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Howard Jones

Howard Jones was one of the defining figures of mid-'80s synth pop. Jones' music merged the technology-intensive sound of new wave with the cheery optimism of hippies and late-'60s pop. Jones racked up a string of hits in the mid- and late '80s before he retreated into being a cult figure in the '90s.

A native of Southampton, England, Jones learned how to play piano at the age of seven. By the time he was a teenager, his family had relocated to Canada, which is where he joined his first band, a progressive rock group called Warrior. Eventually, Jones moved back to England, where he played in a number of different groups. In the mid-'70s, he enrolled in the Royal Northern College of Music. After he dropped out, he played with a variety of local Southampton jazz and funk bands. Eventually, Jones began performing as a solo artist with synthesizers and drum machines. For these one-man concerts, Jones had a mime named Jed Hoile perform. After a few years of solo performing, Jones attracted the attention of John Peel, who offered the keyboardist a BBC session. Soon, Jones was opening for new wave synth pop acts across England. By 1983, he had signed with WEA in England and Europe; in America, he signed to Elektra.

Howard Jones released his first single, "New Song," in England in the fall of 1983 and it became a big hit, peaking at number three. His second single, "What Is Love," was released a few months later and it reached number two. Humans Lib, Jones' debut album, was released in the spring of 1984 and quickly rose to number one in England. Thanks to repeated exposure on MTV, the album became a moderate hit in the U.S. Later in 1984, "New Song" and "What Is Love" became American Top 40 hits, while "Pearl in the Shell" became his third British Top Ten single.

In 1985, Jones phased Hoile out of his live show, formed a touring band, and released his second album, Dream into Action. The record became his most successful, reaching number ten and going platinum in the U.S., spawning the hit singles "Things Can Only Get Better," "Like to Get to Know You Well," "Life in One Day," and "Look Mama." In the spring of 1986, he released Action Replay, an EP of remixes that featured a new version of "No One Is to Blame" from Dream into Action. "No One Is to Blame" became Jones' biggest U.S. hit, peaking at number four. The relatively weaker chart placement of number 16 in the U.K. was indicative of his future in England -- his next single, "You Know I Love You...Don't You?," taken from his third album One to One, became his last British Top 40 hit.

Jones released his fourth album, Cross That Line, in the spring of 1989. The first single from the album, "Everlasting Love," became a number one adult contemporary hit in America, reaching number 13 pop. However, the album stalled at number 65. Jones returned three years later with In the Running, a set that saw him abandoning synthesizers for piano. The album didn't make the charts. Following the release of The Best of Howard Jones in 1993, Elektra dropped him. Instead of seeking a new record contract with another major label, Jones hit the road in 1994, performing acoustic shows. At the 1994 shows, he sold Working in the Backroom -- an album he recorded at his home studio and released on his own label, Dtox Records -- at his concerts. For the next two years, Jones continually toured America and Europe. In 1996, he released Live Acoustic America on PLM Records; People followed two years later. Three live albums -- 2000's Perform '00, 2001's Perform '01, and 2002's The Peaceful Tour -- were released before 2005's Revolution of the Heart offered fans some new material. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Ordinary Heroes

