Howard Jones Biography

John Howard Jones, 23 February 1955, Southampton, Hampshire, England. Coming to prominence as a synthesizer-pop maestro in the mid-80s, Jones had been trying to succeed as a musician for almost 15 years. His childhood saw him on the move from country to country but by the time he reached his teens he was settled in High Wycombe, England. He joined his first band in 1976 and over the next few years played in Warrior, the Bicycle Thieves, and Skin Tight.

In 1974, Jones went to music college in Manchester and after graduation he began performing solo in his home town. He soon introduced dancer Jed Hoile to enliven his act by improvizing dance to his songs. Jones was offered a session by BBC disc jockey John Peel which led to tours with OMD and China Crisis. WEA Records signed him in the summer of 1983 and in September he charted in the UK Top 5 with his first single ‘New Song’. He won several Best New Artist awards and followed-up with transatlantic hits like ‘What Is Love?’ (UK number 2), ‘Hide And Seek’, ‘Pearl In The Shell’, ‘Like To Get To Know You Well’ (UK number 4), ‘Things Can Only Get Better’ (US number 5), ‘Look Mama’, ‘Life In One Day’, ‘No One Is To Blame’ (US number 4), and ‘You Know I Love You … Don’t You?’. His debut album Human’s Lib topped the UK charts. Although he performed most of the music on his recordings in 1985 he formed a touring band with his brother Martin on bass, and Trevor Morais on drums.

As the 80s drew to a close, Jones’ singles success grew more sporadic, although ‘Everlasting Love’ reached the US Top 20 in 1989, and ‘The Prisoner’ and ‘Lift Me Up’ also reached the American charts. Jones even joined the unplugged trend with Live Acoustic America in 1996. He continues to record on a regular basis, although Angels & Lovers only gained a release in Japan. A revamped version of the album, featuring three new tracks, was released in other countries as People. New studio and live material has also surfaced on the singer’s own Dtox label, and Jones continues to play to a devoted following in mainland Europe.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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