Tommy James and the Shondelles C or D

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Couldn't find a thread that already existed, surprisingly enough. Amazing band, Crimson and Clover rocks so hard it makes me spontaniously combust. I think we're alone now is also great. In fact, they managed to have a bunch of hits without ever making a completely straightforward pop song-- they were always off-kilter in at least one way. True brilliance.

David Allen (David Allen), Wednesday, 18 February 2004 21:14 (eighteen years ago) link

fucking hell yes, "crimson and clover" is just dazzling.

jody (Jody Beth Rosen), Wednesday, 18 February 2004 21:17 (eighteen years ago) link

I's say classic. Also, anyone else find it weird that three '80s pop stars each had huge hits covering different Tommy James songs?

Josh in Chicago (Josh in Chicago), Wednesday, 18 February 2004 21:17 (eighteen years ago) link

classic. long version of crimson and clover even better than classic.

scott seward (scott seward), Wednesday, 18 February 2004 21:17 (eighteen years ago) link

Quite, quite so. First time I heard it was the dramatic Joan Jett early eighties cover, which I still love -- sounded like some odd alien song -- but the original I love just as much, and the older Rhino best of I have is one slice of brilliance after another.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Wednesday, 18 February 2004 21:18 (eighteen years ago) link

Where does one find the long version of C & C on CD, out of interest? It is a stunning track...

Tom May (Tom May), Wednesday, 18 February 2004 21:21 (eighteen years ago) link

i dunno, i have it on a cheapo best-of. it's better than the single version cuz the middle part sounds like deep dub. i was listening to Cellophane Symphony the other day. i like that album. it's underrated. or not even rated maybe. i dunno. i don't hear people talk about it. it has some fine moments.

scott seward (scott seward), Wednesday, 18 February 2004 21:24 (eighteen years ago) link

check this AMG link out Tom. this cd has Cellophane Symphony AND the 5 minute version of Crimson & Clover on it!


http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&uid=UIDSUB020402181625592986&sql=A4kqpg44ttv8z

scott seward (scott seward), Wednesday, 18 February 2004 21:34 (eighteen years ago) link

i was just about to post the same link!

jody (Jody Beth Rosen), Wednesday, 18 February 2004 21:35 (eighteen years ago) link

Taking Sides: Crimson & Clover VS Good Vibrations

Fritz Wollner (Fritz), Wednesday, 18 February 2004 21:36 (eighteen years ago) link

i've never actually owned a copy of the album Crimson & Clover. That might have the long version too. all i know is that the single version that everyone knows is like 3 minutes long. so, that's like over 2 minutes of crimson & clover goodness that you need to hear!!! plus, it's just really trippy and cool.

scott seward (scott seward), Wednesday, 18 February 2004 21:39 (eighteen years ago) link

Classic. Some of the best bubblegum ever, esp. C&C, I Think We're Alone Now and Draggin' The Line.

maypang (maypang), Wednesday, 18 February 2004 21:43 (eighteen years ago) link

so classic it hurts. but i wonder about why you think they were always in some way off-kilter, david. 'cause "i think we're alone now" is completely straightforward bubblegum to my ears. "hanky panky" is pretty straightforward too. "mirage," that's kind of a weird one.

fact checking cuz (fcc), Wednesday, 18 February 2004 22:27 (eighteen years ago) link

also, i love that "mony mony" was inspired by the huge "mony" sign on mutual of new york's headquarters in nyc.

fact checking cuz (fcc), Wednesday, 18 February 2004 22:29 (eighteen years ago) link

so classic it hurts. but i wonder about why you think they were always in some way off-kilter, david. 'cause "i think we're alone now" is completely straightforward bubblegum to my ears

Look at the way they don't build directly to the chorus, and they have one weird part where it's just the bass going back and fourth between two notes.

David Allen (David Allen), Wednesday, 18 February 2004 22:34 (eighteen years ago) link

but to me that's just classic '60s brill building songwriting: verse, pre-chorus, chorus, each part building steadily toward the big melodic payoff at the chorus.

and a lot of great songs of that era had cool little bass or drum or whatever breaks. but that was part of the classic songwriting and arrangement style of the day.

i think it's an absolutely fantastic song. i just don't find it weird.

fact checking cuz (fcc), Wednesday, 18 February 2004 22:41 (eighteen years ago) link

Total classic. "I Think We're Alone Now" is one of the most eerie, haunting moments in pop. Beautiful.

