Your basket is empty

Categories :

Similar artists

Albums

From
CD€11.49

Pop - Released February 8, 2005 | Rhino

One of the most flexible units in late-'60s rock, Tommy James & the Shondells could go from teen-oriented power pop to way-out psychedelic experimentation without sounding derivative of anyone or allowing their own identity to become obscured. Generously combining two of their classic albums, Cellophane Symphony and Crimson & Clover, on a single CD, this reissue reminds us just how unpredictable the rockers could be. This was a band that managed to appeal to Beach Boys aficionados as well as the hippies who fancied Jefferson Airplane, the Doors, and Cream. Whether digging into psychedelic rock on "Crimson & Clover" (a major hit), "Cellophane Symphony" and the goofy "I Am a Tangerine," sugary power pop on "Do Something to Me," or smooth blue-eyed soul on "Crystal Blue Persuasion," the group consistently comes across as honest and true to itself. © Alex Henderson /TiVo
From
CD€20.49

Pop - Released January 8, 1990 | Parlophone UK

Another great example of what Rhino does so well, Anthology brings together no less than 27 of Tommy James and the Shondells' nuggets on one disc. Along with good liner notes from Parke Puterbaugh, who interviewed James extensively (James himself contributes a slew of fun and informative anecdotes about many of the songs) and the usual skilled remastering job, it makes for one heck of a collection. James himself sums up his own appeal best of all: "We were really having fun, and you can hear it in the grooves." "Hanky Panky" understandably kicks things off, but the collection really doesn't take off until the just-plain-irresistible "I Think We're Alone Now," notably (and some would argue memorably) covered by Tiffany in the late '80s. The original is barely two minutes long, but packs in everything from a killer opening bassline and dramatic pauses to a totally killer chorus, James and company transforming Ritchie Cordell's song into a glistening gem. The fact that so many of his hits were beneficiaries of later remakes -- "Mony Mony" by Billy Idol, "Crimson and Clover" by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, "Draggin' the Line" by R.E.M. -- is even better testimony to their appeal, and hearing the originals all in place confirms why they were smashes. If a number of selections are paler shadows of some of these greats, the arrangements are rarely less than anything but pure pop fun -- the almost delirious addition of swirling strings, flutes, and even harp to many songs gives them even more cheery flair. The fact that they were able to make woozy, psych-influenced delights like "Crimson and Clover" and still maintain their status as major hit artists on the charts is testament enough to their appeal. © Ned Raggett /TiVo
From
CD€13.49

Pop - Released January 5, 1967 | Rhino

"I Think We're Alone Now" was the first Top Five hit for Tommy James since his 1966 chart-topper "Hanky Panky," and a redemption of sorts for/from the album that came in between, the sugary It's Only Love. Ritchie Cordell is in total control here, writing the first eight songs on the disc, including all three that charted: "I Think We're Alone Now," the exquisite "Mirage," and "I Like the Way." The album cover is brilliant, total black with two pairs of feet taking two steps forward, then one pair turning around and facing the other; neither person is wearing shoes. The tension of the opening guitar and bass riff coupled with the great melody and theme make for an all-time rock & roll classic. It's more "hanky panky" in theme, "Hanky Panky" all grown up. "Mirage" opens side two and it is a brilliant sequel to "I Think We're Alone Now," with similar structure but enough production tricks to make the songs sound different. The harpsichord from side one's "Trust Each Other in Love" is used again in "Mirage" to great effect, while the underlying riff in "Trust Each Other in Love" also borrows from the title track. Co-produced by Bo Gentry and Cordell, with the ever-present Jimmy Wisner arranging and conducting, the album features the band and production team working as a cohesive unit to solidify Tommy James' foundation on pop radio. There's a credible cover of the Rivieras' 1964 hit "California Sun," as well a short and nicely chaotic rendition of the Isley Brothers' perennial "Shout." James' voice and personality carry the record and Cordell continues rewriting the title track with "Run, Run, Baby, Run," inverting the inspired riff. He and the singer then compose "(Baby, Baby) I Can't Take It No More," which has the feel of the Rascals' "I Ain't Gonna Eat out My Heart Anymore," while "Gone, Gone, Gone" sounds like Ritchie Cordell was listening to Pennsylvania's Eddie Rambeau or U.K. group Unit 4 + 2's "Concrete and Clay." There are plenty of flavors from the day slipped into this wonderful mix, a true pop concoction that has stood the test of time. In concert both "Mirage" and "I Think We're Alone Now" are major moments; James' hit material over the years contained a rich variety of composition. This album is Ritchie Cordell's vision for Tommy James and is an important and highly entertaining piece of the Shondells' catalog. © Joe Viglione /TiVo
From
CD€11.49

