Interview

Howard Jones talks about the reissues of Human’s Lib and Dream Into Action

Howard Jones speaks to SDE about the early days

Cherry Red have just reissued Howard Jones‘ first two albums, Human’s Lib and Dream Into Action as massively expanded super deluxe edition box sets. Howard has been very involved in the process and recently, just before an intimate gig in central London, he sat down with SDE editor Paul Sinclair to discuss the excitement of the early days and the two albums in question…

SuperDeluxeEdition: What’s your opinion your debut album, ‘Human’s Lib’, 34 years on? What are your memories of that time?

Howard Jones: Well, it was the first time with me in the studio making a proper record with somebody who’s called a producer. I didn’t even know, really, what that role was even. The great, amazing good fortune for me was that Max Hole from WEA thought that I should make a record with Rupert Hine and Steven Tayler. That was just a genius move, I think. With Rupert’s work, his solo work, they’re always experimenting and doing new things and they were on the cutting edge of the technology. And I felt that I was there as well. So, they brought this incredible expertise to what I was intuitively doing out in pubs and clubs.

SDE:  You’d obviously built up a fair bit of kit, I imagine, by this point? In terms of synths and drum machines and things?

HJ: It was my live rig, it was the [Roland TR] 808 drum machine, it was the Pro-One [sequencer], Juno 60 [Roland synth], Jupiter 8 [another Roland synth] and couple of Prodigys (Moog synth]. Then I bought this old, second-hand mixer…everything I had went out on the road.

SDE:  Those songs for the first album, were they already written when you first went into the studio with Rupert?

HJ: They were all done. I was able to give him demos really. Well, when he came to the shows he would see that was my repertoire. So, we just chose… we didn’t do all of them and there weren’t that many. There was enough to fill a set. I know there were a couple of songs that I liked, but he thought wouldn’t be appropriate for the tone of the album, and he was absolutely right. He was absolutely right about that, when I look back.

SDE: I hadn’t realised, but with the first record, you had this collaboration with Bill Bryant… lyrically.

HJ: [slight pause] Yes, on some tracks. I think there are two or three [actually, six out of the ten tracks were co-written by Bryant].

SDE: How did that come about, was he a friend?

HJ: Yes, he was somebody that I knew during that time.

SDE: The technology… obviously that was a big part of it, wasn’t it? Going into the studio, was Rupert all set up for that? Did he understand how it all worked – it was fairly new at the time wasn’t it?

HJ: Yes, that’s right. Nobody had done what I had done, live, with that sort of gear, but Rupert was totally up on it. He is a keyboard player and he’s used synths on all his work and always been up on that, so it was perfect, really, to have Rupert. But, you know, at the end of the day, it’s not really the technical side [that makes a] great record. Rupert was a proper producer in the sense that he knew how to get the best out of me. It’s a psychology, it’s enthusiasm and a psychology. He would only let me do four vocal takes, for instance. He wouldn’t labour it at all, so he would capture the energy of that. I played a lot of the parts, on the first album, they weren’t sequenced. All the bass parts were played and the obviously sequenced things – the things that go dugga, dugga, dugga – that nobody would want to play anyway, were coming from machines.

SDE: There must have still been some limitations in terms of what you could do. Obviously, now with laptops you can do more or less anything, but what were the limitations, if there were any?

HJ: Actually, I think it’s like almost the opposite… because, I was speaking to Steve last week, and we were saying that, that’s the first time that he worked, that he made a record on the SSL [Solid State Logic] in-line desk, with compression on every channel, and the ability to automate the mixes. I mean, nobody really … you can sort of emulate that on your computer, but not the hands-on way of a huge board. It was analogue tape that we were recording to and not digital and, but then everyone loves the sound of analogue tape [laughs]. It was almost like the opposite. We had more, rather than less, it was great.

SDE: And, tell me about the process of getting signed, because when I read back about acts from the early 1980s getting signed, it always sounds remarkably straightforward. I don’t know whether that’s just because you’re all really talented guys and everyone was snapping you up. How quickly did that process happen for you and how easy was it?

HJ: Well, it seemed to take forever for me. I didn’t know, I was completely naive about the process. I thought you make a tape and you take it up to London, and you go to reception and drop it off, or say “can I speak to the A&R man”? Of course, you’d never get to speak to an A&R man. But I did that. I went round … but then Dave Stopps  of ‘Friars’ [Friars Aylesbury was a local music club] decided to get involved in the project. He opened quite a few doors [and became Howard’s manager]. We started to do things at the Marquee, like the residency and he got everyone down. But, in the end it wasn’t any of those [people]…they all rejected it. They just didn’t get a one man, electronic band… You come along with something original and there was Jed [mime artist Jed Hoile] of course, as well. So you’ve got that…

SDE: So, there wasn’t a bidding war?

HJ: No, it wasn’t at all, No, it was Paul Conroy, who was at Stiff Records at the time, who wanted to sign me. Stiff weren’t sure about it, but Paul said, “If you don’t sign him, I’m gone.” [laughs]. So that was interesting. I was just about to sign with Stiff and then Paul got poached to go to Warner Brothers. So he said, “You’ve got to come with me.” That was a big deal for me, so I did. I did a deal that was a very low advance that actually got recouped with the first single. So, it wasn’t like a bidding war at all.

SDE: And, of course, that first single was quite a big hit. How prepared were you, had you thought about fame, being famous and people recognising you, was that even in your mind?

