When I was a teenager you wouldn’t have caught me dead with a Tom Jones album. For some reason we thought his act was a bit of a joke. Once I turned 21 though, I took a trip to Las Vegas with some friends where we got to see him perform live and I was a fan. He brings a certain energy to the stage that you don’t always find and is a key part of the longevity of his career.
He starts off the album with a big band rendition of Fly me to the moon and keeps the big band theme going for most of the album. There are lots of string instruments to accompany him. He does a slowed down version of Wichita Lineman on this album that sounds very pretty.
The album was released in 1969, but unlike a lot of the psychedelic pop music at the time, this was in the style of the early 60s. The album was used to promote his television show with the same name and was heavy on covers. He pays tribute to Otis Redding on the album with a cover of sitting on the dock of the bay. Tom Jones was basically Britney Spears of his own generation. His Vegas residency went on for years. People from all over the world went to see him. We forget how popular he was.
It’s still really good music and when you listen to it you remember why he was one of the most famous guys in the county for a while. He has excellent BPM, you can get things done when you listen to him. On my copy of the album someone took an early DYMO label maker and wrote AL on it. The age of the label is almost as cool as the age of the record.
The second half of the album is a little more melancholy and is more about lost love or love that is frustrated than traditional love ballads. My favorite song on the album is his rendition of Hey Jude. There is so much soul in his voice that you can’t help but sing along.