Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Round 4: Tommy James & The Shondells Vs. Billy Idol

Inspired by the Mutual Of New York building (M.O.N.Y. . . . Mony, get it?), Tommy James & The Shondells scored their biggest hit in 1968 with "Mony, Mony."  An true rock anthem, this song has endured as statement of freedom, fun and everything that is great about rock.



With a simple but infectious keyboard riff and a one of the coolest break-downs in the middle of the song you will ever hear, it's nigh-impossible to listen to this song and not rock out.

Versus:

Spike, I mean Billy Idol covered this song in 1981, which became of his biggest hits.  The only major change to this song was updating the insturments to more 1980s sensibilities.



Invigorating this song for the new generation, Idol's version featured synthesizers and thicker guitar parts.

 The Winner:

What makes this song so great is it's garage band-like energy.  There is something so much more organic and genuine feeling about Tommy James & The Shondells' version.  It's more raw, not as polished and not as commercial.  While Idol brings great energy to this song the Tommy James version captures a moment in rock history and an exuberance that Billy Idol imitates but doesn't fully replicate. 

Springsteen on the other hand gets pretty close.



Next Week: Dolly Parton & Kenny Rogers Vs. Pras, Mya & Ol' Dirty Bastard

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