HJ: No, I don’t think it was. Unless you grew up with it, with a family that was in the limelight…it certainly wasn’t my experience. I mean, I had no idea what that would be like. So it was a shock when everywhere you went, you got chased by people.

SDE: Did you enjoy that?

HJ: Erm…[pause] it’s yes and no really, isn’t it? [laughs] Yes, I was able to do all the things I always dreamt of doing, making records and travelling the world, being on TV doing big gigs and all that… doing everything properly. At the same time I didn’t like that amount of attention, it was too much attention. I remember slightly complaining once to Paul Conroy and he said, “Don’t you ever do that. There’s people would die to be in your position.” And, I thought, “Yes, he’s right.”

SDE: And, when you went on Top of the Pops, that must have been quite a proud moment for you and family and friends?

HJ: Yes, it was because they knew I’d been working at it since I was tiny… to get there. I was 28 – past it really! Everyone suddenly saying, “Oh my God he’s done it”.

SDE: Do you think that they might have given up on you and not believed that you were going to do it?

HJ: [long pause] I don’t know. I honestly can’t answer that. I don’t know what they thought.

SDE: The second album was only a year, almost to the day, after the first album came out, but in between, Warners still managed to squeeze out ‘The 12-inch Album’ and the ‘Like to Get to Know You Well’ single. So it was a crazy pace. Were you just gung-ho and going with it, or was there a feeling that you were on a conveyor belt and you couldn’t really step off?

HJ: No, I was just thrilled to be there. I’d been waiting for such a long time to get there. It was literally 365 days a year – there wasn’t one day off. But, it was SO exciting what we were doing, honestly. I couldn’t do that pace now, I would want that. It lasted a decade really. I wouldn’t really have wanted it to carry on after that. I don’t think people can handle that, I mean, it’s not natural. The only thing was, you’re anxious about keeping it going. Especially with the success of ‘Human’s Lib’, whether I could deliver it with ‘Dream into Action’. I was not losing sleep or anything, but there was a lot of anxiety in me about that.

SDE: Yes, there’s the whole second album syndrome thing, isn’t there? Were you basically starting from zero or were there a few songs that carried over?

HJ: Nothing. There was literally nothing. I just started from scratch and wrote on the road, at the studio, and in the dressing room.

SDE: And, that middle single, ‘I’d Like to Get to Know You Well’. I know it ended up, on the American version of ‘Dream into Action’ and it was on the CD of that album in the UK, but was there ever any discussion that that might be properly part of the second record, or were you just happy to keep that as something that was attached to the ’12-inch album’, as a bonus single, so to speak. What the thinking was around that?

HJ: I think it was the record company wanting to keep the momentum and not losing it with the first record. I think they’d probably seen that happen with artists and they really didn’t want to do that. I think it was a wise move and, actually, it was Rob Dickens who picked up on that. He had heard me doing it live and said, “You really ought to do that.”

SDE: Was your approach different in terms of the songs on the second album. There are some darker songs I think, like ‘Assault and Battery’, for example…

HJ: Yes, I suppose there are a couple of things. One is that I wanted to explore working with other musicians on this one a bit more. Adding things like cellos and backing vocals, brass.. but also realising that you do have a platform now and that there are things that you want to specifically say. That’s always been my motivation. It’s what the lyrics are about, but with things like ‘Assault and Battery’ that was really, really to the point. Having the courage to do that, knowing that it would ruffle a few feathers, but doing it [anyway].

SDE: Was there much backwards and forwards with the record company. Would you present them with what you thought was the album and they’d say, “No, you need another single on there,” how was that process?

HJ: Yes, exactly as you describe [laughs]. I played it to them – ‘Things Can Only Get Better’, ‘No One Is To Blame’ – things that I thought could get on the radio and they looked stony-faced. They said, “There’s nothing that will get on the radio with this.” And that absolutely put the fear of God in me. So, I went away and wrote very quickly another song, ‘Life in One Day’, which ended up being a big hit in America, as well. It was a ploy to get me to push myself a bit more. I am glad, in a way.

SDE: And, of course, you went on to re-record ‘No One is to Blame’. How did that come about? It ended up being a very bit hit for you in America, but why did that happen?

HJ: That did come from me, completely. I said to Rupert [Hine], “As much as I like the version on ‘Dream Into Action’ –  it’s very stark and really effective – I think there’s a version of this song that we could get on the radio.” I wanted to be on the radio. I know some people didn’t! I grew up listening to the radio from the age of nine. That was the Holy Grail for me, to be on the radio, [where] everyone can hear you, what you’re doing. It’s more satisfying than big record sales because you become part of the culture if you’re on the radio. So we tried a few things, that are actually on the re-issues. We tried different versions of the song… I liked them, but it never quite worked. Then, I knew Phil [Collins] because I’d worked with him on the Princes Trust shows. He loved the song, so we did it in two weekends with Hugh Padgham, co-producing.

SDE: Let’s talk about the re-issues then. I remember when you did the re-issues yourself you licensed them from Warners and did your own box sets.  First off, are you quite happy that Cherry Red have acquired your catalogue?

HJ: Let me say, first of all, that the remasters you’re referring to, the things we did, I said [at the time], “You can’t get my records. You can’t buy them anymore,” and it wasn’t really ‘box set thinking’ about comprehensively revealing everything. It was like let’s get these records available for people to buy. Whether on the road and also online. So it wasn’t really an attempt to go ‘box setting’ if you know what I mean [laughs], it was [a case of], let’s make the records available because you can’t buy them anymore and Warner Brothers had totally lost interest.

