Saturday, August 6, 2011

Tom Jones
"Little by Little"
(live)

Tom Jones
On Stage
7" EP
(Decca Records, 1965)


Today's number is a song from Tom's third 7" for Decca Records, a nifty lil' four-song live EP released wayyyyy back in the mid-60's. This track has since appeared on the killer triple-CD set Velvet + Steel = Gold, but in stereo and with no crowd noise (same for the first track from the EP, "Bama Lama Bama Loo"). Now, I'm not sure if that's 'cause it was really a studio recording to which that they added fake applause (à la the 13th Floor Elevators Live album), or if they simply mixed out the audience when preparing the stereo version. Regardless, this is how it sounded when pressed on shiny black vinyl in 1965.

Gotta love liner notes from back then!

The name's the same; but there any similarity ends between Tom Jones, the dynamic Pontypridd 'Tiger' and Henry Fielding's swashbuckling hero.

Tom began singing in the traditional Welsh manner – in the chapel choir. In his mid-teens he learned to play the drums and sat in with local groups. When did he first feel the call of the spotlight? "The moment I realised how heavy a hod was!" declares Tom, who worked for a time on a building site. Tom was spotted by his manager Gordon Mills, former member of the Viscounts, when he deputised at short notice for Mandy Rice Davies on a cabaret date. His first disc was Chills and Fever. It's Not Unusual, Tom's second record and number one hit, was penned for him by Gordon Mills.

Tom is now backed by the Squires. He has been known to deliver marathon two-and-a-half hour acts, leaving his audience in a state of fan frenzy seldom witnessed in this country. Although R and B influenced, Tom Jones is far from being just a shouter; he really sings. The bluesy element in his voice adds depth to his unique style, and makes him one of the most original singers to appear on the British musical scene for many years. Just listen to these four tracks and you're bound to agree.

Anyone know what on Earth a "hod" is?

2 biased opinions:

VirginiaM said...

A hod is a scuttle. Heavy indeed.

Biki said...

I loved your write up! Very interesting. And no, I didnt listen to him, cause dinner was ever so good going down, but back up? Nah, I dont wanna risk it. ;-p