One of Tommy James and the Shondells biggest hits, “Mony Mony,” is suddenly a multi-media hit.
The song originally reached No. 3 for James and his group in 1968, and was famously covered twice by Billy Idol, whose 1981 studio version went to No. 7 on Billboard’s dance chart and whose 1987 live version topped the pop charts--ironically supplanting Tiffany’s cover of James and the Shondells’ “I Think We’re Alone Now.”
Idol’s studio version is now featured in a new Nissan Sentra “Spread Your Joy” commercial, in which the Sentra driver plays “Mony Mony” through a handheld connected to the car’s Bose speaker system--with everyone within earshot singing along.
Meanwhile, James and the Shondells’ version has been licensed to IGT slot machines for use in its new King Currency casino game in the U.S. and worldwide. It will be the background audio for random bonus rounds as well as for when a player hits a jackpot.
“Mony Mony” came about when James and Ritchie Cordell (writer of “I Think We’re Alone Now”) were writing in James’ apartment in New York. Needing a song title, they went out on the terrace, where James saw the red MONY initials lit up atop the Mutual Of New York building.
The rest, of course, is pop music history.
“It's so great to know that this song, ‘Mony Mony,’ which has been around for so long, continues to create excitement over and over again,” says James. “I am amazed at the continued interest in my catalog around the world, and I thank all the folks that keep the songs alive."
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