Samantha Jones

The Other Jones

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Ex-Vernons Girl Samantha Jones (née Jean Owen) began a solo career in the mid-'60s that should have put her in the same league with Dusty Springfield, Sandie Shaw, Petula Clark, et al -- but somehow she never broke through to anything like the level of stardom achieved by those others. This album, good as it is, may go a long way to explaining her lack of success -- the individual tracks are all superb, or close to it, but they veer too much in style between pop/soul and mainstream pop, Jones entering Dusty Springfield territory on about half the album and traversing Petula Clark's style of vocal pop on the other. Recorded under the auspices of producer Larry Page, The Other Jones has some glowing moments, including "Which Way You Going Billy" and "Shining Garden." Jones oozes soulful passion on a totally unexpected number, John Sebastian's "Darling Be Home Soon," and switches gears to a pop vein on the Burt Bacharach/Hal David standard "They Long to Be Close to You" -- her version stands midway between those by Dusty Springfield and the Carpenters. In between those two songs, the producers have included her rendition of Paul Anka's "My Way," a single that justifiably drew some attention to Jones in the late '60s -- she runs with the song for all it's worth and delivers a version that deserved a bigger hearing than it got, even in the wake of Sinatra's rendition. The Other Jones was a serious collector's item on vinyl and apparently changes hands for lots of money. Fortunately, the Japanese-based Archive label reissued it in an audiophile-quality remastered edition packaged in a mini-LP sleeve in 2006, and added on a bonus track, "No Regrets," which is as good as anything on the original LP.

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