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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


Solomon Burke - Rock 'n Soul
The first time I heard him was in London, it was 1964 and he had just come out with that album and I got it. It was in my manager Gordon Mills's Notting Hill Gate flat and he just had it because they used to send him stuff - things that I might like. There was this album, so I thought "Shit! This is tremendous" and recorded a bunch of the songs on there - 'If You Need Me' was one of the ones on the first album. Solomon was always my favourite soul singer, more than Otis Redding, Sam and Dave or Wilson Pickett. Solomon was a step above. He was more of a singer who happened to sing blues and gospel - you could tell that he came from the church, but he sang it better. Otis Redding used to get trouble with this throat - you could hear it in him. He was struggling to get out what he did. Wilson Pickett had great feel and great drive, but there was a roughness to his voice, and Solomon could be rough or sweet when he wanted to be, he could put his voice into different areas. And his range was huge - there's that track on it, 'Goodbye Baby, Baby Goodbye', he sings that in two octaves, which is tremendous. Real, very honest.