This is Tom Jones

This-is-Tom-Jones-3Released: June 1969
Label: Decca

Tracklist
Fly Me To The Moon (In Other Words)
Little Green Apples
Wichita Lineman
(Sitting On) The Dock Of The Bay
Dance Of Love
Hey Jude
Without You
That’s All Any Man Can Say
That Wonderful Sound
Only Once
I’m A Fool To Want You
Let It Be Me

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  1. This Is Tom Jones plays strongly to Jones’ ability as big voiced arbiter of power ballads. Despite the fact the album didn’t produce a chart hit for Jones it was one of the biggest sellers in the singer’s catalogue, hitting the Top 5 in both the UK and US, remaining on the US charts for a full year and by some accounts selling as many as 3 million copies in the States alone.

    Borrowing it’s name and album cover from the name and opening credits of Jones successful TV Variety series, virtually all of the album’s tracks ended up becoming performance pieces on the show, giving the set tremendous exposure even without a hit single. Most of the tracks are original compositions with only a few remakes. Most of the original songs have very similar arrangements (heavy string laden orchestartions, big horn sections) and likewise Jones delivers most of them with the same big voiced, emotive power vocal approach, sounding in great form, but suffering from the over similarity between tunes. Too may songs essentially that sound too much alike.

    The stand out tracks ironically are the remakes, Jones shows his classic pop singer bonafides on “Let It Be Me”, avoiding the over the top vocal histrionics and delivering a low key, restrained vocal that still delivers the emotion of the song almost perfectly, much like his acclaimed hit version of “Green, Green Grass Of Home” a few years earlier. Songs like this proved Jones was more than a one trick pony who could only excel at hitting high notes and high volume vocals. At the other end of the spectrum is an almost rock opera like arrangement and performance of the originally very quiet and understated “I’m A Fool To Want To Want You”, a Frank Sinatra hit from his early days in the 1940s. Sinatra’s original was a bare bones production with minimal musical backing supporting his quiet, depression drenched vocals. Jones goes in a completely different direction with a fast tempo, blazing horn section, soaring strings, and belting vocals. It also perfectly suits many of Jones’s strengths and is a stand out on an album largely comprised of more happy themed romantic ballads with much slower arrangements.

    Those two performances alone make this a worthy purchase for any Tom Jones fan, and despite the similarity of the other tracks those individual performances are all strong, if not varied. The historical significance with regards to the singer’s career (best selling album, links to his TV show) only add to the importance of this set for any Tom Jones advocate.

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