82. Tommy James & the Shondells

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82.  Tommy James & the Shondells

Somehow in the late 60’s, if you were not making a political stance or experimenting in the studio, you ran the risk of not being taken seriously. Sure, you could still be successful, but respect was hard to come by. In the case of Tommy James & the Shondells, their respect would come much later.

Think about this interesting fact from 1987; Tiffany’s hatchet job of “I Think We’re Alone Now” was replaced at number one by Billy Idol’s successful remake of “Mony Mony”. Musically, the best adjective to describe the1980’s was fun (though we are sure our readers will come up with others) and the songs of Tommy James certainly conjured up that. Although they were described as a Bubblegum band in their day, that is a label that appears to be diminishing over time. If they overcome that image and their original work continues to get covered by credible artists (we don’t mean Tiffany), they could overcome their long shot status for entry.


FilmStrip Rock.Tommy James and the Shondells


www.tommyjames.com

 


Should Tommy James and the Shondells be in the Hall of Fame?

Definitely put them in! - 88.6%
Maybe, but others deserve it first. - 3.4%
Probably not, but it wouldn't be the end of the world. - 6%
No opinion. - 0.7%
No way! - 1.3%

The Bullet Points

  • Previous Rank: 2011: #105
    2012: #101
    2013: #100
    2014: #96
    2015: #90
    2016: #87
  • Eligible Since: Tuesday, 01 January 1991
  • Country of Origin: U.S.A. (Pittsburgh, PA)
  • Why they will get in: Many of their songs still hold up today, and they are gaining appreciation.
  • Why they won't get in: They were not perceived as groundbreaking and have too much of a Bubblegum label to overcome.
  • Essential Albums: I Think We’re Alone Now (1967)
    Crimson and Clover (1968)
    Mony Mony (1968)
    Cellophane Symphony (1969)
  • Our Five Favorite Songs as Chosen by Each Member of the NIHOF Committee: Hanky Panky (Single, 1963)
    Mirage (From I Think We’re Alone Now, 1967)
    Crimson and Clover (From Crimson and Clover, 1968)
    Crystal Blue Persuasion (From Crimson and Clover, 1968)
    She (From Travellin’, 1970)

Should Tommy James and the Shondells be in the Hall of Fame?

Definitely put them in! - 88.6%
Maybe, but others deserve it first. - 3.4%
Probably not, but it wouldn't be the end of the world. - 6%
No opinion. - 0.7%
No way! - 1.3%
Last modified on Monday, 05 March 2018 04:12

Comments   

+15 #7 Lee Roschen 2015-04-12 23:20
[quote name="Lee Roschen"]Def initely worthy of RRHF consideratio n. A very impressive resume. Sold over 100 million records, and as big an artist as anybody in the late 1960's! Have seen Tommy & his group in concert a few times over the years, and Tommy is willing to meet with fans after the show and sign a few autographs. An all-around terrific human being! Put Tommy & Shondells in, please![
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+9 #6 Reggie 2015-02-10 20:39
Google "Cellophane Symphony" and check out that album.. Tommy James and the Shondells were not lightweights by any stretch of the imagination. Great vocal and harmonies and excellent musicianship , some of the best bass playing of the 60's. At their height they were a tour de force.
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+9 #5 Glenn 2014-12-28 16:37
Do you want to talk about influence? Tommy James was well ahead of his time, bridging psychedelic with pop.
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+9 #4 Sergio Colmenero 2014-10-23 09:06
Well lets see here. 3 #1's (Hanky Panky, Mony Mony, Crimson and Clover) Crystal Blue Persuasion went #2. These guys had a at least 15-20 songs in the top 40. A lot of their music can be separated to different styles. "Crystal Blue Persuasion" is considered a Oldschool Lowrider Oldie. Hell yeah let them in!
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+17 #3 Lee Roschen 2013-08-30 20:05
Definitely worthy of RRHF consideratio n. A very impressive resume. Have seen Tommy & his group in concert a few times over the years, and willing to meet with fans after the show and sign a few autographs. An all-around terrific human being! Put Tommy & Shondells in, please!
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+13 #2 Dale Smith 2013-07-08 15:57
Tommy James has had the Bubblegum hits (Hanky Panky; I Think We're Alone Now and others) and the thought provoking hits (Crystal Blue Persuasion; Sweet Cherry Wine and others). How about slow dance (Crimson and Clover). How about a party/dance tune heard at every sporting event at every level since 1968 (Mony, Mony). And a highly acclaimed Country album with some of Elvis' crew (My Head, My Bed, My Red Guitar). After his heyday as a fixture on Billboard's Top 20 from 1966-1971, he reached #1 for two weeks on Billboard's AC chart (Three Times In Love) in 1980. Plus, in 2006, he snuck in, for just one week, to Billboard's Hot 100 (Love Words). I like John Sebastian's music, but how is it possible John is voted in to the Hall, and not Tommy James? I know I am a biased fan of TJ, but I really don't understand why he is left out. Some day, he'll make it. I'm hoping for today, though, and not 20 years from now. Dale
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+18 #1 jimmy26 -0001-11-30 00:00
Interesting case with Mr. james and the Shondells. Obviously the thing keeping them out is impact. They are studs in every other category. Now let's define what impact really means. if it means your songs being covered (and successfully so) for the last 40 years by eveyone from joan jett to billy Idol (having those tow acts cover your songs is alone worth admission) then this group goes to the top of the charts. I am sickened by those who think that impact or influence is for only the few (Nirvana). Why isn't impact rated as how many it has impacted. not just the elite. Remember rock is not an elitist entity. So the shondells get plagued with a Tiffany cover. sobeit. That just means their music is impacting everyone including those not on the Mt. Rushmore of rock. for my money I will take The Shondells over Velvet underground any day. come on. Name two VU songs. Gotcha. I guarantee you can sing five Shondells songs word for word and probably shouted them out in public. If that's not influence then what is?
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