Thursday, September 3, 2009

Tom Jones - Green, Green Grass Of Home

(Parrot, 1966)

On most of his hits, you hear Tom Jones singing and you KNOW it’s that hairy strutter Tom Jones making with the sweet lady-swoon vocalizing – whatever you think of the guy, at least give him credit for uttering distinctive throat-sounds on a regular basis. But this one? This INTERNATIONAL CHART-TOPPER OF (SOME) RENOWN? Well… not so much. “Green, Green Grass of Home” ain’t the Jones I semi-know! Rather, it’s maudlin plastic soul that’s halfway between Dusty Springfield and early Bee Gees, and Tommy’s restrained to the point of facelessness; he needs to be belting songs out, not crooning them. Fat, theatrical Elvis woulda handled this ditty far better and far more convincingly. Aural dirt to be brushed off of one’s shoulder. Next is “If I Had You,” a song coincidentally ($$$$!!) written by Jones’s very own manager, and it happily sounds more like the dude we all know and laugh at, rockin’ and swingin’ as it does like the early Stones if they came up in the Vegas casinos. Which might sound like a jibe or a jab, but casinos can be fun, and the sassy parrot tipping his cap on the swirly yellow-orange label of this single (a la Capitol!) is most DEFINITELY fun. So? Buttons. You sew buttons.

1 comment:

Donald Brown said...

my all-time favorite Jones single (my sis was a fan back in those suburban '70s) is "Delilah," with that immortal "so, before they come to break down the door..." and the surging chorus that seems like it should be sung with pints of ale in hand.

i'm sure I've heard this version of 'green green grass.' Probably Jerry Lee Lewis's is best...