Pop/Psychedelic Pop: Tommy James & The Shondells - Anthology (Rhino 1989) Flac
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.
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.
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.(allmusic.com)
Really good review. Nothing more must said about these pop heroes and the songs who James and the Shondells had done.
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