Monday, March 12, 2007

Tommy James - `70 solo debut - Roulette Records

oh you didnt know tommy james did any psych stuff eh ? you think he was all radio-pop ??? - hahahaha !!!! - soak on this one then mr. seen it all , know it all.
so here we have tommy james `s debut solo outing. very solid debut , only 8 trax but no filler here. real melodic , psych pop at its best , by the forerunner of the craft.

& you thought tommy james wasnt kewl ?

tommy james 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......
A very cosmic/psychedelic album cover has seven black-and-white Tommy James heads coasting over what looks like an acid trip, rainbow behind him, colors dripping upwards. It's the opposite of the black-and-white psychedelic look of the Cellophane Symphony album and the first of James' three final albums for Roulette. If we are to take the discs as three chapters, this one is Tommy James and Bob King proving that Tommy James was the Shondells. "Ball and Chain" is poppy and intense, the Velvet Underground gone bubblegum. Clearly, drugs had some influence on Tommy James' work, and where his ex-bandmates took a stab at the third Velvet Underground album with their Hog Heaven track "Come Away," "Ball and Chain" from the first Tommy James solo album sounds like it is an outtake from the Velvet Underground's Loaded CD. "Meet the Comer" has bits of Neil Young's "Helpless," all gone pop, of course. Tommy James' reformulation of pop riffs he would create or nick kept the majority of his albums highly listenable. It's a real gift to tune in and grab melodies from the cosmos, and rest assured, memorable hooks and special sounds are all over these grooves. "Midnight Train" continues the party, making this a very underground pop album. No hit single emerged until Bob King and James put the Christian of the World album together. That effort was certainly more commercial and refined, but this Tommy James solo debut has merit, integrity, and inspired insanity. "Come to Me" leads off side two, and it is the lost sequel to "Sugar on Sunday," the big hit for the Clique which first appeared on the Crimson & Clover album. "Come to Me" has a choir of backing vocals and should've been a smash with its flavors of past glories enhanced with a new bridge. Wonderful stuff. As the first part in his solo trilogy, Tommy James pays tribute to Tommy Roe, Billy Joe Royal, and even Bobby Sherman, but shows them all how a pop album is crafted and how Tommy James is the genuine article. It's perhaps the most experimental of all his projects, more cohesive than Peter Lucia and Mike Vale's Hog Heaven, and sets the stage for the refined Christian of the World and the reverent and very satisfying Nashville recording My Head, My Bed and My Red Guitar. Where a song like "Quick Silver would be out of place on those aforementioned titles, it fits perfectly on this descent into a pop maestro's psyche. An enlightening project, and like many of Tommy James' other artistic endeavors, tragically overlooked.

[ christian of the world is NEXT ! ]

  • "ALL TRAX FROM WAX" - transferred by da` shaman - 2007
  • Tommy James - `70 debut - 320 kbps - 55 mb
  • includes high rez front/back cover art
1. Ball And Chain
2. Meet The Comer
3. Midnight Trian
4. Light Of Day
5. Come To Me
6. I Lost My Baby
7. Lady Jane
8. Quick Silver

download -- here --


Anonymous said...

Great rip! I had this album way back when. I loaned it out 30 yrs ago and it hasn't come back yet. I'm still waiting. lol


Anonymous said...

This is a perfect rip! I just played the album all the way through and I mean it is a great album and a PERFECT rip!!

Thanks so much!

akashaman said...

thanks alot , wow : u mean they never brought your LP back ? thats crazy.. ya , this one is hard to grab in EX condition.
i feel for ya ... glad u found this tho !



tilted2oneside said...

Wow I remember seeing this in the cut-out bins at Gibson's ages ago when I was a lad, never bought it - thanks for giving me another chance to hear this!

Brues said...

Yeah I remembr the cover from when it came out. Used to do a lot of flipping thru bins in 1970 gazing longimgly, nevr had a chance to hear half the stuff till now.

Brues said...

Hey I like your reviews, it's exactly what I would say, but I always knew TJ was kool - I could sing Crimson 'n' Clover forever, even after 40 years!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this Akashaman! Thanks for the cool tunes..


Anonymous said...

thanks bunches for sharing this one. this is going to make my day at work much better!

Anonymous said...

Me again. The same dope that posted the first 2 comments at the top of this post. There is not a comments button for your new Tommy James post (Christian Of The World) so I will say thanks here.


I never had a copy of this album to loan out so I can't blame anyone for me not having the album now. Dang I like Tommy James and I had a lousy copy of this album that I got not long ago of the net. This is an incredible upgrade of a fantastic album for me. I've played it down to track 13 and I am almost finished. As usual, it is a PERFECT rip!

Thanks so VERY much!

Groovin' Dan said...

Great stuff, man. Thanks for putting this up.

I've always felt that if ToJam and the Shondells had played Woodstock (apparently they were invited, but begged off because they had a gig in Hawaii), they would be remembered today as a classic band instead of just another oldies act.

Anonymous said...

Really great!

Babequ said...

I'm a huge fans of Tommy James, so i would like say thank you very much Aka.
I hope you will post another TJ albums, Travelin' from TJ & the Shondells specialy. thank you.

Mike Ferguson said...

Thanks for the rip. I've just discovered your site and have cherrypicked a few others, so appreciate those too. Like many here, I recall TJ with the Shondells and have a few original singles. Class shines through, and I agree with the comment that had he gone to Woodstock, things might have been different. Just good songwriting and arrangements.

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for this

Anonymous said...

looks good thanks

Anonymous said...

Wow! this is great. Quicksiver is one of the coolest psych rockers ever!!!
Nashville TN

db said...

great music!
check out
calisoulbrother records
for rare PSYCH, PROG, soul, jazz, funk, brazil & latin records!

cgm said...

Thanks! Why this album isn't better known is a mystery. Maybe it's because it's just a little too poppy and a little too understated to fit comfortably into any revisionist category. But great tunes should never be allowed to die -so keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

Seriously great site, thanks.
So much interesting stuff. You wouldn't happen to have Tommy James "My Head, My Bed & My Red Guitar" would you? Seems to be very hard to find.
Thanks, again


Anonymous said...

thanks so much !
having probs loggin` in again for some odd reason: yes i actually do have that rare piece of wax ! , will get it up for you when i get things back up & running !


Anonymous said...

I'm somewhat of a newcomer to your site but I see lots of cool & interesting stuff. I'm looking forward to hearing this one. Thanks!


Anonymous said...

thanks so much

rob gronotte said...

If you could re-upload this that would be great.

Or if anyone could let me know where I could find this, or his next album, "Christian Of The World". Thanks!

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