SDE: Were you frustrated then, at Warners’ inaction in terms of your catalogue at that point in time?

HJ: Yes… the fact that they didn’t re-sign me after the five albums, was ludicrous, I think and typical, big company, short-term thinking. I am really pleased that Cherry Red, because they’ve done such a good job with the first two. They really are experts at it and I was really involved in absolutely every part of them. I chose the tracks. They presented me everything they found, and I went through everything. There were some things I couldn’t bear to listen to. I said, “Look, there will be things I can’t let go because it’s just like, I can’t listen to it myself. I don’t want other people to have to go through that.” Then there were things where I said, “This re-mix, surely it’s not that different”? And they said, “Actually, this is a really interesting thing for people because they can hear a bit more of what’s going on under the bonnet,” so I went with that as well [laughs].

SDE: On the first album, you’ve recreated the demo tape. Tell me a little about that, you’ve actually got a physical cassette, haven’t you within the box set. So what does that represent?

HJ: There was two versions of it. One was the ones I actually used to physically copy myself and colour the artwork from photocopied things. Those are quite rare now. Then we realised we needed to have a hundred of them made up, you know, cassettte duplication. Then we used to sell that at shows, and that was what kept us going. Kept food on the table. So, it’s quite an important cassette for me.

SDE: It is interesting, because it there was very much a re-mix culture in the early ‘80’s, wasn’t there. Was that a process that you really enjoyed? Breaking down the songs, reconstructing them?

HJ: Really, really enjoyed it. It was probably the most fun [laughs] because you could let yourself go and, often I recorded lots of new parts, like jamming, over the top. That was really fun, I really enjoyed doing that.

SDE: Is there anything that really surprised you that you had completely forgotten about? Any unearthed song, any songs you’d forgotten about?

HJ: I hadn’t heard the Kid Jensen session, since I recorded it. Never heard it properly anyway… and Cherry Red, they got access to the original tapes. I think it’s the best version of ‘New Song’ ever. It has such energy and power in it. I am really excited about that. Then there was the rogue mix of ‘New Song’ that was only released in Portugal [laughs] that I only found out about when I turned up to do a TV show there and they put me on and put this track on and its about two or three BPM slower and quite lumpy compared to the proper version, but it’s actually got quite a lot of character, so that got released there by mistake. The other thing that I think is really great, which I hadn’t seen as well, is the ‘Live in Japan’ video. It was the one man show at its absolute peak. I’d taken it round the world and I really knew what I was doing by then. It’s really well recorded and its really well filmed and that was a real shock when I saw that. It’s just so cool. Sometimes, you look back on things and you, you have more objectivity the further you get away. At the time I found it quite difficult to watch myself and listen to myself being interviewed, or anything like that.

SDE: You put out a video collection where you remixed a lot of it into 5.1. Are you going to consider for the future, with Cherry Red, maybe doing some surround sound versions?

HJ: I absolutely want to. I’ve already  been talking to Steve about it. Steve Tayler who’s already been doing some… well, he’s done loads for me personally and he’s been doing some work for Cherry Red as well. And as the person who actually recorded it and mixed it, he’s the absolutely perfect person to do it. He’ll know what … people don’t want to hear it completely as another thing. They want to hear it as familiar but you can hear into the sound with 5.1.

SDE: The process of putting these reissues together must have been fascinating. It’s your own personal history isn’t it?

HJ: It is, and now, you can view it almost as another … as you would another artist. It’s interesting. But also what was really great for me, whilst I was going back and listening to all this, I am making a new album…

SDE: …Has this process of looking at your early albums influenced the new record?

HJ: Yes, definitely. I was thinking, “What is it that people actually like about my work that makes me different to other people?” I was analysing that a bit more, because I am making a very electronic record.

SDE: That sounds really good. Sometimes at the beginning, there’s more simplicity and directness and as people’s careers go on, things get more complicated. Or maybe people over-think things a bit…

HJ: That’s right, that can happen. I do get a bit complicated sometimes, but there’s both in this new record. There’s quite complex stuff and then there’s straightforward, one idea presented to you at a time stuff, which I think was very much the case with ‘Human’s Lib’.

SDE: I look forward to that. Is that album going to be out next year?

HJ: Yes, it’s coming out in May.


Thanks to Howard Jones who was talking to Paul Sinclair for SDE. The reissues of Human’s Lib and Dream Into Action are out now.

Watch the SDE unboxing video of super deluxe box sets.

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Howard Jones

Human's Lib - super deluxe edition

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Amazon uk 6LP coloured vinyl box 95.64
Amazon de 6LP coloured vinyl box 141.31
Amazon usa 6LP coloured vinyl box 113.99
Amazon fr 6LP coloured vinyl box 163.8
Amazon it 6LP coloured vinyl box 140.62
Amazon es 6LP coloured vinyl box 137.87
Amazon ca 6LP coloured vinyl box 156.96
JPC de 6LP coloured vinyl box 117.99
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Howard Jones

Dream Into Action - super deluxe edition

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Amazon uk 6LP coloured vinyl box 90.15
Amazon de 6LP coloured vinyl box 122.93
Amazon usa 6LP coloured vinyl box 86.61
Amazon fr 6LP coloured vinyl box 130.41
Amazon it 6LP coloured vinyl box 142.33
Amazon es 6LP coloured vinyl box 116.65
Amazon ca 6LP coloured vinyl box 134.63
JPC de 6LP coloured vinyl box 117.99
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Howard Jones

