27 Songs, 1 Hour 14 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Tommy James was a top selling singles artist throughout the mid- to late ‘60s, with a string of Top 40 hits that were as fresh and exciting as the album oriented rock that received most of the critical applause and that gave rise to the FM radio format. James’ music with the Shondells kept AM radio firmly in its sights and their heads. They were an unashamed celebration of what became known as “bubblegum” pop. Fact is the songs themselves are very, very good. “Hanky Panky” has a powerful hook and slashing guitars, while “I Think We’re Alone Now” is an affecting piece of adolescent sexual tension. “Mirage,” “I Like The Way,” “Getting Together” and “Real Girl” are riveting pieces of pop-rock, with vocal interplay that enlivens even the most routine composition. “Mony Mony” proved to be a great rock ‘n’ roll shouter (and later a hit for Billy Idol), but “Crimson and Clover,” “Crystal Blue Persuasion” and “Sweet Cherry Wine” showed James and crew could keep up with the psychedelic innovations without losing their bite. This is a great detailed anthology of that era.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Tommy James was a top selling singles artist throughout the mid- to late ‘60s, with a string of Top 40 hits that were as fresh and exciting as the album oriented rock that received most of the critical applause and that gave rise to the FM radio format. James’ music with the Shondells kept AM radio firmly in its sights and their heads. They were an unashamed celebration of what became known as “bubblegum” pop. Fact is the songs themselves are very, very good. “Hanky Panky” has a powerful hook and slashing guitars, while “I Think We’re Alone Now” is an affecting piece of adolescent sexual tension. “Mirage,” “I Like The Way,” “Getting Together” and “Real Girl” are riveting pieces of pop-rock, with vocal interplay that enlivens even the most routine composition. “Mony Mony” proved to be a great rock ‘n’ roll shouter (and later a hit for Billy Idol), but “Crimson and Clover,” “Crystal Blue Persuasion” and “Sweet Cherry Wine” showed James and crew could keep up with the psychedelic innovations without losing their bite. This is a great detailed anthology of that era.

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