Suggest a Songfact / Artistfact
Album: At This MomentReleased: 1988Charted:
This Prince song
was originally an American chart-topper for the Minneapolis multi-instrumentalist in 1986. Tom Jones' version was recorded with the British avant garde electronica group Art of Noise.
After recording a series of country-pop numbers, Tom Jones made a left-field decision to cover this song, and in doing so revived his career. He told the Observer Music Monthly
December 2008 how this came about: "If I hear a song I like I'll do it in the show, so when I heard this I sang it in an R&B style. Then I was due to go on Jonathan Ross's program in 1987 to perform the ballad 'A Boy From Nowhere,' and he wanted something upbeat too. My philosophy has always been: when in doubt, do ' Great Balls of Fire
.' But Jonathan asked if I had anything new. Art of Noise were watching and they asked if I'd do a version with them. When they sent me the finished version I thought: 'If this isn't a hit, I'll bloody well pack it all in.' It was a busting hit."
Prince and Tom Jones were both born on the same day, the 7th of June (Prince in 1958, Jones in 1940).
Jones met Prince and thanked him for the song, but didn't ask what his thought of his version, as he wasn't sure he would like the answer. "I saw a movie once that Bette Midler did called The Rose," Jones said in his Songfacts interview. "She goes to see Harry Dean Stanton, a country singer, because she'd recorded one of his songs. She says she's a big fan of his, and just before she walks out the door he says, 'Could I say one thing to you? Don't you ever record one of my songs again.'
That hit home. I thought, s--t, I'm never going to ask a songwriter what he or she thinks of my version. I'll leave that to them. That always sticks in my mind. So I just thanked him for writing it."