Way back on May 26, 2016, The Second Disc reported on Tom Jones' The Complete Decca Studio Albums Collection, then set for a September 2, 2016 release. Alas, the 15-CD release didn't materialize that fall. But this story has a happy ending. Sir Tom has announced on Facebook that the hefty box - now counting 17 discs, with two CDs comprising an expanded version of the 2020 digital-only rarities set Hide and Seek: The Lost Collection - will finally arrive on November 20 with over 200 tracks and 10+ hours of music.
Jones, who recently turned 80, has had an extraordinary career unlike few others in pop music, notching 36 U.K. Top 40 hits (19 here in the States) across five decades and selling more than 100 million albums worldwide. His mammoth voice and striking good looks made him an icon of the swingin' '60s, with tracks like "It's Not Unusual" and "What's New Pussycat?" becoming hits on both sides of the Atlantic and helping him pick up a Grammy Award for Best New Artist. As the decade wore on, Jones easily transitioned into more traditional pop and even country, with "Green, Green Grass of Home," "(It Looks Like) I'll Never Fall in Love Again" and "Delilah" becoming further Top 10 hits.
Jones kept riding high into the later '60s and early '70s, performing to frenzied crowds in Las Vegas and on the set of his internationally syndicated show, This is Tom Jones. Covers of "I (Who Have Nothing)" and "Till" kept him strong in the United Kingdom, as did the Paul Anka-penned "She's a Lady," his biggest American hit at No. 2 in 1971.
While his chart popularity cooled shortly thereafter, and the artist left his longtime home of Decca Records for other labels, Jones would never stay away too long, earning a string of Top 40 hits on the U.S. country charts in the early '80s before pairing up with a host of dance acts to massive U.K. chart success, from a cover of Prince's "Kiss" with The Art of Noise in 1988 to the chart-topping Reload, featuring collaborations with The Cardigans, The Stereophonics and Mousse T, in 1999.
In recent years, the artist returned to his deep-rooted love of folk, gospel, and blues on such albums as Praise and Blame, Spirit in the Room, and Long Lost Suitcase. He was awarded an OBE in 1999 and was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2006. He remains in the public eye to this day, with constant gigging until the COVID crisis hit and an ongoing stint as judge/coach of The Voice U.K. since 2012. (When the show let Sir Tom go for Season 5, the outcry was so great that he was reinstated the following season.) Jones' career may be unusual, but his deserved success certainly is not.
The Complete Decca Studio Albums Collection brings together the 15 original studio albums (eight of which were Top 10 in the charts) Jones released in his homeland between 1965 and 1975. In addition to just about all the hits, these discs feature a host of unforgettable and varied standards as only Tom could sing them, from "Georgia on My Mind," "Ring of Fire," "Hold On, I'm Coming" and "Danny Boy" to "(Sittin' on) The Dock of the Bay," "Proud Mary," "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime" and "Lean on Me."
Hide and Seek: The Lost Collection, featured as the final two discs in this box, was released digitally in March. That edition comprised 29 rarities (many never previously released on CD or digitally) including Burt Bacharach and Bob Hilliard's "Any Day Now," Bacharach and Hal David's rocking movie theme "Promise Her Anything" (featuring one of Tom's most deliciously gutsy vocals), and various B-sides, non-LP singles, and stray tracks that ended up on compilations. The box set's presentation greatly expands upon that digital release with 47 tracks, including non-LP hits such as "What's New Pussycat?," "Love Me Tonight," and the booming James Bond theme "Thunderball" as well as flipsides (among them "Smile" and the Paul Anka-adapted "My Way," originally the B-side of another Anka tune, "She's a Lady"), EP cuts, international sides, and more. With the addition of these two discs, The Complete Decca Studio Albums presents Tom's a comprehensive chronicle of Jones' released Decca studio discography. There is no word yet on whether mono or stereo masters have been used for the albums and the bonus discs. Note that, per the title, Jones' live Decca LPs are not included.
Jones has shared a YouTube unboxing video in which you can see the set which is packaged in a flip-top box. Each album is housed in an individual mini-LP replica sleeve with uniform Decca labels, and a booklet with liner notes is also included.
Fall in love again with Tom Jones' The Complete Decca Studio Albums Collection when it's released November 20! Pre-order links and the full album list is below.