Human's Lib - limited white vinyl

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Amazon uk 6LP coloured vinyl box 21.57
Amazon de 6LP coloured vinyl box 22.56
Amazon usa 6LP coloured vinyl box 25.94
Amazon fr 6LP coloured vinyl box 28.25
Amazon it 6LP coloured vinyl box 32.42
Amazon es 6LP coloured vinyl box 25.42
Amazon ca 6LP coloured vinyl box 44.38
JPC de 6LP coloured vinyl box 31.99
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Dream Into Action - limited green vinyl

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Amazon uk 6LP coloured vinyl box 21.57
Amazon de 6LP coloured vinyl box 27.79
Amazon usa 6LP coloured vinyl box 25.94
Amazon fr 6LP coloured vinyl box 27.74
Amazon it 6LP coloured vinyl box 36.43
Amazon es 6LP coloured vinyl box 37.26
Amazon ca 6LP coloured vinyl box 45.64
JPC de 6LP coloured vinyl box 31.99
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Howard Jones

Human's Lib (Expanded Deluxe 2Cd+1Dvd Digipak Edition)

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Amazon uk 6LP coloured vinyl box 19.96
Amazon de 6LP coloured vinyl box 21.92
Amazon usa 6LP coloured vinyl box 20.16
Amazon fr 6LP coloured vinyl box 25.17
Amazon it 6LP coloured vinyl box 19.1
Amazon es 6LP coloured vinyl box 21.51
Amazon ca 6LP coloured vinyl box 29.85
JPC de 6LP coloured vinyl box 34.99
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Dream Into Action - 2CD+DVD

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Amazon uk 6LP coloured vinyl box 17.96
Amazon de 6LP coloured vinyl box 21.92
Amazon usa 6LP coloured vinyl box 21.36
Amazon fr 6LP coloured vinyl box 25.05
Amazon it 6LP coloured vinyl box 20.4
Amazon es 6LP coloured vinyl box 23.42
Amazon ca 6LP coloured vinyl box 33.07
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Single CD remasters

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Howard Jones

Human's Lib - single CD remaster

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Amazon uk 6LP coloured vinyl box 6.7
Amazon de 6LP coloured vinyl box 9.23
Amazon usa 6LP coloured vinyl box 10.49
Amazon fr 6LP coloured vinyl box 10.06
Amazon it 6LP coloured vinyl box 7.99
Amazon es 6LP coloured vinyl box 10.79
Amazon ca 6LP coloured vinyl box 13.14
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Dream Into Action - single CD remaster

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Amazon uk 6LP coloured vinyl box 6.7
Amazon de 6LP coloured vinyl box 9.23
Amazon usa 6LP coloured vinyl box 10.35
Amazon fr 6LP coloured vinyl box 10.06
Amazon it 6LP coloured vinyl box 8.57
Amazon es 6LP coloured vinyl box 10.97
Amazon ca 6LP coloured vinyl box 12.42
JPC de 6LP coloured vinyl box 16.99
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Human’s Lib 3CD+2DVD+LP+Cassette Super Deluxe Edition

DISC ONE: (CD)

1. CONDITIONING
2. WHAT IS LOVE?
3. PEARL IN THE SHELL
4. HIDE & 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
12. NEW SONG (PORTUGUESE 7″ SINGLE MIX)**
13. WHAT IS LOVE? (ROUGH MIX) *
14. DON’T PUT THESE CURSES ON ME (INSTRUMENTAL) *
15. HUMAN’S LIB (FARMYARD MIX) *
16. PEARL IN THE SHELL (ROUGH MIX) *
17. NEW SONG (MIX TAKE 1) *

DISC TWO: (CD)

1. NEW SONG (ALTERNATIVE 12″)
2. WHAT IS LOVE? (EXTENDED MIX)
3. HIDE & SEEK (EXTENDED VERSION)
4. PEARL IN THE SHELL (US 12″ MIX)
5. CONDITIONING (ORIGINAL MIX)
6. NEW SONG (NEW EXTENDED MIX) *
7. HUNT THE SELF (LIVE AT THE MARQUEE) *
8. BOUNCE RIGHT BACK (INSTRUMENTAL) *
9. TOTAL CONDITIONING *
10. LAW OF THE JUNGLE ***
11. ALWAYS ASKING QUESTIONS (ROUGH MIX) *
12. EQUALITY (ROUGH MIX) *
13. HIDE & SEEK (ROUGH MIX) *

DISC THREE: (DVD)

1. CONDITIONING (REHEARSAL AT THE GORDON ARMS, HIGH WYCOMBE)
2. HUMAN’S LIB (REHEARSAL AT THE GORDON ARMS, HIGH WYCOMBE)
3. EQUALITY (REHEARSAL AT THE GORDON ARMS, HIGH WYCOMBE)
4. RISK (LIVING ROOM DEMO)
5. DREAMS OF A BETTER PLACE (LIVING ROOM DEMO)
6. LOVE?(LIVING ROOM DEMO)
7. ALWAYS ASKING QUESTIONS (PROMO VIDEO)
8. NEW SONG (TOP OF THE POPS BROADCAST 22ND SEPTEMBER 1983)
9. WHAT IS LOVE? (TOP OF THE POPS BROADCAST 8TH DECEMBER 1983)
10. WHAT IS LOVE? (OXFORD ROAD SHOW BROADCAST ON 6TH JANUARY 1984)
11. HIDE AND SEEK (LIVE)(TOP OF THE POPS BROADCAST 8TH MARCH 1984)
12. EQUALITY (OLD GREY WHISTLE TEST BROADCAST 9TH MARCH 1984)
13. DON’T ALWAYS LOOK AT THE RAIN (OLD GREY WHISTLE TEST BROADCAST 9TH MARCH 1984)
14. PEARL IN THE SHELL (TOP OF THE POPS BROADCAST 7TH JUNE 1984)

