Joe Jones

The Best of Joe Jones: You Talk Too Much

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An anthology of 26 songs by one-hit wonder Joe Jones may seem like overkill, and it is. Jones' self-penned moment of glory, "You Talk Too Much," is a delightful bit of New Orleans bubblegum R&B that scored on the pop charts, but his limitations as a vocalist become painfully obvious over the course of this vault-clearing collection of his complete Roulette recordings. The fact that this was teener music, in spite of Jones' big-band background, is demonstrated by Mother Goose-style songs like "A-Tisket, A-Tasket," "Big Mule" (a dance intended to replace the Pony), and an instrumental arrangement of "Old McDonald" retitled "McDonald's Daughter." Jones also cut a copycat of "You Talk Too Much" called "One Big Mouth (Two Big Eyes)," and -- the high point of the collection -- the original version of "California Sun," which later became a hit for the Rivieras. Apart from Jones' sole album and his various Roulette singles, the disc contains a number of previously unreleased recordings that feature some truly abysmal attempts at ballad singing, as well as an instrumental version of "Indian Love Call" played on a sickly horn, a humorous tragedy song ("Oh Gee How I Cried"), and an early recording of "You Talk Too Much" taken at a much faster pace. Jones' sound owes a large debt to Fats Domino, but his best vocal performances are those that fall within a half-octave range. The liner notes consist almost entirely of a self-aggrandizing rant from Jones that places him at the center of the musical universe -- a stark contrast to the music itself, which ranges from pleasant fluff to incompetent dreck.

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