Pop - Released February 8, 2005 | Rhino

The 11 songs that make up the Mony Mony album are well-produced '60s pop, though the title track is the only one from this project which would chart, hitting the Top Five. "Mony Mony" is a terrific song with its repetitive hook, an endless party on record even more powerful live. Unlike the I Think We're Alone Now album, which even included photos of producers Bo Gentry and Ritchie Cordell, there are no credits on the LP gatefold, the focus instead on the musicians in colorful, hip suits with beads, scarves, and opulent surroundings. You can hear where producers for Bobby Sherman found his sound in "Somebody Cares," a second cousin to the Top 20 "Gettin' Together" title track of the LP before this. "Gingerbread Man" contains an adventurous spirit which would open up new avenues when the band wrote, produced, and arranged their next LP, the all important Crimson & Clover disc. You can feel James and his group learning from Bo Gentry and Ritchie Cordell, but also shedding the confines of outside help. Where "One Two Three and I Fell," "Somebody Cares," and "Get Out Now" have the Gentry/Cordell stamp, and the three covers of tunes by Illingworth and Grasso have their R&B moments -- "Do Unto Me" taken right from the Platters' 1967 hit "With This Ring" -- the band starts truly striking out on its own here. "Some Kind of Love" might not be "Crystal Blue Persuasion," but the congas and band sound show seeds of work that was just around the corner. As the group got more psychedelic, they found a new niche, a natural extension of the garage rock from their very first release, Hanky Panky, and the pure pop found here. When seen as a whole, the Tommy James catalog shows remarkable diversity, which is why in performance his repertoire has more dynamics than most touring '60s acts. That unique blend gave Tommy James the solo artist his platform to hit on his own in the '70s and '80s. Mony Mony was an important moment of transition featuring one of the group's most classic hits on an interesting and entertaining album. © Joe Viglione /TiVo
From
CD€27.99

Pop - Released December 31, 2013 | Parlophone UK

From
CD€11.49

Pop - Released February 8, 2005 | Rhino

The debut album by Tommy James & the Shondells features a garage rock classic, "Hanky Panky," the suggestive Jeff Barry/Ellie Greenwich title which launched the career of the charismatic and talented lead singer. Produced by Bob Mack, the "Pittsburgh teenage nightclub operator" as the liner notes refer to him, this initial project is a vintage collection of recordings and is more effective than the follow-up, It's Only Love. Fact is, everything about this first effort displays a more authentic approach than what producer Henry Glover took when he made the band's sound more bubblegummy the second time around. "Don't Throw Our Love Away" is the Shondells writing and performing a decent tune, while "Say What I Am," the Bob Mack/Tommy James original, is right on the money and actually charted higher than Ritchie Cordell's "It's Only Love," which became their third hit and title track to their follow-up LP. An instrumental version of "Cleo's Mood" is unnecessary while the Shondells beat out James & Bobby Purify by covering "Shake a Tail Feather" before that duo got it to the Top 25. Many of the songs have that McCoys guitar riff tension from their hits "Hang on Sloopy" and "Fever." It's certainly there on "Say I Am" as well as "Cleo's Mood" and the rave-up "Lots of Pretty Girls" written by Paul Luka, the man behind Peppermint Rainbow and "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye." James was immediately in the trenches of rock and the Hanky Panky album is a brilliant start to his storied career. Longtime Shondells bassist Mike Vale sings Deon Jackson's "Love Makes the World Go Round" and Curtis Mayfield's "I'm So Proud," displaying a tasteful understanding of pop's R&B foundation. They smartly covered Mayfield's "It's Alright" on the follow-up LP. James is great on James Brown's "I'll Go Crazy" but even better covering the Young Rascals' hit from January of 1966, "Good Lovin'." Note all the R&B this band recorded, a blending by chance, perhaps, of garage rock with blue-eyed soul. The drum sounds may leave a lot to be desired, but they somehow got the guitars and keys to tape with that precious '60s sound that should make for attention in collectors circles. While ? & the Mysterians and the Barbarians deserved more hits, their albums came valuable because of the near obscurity. Hanky Panky by James was the start of 19 chart hits (including his songs for other artists), and holds its own as a classic album from that era. The early George Magura/Mike Vale composition, "The Lover," sung by keyboardist Ron Rosman, gave James' sidemen their own moment in the sun and is more evidence that they were heading in a Rolling Stones-style direction. The bubblegum tag may not have been appropriate because this first effort is up there with another band who hit with a suggestive song in both sound and style, that being the Kingsmen after "Louie Louie" earned its well-deserved infamy. The big difference here is that the man who gave voice to the popular song actually stayed around to notch quite a few more. © Joe Viglione /TiVo
From
CD€4.99