Ben Boyer (Ben Boyer), Wednesday, 18 February 2004 22:50 (eighteen years ago) link

I was just thinking about them yesterday and how I don't like them any more except "Crystal Blue Persuasion."

(Did I say that last time? I think someone else did.)

Rockist Scientist, Wednesday, 18 February 2004 22:53 (eighteen years ago) link

Absolutely classic.

Colin Beckett (Colin Beckett), Wednesday, 18 February 2004 22:56 (eighteen years ago) link

"I Think We're Alone Now" is for me sadly tainted by the sheer ubiquity of the fairly recent hit cover version (??) of the last few years, that at a certain stage was on at least once on every night out I had... However, I'm not really heard the Shondells' original in full or much so I'd wager it'd have a chance to impress me. Will always be coloured by how when I think of the song I think of the contexts I've heard this recent version of it... or, he he, more appropriately, the blur of too many similar contexts. ;-)

Tom May (Tom May), Thursday, 19 February 2004 00:42 (eighteen years ago) link

A DUD A DUD A MOTHERFUCKING DUD!!!!!!!!!! Come on people!! These are the guys that did "My Baby Does the Hanky Panky"!!!! UURRRGGGGHHHHH!!!

Mr. Snrub (Mr. Snrub), Thursday, 19 February 2004 01:04 (eighteen years ago) link

I forgot that one. Maybe they are better than I'm giving them credit for (no irony intended).

Rockist Scientist, Thursday, 19 February 2004 01:31 (eighteen years ago) link

plus "draggin' the line"

cinniblount (James Blount), Thursday, 19 February 2004 01:34 (eighteen years ago) link

Mr. Blount, do you hug a tree when you get near it?

Ned Raggett (Ned), Thursday, 19 February 2004 01:35 (eighteen years ago) link

i ride a pony

cinniblount (James Blount), Thursday, 19 February 2004 01:37 (eighteen years ago) link

Up a tree.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Thursday, 19 February 2004 01:37 (eighteen years ago) link

this maybe belongs on the tommy james 80s remakes thread but i went to a drag show last week and there was a female billy idol impersonator and she did 'mony mony'. raised. the. roof.

cinniblount (James Blount), Thursday, 19 February 2004 01:38 (eighteen years ago) link

Classic. I think the cover versions of I Think We're Alone Now make it better, it pretends it's shit because of them but then utterly blasts you out of any kind of complacency. Works especially well in DJ sets for this same reason.

Jim Robinson (Original Miscreant), Thursday, 19 February 2004 01:40 (eighteen years ago) link

a classic, a classic, a motherfucking classic. come on people!

everyone always forgets "Baby baby I can't take it no more" and "Sweet cherry wine."

billstevejim, Thursday, 19 February 2004 07:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Classic - two great songs not already mentioned: "Do Something to Me" and "She" plus many others, plenty of duds too but you can't make an omelette without breakin' heads.

Dadaismus (Dada), Thursday, 19 February 2004 11:51 (eighteen years ago) link

T.James was like 14 when he recorded "Hanky Panky" and that's an awesome song anyway so fuck you, buddy!
I've got the Rhino best of and sometimes I go through and listen to each song (well, not EVERY song) three or four times consecutively, because I'm always convinced that I imagined them as soon as they're over.

My Huckleberry Friend (Horace Mann), Thursday, 19 February 2004 14:44 (eighteen years ago) link

Classic, including "Hanky Panky" which for my money is their second best record, after "Crimson and Clover." (Long version of C&C in no way an improvement over the single however.)

Burr (Burr), Thursday, 19 February 2004 14:45 (eighteen years ago) link

what exactly is a "Shondell"?

Fritz Wollner (Fritz), Thursday, 19 February 2004 15:07 (eighteen years ago) link

An ugly looking guy with a beard who plays with Tommy James

Dadaismus (Dada), Thursday, 19 February 2004 15:08 (eighteen years ago) link

ahhh

Fritz Wollner (Fritz), Thursday, 19 February 2004 15:10 (eighteen years ago) link

"Sweet Cherry Wine" is pretty rad too.

My Huckleberry Friend (Horace Mann), Thursday, 19 February 2004 18:01 (eighteen years ago) link

"I Think We're Alone Now" is unbelievably classic, and "Mirage" is better than that. The rest is great too, but I've found that anytime I put "Mirage" on a mix tape for anyone (which happens frequently, ho ho), it blows their mind.

