Live and on Fire (On Stage and in the Studio + DVD) Tommy James & the Shondells Primary Artist
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A two-disc package that goes a long way towards proving that old pop icons never fade away, they just start enjoying themselves more. With the newly recorded material, the Hold the Fire CD, and a best-of DVD recorded live at the Bottom End a decade ago, Tommy James and the latest generation of {|Shondells|} (25 different musicians make their way triumphantly through both old favorites and new hopefuls. The hits, of course, are all here -- two tremendous versions of Mony Mony, and two of I Think We're Alone Now, Hanky Panky, and Crimson and Clover, all vital enough that even the revitalizations they received during the '80s and '90s sound slightly old-fashioned by comparison. There are, of course, a few moments where the excitement levels dip a little: Hold the Fire is not tremendous throughout; Best of Live is not a nonstop party (although the audience seemed to enjoy it throughout). But compared to a lot of the nonsense that is put out in the name of unadulterated pure pop fun, the power garage drive of James and his gang takes a hell of a lot of beating.


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