Tommy James & the Shondells - Mony Mony

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  "Mony Mony" is a 1968 single by American pop rock band Tommy James & the Shondells, which reached No. 1 in the UK Singles Chart while also getting serious airplay in the U.S. and Canada. Written by Bobby Bloom, Ritchie Cordell, Bo Gentry, and Tommy James, the song has appeared in various film and television works such as the Oliver Stone drama Heaven and Earth. It was also notably covered by English singer-songwriter Billy Idol in 1981. Idol's version, which took in more of a Rock sound, became an international top 40 hit and additionally revived public interest in the original garage rock single.


Tommy James and the Shondells version

Background and release

"Mony Mony" was credited to Tommy Jones, Bo Gentry, Ritchie Cordell, and Bobby Bloom. The title of the song is said to have been inspired by Tommy James' view of the M.O.N.Y. sign atop the Mutual of New York Building on the New York City skyline from his Manhattan apartment. As Tommy James says in a 1995 interview in Hitch magazine:

True story: I had the track done before I had a title. I wanted something catchy like "Sloopy" or "Bony Maroney," but everything sounded so stupid. So Ritchie Cordell and I were writing it in New York City, and we were about to throw in the towel when I went out onto the terrace, looked up and saw the Mutual of New York building (which has its initials illuminated in red at its top). I said, "That's gotta be it! Ritchie, come here, you've gotta see this!" It's almost as if God Himself had said, "Here's the title." I've always thought that if I had looked the other way, it might have been called "Hotel Taft".

"Mony Mony" was the only song by the group to reach the top 20 in the United Kingdom; it reached No. 1 in the UK, No. 3 on the Hot 100, and No. 1 on WLS, two years to the day after the similarly sounding title "Monday, Monday" reached No. 1 there. A music video of it was made at the time featuring the band performing the song amidst psychedelic backgrounds, dated in showing love beads, but a decade and half later would receive some play on MTV.

The song "Mony Mony" has been covered by many artists, including Billy Idol, Amazulu, Status Quo, the Scenics, the Wigs, and the Beach Boys who recorded the song on March 15, 1976.


Track listings and format

  • vinyl
  1. "Mony Mony" - 2:45
  2. "One Two Three and I Fell" - 2:32



Tommy James & the Shondells - Mony, Mony / One Two Three and I Fell

UK Major Minor MM 567 (1968).

The vinyl record attains a strong excellent grading, suggesting few plays.

Audio quality is very clear and strong throughout.

Both record centre labels are clean and unmarked.

Both record centre labels are free from stains or discolouration.

The record comes with an original company paper sleeve.



Chart performance

Chart (1968-1969) Peak
Canadian Singles Chart 3
UK Singles Chart 1
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 3
Browse this category: 1960's 7" Singles