Album Reviews

Tommy James & The Shondells – Live And On Fire

Released By : Angel Air Records

Genre : Rock & Roll, Power Pop

Links : http://www.myspace.com/tommyjamesandtheshondells1

Tracklist:

Disc 1

1. Isn’t That The Guy?

2. Lupe And Joe

3. Hold The Fire

4. Love Words

5. Amalgamation Man

6. Sweet Cherry Wine

7. It Keeps On Goin’

8. Angels & Strangers

9. Give It All

10. Ordinary Girl

11. Amy

12. I just Wanna Play The Music

13. I Think We’re Alone Now (Live)

Disc 2

1. Dragging The Line

2. Crystal Blue Persuasion

3. Say I Am

4. Sugar On Sunday

5. Gettin’ Together

6. Tighter And Tighter

7. Crimson And Clover

8. Hanky Panky

9. I Think We’re Alone Now

10. Mony Mony

11. Sweet Cherry Wine

12. Mirage

13. Mony Mony (Reprise)

Tommy James is one of those artists that a lot of people don’t recognize by name but are amazed when they discover all of the things he has done and just how much they actually do know him.  As a bit of an example for those here who don’t recognize the name, how about this… In the sixties (Yes we’re going that far back) he had two number one chart hits with his cover of the up to then unknown song HANKY PANKY and CRIMSON AND CLOVER, both which have charted many times throughout the years while being covered by many different artists. If by some chance these songs aren’t ringing any bells, how about the fact that in 1968 he his the U.K charts with MONY MONY, a song most of the readers of this site will recognize thanks to the cover version made so popular by BILLY IDOL in the eighties. Apart from that he has also written songs for many artists and is very highly respected in music circles, irregardless of his less that spectacular public staus.

Angel air have pieced together James’ latest studio album from 2006 HOLD THE FIRE with a DVD of a rare performance caught on film in 2000 in Greenwitch, and across the two discs you get 26 tracks in all, thirteen on the audio disc and another thirteen on the DVD. The new album features James’ trademark sound albeit slightly modified for the modern age, but the simple fact is that if you like anything he has been involved with in the past, HOLD YOUR FIRE will definitely please your ears. Also anyone that is into the sort of music that would have been played at school proms in the fifties and sixties will really enjoy this disc as will fans of more modern power pop acts. The real treat however is the previously unavailable live show on DVD, in which we find James in fine form playing with a fantastic backing band in a great intimate club environment which really makes you feel as though you were there. As Tommy and the gang cruise through winners like CRYSTAL BLUE PERSUASION, CRIMSON AND CLOVER, HANKY PANKY, SWEET CHERRY WINE and of course the encore of MONY MONY it becomes increasingly evident that he is comfortable with his place in the music food chain and seems to actually be having a lot of fun, something that seems to get lost in translation on a lot of other live show DVD’s I’ve seen across the journey.

Once again ANGEL AIR RECORDS have amazed me with another release that is o-so-close to being a top scorer. The DVD is a great selling point and is definitely reason enough to purchase this dual disc package.

Written By ZeeZee

Rating : 9/10

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