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iTunes Review

While Tommy James & The Shondells became synonymous with the Bubblegum movement, their debut album is a solid rock album with great, raw production values. Curtis Mayfield’s “I’m So Proud” is an effective case in point. Bassist Mike Vale’s falsetto is met with the sparsest mix possible, a lurking organ, and drums and bass that have more than enough room to roam in this hardcore stereo mix. The Jeff Barry/Ellie Greenwich composition “Hanky Panky” veers close to garage rock and is the best-known tune here. While James was a singles artist, this album is surprisingly well balanced. “Say I Am,” written by James and producer Bob Mack, also made the charts. “Good Lovin’,” a hit for the Young Rascals, is just as inspired as the Rascals’ version. James’ “Don’t Throw Our Love Away” is an underrated track with some R&B sax. James Brown’s “I’ll Go Crazy” proves they can cover the Godfather of Soul. The cover of “Shake a Tail Feather” further makes the case for the Shondells as a versatile group capable of many styles.

Customer Reviews

Good Debut Album

This is a stellar debut album by a band that produced only a handful of albums. An instant classic.

Hanky Panky Album

I came to Itunes looking for the b-side to the hit song Hanky Panky which just happens to be track 13 on the album which is conspiciously absent from the itunes version. The track is named Thunderbolt. Really cool instrumental. Bummer


Formed: 1960 in Dayton, OH

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '60s, '70s

Tommy James & the Shondells -- the very mention of their name, even to someone who doesn't really know their music, evokes images of dances and the kind of fun that rock & roll represented before it redefined itself on more serious terms. And between 1966 and 1969, the group enjoyed 14 Top 40 hits, most of which remain among the most eminently listenable (if not always respected) examples of pop/rock. The group was almost as much of a Top 40 radio institution of the time as Creedence Clearwater Revival,...
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Hanky Panky, Tommy James & The Shondells
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