Hurlothrumbo (hurlothrumbo), Thursday, 19 February 2004 19:18 (eighteen years ago) link

damn, I wish this thread had been yesterday. I could've played some on my radio show. Now I have to wait a whole week, and then who knows if I'll remember?

My Huckleberry Friend (Horace Mann), Thursday, 19 February 2004 19:19 (eighteen years ago) link

Yesyes so fucking classic. Liner notes to the rhino comp claim they invented the 8th note bassline (and by my reckoning, by extension, house music!).

Sterling Clover (s_clover), Thursday, 19 February 2004 19:24 (eighteen years ago) link

Hmmm... interesting theory. Wouldn't Eddie Cochran have done it first? I don't think I have any Cochran lying around here to test.

Broheems (diamond), Thursday, 19 February 2004 19:32 (eighteen years ago) link

"I Think We're Alone Now" is unbelievably classic, and "Mirage" is better than that. The rest is great too, but I've found that anytime I put "Mirage" on a mix tape for anyone (which happens frequently, ho ho), it blows their mind.

Of course, "Mirage" is just "I Think We're Alone Now" backwards - so conceptual geniuses into the bargain

Dadaismus (Dada), Friday, 20 February 2004 14:15 (eighteen years ago) link

We played Crimson and Clover the long version at our wedding. People went nuts for it.

Chris V (Chris V), Friday, 20 February 2004 14:17 (eighteen years ago) link

Chris V is an excellent man.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Friday, 20 February 2004 14:26 (eighteen years ago) link

One night when I was like 13, I was working on a poetry assignment for my Grade 8 english class, we had to assemble our own poetry anthology, meeting certain requirements, and only so many could be lyrics from songs, blah blah blah, this is not important, anyway, it was really late, like maybe 10 or something, or maybe later, because I was the only up in my house and I was working in the kitchen, but I called into the crappy radio station and requested "Crimson & Clover" and they played it, and maybe even put me on the air for like 5 seconds, I don't remember, but they definitely said my name. Which is an uncommon name. That's important to remember.
Two years later, I meet this girl at a party. We talk for a while and finally feel friendly enought to tell each other our names. She looks at me and says "You're XXXXX? Did you ever request 'Crimson & Clover' on such-and-such FM? You're soooooo rad!"
I got kissed with tongue for the first time that night.

My Huckleberry Friend (Horace Mann), Friday, 20 February 2004 14:46 (eighteen years ago) link

five months pass...
Bump!

Brought an old mix CD to the gym today, found a Tommy James and Shondells triptych at the end:

"Sweet Cherry Wine"
"Love's Closin' in on Me"
"Sugar on Sunday"

and my god, they made the elliptical machine almost tolerable. Totally, positively, classic.

j.e.r.e.m.y (x Jeremy), Monday, 26 July 2004 22:26 (seventeen years ago) link

The Pooh Sticks did a great version of "Do Something to Me" -- fast, kinda like a Buzzcocks song.

Rickey Wright (Rrrickey), Monday, 26 July 2004 23:11 (seventeen years ago) link

huck, that's a great story.

I'm going to download C + C right now.

derrick (derrick), Monday, 26 July 2004 23:21 (seventeen years ago) link

I love "Draggin' the Line."

eddie hurt (ddduncan), Monday, 26 July 2004 23:46 (seventeen years ago) link

j.e.r.e.m.y., I'm delighted that you said that: I discovered a year or so ago that every major Tommy James hit's BPM is precisely my normal jogging pace. Yay for everything mentioned above, plus "1, 2, 3 and I Fell."

Joseph McCombs, Tuesday, 27 July 2004 01:47 (seventeen years ago) link

Damn - I was going to mention "Dizzy" and "Little Sheila", then I remembered that Tommy ROE did those ones. Typical mixup, like Gary Puckett/Gary Lewis. "Hanky Panky" is pretty good, considering that it was written 20 minutes before it was recorded! And yeah, "Crimson and Clover" is sure some kinda classic.

Myonga Von Bontee (Myonga Von Bontee), Tuesday, 27 July 2004 08:06 (seventeen years ago) link

He eventually did have more or less a regular band and writing partner(s).

