slightly built, Mediterranean-faced,
Frankie Avalon singing it: http://youtu.be/40FB9grCVts

[OT: Lucky Luciano sometimes used Jewish gunmen, loaned by Meyer Lansky, to
eliminate competitors - partly because they did not look 'Italian' as
they approached their victim...]

Frankie's 1st Chancellor record, "Cupid", doesn't light any fires, and the 4th,
"You Excite Me", is again upbeat (but too 'noisy' from 1:30 onwards for my
liking); his sung phrase "{Never Ever Ever} *Leave My Sight*" is reminiscent of
his nasal rat-a-tat-tat vocal style in "Dinah"


I admit to liking "Just Ask Your Heart", uniquely a cruisy ballad with bounce;
his singing here reminds me of Ricky Nelson:


The flip "Two Fools", while not as cruisy, is kinda similar (likely recorded at
the same session in 1959):

I hate his Venus.
I too dislike, find irritating, the excessive psychosonic 'sweetness' of "Venus"
and "Why" - a tad too 'twee' as Brits might say

To continue on down this particular artist lane:

"What Little Girl" - Sep 1958; his 6th Chancellor record; yes, "it's got a beat"


"Young Love" - 1958; for version comparison


"Swinging On A Rainbow" - EP - Nov 1959; Avalon in 'Bobby Darin Las Vagas' mode
- the Poster's comment has an
interesting account of Frankie's music background (a child prodigy trumpet
player who made records for RCA Victor's subsidiary, X records).
Bill B
2018-11-10 21:26:41 UTC
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Post by Bill B
"De De Dinah," "Venus," "Why" and every other Frankie Avalon record suck.
I consider him the anti Christ of Rock & Roll.
Mark Dintenfass
2018-11-10 21:46:08 UTC
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Post by Bill B
Post by Bill B
"De De Dinah," "Venus," "Why" and every other Frankie Avalon record suck.
I consider him the anti Christ of Rock & Roll.
Nah, that's Fabian.
--
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Remove xx's from address to reply
SavoyBG
2018-11-10 23:51:41 UTC
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Post by Bill B
Post by SavoyBG
Post by Roger Ford
On Sat, 10 Nov 2018 02:27:45 -0800 (PST), "Dean F."
Post by Dean F.
I've never liked Frankie Avalon, but I do find "Venus" more listenable than the execrable "Why," his second (and thankfully last) #1.
This is probably his most tolerable outing from 1957
http://youtu.be/40FB9grCVts
I like "De De Dinah" a lot. Not because of his screeching, but because the record rocks.
Let's summarize. You don't care about lyrics. You don't care about vocal quality. Please define "rocks."
"De De Dinah," "Venus," "Why" and every other Frankie Avalon record suck.
I never said I don't care about vocal quality. If "De De Dinah" was by somebody who could sing, like Little Richard, I would probably love it.
Roger Ford
2018-11-24 17:06:12 UTC
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On Fri, 9 Nov 2018 14:59:23 -0800 (PST), Bob Roman
A writer named Tom Breihan has been reviewing, in order, every song to hit =
#1 in the Billboard Hot 100.
Frankie Avalon =E2=80=93 =E2=80=9CVenus=E2=80=9D
HIT #1: March 9, 1959
STAYED AT #1: 5 weeks
Here's how it did in the 1959 Singles Battle

R1 N.A Stephenson - Boogie Woogie Country Girl 12
Avalon 11

ROGER FORD
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"Spam Free Zone" - to combat unwanted automatic spamming I have added
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