Aled Jones: One Voice - Full Circle. © 2023 Universal Music Operations Limited


Forty Years in Showbusiness

GERALD FENECH unreservedly recommends a new recording of Aled Jones, duetting with his younger self

'... technologically awe-inspiring ...'


Born at St David's Hospital in Bangor, Wales, on 29 December 1970, Aled Jones is a renowned singer and TV presenter, best known for his association with The Snowman, a British animated film that came out in the 1980s. The film's beloved musical theme, 'Walking in the air', was originally sung by chorister Peter Auty. However, a version recorded by Aled went on to the top of the UK charts in 1985, three years after the film's original release. At age fourteen, Aled became an overnight sensation and recorded an astonishing sixteen albums before his voice broke, aged sixteen.

Aled went on to study at the Royal Academy of Music and began releasing new albums in 2000 as a baritone. However, he never forgot his choirboy roots and continued to uplift young choral talent as an adult. In 2013 Aled was awarded an MBE for his services to music, broadcasting and charitable services. Aled's childhood as an acclaimed chorister set his course to become a renowned TV presenter, joining the show Songs of Praise. He has presented hundreds of programmes of the show since, including the fiftieth anniversary concert at Alexandra Palace. Today Aled, who is in his early fifties, resides in London with his wife and two children, and he is still recording albums, like the one under review.

Listen — Samuel Arnold, arr Lole: Sarah
(5850303 track 12, 1:27-2:05) ℗ 2023 Universal Music Operations Limited :

This issue celebrates the vocalist's forty years in showbusiness and it includes some previously unreleased tracks which were recently unearthed by Jones himself. Whilst visiting his family home in Anglesey earlier this year (2023), Aled began reminiscing over the forty years of memorabilia his parents have collected throughout his career. They had everything, even a collection of multi-coloured shirts and bow ties. Aled's mother explained that they had been hand-made in 1983 by a BBC employee for a series Aled made when only aged thirteen. This prompted the singer to go and find the original programme. He began to go through the footage and discovered recordings which have never been released or even heard since the original broadcast of forty years before. The album includes brand new arrangements of those classics, including 'Ave Maria' and 'Bright Eyes'.

Listen — Schubert, arr Pears/Tilley: Ave Maria
(5850303 track 11, 1:02-1:45) ℗ 2023 Universal Music Operations Limited :

One Voice - Full Circle is the fourth instalment in Jones' 'One Voice' series in which, through the magic of technology, the singer is able to duet with his younger self: man and boy, baritone and treble.

Listen — Ireland, arr Rainey: Sea Fever
(5850303 track 2, 1:49-2:26) ℗ 2023 Universal Music Operations Limited :

On recording with his younger self, Jones says:

It is an honour and a real privilege to step into the studio again with little Aled - so many memories come flooding back and a surreal experience to sing with him at his prime. I consider myself very lucky, while I hope everyone enjoys the harmony of past and present.

Listen — Handel, arr Tilley: Where'er You Walk
(5850303 track 4, 2:32-3:09) ℗ 2023 Universal Music Operations Limited :

A delectable addition - probably the last - in this 'One Voice' cycle from a humble yet marvellous singer who has entranced listeners for over forty years. It's technologically awe-inspiring, with a delightful booklet thrown in for good measure. Unreserved recommendation, especially for Jones' fans.

Copyright © 28 October 2023 Gerald Fenech,
Gzira, Malta



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