CD Tommy James/Christian of the World (CD 558880),
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Tommy James/Christian of the World

  • 1. Ball and Chain
    2. Meet the Comer
    3. Midnight Train
    4. Light of Day
    5. Come to Me
    6. I Lost My Baby
    7. Lady Jane
    8. Quick Silver
    9. Christian of the World
    10. Kings and Things
    11. I'm Comin' Home
    12. Sing, Sing, Sing
    13. Draggin' the Line
    14. Sail a Happy Ship
    15. Light of Day
    16. Bits and Pieces
    17. I Believe in People
    18. Church Street Soul Revival
    19. Another Hill to Climb
    20. Adrienne
    21. Silk, Satin, Carriage Waiting
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 6219

  • Credits
    ProducerTommy James & The Shondells; Bob King

    2 LPs on 1 CD: TOMMY JAMES (1970)/CHRISTIAN OF THE WORLD (1971).
    Includes liner notes by Mark Marymont.
    Liner Note Author: Mark Marymont.
    After he broke with the Shondells, Tommy James took some time off out of the spotlight but he came roaring back with his first solo album, 1970's Tommy James. It features the hit song "Ball and Chain" and seven other songs that were not a great departure from the sound he had with the Shondells: up-tempo songs with big hooks, great vocals (lead and background), and a slightly psychedelic feeling. Tracks like the driving "Ball and Chain," the anthemic "Come to Me," and the pounding, bubblegum-tasting "I Lost My Baby" are as good as anything James had done recently. The only track where he stumbles is on the attempted hard rock boogie of "Quicksilver." Some people just aren't meant to rock that way -- and James is one of them. The most interesting tune on the record is "Meet the Comer," which sounds musically like the downer version of "Crystal Blue Persuasion," but is actually the beginning of James' shift to uplifting religious themes that would really blossom on his second solo record. Christian of the World is not a concept record as such, but there is a theme of spirituality running through the lyrics. The title track is a sun-kissed plea for salvation, "Sing Sing Sing" rejects material possessions in favor of the power of song, "Sail a Happy Ship" directs people to turn to religion for peace and friendship, and "Church Street Soul Revival" is a beautiful, open-hearted celebration of God. The music is an amazing blend of bubblegum and gospel with some soul and a bit of country thrown in for good measure. James is on a creative roll here: his vocals are deeply heartfelt and soulful, the songwriting is powerful, and the whole record is strong from beginning to end. It isn't too surprising that apart from the hit single "Dragging the Line," the record was completely ignored. James' bubblegum persona preceded him. No one was quite ready to consider him a serious musician capable of creating an album as fully realized and creative as Christian of the World. Luckily, 30-plus years later one can divorce him or herself from James' lightweight image and see the record for the lost classic that it is. This Collectables two-fer is an essential purchase. ~ Tim Sendra

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