1. Straight Ahead

2. Say It Like You Mean It

3. Someone You Need

4. Collective Heartbeat

5. Fight On

6. Even If I Don't Say

7. Ordinary Heroes

8. You Knew Us So Well

9. Love Never Wasted

10. Soon You'll Go

x

Track List: People

1. You're The Buddah

2. Tomorrow Is Now

3. Everything

4. Let The People Have Their Say

5. If You Love

6. Sleep My Angel

7. We Make The Weather

8. Back In Your Life

9. Wedding Song

10. Dreamin' On

11. Let Me Be The First To Know

12. Nothing To Fear

13. Not One Of The Lonely Tonight

x

Track List: The Best Of Howard Jones

1. What Is Love?

2. New Song

3. Pearl In The Shell

4. Always Asking Questions

5. Things Can Only Get Better

6. Like To Get To Know You Well

7. Life In One Day

8. You Know I Love You.. Don't You?

9. Hide And Seek

10. No One Is To Blame

11. Look Mama

12. The Prisoner

13. Everlasting Love

14. Lift Me Up

15. Tears To Tell

16. Two Souls

18. City Song

x

Track List: Dream Into Action

1. Things Can Only Get Better

2. Life In One Day

3. Dream Into Action

4. No-One Is To Blame

5. Look Mama

6. Assault And Battery

7. Automation

8. Is There A Difference?

9. Elegy

10. Specialty

11. Why Look For The Key

12. Hunger For The Flesh

13. Bounce Right Back

14. Like To Get To Know You Well

x

Track List: Human's Lib

1. Conditioning

2. What Is Love?

3. Pearl In The Shell

4. Hide And Seek

5. Hunt The Self

6. New Song

7. Don't Always Look At The Rain

8. Equality

9. Natural

10. Human's Lib

11. China Dance

Comments

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❤❤❤❤❤❤
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twjonezzz
Things can only get better!!
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tkoon6
Love Howard Jones, reminds me of good times and younger years!
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Ahh YES Don't Forget Howard...
Lol... ***
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Going to see Howard Jones tomorrow on Long Island. I have a photo of me with him at his restaurant opening in the 80s in New York. It was called Nowhere.
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Love him still and I'm 48
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you deserve to be pampered all the way your special to me mimi
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������������
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"Better Off Dead" movie
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the Holloween Show in NYC while at Kings Point in 1982 was an all time favorite show
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Love Howard Jones.
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Howard Jones you r best for the 80's
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DONT READ THIS. YOU WILL BE KISSED ON THE NEAREST POSSIBLE FRIDAY BY THE LOVE OF YOUR LIFE. TOMORROW WILL BE THE BEST DAY OF YOUR LIFE. NOW YOUVE STARTED READING THIS DONT STOP THIS IS SO FREAKY. But if you read this and ignore it then you will have very bad luck. PUT THIS ON 15 SONGS IN 143 MINUTES. WHEN YOU ARE DONE PRESS THE SPACEBAR AND YOUR CRUSHES NAME WILL APPEAR IN BIG LETTERS ON THE SCREEN THIS IS SO CREEPY IT ACTUALLY WORKS.
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This is my song of all the days, that existence between the day and night.
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He helped make the 80's The Amazing 80's I will always remember. Thanks Howard
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Good times
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Loved his show in Wilmington , Delaware! Awesome peep!!
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Awesome song.
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reaper.1976. a l
Just love the lyrics of hj work, completely, totally mindful
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jirving619
saw him live last month...stil l awesome !!
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reaper.1976. a l
Absolutely one of the best lyricist and artists of our time, DEFINITELY
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Things can only get better..... And no one is to blame my favorites... . . .
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What is love? Just love the lyrics of the song!
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fightsbear1
...an up hill climb, success or failure cannot alter it... how profound is that!?
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reaper.1976. a l
Things can only get better, ooooo, yea
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Love the guy!!! His music is amazing!
The 80's and early 90's are the best.��
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Yes!!
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Could I trouble you for a 10¢ College Fund Donation?

http://david s c o l l e g e f u n d . w e e b l y . c o m /
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All time favorite still today
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vilodalri
Howard Jones is a household name in my heart.
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Wow back to the best the 80s
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recorriendo el tiempo atras en la escuela donde mi vida era, eterna.
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Reminds me of 1986
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saw him this last week in Chicago... loved it.
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I love the 80,s good times
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you like this song, check out my hit single called summer of boners
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I do!
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Every time I here this song I think off the guys dragging Bernie in the boat I'm sure the song is not in the movie thou.
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Love his voice, style and music! Great singer and songwriter! 80's had the best singers and songwriters of all times..;)
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Omg me to !!funny thing it never left hahahhahahha h
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I miss the 80's, where's my time machine?
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TWO THUMBS WAY UP!!!
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The 80s my favorite dictate For music everything else
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mikepascarel l o
Saw HJ last weekend in Saratoga. He is still great after all these years.
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Timeless!
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We must return to the 80s!
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Saw HoJo the other week in Chicago! Awesome! 10x
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He is the greatest! I remember many a college party listening to him! He will be in Orlando Oct 22! (and yes I will be there!)
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GREAT TALENT AND VOICE
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we used to call him (of course) Ho Jo, and he managed to stay in the 'cool' lane all through his career. I just looked at recent pictures of him and he still looks.. well, cool.
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