Uncle Redd in the Zingtime (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 23 June 2018 02:15 (four years ago) link

re: "Hanky Panky"

In February 1964 the band recorded the Jeff Barry–Ellie Greenwich song "Hanky Panky" (originally a B-side by the Raindrops[4]). Released by Snap Records, a local label, James's version sold respectably in Michigan, Indiana and Illinois, but Snap Records had no national distribution. The band toured the eastern Midwest, but no other market took to the song. The single failed to chart nationally, and the Shondells disbanded in 1965 after its members graduated from high school.

...

in 1965, Pittsburgh dance promoter Bob Mack had unearthed the forgotten single "Hanky Panky", playing it at various dance parties, and radio stations there touted it as an "exclusive". Listener response encouraged regular play, and demand soared. Bootleggers responded by printing 80,000 black market copies of the recording, which were sold in Pennsylvania stores.

James first learned of all this activity in April 1966 after getting a telephone call from Pittsburgh disc jockey "Mad Mike" Metro to come and perform the song. James attempted to contact other members of the Shondells, but they had all moved away, joined the service or gotten married and left the music business altogether.

James later sells a tape master (taken from a copy of the original single, as the session tape had dissappeared) to Roulette, and the rereleased single goes to #1 in the summer of '66.

Making Plans For Sturgill (C. Grisso/McCain), Saturday, 23 June 2018 02:19 (four years ago) link

Their narrative is amazing, going from basically being the Kingsmen (who had a similar thing happen with "Louie Louie"), become early Bubblegum kingpins before reaching from (and attaining!) Psych cred with "Crimson and Clover", getting Hubert Humphrey to write liner notes and turning down Woodstock before burning out mightily in '70.

Making Plans For Sturgill (C. Grisso/McCain), Saturday, 23 June 2018 02:27 (four years ago) link

That Wikipedia article also says

In 2009 James and the surviving Shondells, Gray, Vale and Rosman, reunited to record music for a soundtrack of a proposed film based on James' autobiography, Me, the Mob, and the Music, released in February 2010. The group still gets together from time to time for special video/TV events and nostalgia shows.

That’d be Ron Rossman, Mike Vale and Eddie Gray, who I believe were Shondells for almost the whole time, Gray coming in a little after Rossman and Vale. Still highly recommend that memoir.

Uncle Redd in the Zingtime (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 23 June 2018 02:32 (four years ago) link

Aargh. Ron Rosman, one ‘s’

Uncle Redd in the Zingtime (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 23 June 2018 02:48 (four years ago) link

finally ordering that autobio

Hazy Maze Cave (Adam Bruneau), Saturday, 23 June 2018 15:00 (four years ago) link

You will not regret it

Uncle Redd in the Zingtime (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 23 June 2018 19:03 (four years ago) link

and turning down Woodstock before burning out mightily in '70.


To be fair, this is how Woodstock was presented to him:

We were in Hawaii, and my secretary called and said, ‘Yeah, listen, there’s this pig farmer in upstate New York that wants you to play in his field.’ That’ s how it was put to me. So we passed.”

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Saturday, 23 June 2018 19:33 (four years ago) link

Thread delivers

mind how you go (Ross), Sunday, 24 June 2018 14:35 (four years ago) link

i like this song too.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lke1pCmYFCU

Hazy Maze Cave (Adam Bruneau), Monday, 25 June 2018 02:29 (four years ago) link

"I like the way you hold my hand, it lets me know that you understand"

this line always sounded so Rolling Stones to me

Hazy Maze Cave (Adam Bruneau), Monday, 25 June 2018 02:34 (four years ago) link

I's say classic. Also, anyone else find it weird that three '80s pop stars each had huge hits covering different Tommy James songs?
― Josh in Chicago (Josh in Chicago), Wednesday, February 18, 2004 4:17 PM (fourteen years ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

Hazy Maze Cave (Adam Bruneau), Monday, 25 June 2018 02:35 (four years ago) link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZZvNJ1UnR0I

when Joan Jett and the Cramps cover your songs

Hazy Maze Cave (Adam Bruneau), Monday, 25 June 2018 02:40 (four years ago) link

Spotted this at the record show today, passed as it was late and priced like $10 (this is the LP w/"Draggin' The Line"--which was advertised with a large hype sticker still attached)

https://images.eil.com/large_image/TOMMY_JAMES_CHRISTIAN%2BOF%2BTHE%2BWORLD-516301.jpg

Making Plans For Sturgill (C. Grisso/McCain), Monday, 25 June 2018 02:54 (four years ago) link

waow

Squeaky Fromage (VegemiteGrrl), Monday, 25 June 2018 03:04 (four years ago) link

I know, right? You can see the sticker HERE. I like how it screams "It's not all xtian gobbledygook! The song you like is on here!"

