“Beggin‘“, the second single from the Four Seasons’ New Gold Hits album in 1967, marked Gaudio’s “return” as the Seasons’ songwriter free drink bottles, with a combination of Valli’s impassioned soul singing and the band’s more contemporary instrumentation. It also was the first Seasons single since “Dawn (Go Away)” on which Gaudio collaborated with a lyricist other than producer Bob Crewe, as lyrics were contributed by Piergiorgio Farina (aka Peggy Santiglia of The Angels, who sang lead on the 1960s hit “My Boyfriend’s Back” and was frequently used as a background singer by Crewe).
It reached the #16 position on the Hot 100 charts, continuing the group’s string of Billboard Top 20 hits. However, it was overshadowed by Valli’s “solo” recording of “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You”, a Gaudio-Crewe composition, which rose to number two. It was the last Gaudio composition for the Four Seasons to chart in the Top 20 until 1975’s “Who Loves You”.
The song is included in Act Two of the Broadway musical about the Four Seasons, Jersey Boys. It was used as the main theme of an ad campaign for Adidas, celebrating the company’s 60th anniversary.
In 2007, French disc jockey Pilooski re-edited and released his version of the Four Seasons song on 2 June. This version reached #32 in the UK and #1 on the UK Dance Chart. It is the first single from the album Beggin’ The Ultimate Collection. The Pilooski re-edit does not include any new instrumentation or vocals but is purely a manipulation and remix of the original Four Seasons recording, using echo and phase-polarisation.
In 2007, the same year as the Pilooski remix, the Norwegian hip-hop group Madcon recorded and released a new version of the song. The version became very popular in Norway, reaching #1 on the charts. Madcon’s version of the song is a total re-recording, all instruments were performed by the production team , and all vocals by Madcon. The single went 6 times platinum and was the highest selling song in Norway in 2007 insulated stainless steel bottle, and received the “Hit of the Year” Spellemannprisen award. The song also became popular throughout Europe; in France and the Netherlands it reached #1, in the UK it reached #5, and in Germany it peaked at #7.
The song appeared in the live finale of season 3 of America’s Best Dance Crew in which finalist Beat Freaks and Quest Crew performed together. It was also used in the episode “Battle Scars” of season 6 of CSI: NY and in the “Meet the Top 20” episode of So You Think You Can Dance. The song was also used in the dance movies Step Up 3D and StreetDance 3D, in addition to the movie Just Go With It and the trailer for the 2011 raunchy comedy Bad Teacher. The music video features Yosef Wolde-Mariam and Tshawe Baqwa in a mix of Blaxploitation-scenes and dozing off while playing Halo 3 and was directed by Christian Holm-Glad.
The Four Seasons’ original version did not chart in the United Kingdom. Instead, Northern Soul band Timebox had a minor hit with the song, peaking at #38 in 1968. In 1967 Italian singer Riki Maiocchi performed his cover, “Prega”. In 1974, Dutch band Shocking Blue included a cover version of the song on their album Good Times. In 2008, British girl band The Saturdays, inspired by both Pilooski and Madcon, recorded their own version as a b-side for their single “Issues” and performed a live acoustic version on BBC Radio 1’s Live Lounge as well as on their The Work Tour in 2009. In June 2009 Dutch singer/songwwriter Bertolf recorded a semi-acoustic on YouTube live for the Dutch radio station 3FM. Since then Bertolf’s version has been released commercially on iTunes, played regularly on said radio station and during live concerts.
Turkish türkü singer Ferhat Güzel also covered a parody of the song, dubbed “Begüm (Suçu Kendine At)” – literally “Begüm (Blame Yourself)”, for Okan Bayülgen’s TV show Disko Kralı. It was sung by Michael Sarver, Megan Joy, Scott MacIntyre, Lil Rounds, Anoop Desai and Matt Giraud at the end of the first half of the American Idol Tour. Turkish band Dolapdere Big Gang recorded a cover of the song on their 2010 album Art-ist. French singer-guitarist Aymeric Savignat (aka “Tidusko”) covers the song in the compilation album La Musique de Paris Dernière Vol.7 (2009). French singer and composer Claude François sung the French version Reste (lit. meaning “Stay”) in 1968. It was covered by Phillip Phillips on American Idol in 2012. That same year, vocal harmony group District3 performed the song as part of a mash-up with Chris Brown’s “Turn Up the Music” on The X Factor UK.
Vocal group The Overtones also covered the song in 2011.
In 2009, many remixes similar to the Pilooski remix of the original “Beggin‘” were used in adidas’ “House Party” commercial featuring many celebrities past and present who were sponsored by the company, which was promoting 60 years of “outfitting the world in three stripes.” Celebrities who make an appearance in the commercial include David Beckham, Missy Elliott, Katy Perry, The Ting Tings, Kevin Garnett, Young Jeezy, Russell Simmons, Estelle, Redman and Method Man, among others. One of these remixes was made by aKido and can be found on his page.
The song is also being used as part of the BBC’s coverage of the 2009/2010 Formula One Championship, primarily during course run-through. Also in 2009, the Madcon cover of “Beggin‘” was used as a theme for its summer programming by HBO. “Beggin‘” is also on the NBA Live 2009 video game soundtrack. The song is also used in a scene in the film Just Go With It; in part of the Bad Teacher trailer; as the song for the 24th Street part in the Tilt Mode Army skateboarding video; in the film Step Up 3D; and in the film Macaframa. The Madcon version of “Beggin” was sung by the winning contestant from American Idol (season 11), Phillip Phillips in the final three performance night. :ogic also used it as a sample in his Young Sinatra mixtape.