PROMO VIDEOS
15. NEW SONG
16. WHAT IS LOVE?
17. HIDE AND SEEK
18. PEARL IN THE SHELL
19. LIKE TO GET TO KNOW YOU WELL (LONDON VERSION)

DISC FOUR: (PICTURE DISC LP)

SIDE ONE
1. CONDITIONING
2. WHAT IS LOVE?
3. PEARL IN THE SHELL
4. HIDE & SEEK
5. HUNT THE SELF

SIDE TWO
1. NEW SONG
2. DON’T ALWAYS LOOK AT THE RAIN
3. EQUALITY
4. NATURAL
5. HUMAN’S LIB

DISC FIVE: PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED AND REMASTERED TRACKS (CD)

1. NEW SONG (NEW FARMYARD MIX) *
2. ALWAYS ASKING QUESTIONS (FARMYARD MIX) *
3. EQUALITY (FARMYARD MIX) *
4. NEW SONG (NEW VERSION) ***
5. LOVE? (EARLY VERSION OF WHAT IS LOVE?) *
6. TAO TE CHING ***
7. CHANGE THE MAN ***
8. BOUNCE RIGHT BACK (LIVE AT THE MARQUEE) **
9. NEW SONG (EXTENDED)
10.IT JUST DOESN’T MATTER ***
11.DON’T ALWAYS LOOK AT THE RAIN (ROUGH MIX) *
12.NEW SONG (NEW MIX VERSION 2) *

KID JENSEN BBC SESSIONS
13.DON’T PUT THESE CURSES ON ME *
14.NATURAL *
15.NEW SONG *
16.HUMAN’S LIB *

* PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED
** PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED DIGITALLY
*** PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED REMASTERED

DISC SIX: CASSETTE

SIDE ONE
1. HUMAN’S LIB *
2. LOVE? *

SIDE TWO
1. RISK *
2. ALWAYS ASKING QUESTIONS *

* PREVIOUS UNRELEASED

DISC SEVEN: HOWARD JONES LIVE IN JAPAN (DVD)
1. NEW SONG
2. TAO TE CHING
3. HUNT THE SELF
4. PEARL IN THE SHELL
5. BOUNCE RIGHT BACK
6. HIDE & SEEK
7. ALWAYS ASKING QUESTIONS
8. DREAMS OF A BETTER PLACE
9. LIKE TO GET TO KNOW YOU WELL
10. EQUALITY
11. NATURAL
12. CONDITIONING
13.DON’T ALWAYS LOOK AT THE RAIN
14.WHAT IS LOVE?

Human’s Lib / limited white vinyl

SIDE ONE
1. CONDITIONING
2. WHAT IS LOVE?
3. PEARL IN THE SHELL
4. HIDE & SEEK
5. HUNT THE SELF

SIDE TWO
1. NEW SONG
2. DON’T ALWAYS LOOK AT THE RAIN
3. EQUALITY
4. NATURAL
5. HUMAN’S LIB

Human’s Lib 2CD+DVD Deluxe Edition

DISC ONE: (CD)

1. CONDITIONING
2. WHAT IS LOVE?
3. PEARL IN THE SHELL
4. HIDE & 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
12. NEW SONG (PORTUGUESE 7″ SINGLE MIX)**
13. WHAT IS LOVE? (ROUGH MIX) *
14. DON’T PUT THESE CURSES ON ME (INSTRUMENTAL) *
15. HUMAN’S LIB (FARMYARD MIX) *
16. PEARL IN THE SHELL (ROUGH MIX) *
17. NEW SONG (MIX TAKE 1) *

DISC TWO: (CD)

1. NEW SONG (ALTERNATIVE 12″)
2. WHAT IS LOVE? (EXTENDED MIX)
3. HIDE & SEEK (EXTENDED VERSION)
4. PEARL IN THE SHELL (US 12″ MIX)
5. CONDITIONING (ORIGINAL MIX)
6. NEW SONG (NEW EXTENDED MIX) *
7. HUNT THE SELF (LIVE AT THE MARQUEE) *
8. BOUNCE RIGHT BACK (INSTRUMENTAL) *
9. TOTAL CONDITIONING *
10. LAW OF THE JUNGLE ***
11. ALWAYS ASKING QUESTIONS (ROUGH MIX) *
12. EQUALITY (ROUGH MIX) *
13. HIDE & SEEK (ROUGH MIX) *

DISC THREE: (DVD)

1. CONDITIONING (REHEARSAL AT THE GORDON ARMS, HIGH WYCOMBE)
2. HUMAN’S LIB (REHEARSAL AT THE GORDON ARMS, HIGH WYCOMBE)
3. EQUALITY (REHEARSAL AT THE GORDON ARMS, HIGH WYCOMBE)
4. RISK (LIVING ROOM DEMO)
5. DREAMS OF A BETTER PLACE (LIVING ROOM DEMO)
6. LOVE?(LIVING ROOM DEMO)
7. ALWAYS ASKING QUESTIONS (PROMO VIDEO)
8. NEW SONG (TOP OF THE POPS BROADCAST 22ND SEPTEMBER 1983)
9. WHAT IS LOVE? (TOP OF THE POPS BROADCAST 8TH DECEMBER 1983)
10. WHAT IS LOVE? (OXFORD ROAD SHOW BROADCAST ON 6TH JANUARY 1984)
11. HIDE AND SEEK (LIVE)(TOP OF THE POPS BROADCAST 8TH MARCH 1984)
12. EQUALITY (OLD GREY WHISTLE TEST BROADCAST 9TH MARCH 1984)
13. DON’T ALWAYS LOOK AT THE RAIN (OLD GREY WHISTLE TEST BROADCAST 9TH MARCH 1984)
14. PEARL IN THE SHELL (TOP OF THE POPS BROADCAST 7TH JUNE 1984)

