Thought the bewildering popularity of sea shanties was set to be the most confusing musical development of 2021? Well, hold your horses: Tom Jones has handed his beer to the seafaring community and entered the fray.
Having forged a career as Wales’ favourite son and premier crooner, Jones’ newest single, a spoken-word cover of US singer-songwriter Todd Snider’s Talking Reality Television Blues, takes an unexpected, if welcome, side-step into the world of alternative rock.
Lyrically, it runs through the snowballing damage television has inflicted on the collective modern psyche – a bold move considering Jones is himself a reality TV star thanks to his judging role on the UK’s version of talent competition The Voice – ending with the not-at-all-pointed: ‘Then a show called The Apprentice came on and pretty soon/An old man with a comb-over had sold us the moon/We stayed tuned in, now here we are/Reality killed by a reality star‘.
Popular musicians turning to alternative sounds in a bid to appear hip to the beat is nothing new. When hair metal was all but wiped out by a tsunami of knitted cardigans and dirgy guitars, a number of those bands tried their hand at a mid-90s grunge album in an attempt to cling on to relevancy (yes, Def Leppard, we’re looking at you). But where many of them missed the mark, for Sir Tom it seems an unnervingly natural fit. Could this be the start of a glittering alt-rock career? Well, it’s 2021. Anything could happen.
Talking Reality Television Blues is taken from Jones’ upcoming covers album, Surrounded By Time, which is due on April 23. The full tracklisting is below.
Surrounded By Time tracklisting
1. I Won’t Crumble With You If You Fall (Bernice Johnson Reagon)
2. The Windmills Of Your Mind (Michel Legrand/Alan & Marilyn Bergman)
3. Popstar (Yusuf/Cat Stevens)
4. No Hole In My Head (Malvina Reynolds)
5. Talking Reality Television Blues (Todd Snider)
6. I Won’t Lie (Michael Kiwanuka & Paul Butler)
7. This Is The Sea (Michael Scott)
8. One More Cup Of Coffee (Bob Dylan)
9. Samson And Delilah (Tom Jones, Ethan Johns, Mark Woodward)
10. Mother Earth (Tony Jo White)
11. I’m Growing Old (Bobby Cole)
12. Lazarus Man (Terry Callier)
EIL.COM Favourite Music Update Rare CDs, CD Singles, Rare Records, Vinyl Records, Albums and Music
- Tom Jones - It's Not Unusual - UK - vinyl LP - £10.00, $13.80, €11.90 (New Item) (arrived 01-Oct-2021 16:41)on October 27, 2021 at 11:54 pm
TOM JONES It's Not Unusual (1982 UK 17-track vinyl LP compilation including Green Green Grass Of Home, What's New Pussycat and I'm Coming Home, housed in a picture sleeve. The sleeve shows little wear and the vinyl has just the odd light signof play CN2053)
- Tom Jones - Live At Caesars Palace, Las Vegas - UK - 2-LP vinyl set - £15.00, $20.70, €17.85 (New Item) (arrived 24-Jul-2021 15:09)on October 27, 2021 at 11:54 pm
TOM JONES Live At Caesars Palace, Las Vegas (1971 UK 14-track double vinyl LP, with Tom backed by a band featuring Big Jim Sullivan, Kenny Clare, Shadows bassist John Rostill & vocal ensemble The Blossoms, front laminated gatefold picture sleeve showing Tom relaxing backstage! The sleeve shows just a little spinewear, whilst the vinyl shows only a few signs of play DKL1/1&1/2)
- Tom Jones - I (Who Have Nothing) - UK - 7" vinyl - £6.99, $9.65, €8.32 (New Item) (arrived 22-Jul-2021 10:28)on October 27, 2021 at 11:54 pm
TOM JONES I (Who Have Nothing) (1970 UK 7" vinyl single, with intact four-prong centre, also including Stop Breaking My Heart, Decca die-cut paper sleeve F.13061)
- Tom Jones - Green Green Grass Of Home - Fully Laminted Sleeve - UK - vinyl LP - £20.00, $27.60, €23.80 (New Item) (arrived 12-Jul-2021 09:13)on October 27, 2021 at 11:54 pm
TOM JONES Green Green Grass Of Home (1967 blue unboxed Decca logo 'ffss' label 14-track stereo vinyl LP, fully laminated picture sleeve with vintage price sticker still in place. The sleeve shows just a little wear and the vinyl appears barelyplayed SKL4855)
- Tom Jones - Help Yourself - UK - vinyl LP - £15.00, $20.70, €17.85 (New Item) (arrived 09-Jul-2021 09:41)on October 27, 2021 at 11:54 pm
TOM JONES Help Yourself (1968 UK 11-track Decca unboxed logo blue 'ffss' label stereo LP, front laminated picture sleeve. The sleeve has some wear to the opening edge and some minor ringwear and the vinyl appears barely played SKL4982)