Tom Jones has visited Japan three times, in 1973, 1974 and 1995. I received e-mails from fans attended these concerts. As I have never attended any of them, I'm very much interested in those reviews. If anyone else reading this has been to the TJ concerts, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know your thoughts. I would like to introduce them on this page. Here I begin with TJ's message to Japanese fans when he visited Japan for the first time in 1973.
Tom Jones' Message to Fans ('73)
from the souvenir book of '73 Japan Tour
Courtesy of H. Harai
Hi, Japanese Fans,
It's been a long pending subject for me to realize the tour to Japan and, now, I am pleased to have this special occasion of visiting your beautiful country in February.
I have been only appealing to Japanese fans through television shows and records, however, I am pleased that I can have the first ever concert in Japan to sing for you in person.
I'm sure that my shows will be exciting ones and we can all have wonderful time.
from the tourbook of '74 Japan Tour
Tom Jones Message to Fans ('74)
Although much has happened since my first visit to Japan, the happy events of that wonderful occasion are still vivid in my memory. In particular I remember the great enthusiasm of my fans in your country and in general the warmth and kindness of the Japanese people. It is therefore with great enthusiasm that I look forward to my second tour of your country towards the end of my '74 World Tour.
I hope to meet many of you and to sing for all of you, my love.
Concert Reports from Fans
1st visit to Japan in 1973
TJ Show in Osaka
Time: February 19, 1973
Place: The Festival Hall, Osaka
Reviewed by: K. I., Osaka
Being a university student, I remember I could manage to buy the ticket working as a tutor.
It was his very first visit to Japan, and all the media were announcing that "Tom the World Lover" was coming to Japan!
However, because of the criticism that the tickets were way too expensive, they tried to settle it by ear-marking a certain part of it for charity. I heard a box seat went up to 100, 000 yen, and even my A seat was 20, 000 yen. (At that time prices were about half as high as now.)
I must say, however, the Osaka concert itself was just wonderful. The Tokyo concert held at Budokan after Osaka was televised throughout the country, but his voice was not in the best condition. I was afraid he might have disappointed the TV audience.
The songs were as below:
1. Turn On Your Love Light
2. The Bright Lights And You Girl
3. Witch Queen Of New Orleans
4. I Can't Stop Loving You
7. The Impossible Dream
8. She's A Lady
9. Daughter Of Darkness
10. My Way
11. Resurrection Shuffle
12. Green, Green Grass Of Home
13. I'll Never Fall In Love Again
14. Love Me Tonight
15. I (Who Have Nothing)
16. It's Not Unusual
17. Twist And Shout
Nos. 1, 2, 4 were from "Live In Las Vegas (at Flamingo)", which sold very well in Japan. No. 3 was from the album "Close Up". "Love Me Tonight" was a best seller in Japan. My most favorite: "I'll Never Fall In Love Again", next favorites "I", "Delilah", "The Impossible Dream", and more ...
I heard they put this particular program together only for Japanese fans. He sang all the songs in full length, not in a medley, which made me so happy.
Hearing him sing with all of his heart, putting his soul into songs, knowing how wonderful a human voice could be ... I was deeply impressed.
3rd visit to Japan in 1995
Time: November 16th, 1995
poster of '95 Osaka Concert
Courtesy of New Jack Swing
Place: The Sankei Hall, Osaka
Reviewed by: Hiroyuki Nishimura, Osaka
I am a 39 year-old Japanese businessman from Higashi-Osaka City. At the age of 11 I came across a record of Tom, namely "Love Me Tonight", which knocked me down so bad that I listened to it several hundred times until the record nearly got worn off. I was only an elementary school kid then, but I started studying English simply because I wanted to understand the lyrics. I got hooked on Tom ever since.
He came to Japan on tour in 1973 when I was in the second grade at a junior high school. Although I tried every possible means to persuade my mother to buy a ticket for me, it was a hefty 30,000 yen (nearly half the monthly salary of a new college graduate then).
According to my mother, she was told at the ticket office that she'd better wait until "your child starts working and earns money for himself", so she couldn't get it for me.
In any case, his first concert in Japan was much more infamous for the high price of the ticket than the performance itself, which somewhat stirred up a social problem that made it almost impossible for a teenager to go on his own.
I can still recall freshly how I pledged myself to meet Tom at Caesars Palace in the future.
Tom came over again in the following year, but I couldn't make it yet again due to the social situation similar to the above, and also I was going through the examination ordeal of entering high school.
Then after nearly 20 years, at long last I got a ticket for the 1993 tour. I made an excuse to take a day off work, and went to Osaka Festival Hall 2 hours before the opening with the highest expectations. And guess what --- I saw a notice at the door that read "Owing to circumstances of Tom Jones' promoter in California, the concert was cancelled". I believe you can feel exactly how I felt; dizzy with despair.