Making Plans For Sturgill (C. Grisso/McCain), Monday, 25 June 2018 03:22 (four years ago) link

would kill for a Prince cover of "Crystal Blue Persuasion"

Hazy Maze Cave (Adam Bruneau), Monday, 25 June 2018 03:26 (four years ago) link

two weeks pass...

picked up the "Christian of the World" today. its very much in that mode of back-to-the-roots country rock everyone was doing around then. im halfway through the first side and "Dragging the Line" is definitely the standout. they always nail the arrangements w these singles. there is that palm muted guitar again, and the droney organ.

there is the strong Philly soul reference throughout that is always there w Tommy James, which makes a great fit for this occasionally psychedelic gospel rock. some of the tracks remind me of All Things Must Pass.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9t9hxTZsv2U

Hazy Maze Cave (Adam Bruneau), Saturday, 14 July 2018 21:04 (three years ago) link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CqmI7_jkqB8

"Light of Day" is pretty cool. another song Prince should cover.

Hazy Maze Cave (Adam Bruneau), Saturday, 14 July 2018 21:05 (three years ago) link

might be a little late

Screamin' Jay Gould (The Yellow Kid), Saturday, 14 July 2018 21:06 (three years ago) link

love the singing in the chorus of "Silk, Satin, Carriage Waiting".

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iFsVcQNNrac

Hazy Maze Cave (Adam Bruneau), Saturday, 14 July 2018 21:26 (three years ago) link

been reading the book. it's an amazing story. i like how the success of the "California Sun" cover by peers the Rivieras prompted him to do their own cover and make "Hanky Panky" theirs. they had only heard "Hanky Panky" as covered by friends of theirs, rather than the original track which they never heard. so when the time came to record it, they had to make up lyrics.

Hazy Maze Cave (Adam Bruneau), Tuesday, 17 July 2018 17:20 (three years ago) link

someone finally uploaded one of my faves. the final song on midnight rider, "keep it in the groove." bad rip but gives the idea.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZlcuqzjcKdY

andrew m., Tuesday, 17 July 2018 19:02 (three years ago) link

two weeks pass...

i finished the book today. wow. that was crazy. im a bit sad it is so short, less than 300 pages and only really covers through the 60s (his post-60s career is a few paragraphs). "One helluva ride" it promises and damn it certainly is that.

it is crazy how his career intersected with these mob wars in New England in the late 60's/early 70's. his manager/label boss/etc Morris Levy was this legendary gangster label boss who never paid anybody but ran like a million rackets, from bootlegging records to inventing cutouts/Greatest Hits with one new song vinyl. there was payola, there was accounting fraud, he knew people in the mob, people that The Godfather and The Sopranos are based on. Fat Tony would hang out at his place. it was the Sopranos running a record label.

Tommy James was basically living week-to-week, every time he had a hit the question was "where's the next song?" it was a single-based strategy. Bo Gentry and Ritchie Cordell (who wrote "I Think We're Alone Now") were his writers (Tommy James kind of being abusive towards them in parts but he is pretty honest in him being a horrible person at times fwiw) the book has some cool stories of them making up songs in their place at 888 Eighth. the Cowsills were friends and would stay there, apparently the father was an alcoholic so Tommy's would be a place they could hang out to escape alcoholic abuse. Tommy did pills and pot and stuff but stayed away from acid and the heavier stuff. he ends up going to rehab, the famous Betty Ford Clinic, and staying sober and productive, finally finding success with a third marriage. then Billy Idol, Tiffany, and Joan Jett find success (1987 is a great 30th anniversary). unfortunately his longtime frenemy Morris Levy gets caught killing a record retailer during an FBI investigation of MCA.

i love reading about them making "Mony Mony", it sounds like a tape editing Frankenstein's monster of a recording, them putting on all these layers and different instruments and copying loops. then they are writing lyrics and looking for something like Bonie Marony or Woolly Bully or Sloopy and go up on the roof for a smoke and they look out and see a neon sign MONY MONY MONY (with the $ in the O) on the Mutual of New York building. he says it was a sign from God.