Pop - Released January 9, 2020 | Play Music

From
CD€5.99

Pop - Released March 15, 2020 | G Records

From
CD€14.99

Pop - Released July 20, 2007 | Parlophone UK

From
CD€14.99

Pop - Released January 1, 1970 | Rhino

From
CD€14.99

Pop - Released January 11, 1967 | Rhino

From
CD€14.99

Pop - Released January 1, 1966 | Rhino

From
CD€7.99

Pop - Released December 2, 2020 | Blue Cactus

From
CD€33.99

Pop - Released January 29, 2021 | Grapefruit

Tommy James was one of the biggest pop stars of the '60s and early '70s, turning out a steady stream of radio-ready hits with his band the Shondells, including "Hanky Panky," "I Think We're Alone Now," "Mony Mony," "Crimson and Clover," "Crystal Blue Persuasion," and many more. He was also prolific; between 1966 and 1973, Roulette Records issued no fewer than 13 albums on James (most with the Shondells, some of the later releases solo), in addition to a bunch of non-LP singles. It's a hefty body of work, and the U.K. reissue label Grapefruit Records have given fans an opportunity to study it at length with Celebration: The Complete Roulette Recordings 1966-1973, a six-disc set that collects everything James released for the label, along with a few rarities and unreleased tracks. For 99-percent of all Tommy James fans, Celebration is everything they will ever need from his catalog and then some, and it does reveal a more interesting and varied career than one might expect if they only know the hits. His first two albums, Hanky Panky and It's Only Love (both 1966), are dominated by covers of R&B hits, and present the Shondells as a tight, no-frills show band fronted by a better-than-average blue-eyed soul shouter. I Think We're Alone Now and Gettin' Together (both 1967) introduce the Tommy James we know best; producers and songwriters Ritchie Cordell and Bo Gentry started working with James, and their rocking bubblegum smarts gave him the perfect vehicle for his voice and personality. With Crimson & Clover (1969), James, Cordell, and Gentry started wading into psychedelia, and Cellophane Symphony (1969) was where they dove in head first, and it's an impressively trippy and exploratory work. Travellin' and Tommy James (both 1970) marked the end of the Shondells and the beginning of James' solo period, as psychedelia gave way to a rootsy, soft rock sound. James embraced Jesus Rock on Christian of the World (1971), which feels sincere and welcoming in its spirituality and heartfelt midtempo rock, and My Head, My Bed, and My Red Guitar (1971) was an ambitious country rock project, recorded in Nashville with a crew of Music City session aces. Celebration is the record of an eclectic career from an era in which pop music went through a wealth of dramatic changes, and through it all, James is a versatile and consistently strong singer, as well as an able guitarist and songwriter when he chose to contribute. The 1989 compilation Anthology is a more compact career overview that will do the job for the vast majority of Tommy James fans, but if you have the time and the inclination to dig deep into the most vital and productive period of his life, Celebration is a superb box set that leaves no stone unturned. © Mark Deming /TiVo