So it was only natural that when he came back in 1995 I wasn't too sure if my long-sought dream would really come true. The day has come. I looked twice at a small poster of "Tom Jones World Tour" at the Sankei Hall entrance, and it didn't vanish! His 3rd concert in Japan fulfilled my dream for this once. I was lucky to get seats in the third row with my wife. There was no such thing like a tour program in those days, so I'm afraid I can't list all the songs in the concert. The performance had 2 parts with a 20-minute-intermission in between. Tom was dressed all in white for the 1st part, and in black for the 2nd; both were casual with no necktie, but I had an impression of a pleasant British gentleman.
During the 1st part, I was so overwhelmed by the fact that I was finally in Tom's concert that I can't even remember what the opening song was.
However, the opening of the 2nd part was the most appealing 007 theme, so I believe, "Thunderball". I 'd never been able to get hold of a live singing of the song in any records I could find in Japan before, so it excited me most in the concert. The lighting was completely off when Tom came on to the stage, and as the music began he appeared in the total black outfit, singing "Thunderball". I didn't realize myself at all, but my wife told me afterwards that she saw tears streaming down my cheeks.
He also sang his then-new release "If I Only Knew", and "Kiss" as the encore. His new dancing team for the show was striking. He didn't exchange conversations much with the audience, but I recall he was drinking water a lot.
I can't tell you about the so-called sex appeal of his (mainly because I'm a man, I guess). But I can assure you about his dignity as one of the top entertainers of the century as well as the powerful voice (He IS The Voice; what can I say?) and the willingness to please the audience to the full. The whole thing about the concert filled me with sheer happiness, reassuring that I was perfectly right to be his fan all the while.
(I've got a song list of this concert from a fan. Thanks, Mr. O. - Mari)
'95 Osaka Concert
1. Bump City
2. Ain't That Good News
3. Help Yourself
4. I'll Never Fall In Love Again
5. Take Me To The River
6. Lift Me Up
7. Hard To Handle
9. A Boy From Nowhere
10. Fly Away
11. If I Only Knew
13. I Can't Stand Up Fall In Down
14. Walking In Memphis
15. Green, Green Grass Of Home
16. What's New Pussycat?
17. I Want You Back
18. It's A Simple Song
19. Something For Your Head
20. A Girl Like You
21. I Wanna Get Back With You
22. It's Not Unusual
23. Are You Gonna Go My Way
25. It's Your Thing
Dinner Show in Kumamoto
Time: November 15th, 1995
Place: Kumamoto New Sky Hotel, Kumamoto
Reviewed by: Naoto Amano, Tottori
I could not attend his concerts in '73 and in '74, but I thought I'd soon have a chance again. '75 concert, however, was cancelled before the formal decision, and '93 concert was also cancelled only a few days before the announced date. And, at last, my dream came true in '95. I bought a ticket of Osaka concert and also went all the way to Kumamoto only to see his dinner show from the countryside of Tottori.
I would like to tell you about the dinner show at Kumamoto New Sky Hotel, which was his first stage of '95 Japan Tour. Although it was called a dinner show, the show was actually held in a different room. The audience was about 550 in number. A local male fan in the next seat said to me, "It's a miracle! That Tom Jones, on a par with Presley, would ever come to Kumamoto!"
When the light went off, with the music and the call "Tom Jones!", appeared Tom onto the stage! My long-cherished dream has come true. As the opening he sang the up tempo song "Bump City", and then came "Good News" and "Help Yourself". I was very much satisfied with the rich TJ tone. A girl started to dance during "Help Yourself".
Then he greeted the audience like this: "It's been 20 years since I last visited Japan ..."
Following a female fan, you know what, a male fan in a suit offered him a handkerchief. Tom wiped his sweat with it and gave it back to the man, saying, "Gentleman?" He looked a bit surprised. As he walked away, he looked back and said teasingly "Gentleman? Oh ...".
The show went on smoothly and reached the climax of the first part when he sang "Delilah" and "A Boy From Nowhere". After "If I Only Knew" there was a 20-minute-intermission.
The second part of the show began with the theme of 007, powerful "Thunderball". Tom sang every song so passionately that I was anxious if he was okay the next day, singing out like that. And I was glad the show generally consisted of soul touch songs. The big hits in Japan, "Love Me Tonight" and "She's A Lady" were not included, and I thought it's because his repertory is so large. But when he sang "Green, Green Grass of Home", I could certainly feel the audience was much impressed. "I Wanna Get Back with You" reminded me of the wonderful performance in the Music Award '95 on TV.
After that he sang "It's Not Unusual" and 3 more songs as encore, and when he sang "Kiss" as the last number, the audience was all on the feet. At the end of the show, when I plunged myself to put my hand out, he responded to me with a smile. As his hand was all wet with sweat, I instinctively withdrew my hand in surprise, and regretted my rudeness afterwards.
When the show was over, I was glad somehow, to hear people say "Oh, very good indeed...!", "Real moving!".
By the way, I saw the members of his back band in the lobby and in the restaurant next morning. They were singing "A Boy From Nowhere" to themselves.
I'm one of the biggest fans looking forward to his next visit to Japan.