Thursday, October 13, 2011

Vinyl Adventures #9

The world of Northern Soul is a rare old beast. Yes it's a style of music based mainly on the playing of rare, black American soul records, primarily from the 1960's. But...if a record has "the sound" it get's played. This has resulted in some very strange things being played on the scene, such as "Theme From Joe 90", Muriel Day's "Nine Times Out Of Ten" (the b-side to an Irish Eurovision Song Contest entry, and yes, you're right, it's awful) and more than one record by Tom Jones (yes that's Jones the Voice from that hotbed of Soul & R'n'B, Pontypridd in South Wales) including this one:

I've often said that if "It's Not Unusual" hadn't been a major hit it would have fit right in on the Northern dance floor (have a listen to The Dells version). Well in the mid 60's Tom was knocking out covers of US soul tunes and R'n'B flavoured dancers to great effect. Check out his take on Ben E Kings "I Can't Break The News To Myself" or "Dr Love".

"Stop Breaking My Heart" was originally released in 1966, and was a complete flop. This copy I have is a 1970 issue of his cover of Shirley Bassey's 1963 hit "I Who Have Nothing" (which was also originally recorded by Ben E King) with "Stop Breaking My Heart" tucked away on the b-side.

Written by Tom's manager, Gordon Mills (who also wrote "It's Not Unusual") and produced for Gordon Mills Productions, right from the intro this is a huge sounding record that gallops along at a fair old pace. I particularly like the slightly disinterested sounding backing vocalists droning "don't you break my heart" between filing their nails and chewing gum (or so it sounds to me).

So with thanks to Dave, for pointing out all this Jonesy goodness to me, please enjoy Tom Jones and "Stop Breaking My Heart"...hotdamn

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