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 HOWARD JONES (New Wave/Pop-Rock)

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Number of posts : 172
Registration date : 31/05/2008

MesajSubiect: HOWARD JONES (New Wave/Pop-Rock)   Sam Mai 31, 2008 4:28 pm

Born: 23 February 1955
Origin: Southampton, Hampshire, England
Genre(s): Pop, Rock, New Wave, Synthpop
Occupation(s): Musician, Singer, Songwriter
Instrument(s): Keyboards, Synthesizer, Vocals, Drums, Percussion, Piano
Years active: 1983-Present


Howard Jones (born John Howard Jones, 23 February 1955) is an English singer and songwriter who gained acclaim in the 1980s.

He is the eldest of four boys (brothers Roy, Martin, and Paul). Born in Southampton, Hampshire, he spent his early years in Stokenchurch, near High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire and attended the Royal Grammar School. He then spent a year at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. He currently lives with his family in Somerset.

Jones took piano lessons from the age of two and joined his first band at fifteen. When he was young, he used to give piano lessons. One of his clients was a girl named Jan Smith, whom he later married. Whilst working with her, a vehicle crashed into their van, injuring Smith. She claimed compensation and used the money to buy Howard a synthesiser, a Moog Prodigy. He was sent two by accident, although he liked the combination of two so much that he paid for the extra one. He appeared as a solo artist in local venues in High Wycombe, before inviting a mime artist called Jed Hoile, who used to do improvised choreography while doused in white paint as Jones played behind him. After a well-received John Peel session he obtained support slots with China Crisis and OMD before signing to WEA in the summer of 1983.

After a promotional frenzy, his first single called "New Song" was released in September 1983 and reached the UK top five and U.S. top 30. He subsequently had three more hits over the next twelve months and a UK Number 1 album, Human's Lib. He acquired a hardcore fanbase made up of both starstruck teenagers and more mature music lovers, who saw the musicianship which went into the electronic sounds of his songs.[citation needed] His mother and father, Thelma and John Jones, ran his fan club. Jones was a close temporal and stylistic contemporary of Nik Kershaw, and the two musicians were often conflated in the affections of the contemporary pop audience.

Jones was known as a respectable face of pop, combining innovative synthesizer music with strong feelings on animal rights and life's excesses.

In the summer of 1984, he released a single called "Like To Get To Know You Well", which he said was 'dedicated to the original spirit of the Olympic Games'. Although it was not an official Olympic anthem for the Games in Los Angeles that summer, it caught on and was a huge worldwide hit. The sleeve featured the song title in ten different languages; while Jones sang the title line in French and German on the extended version. The song appeared in the film Better Off Dead.

Jones' second album was a ground breaking 'remix' album. It contained six songs, all but one of which had been previously released, but which appeared in elongated formats, including the multilingual version of "Like To Get To Know You Well". The album was called The 12 Inch Album and the sleeve featured a miniature Jones standing next to a 12-inch ruler.

When he released his second studio album, Dream Into Action, in 1985 he introduced his own backing band, including female backing vocal trio Afrodiziak. Afrodiziak featured Caron Wheeler (who went on to greater success with Soul II Soul) and Claudia Fontaine (who became a renowned backing singer). Playing bass guitar, meanwhile, was Jones' own brother Martin, who had to have an extra string added to his instrument to play some of Howard's bass lines, which were originally played on a keyboard without regard for the range of a real bass guitar. One of the singles released from this album, "No One Is To Blame", was later re-recorded and featured Phil Collins as drummer and producer.

In July 1985, Jones performed at Wembley Stadium as part of the Live Aid concert, singing his 1984 hit "Hide And Seek" while playing a piano belonging to Freddie Mercury.

Jones had his last UK Top 40 hit in 1986 and thereafter concentrated on production, songwriting and running a successful vegetarian restaurant called Nowhere. However, he had a few more hits on the Billboard charts in the U.S. into the early 1990s, including "Everlasting Love" (1989, his second #1 hit on the U.S. Adult Contemporary chart after "No One Is To Blame"), "The Prisoner" (1989), and "Lift Me Up" (1992).

