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The 12" Album

Howard Jones

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Album Review

British singer/songwriter Howard Jones was a glinting jewel caught in the avalanche of synthesized music that overwhelmed the pop scene in the '80s. Jones had a true gift for crafting gleaming melodic hooks that make his hits some of the most memorable of the era. He used synthesizers not because they were "in," but because he could use them to create a delicious soundscape that couldn't be created without them. (Later in his career, he proved that he didn't need the electronics to write compelling pop music.) This 12" Album was released in support of his 1984 effort Humans Lib. It includes remixes of four of the hits from that record, including a previously unreleased extended mix of "Pearl in the Shell" and a "new version" of the now-classic "New Song," which features a reworked bass run and a new piano solo. The 12" Album also introduced the catchy "Always Asking Questions." The enclosed "international mix" of "Like to Get to Know You Well" (which was to appear on his next album, Dreams Into Action) is given an appealing reggae-flavored steel band backing. All of the songs on the record are connected as if each side were a long three-song medley. And while some of the extended mixes are extended beyond their welcome (notably "Total Conditioning"), the record percolates with the creative spirit that marked Jones' work throughout the '80s.

Biography

Born: 23 February 1955 in Southampton, England

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

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-...
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The 12" Album, Howard Jones
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  • $5.99
  • Genres: Pop, Music, Pop/Rock, Alternative, New Wave
  • Released: 1984

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