Monday, February 22, 2021

TCCDM Pulls One Out..."Cellophane Symphony" - Tommy James And The Shondells (1969)

"Cellophane Symphony"Tommy James and the Shondells (1969)

"Cellophane Symphony" was Tommy James and the Shondells' 7th album and is filled with trippy and catchy pop and soul psych goodness.  And as fun and enjoyable as this 1969 psych offering is, the album didn't even break the Top 100 on Billboard.  You can find it in the wild for single bills and it's a steal of a deal when you do.

Favorites are the nearly 10-minute psych-driven instrumental title track and the floaty and equally exhilarating rush of "Changes.”  “I Know Who I Am” is especially groovy and funky and a bit of a worm.  And the top 10 hit “Sweet Cherry Wine” is always nice to hear.  I'd never paid attention to the lyrics before, but the song was a protest against the war.  There is enough variety on this album to entertain without drifting too far away from the boat, which is cool.  There are two 'throw-away' songs that close out both sides of the album, a bit novelty in nature, but they're good for what they are and nothing to lift the needle over.  Tommy James is not really an underrated artist, but he is very much under-appreciated, I think.  His music was a sneaky kick in the ass for AM radio and easily transcended FM with little effort.  “Cellophane Symphony” is an enjoyable biscuit and one to keep an eye out for.

"Cellophane Symphony" (back)

Roulette Records

Cat #
SR-42030
SIDE A  MATRIX
RSD 535A  ℬℯ𝓁𝓁 𝒮ℴ𝓊𝓃𝒹  9-69 AB
SIDE B  MATRIX
RSD 535B  ℬℯ𝓁𝓁 𝒮ℴ𝓊𝓃𝒹   9-69 AB

"I Know Who I Am" - Tommy James and the Shondells / "Cellophane Symphony" (1969)

TRACKS:
A1  "Cellophane Symphony" 9:37
A2  "Makin' Good Time" 2:41
A3  "Evergreen" 2:07
A4  "Sweet Cherry Wine" 3:57
A5  "Papa Rolled His Own" 1:46
B1  "Changes" 5:36
B2  "Loved One" 4:02
B3  "I Know Who I Am" 3:25
B4  "The Love Of A Woman" 4:29
B5  "On Behalf Of The Entire Staff And Management" 3:53

PERSONNEL:
Tommy James - vocals, guitars, keyboards
Eddie Gray - guitar, b-vocals
Ronnie Rosman - keyboards, b-vocals
Mike Vale - bass, b-vocals
Pete Lucia - drums, percussion, b-vocals

Good stuff.

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