Tom Jones has hit back after a leaked email from an Island Records U.K. executive branded his comeback a "sick joke."
The May 19 email from SVP David Sharpe said the label should "pull back this project immediately or get my money back." The album, "Praise & Blame," is a record of blues and spirituals on which Jones goes back to his roots.
The email leak received extensive coverage - prompting suggestions that it was actually a clever marketing stunt in the build-up to the July 26 release.
Nevertheless, Jones told Welsh paper the Western Mail that he was angry about the comments and had received an apology from Island.
"People are going to read this and think the record company doesn't like [my album], or that I've made a mistake," he said. "It's not coming from the creative people in the record company, because they're backing [the album] up all the way, I mean they're thrilled with it, so I don't understand it.
"When I questioned them and said, 'What the hell is this all about? Who is this fella? I don't even know who he is,' I found out that he's some fella who signs checks or something. But he's not in the creative side of it and they're 100% behind it, but people don't know that."
He added: "People tell me that all publicity is good publicity, that's what I've been told. People say to me, 'Well it's being talked about,' but to me it's being talked about in a negative way. Hopefully, if there's any good that comes out of it, it's that people will wonder about [the new album]. But it isn't the way I would handle it by going and making a stupid statement. That's not going to help it. They've apologized, they can't apologize enough - and they've said, 'We'll make good on this.'"
Jones said people should for themselves about the new record.