PROMO VIDEOS
15. NEW SONG
16. WHAT IS LOVE?
17. HIDE AND SEEK
18. PEARL IN THE SHELL
19. LIKE TO GET TO KNOW YOU WELL (LONDON VERSION)

 

Human’s Lib single CD remaster

1. CONDITIONING
2. WHAT IS LOVE?
3. PEARL IN THE SHELL
4. HIDE & 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

Dream Into Action 3CD+2DVD+LP Super Deluxe Edition

DISC ONE (CD)

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. AUTOMATON
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
15. NO ONE IS TO BLAME (REMAKE) *
16. LIKE TO GET TO KNOW YOU WELL (DEMO RECORDED IN HOWARD’S FRONT ROOM) *
17. NO ONE IS TO BLAME (THE LONG MIX) (JANICE LONG BBC SESSION) **

DISC TWO (CD):

1. NO ONE IS TO BLAME (SINGLE MIX)
2. LIKE TO GET TO KNOW YOU WELL (INTERNATIONAL REMIX)
3. THINGS CAN ONLY GET BETTER (EXTENDED MIX)
4. LOOK MAMA (UK EXTENDED MIX) **
5. LIFE IN ONE DAY PT 1
6. LIFE IN ONE DAY PT 2
7. NO ONE IS TO BLAME (EXTENDED MIX)
8. LEARNING HOW TO LOVE *
9. BOOM BAP RESPITE ***
10. THE CHASE ***
11. NO ONE IS TO BLAME (LAMBS & PLANES MIX) *
12. BOUNCE RIGHT BACK (CAUSE & EFFECT REMIX)

* PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED
** PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED DIGITALLY
*** PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED REMASTERED

DISC THREE (DVD):

1. NO ONE IS TO BLAME (OLD GREY WHISTLE TEST BROADCAST 29TH JANUARY 1985)
2. THINGS CAN ONLY GET BETTER (OLD GREY WHISTLE TEST BROADCAST 29TH JANUARY 1985)
3. LOOK MAMA (OLD GREY WHISTLE TEST BROADCAST 29TH JANUARY 1985)
4. THINGS CAN ONLY GET BETTER (TOP OF THE POPS BROADCAST 21ST FEBRUARY 1985)
5. LOOK MAMA (WOGAN BROADCAST 24TH APRIL 1985)
6. NO ONE IS TO BLAME (WOGAN BROADCAST 7TH MARCH 1986)

PROMO VIDEOS
7. LIKE TO GET TO KNOW YOU WELL (US VERSION)
8. THINGS CAN ONLY GET BETTER
9. LOOK MAMA
10. LIFE IN ONE DAY
11. NO ONE IS TO BLAME
12. LIFE IN ONE DAY (ALTERNATE BROADCAST VERS.)

DISC FOUR: PICTURE DISC LP

SIDE ONE
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

SIDE TWO
1. AUTOMATON
2. IS THERE A DIFFERENCE?
3. ELEGY
4. SPECIALTY
5. WHY LOOK FOR THE KEY
6. HUNGER FOR THE FLESH

DISC FIVE: THE FARMYARD SESSIONS PLUS UNRELEASED AND REMASTERED TRACKS (CD)

1. THINGS CAN ONLY GET BETTER (EARLY VERSION) (FARMYARD SESSIONS)*
2. DREAM INTO ACTION (EARLY VERSION) (FARMYARD SESSIONS)*
3. NO ONE IS TO BLAME (EARLY VERSION) (FARMYARD SESSIONS)*
4. LOOK MAMA (EARLY VERSION) (FARMYARD SESSIONS)*
5. ASSAULT & BATTERY (EARLY VERSION) (FARMYARD SESSIONS)*
6. AUTOMATON (ROBOT MAN) (INSTRUMENTAL) (FARMYARD SESSIONS)*
7. IS THERE A DIFFERENCE? (EARLY VERSION) (FARMYARD SESSIONS)*
8. ELEGY (EARLY VERSION) (FARMYARD SESSIONS)*
9. SPECIALTY (EARLY VERSION) (FARMYARD SESSIONS)*
10. WHY LOOK FOR THE KEY? (EARLY VERSION) (FARMYARD SESSIONS)*
11. HUNGER FOR THE FLESH (EARLY VERSION) (FARMYARD SESSIONS)*
12. LIKE TO GET TO KNOW YOU WELL (ALTERNATIVE MIX)***
13. THINGS CAN ONLY GET BETTER (REMIXED)*
14. NO ONE IS TO BLAME (TV MIX)*
15. THINGS CAN ONLY GET BETTER (RADIO MIX)*
16. YOU JAZZY NORK!***

* PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED
*** PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED REMASTERED

