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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, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

you like this song, check out my hit single called summer of boners
I do!
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.
Love his voice, style and music! Great singer and songwriter! 80's had the best singers and songwriters of all times..;)
Omg me to !!funny thing it never left hahahhahahha h
I miss the 80's, where's my time machine?
TWO THUMBS WAY UP!!!
The 80s my favorite dictate For music everything else
mikepascarel l o
Saw HJ last weekend in Saratoga. He is still great after all these years.
Timeless!
We must return to the 80s!
Saw HoJo the other week in Chicago! Awesome! 10x
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!)
GREAT TALENT AND VOICE
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.
i looked for someone with an interior smile and got him. i always loved that lyric. true true true!!!
I cAN NOT GO EVEN ONE DAY WITHOUT LISTENING TO HojO lOVE LOVE LOVE HIM!
This was the other song I liked from the Dream into Action. "No-one is to blame" is the best song by Howard Jones. Loved it. 1985 was an awesome year. Glory Days!
This was an awesome inspiring song. Where is this talented guy and why hasn't there been more hits by this artist?
anarchyolson
This song is teenage angst! I can still feel it 25 years later!
planetjoe10
I was inspired by Howard Jones musically as a teenager with his great ability to use falsetto and amazing keyboard sounds. Some of the brass sounds he used in the 80's are still the best in the business.
His music was my calm and sanity during my teens, he was always so real and yet positive, something good for a teenager to have.
The first music I ever made out to - Howard Jones Dream into Action album. The man shaped my teen musical tastes.
Always brilliant
sweet sexy love
marc_ws
HoJo Forever! Hard to believe this guy was a star before I was even born...
I only wish I'd have discovered his music sooner, Great stuff!
howie's the man
t-rex101069
One of the Greats!!!!
hardycs
Howard Jones is the one artist that I can't be without. He's been a constant companion since I found him back in high school. Wouldn't consider music the same without the contribution s he's made to it and to my life.
this kind of music saved my life at that time...
"...and do you feel scared, I do, but I won't stop and falter..."Ho J O hooked me up in the 80s...
albanyny317
I just saw Hojo in Las Vegas. Wow, he put on a great show. He played mainly his old stuff with one or two new songs thrown in. The crowd was very appreciative of his music and he seemed happy to be at the venue. He did an autograph signing afterwards and he was so cordial and cool. I felt like I was back in the'80s. I thanked him for his contribution s to the "soundtrack" of my life.
dalastar
"Aspirations in the clouds but your hopes go down the drain."
I saw him live at Appel Farm in NJ in early 2007 and it was the best show I have ever seen. A small venue, very intimate, he performed an acoustic set. Like a private performance for under 100 people. Awesome show!

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