This is one of those albums that requires the prospective purchaser to flip it over to the back and read the small print. "Recordings mastered from the legendary U.S. coast to coast T.V. specials" is what that print says, and while The Biggest Hits is certainly a generous collection, containing 30 tracks and running over 76 minutes, it does not include the original hit versions of Tom Jones favorites "Green, Green Grass of Home," "What's New Pussycat?," "She's a Lady," "Delilah," "Without Love," or "Say You'll Stay Till Tomorrow." Applause sometimes signals a live performance, but otherwise the exact sources of the material remain murky. And the title The Biggest Hits seems intended to suggest that Jones is performing songs that were hits for somebody, though not necessarily for him. He does that performing with his usual alacrity, rendering tunes associated with everyone from the Beatles and the Rolling Stones to rivals Engelbert Humperdinck and Barry Manilow, and even Dolly Parton. As ever, he's not particular. Every song, whether it's given a country, pop, or disco arrangement, is sung with Jones' undifferentiated enthusiasm. This one-interpretation-fits-all style can lead to some unintentionally humorous consequences, as he breezes through Stephen Sondheim's "Send in the Clowns," apparently without a clue what the song is about or how it should be sung (and not caring, either), then rolls right into Rod Stewart's "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy?," a number much more suited to his persona. Budget label Prism Leisure's bare-bones packaging is equally haphazard, with only song titles and songwriting credits included, and those are occasionally incorrect. (No, Lerner & Loewe did not write "Without Love." Danny Small did.) Buyer, beware.
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