Tom Jones, 80, becomes oldest man to top UK album chart

Welsh singer says he is ‘forever grateful’ for achievement but remains 12 years behind Vera Lynn’s all-time benchmark

At 80 years of age, Tom Jones has become the oldest man to top the UK album chart, with his latest album Surrounded By Time.

It comes 56 years after his first album chart placing, his 1965 debut Along Came Jones.

The oldest artist to ever top the UK album chart is the late Vera Lynn, with a greatest hits collection in 2009 aged 92, but Jones is the oldest artist to do it with a newly recorded album. He is also the first Welsh chart-topper in nearly a decade, the country’s last No 1 coming from Marina & the Diamonds in 2012.

Jones said the achievement was “tremendous, just unbelievable. I am so proud of everyone who helped me create this music, I had a ball working with them and to get this result is just incredible. It’s wonderful that the public has allowed me to be musically expressive at my time of life and have shown their support. I am forever grateful.”

Surrounded By Time sees Jones in an experimental mindset, with imaginative cover versions of songs by Bob Dylan, Cat Stevens and the Waterboys. The Guardian’s Alexis Petridis wrote: “At its most enjoyable, Surrounded By Time imagines a kind of alternative history for Jones,” while the Evening Standard called it “heady stuff … a wonderful surprise”.

Other recent venerable chart-toppers include Barry Gibb, 74, in January; Paul McCartney, 78, in December 2020; and Bob Dylan, 79, last June. The Rolling Stones, with a total age of 306, reached No 1 with a reissue of Goat’s Head Soup in September last year.

At No 1 in the singles chart this week is Lil Nas X with Montero (Call Me By Your Name), which remains top for a fifth straight week.

Contributor

Ben Beaumont-Thomas

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Kylie Minogue becomes first woman to top album chart across five decades
No 1 for 15th album Disco continues a run started in 1988, while Shirley Bassey returns to the Top 5, becoming the first woman with Top 40 albums across seven consecutive decades

Ben Beaumont-Thomas

13, Nov, 2020 @6:00 PM

Article image
Captain Tom Moore becomes oldest artist to claim UK No 1 single
The veteran’s cover of You’ll Never Walk Alone, recorded alongside Michael Ball and the NHS Voices of Care choir, knocked the Weeknd off the top spot

Laura Snapes

24, Apr, 2020 @5:00 PM

Article image
Amy Winehouse's Back to Black tops UK album chart
Deceased singer's debut album, Frank, also re-enters chart at number five, while several of her singles are in the top 40

Peter Walker

31, Jul, 2011 @6:00 PM

Article image
Harry Styles dominates UK charts with new album Harry’s House
The singer is only the third-ever artist to occupy the whole Top 3 of the singles chart, and has outsold the rest of the Top 40 combined in the vinyl-album chart

Ben Beaumont-Thomas

27, May, 2022 @5:00 PM

Article image
UK album chart set for David Bowie takeover
Blackstar already on course to become 10th No 1 before news of his death, which could lead to his other albums charting again

Tim Jonze

11, Jan, 2016 @1:54 PM

Article image
Manic Street Preachers score first No 1 album in 23 years
In a dramatic revival of a 90s chart rivalry, the Welsh trio prevail over Steps with their album The Ultra Vivid Lament

Ben Beaumont-Thomas

17, Sep, 2021 @5:00 PM

Article image
The 100 greatest UK No 1s: 100-1
Look back on our complete countdown of the greatest UK No 1s, from the Beatles to Baby D, and So Solid Crew to Suzi Quatro

Ben Beaumont-Thomas, Alexis Petridis and Laura Snapes

05, Jun, 2020 @8:00 AM

Article image
Tom Jones review – still displaying stunning prowess at 81
Rejecting the hits to perform recent No 1 album Surrounded by Time in full, Jones explores its cover versions with bombast, heart and wisdom

Ian Gittins

28, Jul, 2021 @10:25 AM

Article image
All I want for Christmas is normality: festive hits chart earlier than ever
Sales and streams of Christmas classics are up by 50% on last year as listeners turn to Mariah, Wham! and Shakin’ Stevens to combat pandemic blues

Laura Snapes

18, Nov, 2020 @5:17 PM

Article image
London 2012 opening ceremony compilation album tops iTunes chart
Isles of Wonder, the album featuring music from Danny Boyle's spectacular, sold 10,000 copies in two days

Cass Jones

29, Jul, 2012 @11:31 PM