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The Essentials: Tommy James & the Shondells

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iTunes Review

Tommy James & The Shondells were a hit-making machine throughout the ‘60s. Their string of hits was unrelenting at a time when the industry was turning its emphasis towards the LP. Their hits were labeled as bubblegum for retaining the enthusiasm of ‘50s rock with great rock ‘n’ roll shouters like “Hanky Panky” and “Mony Mony.” However, the group had a number of hair-raising pop hits, including “I Think We’re Alone Now,” “Mirage” and “Crimson and Clover.” The group handled the psychedelic era with equal grace, pulling off more elaborate tracks such as “Sweet Cherry Wine” and “Crystal Blue Persuasion.” This “Essentials” collection is exactly that. Twelve quick doses of what the group did best. “Draggin’ the Line” was technically a solo hit in 1971 for James, but it fits beautifully with the rest of this well-produced and well-executed collection of pure pop. A concise introduction to an underrated group.

Customer Reviews

sometimes you do not realize how good

Every once in a while I will stumble across an artist that I have not heard in a while. Tommy James had a number of excellent songs which transcended the years of his entire career. Great stuff. Crystal Blue Persuasions is still a timeless summer time classic. Give it another listen or a first...

Another great band.

This album has all the music that Tommy James is remembered for, but not all their music. But this album is as it says, "The Essentials."
I never knew he sung 'Hanky Panky."

So many Greats

Hanky Panky, Crimson & Clover, Mony many really fun songs.


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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The Essentials: Tommy James & the Shondells, Tommy James & The Shondells
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