Tom Jones – Reload (1999)

FrontCover1Sir Thomas John Woodward OBE (born 7 June 1940), known professionally as Tom Jones, is a Welsh singer. His career began with a string of top-ten hits in the mid-1960s. He has toured regularly, with appearances in Las Vegas (1967–2011). Jones’s voice has been described by AllMusic as a “full-throated, robust baritone”.

His performing range has included pop, R&B, show tunes, country, dance, soul and gospel. In 2008, the New York Times called Jones a musical “shape shifter”, who could “slide from soulful rasp to pop croon, with a voice as husky as it was pretty”. Jones has sold over 100 million records, with 36 Top 40 hits in the UK and 19 in the US, including “It’s Not Unusual”, “What’s New Pussycat?”, the theme song for the 1965 James Bond film Thunderball, “Green, Green Grass of Home”, “Delilah”, “She’s a Lady”, “Kiss” and “Sex Bomb”.

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Jones has also occasionally dabbled in acting, first making his acting debut playing the lead role in the 1979 television film Pleasure Cove. He also appeared as himself in Tim Burton’s 1996 film Mars Attacks!.[6][7] In 1970 he received a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Television Series Musical or Comedy nomination for hosting the television series This Is Tom Jones. In 2012, he played his first dramatic acting role in an episode of Playhouse Presents.[8] Jones received a Grammy Award for Best New Artist in 1966, an MTV Video Music Award in 1989, as well as two Brit Awards: Best British Male in 2000 and the Outstanding Contribution to Music award in 2003. Jones was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1998 and knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for services to music in 2005. Jones experienced a resurgence in notability in the 2010s due to his coaching role on the television talent show The Voice UK from 2012 (with the exception of 2016).

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Reload is the 34th album by Tom Jones, released in 1999. It contains fifteen duets with a range of artists including Van Morrison, Cerys Matthews, Stereophonics, Robbie Williams and Portishead, recorded with their usual record producers and in their usual studios. The tracks are mainly cover versions, with a new version of one of Jones’ own songs, “Looking Out My Window” (1968), and one original track, “Sex Bomb”.

Reload became the highest seller of Jones’ career, reaching number one on the UK Albums Chart in 1999 and again in 2000. Its biggest single was the collaboration with Mousse T, “Sex Bomb”, which reached number 3 on the UK Singles Chart, and was later used in a 2003 episode of The Simpsons (a show Jones had guest starred on in 1992). The album has sold more than four million copies worldwide. The album was not released in the US; instead the compilation Reloaded: Greatest Hits was issued there in 2003 and featured highlights from Reload.

Singles

The album was released on 16 September 1999 in the UK by Gut Records and was released a little later in the US by V2 Records. Five singles were released from the album: “Burning Down the House” (September 1999), “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” (December 1999), “Mama Told Me Not to Come” (March 2000), “Sex Bomb” (May 2000), and “You Need Love Like I Do” (November 2000)

Reload became the highest seller of Jones’ career, reaching number one on the UK Albums Chart in 1999 and again in 2000. (wikipedia)

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It had been six years since Tom Jones released his last stateside record, but this one scored big in England and on the Continent, for good reason. Ultra-modern and topical, Reload suggests you can easily ignore Jones’ “What’s New Pussycat?” past. Not only does Jones deliver one of the more invigorating workings of modern pop here, his selection of material and choice of mates prove that in addition to his routinely extraordinary performances, he’s still recording quite potently, thank you. Like 1994’s underrated “The Lead and How To Swing It,” a lesser seller from the Interscope label, “Reload” finds Tom in collaborative mode. But where The Lead stressed original tunes and producer chops (everyone from Teddy Riley to Flood to Trevor Horn weighed in), Reload focuses on contemporary artists and cover songs. The artists are a motley, and very talented, crew indeed. Jones more than holds his own, turning the tunes into unusually personal and expressive vehicles.

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Jones launches the disc with Talking Heads’ “Burning Down the House,” working it brisk and funky with the Cardigans and lending David Byrne’s opaque lyrics a fresh vigor. Then, with Stereophonics, he resurrects Randy Newman’s “Mama Told Me Not to Come,” refreshing the Three Dog Night chestnut with unexpected lasciviousness. The selections are as peculiar as they are successful, spanning “Sometimes We Cry” (a sparsely arranged duet with Van Morrison), a sharp interpretation of Iggy Pop’s “Lust for Life” with Chrissie Hynde’s Pretenders, and a fruity, truly bizarre take on the George Baker Selection’s “Little Green Bag” with Barenaked Ladies. Jones probably doesn’t do knee drops anymore, but he sure as hell does vocal swoops; check out “Ain’t That a Lot of Love” with Simply Red’s Mick Hucknall or his resurrection of Fine Young Cannibals’ “She Drives Me Crazy” with Zucchero for throat acrobatics. Jones is in the uncomfortable position of being a retro novelty, and although he may not ignite the U.S. charts anymore (his last notable effort here was his great collaboration with the Art of Noise on the Prince tune “Kiss,” in 1988), his music is as contemporary and driving as ever. (by Carlo Wolff)

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Personnel:
Tom Jones (vocals)
+
many, many other musicians (more details in the booklet)

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Tracklist:
01. Burning Down The House (with The Cardigans) (Byrne/Weymouth/Frantz/Harrison) 3.39
02. Mama Told Me Not To Come (with Stereophonics) (Newman) 3.00
03. Are You Gonna Go My Way (with Robbie Williams) (Kravitz/Ross) 3.27
04. All Mine (with The Divine Comedy) (Barrow/Gibbons/Utley) 4.00
05. Sunny Afternoon (with Space) (Davies) 3.26
06. I’m Left, You’re Right, She’s Gone (with James Dean Bradfield) (Kesler/Taylor) 3.40
07. Sex Bomb (with Mousse T.) (Mousse T./Rennalls) 3.32
08. You Need Love Like I Do (with Heather Small) (Whitfield/Strong) 3.50
09. Looking Out My Window (with James Taylor Quartet) (Jones) 3.20
10. Sometimes We Cry (with Van Morrison) (Morrison) 5.01
11. Lust For Life (with The Pretenders) (Pop/Bowie) 3.43
12. Little Green Bag (with Barenaked Ladies) (Visser/Baker) 3.49
13. Ain’t That A Lot Of Love (with Simply Red) (Parker/Banks) 2.42
14. She Drives Me Crazy (with Zucchero) (Gift/Steele) 3.35
15. Never Tear Us Apart (with Natalie Imbruglia) (Farriss/Hutchence) 3.08
16. Baby, It’s Cold Outside (with Cerys Matthews) (Loesser) 3.41
17. Motherless Child (with Portishead) (Traditional) 5.09

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