Tom Jones: The Lead and How to Swing It

Friday 2 May 2014, by Cécile Desbrun

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During the Under the Pink World Tour, Tori was approached by Tom Jones management to sing with him on his song "I Wanna Get Back With You". Despite her tight schedule, she accepted. "Tom Jones is really cool," she told Upside Down fanzine in their Fall 1994 issue. "He has a great, sexy voice, and any guy at 65 years of age that can still look good in leather pants... gets my vote."

The two never actually got to work together in person because Tom Jones was in New York [1] while Tori was on the road. Tom Jones sent her the master tape from England [2] and Tori dubbed her part in a studio in Oregon [3] in September 1994, just a month before the release of Tom Jones’ album The Lead and How to Swing It. "It was a wild session," Tori told Attitude Magazine in September 2001. "It all got very out of hand because Diane Warren had written this song with this background part they wanted me to do but it was something that I just couldn’t say. But I really wanted to be a part of Tom’s project so I changed the words and it worked much better. He’s really been a musical force, whatever you think of him. Especially with all those Christian women and those leather pants, I mean you just have to give ode to Tom. After I recorded it Tom’s people asked if I changed it. And I said ’Yes, and I’m not charging the royalties. And it works!’ They were nervous because Diane had written it."

Though not a duet, Tori’s vocals are quite prominent in the song and Tori thought "it turned out really well." "I Wanna Get Back With You" was released as a single in the UK and peaked at #109 in the charts [4]. As a thank you, the singer sent her a Cartier clock.

The two finally met at the Q Awards in 2002 and posed in front of photographers. "I am really pleased to have met Tori Amos at last," commented the singer to Q Magazine in December 2002. Tom Jones was awarded with the Q Merit Award this year and Tori was in the midst of Scarlet’s Walk promotion.


[1Q Magazine, December 2002 (Tom Jones interview)

[2Upside Down #5, Fall 1994

[3Attitude Magazine, September 2001