the long version of "Crimson & Clover" was actually edited together from a first shorter version of it, and part of the song is played at a different speed, and it has always bugged him, cos they were in the middle of mixing and he brought the tape to a radio station, had let them play it, and they ended up taping it and playing it, letting it out into the world early. it seems like he had to deal with that kind of stuff constantly, just no control. one time his label boss had to disappear for 6 months due to mob wars and Tommy James took his lawyer to all the printers they had used for record labels. as in, the labels themselves. all the accountants a the label, all the record plant people, were bought off, and would not divulge any information. they found out he owed them $40 million dollars. i don't think he ever got this but i am not sure. it is definitely an interesting relationship, the guy was clearly using him, yet he also helped him out, he made him a star, got him on tv, promoted the heck out of him, and also been a friend in many ways. at one point he reminds Tommy that his records would be worth more if he was dead, and it's somehow a touching moment. after "Mony Mony" comes out his draft card comes in and Levy gets him out of that, which is like, he just saved his life.

amazing book! i want to get all of the records now.

Hazy Maze Cave (Adam Bruneau), Sunday, 5 August 2018 02:20 (three years ago) link

one of the highlights was a party they were having to celebrate Levy's return from that 6 months of hiding out. it was right when "Crystal Blue Persuasion" came out, and Tito Puente (also on Roulette) was covering the song at this crazy party.

Hazy Maze Cave (Adam Bruneau), Sunday, 5 August 2018 02:25 (three years ago) link

Lots of people worked with that guy. I seem to recall some story of the Basie band recounting a water pistol fight with that guy whilst on tour, hiding behind the buses.

Suspicious Hiveminds (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 5 August 2018 06:59 (three years ago) link

Some of the Latin labels were started by George Goldner but then when he had a bad day at the track he had to sell them to Levy.

Suspicious Hiveminds (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 5 August 2018 07:00 (three years ago) link

There's some good stuff in the Seymour Stein book about Goldner and Levy. The Red Bird label was also handed over by Goldner (after Leiber & Stoller relinquished their interest) to Levy, which effectively ended the label. As Stein was a Red Bird employee, this is essentially what led to Stein forming the Sire label.

Josefa, Sunday, 5 August 2018 15:50 (three years ago) link

an interesting side story they get into was that Levy was the guy who owned the Chuck Berry copyright who sued John Lennon over "Come Together" and when he won made John cover other songs he owned on the "Rock n Roll" record. and then he printed his own bootleg version of the record called "Roots". LOL this guy was an epic hustler.

Hazy Maze Cave (Adam Bruneau), Sunday, 5 August 2018 15:52 (three years ago) link

I met somebody about once who I knew was involved in Red Bird and so I mentioned the name of the label and he said “You want to know about THAT?” and that was the end of that line of questioning.

Suspicious Hiveminds (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 5 August 2018 15:57 (three years ago) link

I thought Leiber and Stoller relinquished only after it was already effectively a done deal.

Suspicious Hiveminds (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 5 August 2018 15:57 (three years ago) link

Don't know the details but it sounds like it was it was all done as one big deal simultaneously. Leiber & Stoller accepted a symbolic $1 to get out of it.

Josefa, Sunday, 5 August 2018 16:02 (three years ago) link

Think the most detailed version of the story I read was in Josh Alan Friedman’s Tell the Truth Until They Bleed but I don’t have a copy. It’s also discussed in Leiber and Stoller’s Hound Dog.

Suspicious Hiveminds (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 5 August 2018 16:07 (three years ago) link

At some point there was a merger floated between Atlantic and Red Bird by the two Jerrys Leiber and Wexler but this made Ahmet Ertegun a little suspicious and Goldner as well as Red Bird’s lawyer, Lee Eastman, put the kibosh on it.

Thought the eventual new partner in Red Bird was someone like Morris Levy but wasn’t actually him.

Suspicious Hiveminds (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 5 August 2018 16:26 (three years ago) link

Or maybe he came along a little later, after Jerry and Mike were already gone.

Suspicious Hiveminds (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 5 August 2018 16:36 (three years ago) link

Ah, I see the story is recounted in a bit more detail in Ken Emerson's Always Magic in the Air. Jerry and Mike had started to get nervous about possible leverage mobsters might have over Goldner and the chance that some unknown mobsters might suddenly become partners in Red Bird through him. They took the initiative and sold out to Goldner for a buck (announced in Billboard
April 1966). Doesn't say what happened after Goldner gained total control, just that "Goldner made short work of Red Bird, which quickly collapsed."

