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Tommy James & The Shondells (5CDs): their 5 albums in one set; each in miniatured LP case; great front covers; great sound!
on 26 February 2016
Tommy James was born Thomas Jackson on April 29, 1947 in Dayton, Ohio, and raised in Niles, Michigan. He formed pop group The Shondells at age 12, and recorded “Hanky Panky” on the Snap label in 1964! James relocated to Pittsburgh in 1964 after a DJ there popularized “Hanky Panky.” Original master was sold to Roulette label, whereupon James recruited Pittsburgh group The Raconteurs to become the official Shondells. The group consisted of Tommy James (vocal), Eddie Gray (guitar), Ronnie Rosman (organ), Mike Vale (bass) and Pete Lucia (drums). Group split from James in 1970, recorded as Hog Heaven. James went onto a successful solo career from 1970 to 1981, including the hit Draggin’ The Line.
So far, I managed to collect 16 Tommy James CDs. In this series, their first 5 albums in US (including label & No, chart position & year) are included:
1. Hanky Panky (Roulette 25336)(46/1966)
2. I Think We’re Alone Now (Roulette 25353)(74/1967)
3. Mony Mony (Roulette 42012)(193/1968)
4. Crimson & Clover (Roulette 42023)(8/1969)
5. Cellophane Symphony (Roulette 42030)(141/1960)
1. His individual album CDs are available separately on Collectables, Rhino or BGO labels, but at a higher total price. Here, we have all 5 of his biggest albums in one set.
2. Each album comes with their original album front and back covers in a miniatured hardboard LP case.
3. There is a song listing on the back of the case that holds the 5 CDs. (For older folks like me, it is hard to read the small print song title on the back cover of the small hardboard case).
4. There are 12 charted singles a-sides, including Hanky Panky, Say I Am, I Think We’re Alone Now, Mirage, I Like The Way, Get Out Now, Mony Mony, Somebody Cares, Do Something To Me, Crimson and Clover (here we have the original longer version), Sweet Cherry Wine and Crystal Ball Persuasion.
5. Thank you for giving us the true original front cover of I Think We’re Alone Now, featuring a black album cover with yellow footprints, later replaced with a photo of the group.
6. The sound is very well remastered, with clear vocal and well differentiated different instrument sounds, like guitars, organs & drums, with no hiss and great bass. The outstanding tracks are I Think We’re Alone Now and the long version of Crimson and Clover, which will blow your mind off…
1. A little expensive.
I always love the sound of Tommy James and the Shondells. I worn out two albums: I Think We’re Alone Now and Crimson and Clover from repeated play. Although I have all the above albums on CDs bought separately, I am still very glad to purchase this set with the original miniatured LP hard board cases, and original front and back covers, which were not available in earlier other releases. If you are going for their singles release, the best collection is a 2 CD set from Collector’s Choice called: 40 Years: The Complete Singles Collection (1966 – 2006).
If you are interested in re-collecting major artists’ albums on CDs at a reasonable price, the Original Album Series or Original Album Classics, or the LP Collection, or similar series from Real Gone Music, is the way to go. I managed to get back a lot of albums on CDs from artists, like Linda Ronstadt, Bobby Darin, Rascals, Monkees, Hollies, KC And The Sunshine Band, etc. This set is recommended for all Tommy James And The Shondells fans and collectors of individual albums from major artists.
If you are interested in getting Tommy James’s DVD, I would recommended Live! At The Bitter End, a 60 minute concert, released by BMG in 2000.