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It IS Unusual
on 21 April 2012
Having waited years for these original albums from the 60s to be available on CD once again, I am more than disappointed by the poor quality of this 4 disc set. I am astonished to see Universal/Decca release this set with insufficient thought and care. An artist as popular and revered as Tom Jones, whose career spans no less than five decades, deserves a better treatment.
The box comprises the albums "Along Came Jones" (1965), "A-Tom-Ic Jones (1966), "Green, Green Grass of Home" (1967) and "Delilah" (1968). For some reason, Universal has chosen to ignore the chronological sequence of the singer's 60s catalogue (UK releases) and omitted "From the Heart" (1966) and "13 Smash Hits" (1967). Despite what the title of the latter suggests, it is not a compilation album.
The packaging of this 2010 set is appalling. The CDs are stuck in cardboard sleeves with a poor reproduction of the front covers of the original LPs and that's about all! Oh, excuse me; you do get the titles of the songs on the back of the sleeves! No booklet, no liner notes, no mention of sound restoration/remastering, no photos from the back covers of the original LPs, and last but not least, no bonus tracks except for "A-Tom-Ic Jones", which carries the same six extra tracks that fist appeared in the late 80s or early 90s when this album was released on CD.
It is a shame this is what Universal/Decca comes up with after all these years. The music Tom recorded in the 60s was arguably his best. The man was on fire and his voice was in top form. Volume, tone and timbre - The Voice is endowed with all three, and there's nowhere better to relish those qualities than the recordings he made in the 60s. I hope Universal will reconsider its approach to Jones' back catalogue and do justice to one of the greatest singers loved by millions around the world.