Kenny Nolan was a struggling songwriter for many years. He fortunes changed dramatically when he hooked up with producer Bob Crewe in 1973. Crewe was most famous for producing and co-writing hits for the Four Seasons. So naturally when the two got together they pitched a song to the Four Seasons to help them get back on the charts. The group recorded it but their label, MoWest rejected it and sent them packing, but not before they sold the song back to Frankie Valli, who knew he had a smash on his hands. Believe it or not, the guys behind Sherry, Rag Doll, Candy Girl and other huge 60s hits were rejected by tons of labels. Until one day Frankie found the small start-up label, Private Stock Records was willing to take a chance and release it. The only catch was that they wanted Frankie to release it as a solo single.
Frankie relented and put it out and in March of 1975, he had his first #1 solo single. Not only that the sound of Frankie’s voice on the radio prompted the Four Seasons to reform and record an album and all of a sudden, Frankie was juggling two careers. Things got crazy for Nolan too, who had his Get Dancing by Disco Tex hit the Top 10 in February of 1975, and then had My Eyes Adored You replaced at #1 by another Crewe/Nolan composition, Lady Marmalade. A hot 1975 for all!
The song is a very touching ballad sung in retrospect by a guy who remembers a crush he had on a girl in the 5th grade, the girl he left behind to head for the city lights. But I always have to laugh at the opening couplet:
My eyes adored you
Though I never laid my hands on you
Sounds like the guy is giving a confessional on Law & Order. Dude you were in the 6th grade. What were you expecting to have happen? Is this a statement or a warning?
Another one of my favorite lines is:
Walking home every day
Over Barnegat Bridge and Bay
First of all, until I sang karaoke I know no idea what the line was. Second, that line is incredibly awkward, but Frankie handles it smoothly. Third and most important, where the hell did these kids live? They had to cross a 1200 ft long bridge to an isolated peninsula on their way home, every day? And he was carrying her books too. No wonder only his eyes adored her. He was probably too tired to do anything else anyway.
One additional fact about Frankie Valli. He suffered from otosclerosis, which is an abnormal growth of a bone in the inner ear, which leads to hearing loss. He was nearly deaf by the mid-70s , until surgery helped him regain his hearing. Up until this song he was singing from memory. This may have been one of his recordings where he could actually hear the music he was singing along with.