When Tommy James recorded the song it was considered a  B-side throwaway . They had no idea "Mony Mony" would become a huge hit.

Tommy James said about the record in an interview, " "Originally, we did the track without a song. And the idea was to create a party rock record; in 1968 that was pretty much of a throwback to the early '60s."

When Billy Idol recorded the song it became a powerhouse song for nightclubs all over America.

Tommy said of his songwriting partner Ritchie Cordell, "We were up in my apartment up at 888 Eighth Avenue in New York. And finally we get disgusted, we throw our guitars down, we go out on the terrace, we light up a cigarette, and we look up into the sky. And the first thing our eyes fall on is the Mutual of New York Insurance Company. M-O-N-Y. True story. With a dollar sign in the middle of the O, and it gave you the time and the temperature. I had looked at this thing for years, and it was sitting there looking me right in the face. We saw this at the same time, and we both just started laughing. We said, 'That's perfect! What could be more perfect than that?' Mony, M-O-N-Y, Mutual of New York. And so we must have laughed for about ten minutes, and that became the title of the song."

Billy Idol's cover of "Mony Mony" and Tommy James version, see and hear the difference: