Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Tom Jones
"Act of Mercy"

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Tom Jones
Do You Take This Man
(EMI Columbia, 1979)

Yeah, I know . . . I've posted two Tom Jones songs already. I can't help it; I am obsessed.

The lil' goodie today comes from what would appear to be Tom's rarest album, Do You Take This Man. As you might guess from the cover, it's quite discofied. Normally, I can't stand disco, but I'll make the occasional exception.

It's impossible for me to say with absolute certainty that this his Tom's rarest, but I can say that it took me years to find a copy. For the longest time, based on the lack of information about it on the 'net, I thought it might be one of the 57 bazillion compilation albums out there. In addition, it was released in 1979, the same year that Rescue Me was released over here on my side of the pond from Wales. If you think the front cover's something, you should see the picture inside the gatefold. Tom is resplendent in chesty hirsuteness, and that belt buckle you can see on the front? It's enormous! The cover pic does not do it justice. It'd probably be quite handy for hand-to-hand combat. Oop! Pun not intended.

Much as I love Tom, I'm not sure if I would be able to decide between Do You Take This Man and Rescue Me which has the ickiest cover.

Anyhow, today's track was apparently originally done either by disco queen Vicki Sue Ring My Bell Robinson or Hamilton, Joe Frank & Dennison, formerly known as Hamilton, Joe Frank & Reynolds; both released versions in 1976. I listened to a bit of a clip of VSR's recording on YouTube, and I have to say Tom's version is better. Then again, with Tom, that's usually the case.

Now, I'm just not familar enough with disco to know if the repeating string figure is common, or if Madonna flat out stole it for Vogue. I'll let you be the judge. Sorry the clip below isn't the original video, and is a different mix. Madonna won't allow embedding from YouTube, so we head to Vimeo for Robert Jeffrey's version:

I performed to MADONNA's VOGUE in the Summer of 1991 when my parents took me to Hampton Beach Casino in Hampton Beach, New Hampshire. A business in the casino at the time gave tourists the chance to lip-synch to their favorite pop songs in front of a blue screen background, and I was lucky enough to partake that summer.

No biased opinions . . . yet