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Jones responds to “stupid” label email

By | Published on Tuesday 13 July 2010

Tom Jones has responded to the previously reported leaked email sent by Island Records Senior VP David Sharpe to staff upon hearing the singer’s new album ‘Praise & Blame’, branding the label man “stupid” and “some fella who signs cheques or something”.

As previously reported, Sharpe wrote: “Imagine my surprise when I walked into the office this morning to hear hymns coming from your office – it could have been Sunday morning. My initial pleasure came to an abrupt halt when I realised that Tom Jones was singing the hymns! I have just listened to the album in its entirety and want to know if this is some sick joke?”

He continued: “We did not invest a fortune in an established artist for him to deliver twelve tracks from the common book of prayer. Having lured him from EMI [with a £1.5 million contract], the deal was that you would deliver a record of upbeat tracks along the lines of ‘Sex Bomb’ and ‘Mama Told Me’. As venerable and interesting as Tom’s story is, this is not what was agreed and certainly not what we paid for. Who put him with a ‘folk’ producer and who authorised that he should go off on this tangent…?”

Sharpe concluded: “Please don’t give me the art over commerce argument, it’s run its course… what are you thinking when he went all spiritual?”

Rambling somewhat repetitively to The Western Mail, Jones said of Sharpe’s attack: “People are going to read this and think the record company doesn’t like [my album], or that I’ve made a mistake. It’s not coming from the creative people in the record company, because they’re backing [the album] up all the way, I mean they’re thrilled with it, so I don’t understand it. When I questioned them and said, ‘What the hell is this all about? Who is this fella? I don’t even know who he is’, I found out that he’s some fella who signs cheques or something. But he’s not in the creative side of it and they’re 100% behind it, but people don’t know that”.

He continued: “In the press it says that I’ve gone off and made something that the record company didn’t pay me for and that they don’t like it. People tell me that all publicity is good publicity, that’s what I’ve been told. People say to me, ‘Well it’s being talked about’, but to me it’s being talked about in a negative way. Hopefully, if there’s any good that comes out of it, it’s that people will wonder about [the new album]. But it isn’t the way I would handle it by going and making a stupid statement. That’s not going to help it. They’ve apologised, they can’t apologise enough – and they’ve said, ‘We’ll make good on this'”.

He continued further: “The record company said, ‘You don’t understand, he loves the record’, then I said, ‘Then what the fuck is this all about? What’s going on here?’ I read it and I was pissed off. And I’m supposed to know what’s going on! They say, ‘Well, he’s not from the creative side’. Well people don’t know that. People see that he’s an exec of a record company – that’s what they’re reading”.

And further still: “People can decide for themselves if they hear the album. As long as it doesn’t turn people off, though. If they read it and think, ‘Oh look out, Tom has made a mistake here, they’ve paid him for something and he’s gone off and done something else and they don’t like it’. It’s not good. That’s the part I don’t like. They say, ‘Is it a sick joke?’. That’s stupid to say that. No record company is going to let you go away and record something without hearing things that you are doing. I mean, the first two songs they wanted to hear, the producer Ethan Johns said, ‘OK let them hear what we’ve done so far’, and they loved it”.

‘Praise & Blame’ is due for release on 26 Jul.