DISC SIX: DVD

LAST WORLD DREAM – LIVE IN CONCERT
1. PEARL IN THE SHELL
2. YOU KNOW I LOVE YOU (DON’T YOU?)
3. LIKE TO GET TO KNOW YOU WELL
4. NO ONE IS TO BLAME
5. LIFE IN ONE DAY
6. LOOK MAMA
7. WILL YOU STILL BE THERE?
8. ALWAYS ASKING QUESTIONS
9. HIDE & SEEK
10. DREAM INTO ACTION
11. WHAT IS LOVE?
12. NEW SONG
13. THINGS CAN ONLY GET BETTER

Dream Into Action limited edition coloured vinyl

SIDE ONE
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

SIDE TWO
1. AUTOMATON
2. IS THERE A DIFFERENCE?
3. ELEGY
4. SPECIALTY
5. WHY LOOK FOR THE KEY
6. HUNGER FOR THE FLESH

Dream Into Action 2CD+DVD digipak deluxe

DISC ONE:

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. AUTOMATON
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
15. NO ONE IS TO BLAME (REMAKE) *
16. LIKE TO GET TO KNOW YOU WELL (DEMO RECORDED IN HOWARD’S FRONT ROOM) *
17. NO ONE IS TO BLAME (THE LONG MIX) (JANICE LONG BBC SESSION) **

DISC TWO:

1. NO ONE IS TO BLAME (SINGLE MIX)
2. LIKE TO GET TO KNOW YOU WELL (INTERNATIONAL REMIX)
3. THINGS CAN ONLY GET BETTER (EXTENDED MIX)
4. LOOK MAMA (UK EXTENDED MIX) **
5. LIFE IN ONE DAY PT 1
6. LIFE IN ONE DAY PT 2
7. NO ONE IS TO BLAME (EXTENDED MIX)
8. LEARNING HOW TO LOVE *
9. BOOM BAP RESPITE ***
10. THE CHASE ***
11. NO ONE IS TO BLAME (LAMBS & PLANES MIX) *
12. BOUNCE RIGHT BACK (CAUSE & EFFECT REMIX)

* PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED
** PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED DIGITALLY
*** PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED REMASTERED

DISC THREE:

1. NO ONE IS TO BLAME (OLD GREY WHISTLE TEST BROADCAST 29TH JANUARY 1985)
2. THINGS CAN ONLY GET BETTER (OLD GREY WHISTLE TEST BROADCAST 29TH JANUARY 1985)
3. LOOK MAMA (OLD GREY WHISTLE TEST BROADCAST 29TH JANUARY 1985)
4. THINGS CAN ONLY GET BETTER (TOP OF THE POPS BROADCAST 21ST FEBRUARY 1985)
5. LOOK MAMA (WOGAN BROADCAST 24TH APRIL 1985)
6. NO ONE IS TO BLAME (WOGAN BROADCAST 7TH MARCH 1986)

PROMO VIDEOS
7. LIKE TO GET TO KNOW YOU WELL (US VERSION)
8. THINGS CAN ONLY GET BETTER
9. LOOK MAMA
10. LIFE IN ONE DAY
11. NO ONE IS TO BLAME
12. LIFE IN ONE DAY (ALTERNATE BROADCAST VERS.)

Dream Into Action single CD remaster

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. AUTOMATON
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

55 responses to Howard Jones talks about the reissues of Human’s Lib and Dream Into Action

  1. Pingback:Howard Jones’ new album Transform | superdeluxeedition

  2. dazzler says:

    I got persuaded to buy Dream Into Action because it’s the better deal of the two concerning the addition of bonus material on the 2CD+1DVD deluxe edition. But why the hell why did they have to edit Learning How To Love? Record companies will never learn.

  3. PS says:

    First at all, I apologise for my English. I bought Human’s Lib Box Set Edition, everything is OK, but… While I was watching the DVD on TV, I noticed, that something is wrong on every video. There is one problem with video interlacing/deinterlacing (I don’t know how to call it). It was the first time, when I met with this problem. Is there anybody, who has the same problem? By the way, DVD Live in Japan has not this problem, it’s OK.

    • Peter says:

      Mine too. I think the frame rate of some videos are reduced. Actually, there is another visible visual defect called “combing” in some videos. Most of this defect are noticeable in Hide And Seek (for example: at 1:01:33, around his hands).

  4. John Archbell says:

    Couldn’t resist any longer..

    I’ve booked VIP to The Palladium, London in May. I couldn’t afford it a few weeks back when Row B were selling – but I got Row F today and a subsequent meet and greet with my idol of 1984 – HJ still is an idol of mine to this day,

    Hopefully I’ll get my remasters signed as well!!

    I cannot wait!

  5. Carlo D. says:

    Hi! finally I got the new reprints of ” Human’s Lib ” and ” Dream To Action ” I’m very happy with all this, I’d like so many albums of the 80s, only regret that some traces turned out to be respect to the vinyls I own of the lower quality era … as if the ” Cherry Red ” did not come in possession of the original masters … especially the 12 version of ” THINGS CAN ONLY GET BETTER (EXTENDED MIX) ” I do not find it up to the sound of the 12-inch vinyl, saying this … Merry Christmas to all

  6. Straker says:

    The key to a good interview is good questions. This had them in spades.

    Big fan of DBA, especially the single “Run to the Sun”, produced by a certain Mr H. Jones.

  7. AdamW says:

    Nice interview. (Though I will point out that there were other people doing solo live things with electronics around that time – Thomas Dolby, for instance – so not sure where he gets the idea that “[n]obody had done what I had done, live, with that sort of gear,” but it is impressive regardless.)

