Album Remarks & Appraisals:
Repressing. Full title: My Way - The Paul Jones Collection Vol. One. Paul Jones, the original Manfred Mann vocalist, cut a series of excellent solo albums and singles between 1966 and 1971, which charted his musical development from Pop/R&B to Progressive, through Dylan covers to Psychedelia, and his own song writing progress. This release contains the vocalist's 1966 solo album My Way plus nine bonus tracks made up of two previously unissued tracks ('Would You Believe' and 'Ouch'), three non-LP single sides ('Sonny Boy Williamson', 'Thinking Ain't For Me' and 'Softly (La Vita)') plus the rare Privilege EP containing four tracks. Includes special fold-out sleeve with extensive liner notes, photos and other memorabilia. RPM.
This collection includes the 1966 album MY WAY, the PRIVILEGE EP, three non-album singles and two previously unreleased tracks.
Personnel: Paul Jones (vocals, harmonica).
Liner Note Author: Richard Harries.
Recording information: 07/13/1967-08/17/1967.
Unknown Contributor Roles: The Ryan Brothers; Manfred Mann Chapter Three; Simon Robinson; Michael d'Abo; The Hollies.
Arrangers: Geoff Love; Mike Leander.
Jones' debut album, 1966's My Way, found him and/or his record company seemingly determined to follow a far more all-around pop entertainer sound than Paul had trodden as the lead singer of Manfred Mann. Such strategies rarely yield fruitful results, and that was the case here, with a set list that, in trying to please everybody, came up short all around. Much of it is big-ballad pop in a sub-Tom Jones sort of style, and R&B/blues influences are, incredibly, virtually absent. Jones does manage to sneak in a few of his own songs (including an inferior remake of one he had done with the Manfreds, "She Needs Company"), but these are hardly exceptional. Coming on the heels of the Manfred Mann era, the bloated British orchestral-pop arrangements -- more suited to Petula Clark (but not as good as Petula's) -- were disappointing indeed, yet the album did yield a big British hit with "High Time." The CD reissue improves things considerably with the addition of nine bonus cuts from the same era, taken from EPs, singles, and unreleased tracks. These are highlighted by the EP versions of "Privilege" and "Free Me" (the latter reworked by Patti Smith in the mid-'70s), although be aware that this is not the same version of "Free Me" as the one on the soundtrack to the Privilege film. There's also Jones' second and last U.K. Top Ten hit, "I've Been a Bad, Bad Boy," as well as an unexpected blast of pure blues with the B-side "Sonny Boy Williamson," co-written by Jack Bruce, who also plays bass on the song. ~ Richie Unterberger