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Tom Jones Says Not To Call His Reinterpretations 'Covers'

12 October 2015 | 4:07 pm | Adam Wilding

Keep up with Jones

When 75 year-old British music veteran Tom Jones took to the stage in London's Southbank Centre last night he made it clear that his new album wasn't to be referred to as a 'covers album'.

As a prelude to the London Literature Festival, Jones gave fans a chance to get up close and personal with a lengthy Q&A followed by a performance showcasing tracks off his new album Long Lost Suitcase.

Jones discussed his humble beginnings as a dyslexic South Welshman who went on to have a successful music and television career, and then continued to reinvent himself with an '80s hit and more recently as a judge on the UK version of The Voice.

When discussing how the new set has been referred to as a 'covers album', Jones was quite clear he preferred it not to be called that: "I like to think of songs I sing as interpretations – no-one would call Sir Anthony Hopkins interpretation of Sir Lawrence Olivier in Hamlet a ‘cover’, so to me it’s always been my interpretation of a song someone else has wrote."

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His soon-to-be-released autobiography Over The Top And Back and accompanying soundtrack Long Lost Suitcase formed the rest of the night’s agenda, with the latter being included in a set-list of music and stories selected by him as having special meaning .

Jones and his band opened with It’s Not Unusual (garnering applause with its opening bars), which was followed by a cover interpretation of Hank William’s Why Don’t You Love Me Like You Used To, Gillian Welch’s Elvis Presley Blues and an unreleased Willie Nelson demo. Apart from showing he still sings amazingly well it also showed his avid interest in different musical genres and styles. His '80s top 40 hit Kiss sounded much closer to the original without the horns that accompanied his version of the song that revived his career — which we learnt was done as a result of his son’s advice, who eventually became part of his management team. 

Jones will be bringing this latest batch of tunes with him to play Bluesfest next year.