Paul Jones

The Paul Jones Collection Vol. 3: Come into My Music Box

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Paul Jones' solo '60s work was an all too definitive example of a talented singer sorely in need of direction, not to mention better material and production. The core of this compilation is his 14-track 1969 album Come into My Music Box, on which he appeared as dreadfully at sea as he had on his two previous LPs. Jones continued to try and hit all the bases, covering everything from "The Weight" and "Procol Harum" to the Foundations' "Baby Now That I've Found You," Donovan's "Celeste," Marvin Gaye's "How Sweet It Is," Aaron Neville's "Tell It Like It Is," and Bob Dylan's "Wheels on Fire." His stab at "Aquarius" from the Hair soundtrack was even a tiny hit, and the cut-rate swinging '60s production makes some of this sound more appropriate for West End theater than rock. Pink Floyd obsessives should note the presence of "The Committee," the theme (co-written by Jones) for a TV movie of the same name with an unreleased soundtrack by Pink Floyd. The end result of trying to please all factions, of course, was that Jones didn't please anybody, although a couple of odd psychedelic pop numbers -- particularly the mysterious and tuneful "I'm Here to Nudge Your Mind" -- aren't bad. The CD is filled out with no less than 11 non-LP bonus cuts from the same era, taken from U.K. and Swedish singles (along with one previously unreleased number, "I'm a Young Boy"). Alas, these are totally consistent with the direction of Come into My Music Box (i.e., they are so inconsistent that they have no direction whatsoever). There's an inexplicably cheerful cover of Dylan's "I Don't Believe You," none-too-good covers of the Bee Gees and Gilbert O'Sullivan, dispensable Jones-penned songs, and -- almost as if to taunt listeners -- a spare, eerie harmonica-driven instrumental, "Not Before Time," to remind us that deep within the ex-Manfred Mann frontman still beats the heart of a bluesman.

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