As someone who hardly watches any telly these days due to the amount of crap they show, BBC Four's Friday night music programming is a welcome treat. The other night they showed a fascinating documentary on the life and career of Sir Tom Jones, a man who I had previously considered to be a bit of a joke. However this brilliant documentary has made me see Tom in a completely different light and see past the novelty pop hits of his early days. Following this film they showed Sir Tom playing a session of folk, blues and beyond from LSO St Lukes in the City, along with some great guests and a fantastic trio of backing singers. You can watch this on the BBC iPlayer for the next few days HERE. It seems that Tom has gone back to his roots, delving into the blues for his most recent two albums.
'Burning Hell' is taken from his excellent 2010 album 'Praise And Blame', and was originally written by Sister Rosetta Tharpe. "'Praise and Blame' is the 39th studio album by Tom Jones, released 26 July 2010.
The album was Jones’ first release with Island Records and was recorded in 2009 at the Real World Studios in England. Produced by Ethan Johns, Praise & Blame was made up of largely little known devotional and gospel covers, marking a departure from the pop-orientated style that had dominated Jones' recent recordings.
In an interview with HitQuarters, Island A and R, Louis Bloom, talked about how the concept for the album first came together: "I saw Tom on the Jonathan Ross show a couple of years ago and he had stopped dying his hair – he looked great! I’ve always been a massive fan of his voice but in recent years he had been doing the musical equivalent of dying his hair in trying to make modern records that just felt too forced and missed the mark. I tracked down his management and coincidentally they were also thinking they wanted to make more of a classic rootsy record."