Personnel: Tom Jones (vocals); Les Reed, Johnny Scott, Charles Blackwell, Johnny Harris, Ken Woodman, Johnnie Spence, Gordon Mills (conductor).
Producers: Peter Sullivan, Gordon Mills.
Compilation producer: Bill Levenson.
Recorded between 1965 & 1970.
All tracks have been digitally remastered.
Arrangers: Charles Blackwell; Johnny Spence.
Playing GREATEST LOVE SONGS on a romantic evening might be a good litmus test for prospective paramours. Whether they melt or run screaming will determine either a) their inability to resist the swaggering, dramatic vocals of Tom Jones or b) their inability to stand the swaggering, dramatic vocals of Tom Jones. This will, consequently, provide guidance for how to proceed with the prospective paramour. If said paramour goes gooey at the first swinging strains of "It's Not Unusual," a showcase for Jones's generous baritone and one of his first and best-loved hits, you can probably uncork the wine.
Equally, if said paramour gets weak in the knees at Jones's stirring performance on slow burners like "My Foolish Heart" and "When I Fall in Love," light some candles. The sprightly feel of tunes like "Help Yourself" will provide a welcomed respite from tension, but if the paramour asks to be kissed during the passionate groove of "Love Me Tonight" (complete with mariachi horns) or the swelling orchestrations of "Can't Stop Loving You," you're in. Of course, if said prospective paramour runs screaming when you play GREATEST LOVE SONGS, good riddance. You've still got Tom Jones.
Tom Jones became one of the most popular vocalists to emerge from the British Invasion. Since the mid-'60s, Jones has sung nearly every form of popular music: pop, rock, show tunes, country, dance, and techno, he's sung it all. His actual style -- a full-throated, robust baritone that had little regard for nuance and subtlety -- never changed, he just sang over different backing tracks. On-stage, Jones played up his sexual appeal, radiating a raw sexuality that earned him a large following of devoted female fans. Jones' following never diminished over the decades; he was able to exploit trends, earning new fans while retaining his core following. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine