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Baker's Dozen

"Shit, That Sounds Tremendous!" Tom Jones On His 13 Favourite Albums
Laurie Tuffrey , May 17th, 2012 05:33

With his new album, Spirit In The Room, on the way, Sir Tom Jones reflects on his favourite LPs and tells Laurie Tuffrey about his friends Elvis, Aretha and Stevie


Little Richard - Little Richard’s Greatest Hits
It's got all the classics on it: 'Good Golly Miss Molly', 'Rip It Up'. It's tremendous, when you put that thing on: from start to finish, it's boom all the way! First of all, I thought he was a girl, because I heard him do 'Rip It Up' and I'd heard Bill Haley & The Comets - they covered a lot of things where we didn't know what the originals were at first, but then you'd hear them - sometimes in movie houses funnily enough, like in Pontypridd, between films, they would play records. Sometimes they'd play the original American ones, but that's when I heard 'Rip It Up' by Little Richard. I thought, 'Some chick has covered Billy Haley & The Comets', but it was the original record. And then the same thing with 'Ain't That A Shame' - I heard the Pat Boon version before I heard Fats Domino. We never got to them that early - there was always somebody covering them first, getting the jump on it.

It definitely made me appreciate the songs more when I first heard it, no doubt about it. Americans - they're paranoid about the lyrics that might be a little risque. With Big Joe Turner, on his version of 'Shake Rattle and Roll', there's some - 'you're wearing those dresses, the sun comes shining through / I can't believe my eyes, all that mess belongs to you' - [laughs] well, they cut that back out straightaway! Bill Haley & The Comets: 'Wearin' those dresses, your hair done up so nice / you look so warm, but your heart is cold as ice' - they changed it.