Mony Mony

June 22, 2024

This month I’m focusing on Rock Songs of the 60s.

Today our song is:  Mony Mony

Wikipedia tells us this about the song:

"Mony Mony" is a 1968 single by American pop rock band Tommy James and the Shondells, which reached No. 1 on the UK Singles Chart and No. 3 in the U.S. 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 & Earth. It was also 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. Idol recorded a live version in 1985 which was ultimately released in 1987 where it became an even bigger hit than the Shondells 1968 original, reaching No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. (Idol's original 1981 version failed to chart, although it did reach number seven on the dance charts.) 

The song's title was 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 James said 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 in the U.S. and Canada, and became a Top 10 hit across western Europe. A music video was made featuring the band performing the song amidst psychedelic backgrounds. A decade and a half later, it would receive renewed play on MTV.



  1. Tommy James & The Shondells are a big part of my 1960's soundtrack...

  2. ON eof my favourite 60s bands! I also like the Billy Idol version. ☺

  3. I'm a lover of the Billy Idol version and I saw Billy Idol at my university in 1983 I was surprised he came to our little place but he did and we danced tonthis song. I was just a few feet from the stage. It was great!


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