A skilled pop tunesmith and producer, New York-native Ritchie Cordell is most known for his writing/production credits on a slew of mid-60s pop hits such as Tommy James & the Shondells "I Think We're Alone Now" and "Mony Mony." If light by contemporary standards, those tunes were positively heavy in comparison to the bubblegum pop Cordell went on to produce as part of the Kasenetz-Katz production team. In a teeny bop movement that rivaled the late-90s Backstreet Boys craze, Cordell helped fuel the burning fire of early-70s teenage hearts when he penned "Indian Giver" for the 1910 Fruitgum Co. and "Gimme Gimme Good Lovin'" for Crazy Elephant.
Though he spent a majority of the '70s out of the industry, Cordell returned with a renewed vigor in the early '80s, producing Joan Jett's wildly successful I Love Rock N'Roll album, as well as efforts by Bow Wow Wow and the Ramones. In 1987 he shared the rare distinction (previously done only by the Beatles) of having one No. 1 hit succeed the other when Tiffany's version of "I Think We're Alone Now" was replaced by Billy Idol's "Mony Mony." Hey, it ain't "Let It Be" and "Hey Jude," but he'll take it. Cordell passed away in New York in April of 2004. He was 61.
~ Steve Kurutz, Rovi