On Feb. 1, 1969, Tommy James and the Shondells had the #1 song in the US with “Crimson and Clover.” It was the band’s second #1 single — “Hanky Panky” had topped the charts in 1966. The band had had several Top 10 hits since then, including 1967’s “I Think We’re Alone Now” (at #4) and 1968’s “Mony, Mony” (at #3).
“Crimson and Clover” is the title track to the band’s 1968 album which went to #8 on the LP charts. On this album, James worked with the Shondells to write and produce their songs (as opposed to the writing team of Bo Gentry and Ritchie Cordell who had been crafting pop songs for the group). James said he came up with the song’s title before he had the song. The band tapped into a distinct sound that played off their pop sensibilities and the psychedelia of the times.
The song entered the Billboard Hot 100 in December of ’68 and in seven weeks rose to #1. It was also a #1 hit in Canada and South Africa.
A follow-up single from the Crimson and Clover LP, “Crystal Blue Persuasion,” went to #2 in the US. The song plateaued at #2 for three weeks because it was kept out of the #1 spot by the Rolling Stones’ “Honky Tonk Women.”
One of my all-time favorite songs is “Crystal Blue Persuasion” http://bit.ly/CrystalBluePersuasionTJnShondells