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Gloria Jones

When the name of Gloria Jones comes up in rock talk, it's usually as a trivia question. Firstly, in the mid-'60s she recorded the original version of "Tainted Love," which was covered by Soft Cell for a huge international hit in 1982. She was also the girlfriend of British glam rocker Marc Bolan, in addition to singing and playing keyboards in his T. Rex band. Her considerable talent as a soul singer gets lost in the shuffle, especially because few of her recordings are currently available.

Jones earns a spot in rock history on the merits of "Tainted Love" alone. This propulsive mid-'60s soul stomper, wholly dissimilar to Soft Cell's wimpy synth pop cover, is one of the great '60s hits that never was. "Heartbeat" was another throbbing near-miss, recorded with, oddly enough, producer Ed Cobb, who was more renowned for his work with garage-pop groups like the Standells and the Chocolate Watch Band. Both "Heartbeat" and "Tainted Love" were written by Cobb as well, although Jones was not without songwriting talent, co-writing Marvin Gaye and Diana Ross' 1974 hit duet, "My Mistake." Jones never had more than regional success, and (like several other minor American soul singers) moved to Great Britain, where the cultish devotion of Northern Soul fans ensured regular work.

In 1974, Jones joined T. Rex (which by that time was fading rapidly) as a keyboardist and backing vocalist. Becoming romantically involved with the singer, she also helped sway him into a more soul/dance-oriented direction. Bolan in turn helped her out on her solo album Vixen, playing guitar and writing songs. After having a child, their time together came to a tragic end when Bolan was killed in a car accident in 1977, with Jones at the wheel. ~ Richie Unterberger
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Norman Jay MBE Presents: Good Times London

1. All Night High

2. Sankofa

6. Windstorm

7. Some Like It Hot

10. Valley Of The Shadows

12. Let's Go Baby (Where The Action Is)

13. Girl You Need A Change Of Mind

14. Organizer

15. Love Has Fallen On Me

16. A Mother For My Children

18. On A Ragga Tip

x

Track List: Vee-Jay: The Definitive Collection

Disc 1

2. Baby, It's You

3. Goodnite Sweetheart, Goodnite

4. Ain't Times Hard

5. You Don't Have To Go

6. Blue Evening

7. I Wish You Would

8. At My Front Door

9. Hurt My Feelings

10. Bad Boy

11. Somewhere To Lay My Head

13. Fool's Prayer

14. Oop De Oop

15. I'll Be Forever Loving You

16. Ain't That Lovin' You Baby

18. Up On The Mountain

19. Big Town Playboy

20. Rock 'n' Roll Mama

21. Oh What A Nite

Disc 2

1. Dimples

2. The Telephone Is Ringing

3. Judgment Day

4. Uncloudy Day

6. Mother's Son

8. Honest I Do

9. Farther Along

10. You Can Make It If You Try

11. It Hurts Me Too

14. Blues Get Off My Shoulder

15. For Your Precious Love

16. Pigtails And Blue Jeans

17. I Love You Honey

18. Leave You In The Hands Of The Lord

19. Nobody But You

20. Shombalor

21. Crying For My Baby

Disc 3

1. Mary Don't You Weep

2. Steppin' Out

3. Just A Little Bit

5. Will You Ever Be Mine

6. Will The Circle Be Unbroken

7. Easy Lovin'

8. No Shoes

9. Oh Baby

10. He Will Break Your Heart

11. Exodus

12. Big Boss Man

13. Raindrops

14. Every Beat Of My Heart

15. Old Ship Of Zion

16. Bright Lights, Big City

17. Nite Owl

18. Duke Of Earl

19. Real Gone Mama

21. Boom Boom

Disc 4

1. I'm A Woman

2. Make It Easy On Yourself

3. Sherry

4. Rainbow

7. Body Surf

8. You're No Good

10. The Shoop Shoop Song (It's In His Kiss)

11. Steal Away

12. Have I The Right

13. Let It Be Me

14. Bring Your Lovin'

15. Getting Mighty Crowded

16. Walk Around Heaven All Day

17. Tainted Love

18. Billy's Bag

19. Stay In My Corner

20. Oo Wee Baby, I Love You

21. Let's Do It Over

22. I Don't Know What You've Got But It's Got Me

Comments

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I LOVE Gloria's original version of tainted love, sounds so much more intense and exciting than the 80's version. I like the 80's version but my heart and soul go toward the original, bring it on Gloria!

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