11 Songs, 27 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Tommy James & The Shondells were known as a singles artist; their albums were considered a secondary concern. But that doesn’t mean they didn’t record several substantial albums during their prime. There is no conceptual thrust here or any grand ambition, but the songs themselves are quite good. “Mony Mony” was the blockbuster hit, but other tracks such as the nicely orchestrated “Do Unto Me,” the Beach Boys-like vocal swoons of “(I’m) Taken” and the ambitious jolt of “Somebody Cares” make for a satisfying snapshot of mid-‘60s pop-rock. “Gingerbread Man,” with its groovy organ, proves the group was very aware of the psychedelic world, figuring out ways to acclimate without losing their commercial appeal. “Some Kind of Love” adds congas to the lively vocal interplay that gave the group much of their glory. While 1968 was a dark time for the nation and much of the music reflected this, Tommy James & The Shondells found rays of light to keep spirits up.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Tommy James & The Shondells were known as a singles artist; their albums were considered a secondary concern. But that doesn’t mean they didn’t record several substantial albums during their prime. There is no conceptual thrust here or any grand ambition, but the songs themselves are quite good. “Mony Mony” was the blockbuster hit, but other tracks such as the nicely orchestrated “Do Unto Me,” the Beach Boys-like vocal swoons of “(I’m) Taken” and the ambitious jolt of “Somebody Cares” make for a satisfying snapshot of mid-‘60s pop-rock. “Gingerbread Man,” with its groovy organ, proves the group was very aware of the psychedelic world, figuring out ways to acclimate without losing their commercial appeal. “Some Kind of Love” adds congas to the lively vocal interplay that gave the group much of their glory. While 1968 was a dark time for the nation and much of the music reflected this, Tommy James & The Shondells found rays of light to keep spirits up.

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