Tom Jones once named his favourite Tom Jones song

Legendary Welsh singer Tom Jones isn’t a songwriter, but he does have the power within his vocals to elevate recordings to a whole new level. Throughout his career, Jones has had professional writers queuing up to work alongside him, those who want him to turn their creations into something greater than they ever could.

While he has contributed to the songwriting process for many of his tracks over the years, Jones’ most loved songs are penned by others. Although his name doesn’t receive a songwriting credit on ‘It’s Not Unusual’, he was born to sing that track. Initially, Jones was only supposed to record a demo for Decca Records, who intended to give it to Sandie Shaw, but after hearing his take, she knew it didn’t belong to her.

The success of ‘It’s Not Unusual’ kickstarted Jones’ recording career, and soon enough, he was a superstar on both sides of the Atlantic. Within a short period, he’d gone from playing social clubs in his native to touring the globe and becoming a household name. The hits looked like they’d never come to an end, and in 1967, Jones was contacted by an artist he greatly respected to cover one of his compositions.

The artist in question is Lonnie Donegan, the pioneering skiffle artist hero-worshipped by Paul McCartney and George Harrison as teenagers. Five years before their meeting in 1967, Donegan had released ‘(It Looks Like) I’ll Never Fall In Love Again’, and upon growing close to Jones on tour, he persuaded his friend to record a version of the track.

During an interview with Shortlist in 2013, Jones named ‘(It Looks Like) I’ll Never Fall In Love Again’ as the favourite song he’s ever released. On the track’s origin, he revealed: “I was touring with Lonnie, and he said he had this song that I should listen to, and it was on the flip side of one of his hits. It was based on a song I knew in Wales called ‘It Looks Like I’m Never Gonna Cease My Wandering’; it was a depression song from the depression era.”

Jones explained how the “big difference” between the traditional version of the track and Donegan’s was the chorus. The singer revealed how Chas Blackwell added a new arrangement for his recording, inspired by Kitty Lester’s ‘Love Letters’, noting: “It came together so wonderfully, and it was one take. We had one acetate of it, so I took it home and gave it to my wife, and she went to Gordon’s house and played it to his wife.”

As there was only one recording by Jones of ‘(It Looks Like) I’ll Never Fall In Love Again’, Jones was protective over the copy, which his wife had to battle to keep after showing it to Jo Mills, the wife of his manager, Gordon Mills. However, Jones took this incident as a promising sign, recalling, “I thought ‘Wow, this sounds like this is gonna be a hit! I’ve got my wife and my manager’s wife fighting over it, that’s a good sign!’”

In a turn of events, Donegan’s son Peter performed ‘(It Looks Like) I’ll Never Fall In Love Again’ during his audition on The Voice UK in 2019, which promoted Jones, a judge on the programme, to perform an impromptu duet of the song with the contestant.

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