CD I Think We're Alone Now [Tommy James & the Shondells (Rock)] (CD 6300648),
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I Think We're Alone Now [Tommy James & the Shondells (Rock)]
Tommy James & the Shondells (Rock)
1. I Think We're Alone Now
2. Trust Each Other in Love
3. What I'd Give to See Your Face Again
4. Baby Let Me Down
5. Let's Be Lovers
6. Run, Run, Baby, Run
8. I Like the Way
9. California Sun
10. (Baby, Baby) I Can't Take it No More
11. Gone, Gone, Gone
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): CCM 20972
Ritchie Cordell; Bo Gentry
Personnel: Tommy James (guitar); Al Gorgoni, Eddie Gray (guitar); Gene Bianco (harp); Seymour Barab (cello); Artie Kaplan (baritone saxophone); Marky Markowitz, Joe Shepley, Burt Collins (trumpet); Ron Rosman, Artie Butler (keyboards); Buddy Saltzman, Bobby Gregg (drums); Peter Lucia (percussion).
Liner Note Author: Ed Osborne.
Recording information: Allegro Sound Studios, NYC.
Photographer: Tommy James .
Arranger: Jimmy Wisner.
"I Think We're Alone Now" was the first Top Five hit for Tommy James since his 1966 chart-topper "Hanky Panky," and a redemption of sorts for/from the album that came in between, the sugary It's Only Love. Ritchie Cordell is in total control here, writing the first eight songs on the disc, including all three that charted: "I Think We're Alone Now," the exquisite "Mirage," and "I Like the Way." The album cover is brilliant, total black with two pairs of feet taking two steps forward, then one pair turning around and facing the other; neither person is wearing shoes. The tension of the opening guitar and bass riff coupled with the great melody and theme make for an all-time rock & roll classic. It's more "hanky panky" in theme, "Hanky Panky" all grown up. "Mirage" opens side two and it is a brilliant sequel to "I Think We're Alone Now," with similar structure but enough production tricks to make the songs sound different. The harpsichord from side one's "Trust Each Other in Love" is used again in "Mirage" to great effect, while the underlying riff in "Trust Each Other in Love" also borrows from the title track. Co-produced by Bo Gentry and Cordell, with the ever-present Jimmy Wisner arranging and conducting, the album features the band and production team working as a cohesive unit to solidify Tommy James' foundation on pop radio. There's a credible cover of the Rivieras' 1964 hit "California Sun," as well a short and nicely chaotic rendition of the Isley Brothers' perennial "Shout." James' voice and personality carry the record and Cordell continues rewriting the title track with "Run, Run, Baby, Run," inverting the inspired riff. He and the singer then compose "(Baby, Baby) I Can't Take It No More," which has the feel of the Rascals' "I Ain't Gonna Eat out My Heart Anymore," while "Gone, Gone, Gone" sounds like Ritchie Cordell was listening to Pennsylvania's Eddie Rambeau or U.K. group Unit 4 + 2's "Concrete and Clay." There are plenty of flavors from the day slipped into this wonderful mix, a true pop concoction that has stood the test of time. In concert both "Mirage" and "I Think We're Alone Now" are major moments; James' hit material over the years contained a rich variety of composition. This album is Ritchie Cordell's vision for Tommy James and is an important and highly entertaining piece of the Shondells' catalog. ~ Joe Viglione
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Collectors' Choice Music CCM 20972
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