Disc 1: Along Came Jones (Decca LK 4693, 1965)
Disc 2: A-Tom-ic Jones (Decca SKL 4743, 1966)
Disc 3: From the Heart (Decca SKL 4814, 1966)
Disc 4: Green, Green Grass of Home (Decca SKL 4855, 1967)
Disc 5: 13 Smash Hits (Decca SKL 4909, 1967)
Disc 6: Delilah (Decca SKL 4946, 1968)
Disc 7: Help Yourself (Decca SKL 4982, 1968)
Disc 8: This is Tom Jones (Decca SKL 5007, 1969)
Disc 9: Tom (Decca SKL 5045, 1970)
Disc 10: I Who Have Nothing (Decca SKL 5072, 1970)
Disc 11: Tom Jones Sings She's a Lady (Decca SKL 5089, 1971)
Disc 12: Close Up (Decca SKL 5132, 1972)
Disc 13: The Body and Soul of Tom Jones (Decca SKL 5162, 1973)
Disc 14: Somethin' 'Bout You Baby I Like (Decca SKL 5197, 1974)
Disc 15: Memories Don't Leave Like People Do (Decca SKL 5214, 1975)
Discs 16-17: Hide and Seek: The Lost Collection - Expanded Edition (2020)
Hide and Seek: The Lost Collection includes:
- Chills and Fever (Decca F 11966, 1964) (*)
- Breathless (Decca F 11966, 1964)
- To Wait for Love (Is to Waste Your Life Away) (Decca F 12062, 1965) (*)
- I Tell the Sea (Decca F 12121, 1965) (*)
- With These Hands (Decca F 12191, 1965) (*)
- What's New, Pussycat? (Decca F 12203, 1965) (*)
- Untrue (Decca F 12191, 1965) (*)
- (Won't You Give Him) One More Chance (from U.S. LP What's New Pussycat?, Parrot 6/71006, 1966) (*)
- Thunderball (Decca F 12292, 1966) (*)
- Stop Breaking My Heart (Decca F 12349, 1966) (*)
- Never Give Away Love (Decca F 12349, 1966) (*)
- Once There Was a Time (Decca F 12390, 1966)
- Not Responsible (Decca F 12390, 1966) (*)
- This and That (Decca F 12461, 1966) (*)
- City Girl (Decca F 12461, 1966)
- Promise Her Anything (Decca F 22511, 1966)
- Triple Cross (released internationally including The Great Tom Jones LP, Decca (Germany) ND 263, 1968)
- What a Party (Decca EP DFE 8668, 1967) (*)
- Any Day Now (Decca EP DFE 8668, 1967)
- It Ain't Gonna Be That Way (Decca EP DFE 8668, 1967)
- If I Had You (Decca F 22555, 1967)
- Things I Wanna Do (Decca F 12639, 1967)
- I'm Coming Home (Decca F 12693, 1967) (*)
- The Lonely One (Decca F 12693, 1967)
- Smile (Decca F 12747, 1968) (*)
- Day by Day (Decca F 12812, 1968)
- A Minute of Your Time (Decca F 12854, 1968) (*)
- Looking Out My Window (Decca F 12854, 1968) (*)
- Love Me Tonight (Decca F 12924, 1969) (*)
- Hide and Seek (Decca F 12924, 1969)
- A Man Who Knows Too Much (Decca F 12990, 1969)
- Tupelo Mississippi Flash (Stereo Edit Version) (Decca F 13013, 1970)
- My Way (Decca F 13113, 1971) (*)
- Every Mile (Decca F 13183, 1971)
- Till (Decca FR 13236, 1971) (*)
- The Sun Died (Decca FR 13236, 1971)
- All That I Need Is Some Time (Decca F 13298, 1972)
- Golden Days (Decca F 13471, 1973)
- Goodbye, God Bless You (Decca F 13471, 1973)
- Thank the Lord (Decca 13393, 1974)
- Keep A-Talkin' Bout Love (Decca F 13550, 1974)
- Pledging My Love (Decca F 13564, 1974)
- I'm Too Far Gone to Turn Around (Decca F 13564, 1974)
- La La La (Just Having You Here) (Decca F 13490, 1974)
- Love Love Love (Decca F 13490, 1974)
- Ain't No Love (Decca F 13575, 1975)
- When the Band Goes Home (Decca F 13575, 1975)
(*) denotes track not on digital edition
Note: "Keep on Running" and "Don't Fight It" were originally on the digital edition but have been excised from this assembly; both songs are featured on Disc 5, 13 Smash Hits.