The song “Crimson and Clover” by Tommy James and The Shondells was written by Tommy and James and Peter Lucia. It was released in December 1968 was an international hit for them in 1969. It went to #1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, Cashbox, Canadian RPM 100, New Zealand Singles Chart, and German Singles Chart. It was #3 on the Austrian Singles Chart. The song was written by Tommy James and drummer Peter Lucia, Jr. They had wanted to change direction of the group’s sound after “Hanky Panky” and “Mony Mony” to a more psychedelic rock kind of thing. They wanted to move from Am Top 40 to album rock. In a stream-of-consciousness way, Tommy James thought of the title before the song. He was waking up and thought of crimson, which was his favorite color, and clover, his favorite flower. The song was released as a single and a longer versions was on their album Crimson & Clover. In the studio, they experimented with new sound effects, and you can hear the use of delay and tremolo on “Crimson and Clover.” It adds to the sensuality and spaciness of the song. A bit of trivia is that Tommy James and The Shondells toured with Vice President Hubert Humphrey during his presidential campaign. In return, Humphrey wrote liner notes for the album. Pitchfork Media lists it among “The 200 Greatest Songs of the 1960s.”
The group has had many, many changes over the years. At the time of “Crimson and Clover,” they were Tommy James, Peter Lucia, Ron Rosman, Eddie Gray, and Mike Vale. A version of the group continues to tour and perform.