A Psychedelic Classic by Tommy James and the Shondells

The 1968 sweeping psychedelic opus we’re going back to for this week’s Throwback Thursday is ‘Crimson and Clover,’ from a Michigan band who started off their careers singing snappy bubblegum hits which transitioned to influential psychedelic soul when the band took creative control over the sound of their music.  Tommy James and the Shondells are a perfect example of how a band can discover their pure original sound when there is no outside influence.  When Tommy James was freed up from his ties to the band’s principal songwriters, Ritchie Cordell and Bo Gentry, he discovered how to melt tremolo-styled vocal effects with floating, woozy guitar to create a classic tune dedicated to his favorite color and favorite flower.  The ambient echoes of ‘Crimson and Clover’ hit number one on the Billboard charts in February of 1969 and became an instant classic in the psychedelic genre as well as the band’s biggest success.  Please enjoy a live performance by Niles, Michigan’s Tommy James and the Shondells with their biggest hit below.

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