Jones' recording contract with Warner Bros. Records/WEA was cancelled after the release of In The Running and The Best Of Howard Jones. He responded by starting his own record label, dtox, and producing an album in his own studio The Shed which was made available only at gigs and through his website. Artists affiliated with Howard's Dtox label include Martin Grech, Dba, Shaz Sparks and The Itch (Robin Boult).

In 2001, Jones played keyboards for Beatles legend Ringo Starr for Ringo's All Starr Band tour. The 2001 All Starr Band line-up consisted of ex-Supertramp frontman Roger Hodgson, dance-music percussionist Sheila E., former Mott the Hoople singer Ian Hunter and King Crimson/Emerson, Lake and Palmer singer-bassist Greg Lake. Jones fulfilled two life-long ambitions on this tour: to play live in a band with a member of the Beatles and to play Karn Evil 9 live. Keith Emerson’s classic keyboard arrangement is regarded as one of the most difficult keyboard pieces ever written.

On 20 September 2003, Jones played a unique 20th Anniversary Concert at the Shepherds Bush Empire, London, commemorating the release of his first single. The gig consisted of four sets: Acoustic, Retro, Electronic and Full Band, featuring music from his twenty year career. He was joined by friends Midge Ure (Ultravox) and Nena, as well as his mime artist, Jed Hoile. A recording of this concert has since been released on DVD.

Jones has continued to tour and write new music, more recently collaborating with Robbie Bronniman (Dba) to co-produce music for the Sugababes and his 2005 studio album Revolution of the Heart.

He has been busy in the past few years touring the world - playing gigs in the U.S., Italy, Germany and Sweden to name a few countries. He has been putting the finishing touches to a new acoustic album, a second album of piano solos and remixing some tracks from his last album. He played a number of nights at the Edinburgh Festival in Scotland in 2006. The same year Jones did a vocal for the song "Into the Dark" by Ferry Corsten for L.E.F..

In October 2006, he released the song "Building Our Own Future" as a podsafe track, as one of several established artists looking to use podcasts as a new means of promoting their music and tours.

The electro DnB producer, John B, remixed Jones' song "For You See Me" on his 2006 album, Electrostep.


1984 - Human's Lib UK#1, US#59
1984 - The 12" Album UK#15
1985 - Dream Into Action UK#2, US#10
1986 - Action Replay (US only) US#34
1986 - One To One UK#10, US#59
1989 - Cross That Line UK#65
1992 - In The Running
1993 - The Best Of Howard Jones
1994 - Working In The Backroom
1995 - Live Acoustic America
1998 - People
2000 - Perform.00
2002 - The Peaceful Tour Live
2003 - The Very Best Of Howard Jones
2005 - Revolution Of The Heart

1983 "New Song" UK#3 US#27
1984 "What Is Love?" UK#2 US#33
1984 "Hide and Seek" UK#12
1984 "Pearl In The Shell" UK#7
1984 "Like To Get To Know You Well" UK#4 US#49
1985 "Things Can Only Get Better" UK#6 US#5
1985 "Look Mama" UK#10
1985 "Life In One Day" UK#14 US#19
1985 "No One Is To Blame" UK#16 US#4
1986 "All I Want" UK#35 US#76
1986 "You Know I Love You...Don't You?" UK#43 US#17
1987 "Little Bit Of Snow" UK#70
1989 "Everlasting Love" UK#62 US#12
1989 "The Prisoner" UK#98 US#30
1992 "Lift Me Up" UK#52 US#32
1992 "Two Souls"
1993 "I.G.Y. (What A Beautiful World)"
1999 "Let The People Have Their Say" UK#121
1999 "Tomorrow Is Now"
2006 "Building Our Own Future"
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