Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Art of Noise featuring Tom Jones - "Kiss"

(Not Available on iTunes)

(Debuted December 3, 1988, Peaked #31, 10 Weeks on the Chart)

At the time this version of "Kiss" came out, the spring of 1986 seemed like such a long time ago. I was still in the 8th grade when Prince took the original to #1 on the pop chart, but I was a high school junior now. I'd picked up a great deal of life experience in the meantime and all, so by late 1988/early 1989 I thought it was novel for a song from my past to make a comeback.

And the new version of "Kiss" was definitely different. The original by Prince was a funky falsetto, but the new version had the twin talents of 1960s/70s singer Tom Jones and the 1980s band The Art of Noise, who used the instrumental bridge to riff on their earlier hits "Dragnet," "Peter Gunn" and "Paranoimia." While the original had a funky vibe, this one crossed the line to pure camp.

It ended up being the group's biggest hit, and introduced Tom Jones to a new fan base. Suddenly, it was cool to like him without people wondering what was wrong with you.

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