17.09 In Stock
BGO's 2013 double-disc set gathers three albums Tommy James & the Shondells cut for Roulette Records: 1966's Hanky Panky, its 1967 follow-up It's Only Love, and I Think We're Alone Now, which also showed up in 1967. These three LPs are hit and miss, particularly the debut Hanky Panky, which works hard to establish R&B credentials James & the Shondells can't quite manage (he doesn't sound convincing on the James Brown hit "I'll Go Crazy" but is a bit more effective on Curtis Mayfield's "I'm So Proud"). It's Only Love works better because it places the emphasis on good times; they sound a bit like a frat party band as they run through R&B covers and big-footed party rockers, sometimes co-opting a bit of the ornate sophistication of uptown Chicago soul. I Think We're Alone Now is a showcase for effervescent AM pop, the soul covers taking a backseat to cheerful, easygoing pop (the whole thing does close with a rousing cover of "Shout," however), and this emphasis on bubblegum and ridiculously buoyant pop makes it the best of the batch on this three-fer, although the whole thing is affordable and entertaining and surely worth the time of serious Shondells fans.