The would-be Atlantic merger you mention was basically Jerry and Mike's attempt to "drive out" or "control" Goldner, whom they didn't trust.

Josefa, Sunday, 5 August 2018 17:28 (three years ago) link

Yes. In Hound Dog Jerry says he was called into a surprise meeting in a deli on Broadway with one of George’s friends ( who is named in that Josh Alan Friedman book) and then discussed the situation with his father-in-law and one of his father-in-law’s friends, a Rothschild, who both hinted that he should sell.

Suspicious Hiveminds (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 5 August 2018 17:45 (three years ago) link

Sorry to be such a nerd about this. The most detailed version is truly frightening, partly by its nature partly because Jerry Leiber is such a good storyteller.

Suspicious Hiveminds (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 5 August 2018 19:23 (three years ago) link

three years pass...

lord knows i'm a lazy, unfocused poster, with many unfinished projects and half-assed, un-submitted ballots

but this would be a great discography for a listening thread imo

budo jeru, Wednesday, 22 June 2022 01:28 (one week ago) link

YES, I would be so down for that. They're one of those "holy shit, they did THAT song too??" bands, like the Isley Brothers or...Manfred Mann comes to mind, but I know there are many better examples out there. But it's definitely worth digging deep beyond the singles for TJ & Shondells

J. Sam, Wednesday, 22 June 2022 01:47 (one week ago) link

otm

terminators of endearment (VegemiteGrrl), Wednesday, 22 June 2022 02:12 (one week ago) link

Dragging the Liiiiiiiiine

Slowzy LOLtidore (Neanderthal), Wednesday, 22 June 2022 02:27 (one week ago) link

in xpost Hound Dog, the Lieber & Stoller joint autobio, they came to treasure Goldner as they realized that he had "the musical taste of a 14-year-old girl," and could always tell them just what a song needed a little more or less of--and if he liked it right away, with no changes needed---! He was a shy, studious-looking fellow, yet always beautifully tailored, like the financial genius with a modest office in an august firm, City of London more than Wall Street. But they also came to realize that he was a zombie gambler in a bottomless pit---realizing it when pulled into that little xpost meeting, and also when they heard two goodfellas moving furniture around in the next room, talkin' 'bout how it would be a nice place for meetin's. So yeah, sold him Redbird for a dollar, got the hell out.

dow, Wednesday, 22 June 2022 02:33 (one week ago) link

Getting past the most obvious choices, here's Celebration: Complete Roulette Recordings 1966-1973. Don't know this label, Grapefruit, or how it might sound, but 40 bucks for a 6-CD import, so hey George Goldner might we;; be right about a chance worth taking, in this instance:
https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/71+0Cd-C--L._SL1200_.jpg

etween 1966 and 1973, Tommy James issued thirteen albums on Roulette either as a solo performer or with The Roulettes. All of these recordings now appear on this definitive 6-CD set. This includes "Greatest Hits" or "Best Of" albums which of course duplicated tracks from regular albums. These tracks have been left in their respective original albums. Although these albums have all appeared on CD reissues at various times over the years, this is the first box set to gather together all of the recordings in one set. In addition, there is the bonus of all of the recordings that never featured on the original LPs. Some of these tracks are making their CD debut within this collection. The 141-track box set features 16 tracks that were only ever released on 45s or were previously unissued until earlier compilations were released on CD. Produced by Bob Fisher whose detailed essay covers the entire history of the group with quotes by Tommy James from his biography and the notes to previous reissues. The booklet includes details of all of their chart achievements in the USA and the UK along with numerous reproductions of advertisements, reviews and news stories from music industry magazines. Designed by Michael Robson and mastered by Simon Murphy this is the definitive collection of Tommy James & the Shondells tracing their career from garage and bubblegum pop band through career defining psychedelic albums into Tommy James solo years as an introspective singer/songwriter. Disc One contains the first two albums "Hanky Panky" and "It's Only Love" plus the non- album B-side of the 'Hanky Panky' 45 and six titles previously unissued which made their first and only appearance on a long deleted 1997 CD set. Disc Two contains the albums "I Think We're Alone Now", "Something Special" and "Getting Together". Disc Three features 'Mony, Mony'. Their first and only UK No 1 single and the album titled after that hit alongside their classic psychedelic album, "Crimson & Clover" and the 45 version of the title track. Disc Four presents their second career defining psychedelic album "Cellophane Symphony" including the long version of the title track and a track from the album sessions, 'Contact', only previously released on the aforementioned 1997 compilation. Disc four also features the one track on the album "The Best of Tommy James & The Shondells" that hadn't been on an album before, 'Ball of Fire' and the first seven titles on "Travellin'" the last Tommy James & The Shondells album. Disc Five opens with the continuation of the "Travellin'" album with it's last three tracks before moving on to the first Tommy James solo albums "Tommy James" and "Christian Of the World" which features his last major hit single, 'Draggin' the Line'. Disc Six concludes the box with his last album for Roulette, 1971's "My Head, My Bed and My Red Guitar" his country -rock album co-produced in Nashville with Pete Drake and featuring such legendary country sidemen as Scotty Moore, D. J. Fontana, Charlie McCoy, Buddy Spicer and others.

