The Sixties Essential-The Music Version of Required Reading
R. Barnes | Ft. Lauderdale, Florida | 07/07/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Any sixties collection requires this compilation, which next to one import is the best there is for Tommy James and the Shondells, and priced better than many single greatest hits discs ("essentials" for example).This Michigan band started when he recorded "Hanky Panky" back in 1963 and released on the "Snap" label. At the time he was only 15-16 years old and was a local hit. It was finally picked up for national distribution in 1966 and his first release was also his first number one, ( a great summer for music).All the big hits are here, (Crystal Blue Persuasion, Crimson and Clover, I Think We're Alone Now, and of course Mony Mony), but the nice thing is that it also includes great top 40(not top ten) hits like Doe Something To Me, Out Of The Blue, and Say I Am, and B sides . Even the great underrated album "Cellophane Symphony" is represented with "Loved One" and the classic "Sweet Cherry Wine"."Crimson and Clover" is the single mix, as opposed to the longer version , (which was really spliced together and at two different tape speeds), but represents what we remember on the radio.Their affect on todays music is shown by the artists who have covered their tunes, (Billy Idol-Mony Mony, Clique-Sugar On Sunday, Tiffany-I Thing We're Alone Now, Joan Jett-Crimson and Clover, Dragging the Line-R.E.M.). They still perform today and are well worth the ticket. (They play LOUD).Also included are some solo hits, (Dragging the Line), which is also available on his Solo Greatest Hits Package which is a good addition to this if you like the music.If you like the sixties, a collector, or an Oldies DJ, this Rhino Collection is a must have. The quality of the CD is good, and the price is right Definitely some party tunes here!Good Listening!"
Missing a few things
R. Barnes | 06/04/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is a very mixed bag album, it has some of the greatest music ever recorded but they could have made better selections.... however, where else are you going to get bootlegs of Crystal Blue Persuasion (with the trumpets at the end), Do something to Me (Tommy's mix), and the unedited version of Sweet Cherry Wine. But they missed some other great songs, like where's the album cut of Crimson & Clover, Smokey Roads, I'm Alive/Crimson & Clover Reprise, Cellophane Symphony, Making Good Time, Changes and Travelin'. So you might want to get this album, the "Very Best Of" album, and Certainly don't forget the Crimson & Clover Cellophane Symphony double play set, that is only really the only way to have all of their great music."
Solid Collection of Infectious Pop
Steve Vrana | Aurora, NE | 12/26/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Frat Rock? Garage rock? Bubblegum rock? Call it what you will, but Tommy James and the Shondells put out a string of infectious hits during the second half of the Sixties that are mainstays of classic rock radio stations around the country. And for good reason--these are terrific pop songs! James put out a total of fourteen Top 40 hits between 1966 and 1969 and they're all here along with numerous b-sides and failed singles ("Out of the Blue" barely missed at No. 43, "Get Out Now" only made No. 48, "Somebody Cares" stalled at No. 53, and "Gotta Get You Back" peaked at No. 45). In addition you get James' biggest solo single, "Draggin' the Line." [Historical footnote: James was only 13 when he recorded "Hanky Panky." It was a regional hit in 1963, but through a series of fateful events it would be nearly four year before it became a nationwide No. 1, selling more than a million copies along the way!] Unlike many of his Sixties contemporaries, James succesfully transitioned to the psychedelic era and had his second No. 1 hit with the trippy "Crimson and Clover." If you're a fan of Sixties pop, the 27 songs on this generous single-disc anthology is a must-have for your collection. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED"
Tommy James&The Shondells - 'Anthology' (Rhino)
Mike Reed | USA | 08/30/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Another great collection from the folks at the Rhino label.Total of 27 tracks,with a duration of 72:43.Tommy James&The Shondell's major hits are very well mastered here,like "Hanky Panky","I Think We're Alone Now"(didn't you just hate Tiffany's cover of this tune?),"Mony Mony"(have always liked Billy Idol's remake),"Crimson And Clover","Crystal Blue Persuasion","Sweet Cherry Wine" and "Draggin' The Line".I thought most of the lesser known cuts like "Somebody Cares","Get Out Now" and "Ball Of Fire" were decent as well.Hardly a bad song here.A healthy dose of psych/bubble gum rock that truly stands the test of time.Recommended."
I had forgotten how good this guy is . . .
C. J. Leach | Midwest, United States | 11/18/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a comprehensive double-length collection (27 songs), conveniently on a single disc. I looked over all the options before I purchased this, and Anthology appears to be the best of the Tommy James and the Shondells compilations.
The selections include all of their most familiar famous Top 40, like "I Think We're Alone Now" and "Crimson and Clover", as well as the best of their more obscure tunes like "Love's Closin' in on Me" and (my favorite TJ tune) "Sugar on Sunday".
All in all, NOT typical 60's pop rock. A unique niche - much of it is kind of bubblegumish, but an acid-rock slant definitely comes through. Generally feel good stuff that is easy to listen to and get in to.
Listening to all of this in one stretch brought a new realization (or the reminder)of what I had not really noticed before (or had forgotten) . . . This guy and his band were the whole package on a top shelf level. He is a superb writer, and was WAY ahead of his time in use of electronics effects. James has a clean well controlled voice that he uses with an edge, and the aforementioned guitar and keyboard effects are catchy even 40 odd years later.
Good mixing/sound quality, and the price on Amazon is a bargain. I've had this CD for a couple of years, and never tire of giving it another listen when I need a little classic/pop rock boost. As I said, it's easy to listen to and like - I can't imagine anyone not getting a kick from this."