Sporting a quickly identifiable percussive opening, the pleasant and soothing "Crystal Blue Persuasion" was the other side of the '60s, the peace and love complement to the psychedelic title track of the album which spawned this, Crimson & Clover. Tommy James somehow came up with arrangements and riffs which made each of his hit records distinctive, a move which paid dividends for his live show in the years that followed. It's the sound of the keyboards which stays in the listener's head while the conga drums, tambourine, and simple flamenco guitar build a foundation for the impeccable voices, all playing off the bass line. The spirit is adult contemporary music, a format which would embrace "Three Times in Love," the singer's '80s hit, with the higher power sentiment showing up much sooner on James' 1970s solo effort Christian of the World. It's the strength of the lyrics, which hold their own against the top-notch production and musical innovation. Keep in mind this song became popular about eight months before Santana would take these flavors back to Top 40 in that group's hip blending of different styles. Critics of the day may have wanted to dismiss the Shondells as "bubblegum," but their shortsighted essays could never imagine reggae artists the Heptones and jazz legend Tito Puente bringing total vindication to James through their renditions, or Morcheeba performing this title on the soundtrack to A Walk on the Moon. Written by bassist Mike Vale, lead guitarist Eddie Gray, and singer Tommy James, this composition was the third most popular of the band's 17 Top 40 hits. An Internet search reveals how the song title has earned a special place in pop culture.