https://www.amazon.com/Celebration-Complete-Roulette-Recordings-1966-1973/dp/B08MSGQTJN/ref=asc_df_B08MSGQTJN/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=475692006471&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=16179462599094844020&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9012804&hvtargid=pla-1021827970053&psc=1

dow, Wednesday, 22 June 2022 02:49 (one week ago) link

Seems like Tommy and the ex-Shondells went in pretty much the same musical directions, judging by quotes from Mike Vale and others here---also has YouTube links:

In 1971 the mega-hit group, Tommy James and The Shondells disbanded. The Shondells went on to form Hog Heaven This pg is a tribute to them and their music.

https://www.glartent.com/XX/Unknown/328246537813846/Hog-Heaven-Band

dow, Wednesday, 22 June 2022 02:58 (one week ago) link

this is still hilarious

and turning down Woodstock before burning out mightily in '70.

To be fair, this is how Woodstock was presented to him:

We were in Hawaii, and my secretary called and said, ‘Yeah, listen, there’s this pig farmer in upstate New York that wants you to play in his field.’ That’ s how it was put to me. So we passed.”

― Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Saturday, June 23, 2018 12:33 PM (three years ago) bookmarkflaglink

that's not my post, Wednesday, 22 June 2022 04:37 (one week ago) link

^Immortal masterpiece, perfect 60s primetime psychedelic visuals in that clip. Though as much as I love "Crimson and Clover", "Crystal Blue Persuasion" will always be my #1 TJ song; that main chord progression (Amaj9, Bm7, repeat) is so beautiful, gives me chills. It's the kind of chord progression you hear in soul music of the era way more often than in rock. And since it's just back-and-forth between two chords, it exudes a calm, elegant simplicity.

J. Sam, Wednesday, 22 June 2022 15:20 (one week ago) link

Also I'm currently hearing TJ's wacky 1995 concept album A Night In Big City (An Audio Movie) for the first time. The liner notes on his official website sum it up better than I can:

Talk about a concept album...Tommy pulled out all the stops on this one - a blend of music and theater reminiscent of an earlier time when the music business had a lot more imagination and fun. On this make believe trip through "Big City" (New York), Tommy and his group, along with the listener, are given the key to the city, a private limousine, and a voluptuous female driver who takes them on the ride of their life.

The album, produced by Tommy and long time friend and arranger Jimmy Wisner, contains 11 great new tracks including sparkling remakes of "I Think We're Alone Now" and "Tighter, Tighter" interspersed with dialogue and sound effects and a comic book style, story guide to help follow the action.

This is Tommy James at his creative best. From "Give It All", a hard, up-tempo alternative rocker, to the dreamy "Who Do You Love" to "Megamation Man", a chilling glimpse into the demonic New World Order.

One would have to go back to the CELLOPHANE SYMPHONY album or perhaps TRAVELIN' to find anything remotely as daring or progressive.

First impression is that the between-song dialogue is extremely cringe (maybe approaching so-bad-it's-good territory), but at least a couple of the songs are improbably good--"Baby Tonight" is a legit new jack swing song with a banging chorus, and "Give It All" is some decent power pop/heartland rock. "Megamation Man" is some Styx-tier dystopian cheese. There's also an unnecessary Mellencampified remake of "I Think We're Alone Now". Mostly I'm just appreciating that he conceived and executed such a bizarre and ambitious project in the mid 90s, even if it's deeply flawed.

J. Sam, Wednesday, 22 June 2022 15:56 (one week ago) link


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