Paul Jones — “ High Time”: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — January 12, 2023


699) Paul Jones — “High Time”

Speaking of Manfred Mann, this fun, effervescent crowd pleaser was Paul’s (see #170) biggest post-Mann hit (get it?!), reaching #4 in the UK. But nobody in the U.S. heard it, so I’m playing it!

Richie Unterberger tells us that:

As lead singer of Manfred Mann from 1963 to 1966, Paul Jones was one of the best vocalists of the British Invasion, able to put over blues, R&B, and high-energy pop/rock with an appealing mix of polish and soul. That made the mediocre, at times appalling quality of his late-’60s solo recordings, on which he pursued a far more MOR direction, an all the more perplexing disappointment. As early as 1965, the press was speculating that Jones — the only one of the Manfreds with any conventional heartthrob appeal — would be leaving the group for a solo career. Jones and the group denied these rumors for quite some time, but Paul did in fact hand in his notice around late 1965, although he stayed with Manfred Mann through much of 1966 while they arranged for a replacement. The lure of going solo was not purely musical; Jones also wanted to pursue opportunities in the acting field, landing a big role right away as a lead in the ’60s cult movie Privilege, which unsurprisingly cast him as a pop singer. . . . Jones rang up a couple of British Top Ten hits in late 1966 and early 1967 with “High Time” and “I’ve Been a Bad Bad Boy,” although his solo recording career would never get off the ground in the U.S. Both of these were straight MOR pop tunes that sounded much closer to Tom Jones than the Paul Jones of old. . . . After [them], he wasn’t even that successful in Britain, let alone America, where he was soon forgotten. Jones . . . mov[ed] his focus from records to acting in the theater . . . .

Pussycat, what’s wrong with A-Tom-ic Jones?!

Anyway, Alistair Plant adds:

Paul Jones was born Paul Pond in Portsmouth, Hampshire . . . . When he was 20 he joined Manfred Mann and three others in a group that took the keyboard player’s name. They shared a love of jazz and blues but the success of Do Wah Diddy Diddy meant they turned into a pop band – which was not a direction Paul wanted to pursue. So he left.

“As an adult I’ve always been interested in what’s sometimes called music of black origin. That means blues, rhythm and blues, soul, jazz. When we started with the Manfreds that’s exactly what we did. Gradually, as time went by, we started to do other things. I suppose it was the preponderance of Bob Dylan songs (that made him want to leave). Not that I’ve got anything against Bob Dylan but it just wasn’t what I wanted to do.”

Not that there’s anything wrong with Bob Dylan!

Oh, and this might blow your mind — Ralph Burden writes that:

Paul was friends with Brian Jones in the early 1960‘s. Both were students and used to meet up at blues clubs. They both played in blues bands before they became successful. Brian Jones formed the Rolling Stones and asked his friend to be the lead singer, but Paul had other plans at the time and turned down the offer.

Beat Club:

Beat again:

Here he is on Spanish TV:

Here is:

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