Did You Know?

Interesting facts and trivia about Crimson & Clover. By Songfacts®.

Tommy James constructed this slice of psychedelia from his favorite color and his favorite flower. In a Songfacts interview with Tommy James, he said: "They were just two of my favorite words that came together. Actually, it was one morning as I was getting up out of bed, and it just came to me, those two words. And it sounded so poetic. I had no idea what it meant, or if it meant anything. They were just two of my favorite words. And Mike Vale and I – bass player – actually wrote another song called 'Crimson and Clover.' And it just wasn't quite there. And I ended up writing 'Crimson and Clover' with my drummer, Pete Lucia, who has since passed away."

Kenny Laguna is a songwriter and producer who has worked with Joan Jett ever since she started as a solo artist. He played keyboards and sang backup as a member of The Shondells. Kenny told us how this song came together: "Bo Gentry wrote all these songs for Tommy James, from 'I Think We're Alone Now' right on through 'Mony Mony.' There were other co-writers, but Bo was the genius, the driving force. Bo wasn't getting paid from Roulette Records, so he went on strike and refused to make any more Tommy James records. In those days, the legend, Morris Levy, said he was not going to be pushed around and said, 'Fine, you want to quit, quit. It will be the end of your career.' We went to Tommy and said, 'Look Tommy, if you don't get someone to write the songs for you, you're going to be dead meat. You can't go trying to do it yourself, you don't know how to write hit songs.' So he went off with the drummer and created this song. I'll never forget it, it was in Allegra studios on 1650 Broadway. There was the Brill building, and in the basement was this great studio. Tommy says, 'come here,' so I went in the room, listened to what he'd been doing and said, 'Oh, my God.' Everybody kind of deserted Tommy, and he went off and just did this incredible song. He wrote it, produced it, and played all the instruments with the drummer."

Many songs need to be cut down before radio stations will play them, but this was the opposite. The song was only 2 1/2 minutes long, so they spliced together an extended version for FM radio. If you listen to that version, you can hear some really bad edits.

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Song Analysis

Key, BPM (tempo) and time signature of Crimson & Clover.
4/4Time Signature


The album Crimson & Clover is released on.

Released By

The record label that has released Crimson & Clover.
© 1989 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group company
℗ 1989 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group company

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