The chart show: Music Week pays tribute to departing chart guru Alan Jones

Music Week

Since the mid 1980s, the Official UK Charts' rules and regulations have undergone numerous revamps. Formats from vinyl to cassette to CD to downloads to streaming have ebbed and flowed. The Radio 1 Chart Show has had over a dozen different permanent hosts. Even the chart compilation company has changed.

But one thing has remained constant. Alan Jones, who first started contributing regularly to Music Week in 1984 – and wrote for our sister publication Record Mirror long before that, starting his Chart File column there in January 1979 – has been the chronicler of the UK charts’ ups, downs and non-movers for as long as almost anyone in the UK biz can remember. In the process, he essentially invented the art of charts analysis as we know it today, and became a font of all knowledge on the arcane minutiae of the charts world.

But, sadly, the Singles and Albums analysis featured in the new issue of Music Week, available now, will be Alan’s final ones for Music Week, after he decided to step down after 36 years of incredible service, both to this publication and chart-watchers everywhere. Jonesy being Jonesy, and never a fan of the limelight, he has requested no fanfare upon his exit, but Music Week staffers past and present couldn’t let his departure go unacknowledged.

Alan Jones' length of service is both evidence of the great job he has done and the source of his incredible knowledge

Martin Talbot

“It really does feel like the end of an era,” says Martin Talbot, former Music Week editor and now CEO of the Official Charts Company. “His length of service is both evidence of the great job he has done and the source of his incredible knowledge, as he has had access to the deepest of chart data for longer than anyone I know. He will be greatly missed, not just by those of us in the industry who have relied on his insights over these past several decades – but also by the nation’s chart obsessives, for whom Alan truly is ‘the King’.”

The charts, of course, will go on, and Music Week’s plans for the post-Jones era will be announced soon. Alan himself will continue to provide his take on the Music Week Club Charts.

But, in the meantime, please hasten to here and here and revel one last time in Alan Jones’ searing assessment of the UK charts. Truly, we shall not see his like again.

* To read Alan Jones' final singles and albums analysis for Music Week, see the new print edition, available now, or click here and here. To subscribe and never miss a vital music biz story, click here.

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