I was introduced to Tom Jones when he covered Talking Heads' Burning Down the House with The Cardigans. That's a weird starting point, but says more about my age than my taste. When he followed up with Sex Bomb there wasn't a kid at school who didn't know his name. We laughed about that 60-year-old on the tv raunching up the stage with his incorrigibly imitable tune.
Schoolkids today are more likely to recognise Jones from his role as judge on The Voice. And a fitting member of the panel he is, given that he has one of the most distinctive and lauded voices in modern music history.
Man, this guy can sing. A point I sadly missed when I discovered him, during an era when image topped talent as an artist's defining quality, and when the music itself was brash. And I was a kid. Years later, as a parent, I got to choose the first Tom Jones song my daughter heard. It was I'll Never Fall in Love Again, from this recording in 1967. This is why he's a superstar.