  8. elliott buckingham says:

    managed to score the vinyl reissues at £17 which is £10 cheaper than amazons ott price.

  9. steve says:

    I’m swithering on which set to get of both albums. May just wait a while and see if the price moves. Nice interview and obviously a touchy subject was avoided but it didn’t distract from the other questions.

  10. Ric McCauley says:

    Any plans for similar treatment for One to One, Cross That Line Or In the Running?

    • Robert says:

      Id’ second this question. Dream Into Action and Human’s Lib were absolute ground zero for my young developing taste in music, but over the years I have really come to appreciate One To One and Cross That Line. I’d love to see at least 2CD sets documenting those two, if their critical regard doesn’t merit the full box treatment.

  11. StevieB says:

    Seems very disingenuous to play down someone who wrote over half of the album that made you famous. It appears when fame called Jones took half the team behind his success (Bryant’s wife included) and scarpered into oblivion. OM!

    • David Cornyn says:

      I’m not sure this is the case. Someone else posted this link:

      http://mineforlife.blogspot.com/2009/06/mysterious-lyrics-of-howard-jones.html?m=1

      If you look at the comments, one of the last ones is from a girl who say she is Bill Bryant’s daughter. She states:

      “Although I hardly know Howard Jones, and I have never actually spoken to him about this, I can assure you that he has nothing but good and honourable reasons for cutting Bryant out of biographies etc., even though yes, the relationship did exist in the way it is described. I don’t think that any of what Bryant has stated is untrue. But it is in fact essential for Howard to have no connection or association whatsoever, and he should not have to. His reasons have nothing to do with money, credit or acknowledgement. Howard is a really good man, a nice guy, who has been put in a very difficult position by fame and history, by no choice of his own.”

      • Paul Sinclair says:

        That’s an interesting comment but it is as clear as mud!!

        • Chris Squires says:

          Mud, being the operative word as it all sounds as dark as hell. As ever the truth is probably somewhere in the middle and we will never know it. But there are sections in both sides story that make me shudder.
          A real shame, not saying they would have reached
          Dudgeon / John or Chambers / Williams territory but it was a promising start and something irreparable happened.
          Very sad for all concerned, no doubt.

          • Ken.e says:

            This is the details from the Bill Bryant site http://hunttheself.com/howard-jones/
            I am sure as was said earlier there are always two sides to the story. But the last sentence I would think may have been a significant sore spot. I always wondered what happened to his cowritter. When I first picked up Dream Into Action I was surprised to see Howard wrote all the tracks himself. He did a great job as well.

            Thanks for the great article. Two of my favorite albums of all time but I still have not pulled the trigger on buying one of these sets. If they had put in the coloured vinyl instead of a picture disc I would have been more likely to.

            Here is the details for the web site:

            Whilst a devotee of the Indian master Sree Sree Mentu Maharaj, Bill met a young student called Martin Jones, Howard Jones’s brother. Bill was working as an instrument maker in High Wycombe and Martin Jones joined the company for the summer break from University. Bill and Martin would regularly speak together and a strong friendship based on love developed between them. One day, Martin invited Bill to his house to meet and speak with one of his other brothers, Roy Jones. The meeting went extremely well and from it developed regular meetings at which Bill would talk to a small group of people on spiritual matters.

            The meetings ultimately became the catalyst for putting Bill’s words to music. Bill would provide the lyrics, Martin the music and Roy the vocals. From this small beginning came the songs ‘Conditioning’, ‘Equality’ and ‘What Is Love?’ songs that would later appear on Howard Jones‘s first album Humans Lib.

            It was inevitable that one day, Bill and Howard Jones, Martin and Roy’s brother, would eventually meet. Howard Jones attended one of Bill’s spiritual meetings and became a follower of Bill. Bill recalls Howard sitting on the floor listening to him speak day after day, night after night. Eventually, Howard asked if he could re-work the songs that his brothers, Martin and Roy, had first composed.

            Bill acknowledged that Howard Jones had a special talent for music and set out to bring Howard’s music together with his own lyrics to the wider public. To this end, Bill persuaded Howard to start playing live gigs in and around their hometown of High Wycombe. The group around Bill had increased in size, providing a ready audience for Howard’s music. Bill used the influence of the group to attract more supporters to Howard’s gigs. He also used the manpower and skills of the group to assist Howard in the logistics involved in the large number of gigs necessary to raise Howard’s profile in and around the London music scene. Bill, who shared his creative ideas with Howard, suggested that Jed Hoile, a member of the group that followed Bill, should perform with Howard on stage.
            Bill Bryant Howard Jones Best Man
            Bill Bryant, Best Man at Howard Jones’s Wedding

            For several years, Bill motivated, encouraged and guided Howard Jones to the brink of success. Bill was Howard Jones’s spiritual guide, activist, sponsor and best friend, each being best man for the other at their weddings. In due course, Howard attracted an experienced manager and promoter by the name of Dave Stopps, the promoter of the Friars Club in Aylesbury, England. As success beckoned, the relationship between Bill and Howard began to break down. Relations within the group supporting Bill and Howard became strained. What developed was later described by Bill as improper and should not have happened. Shortly before Howard’s first appearance on BBC Radio One’s Kid Jensen Show, Bill and Howard split. The majority of those people who had worked and stayed together over the years promoting Howard Jones departed Bill’s company and remained with Howard; including Bill’s then wife.

  12. cecil meulenberg says:

    Thanks for this interview Paul. i am looking out for those surround mixes by Stephen…

  13. Rob says:

    Great interview, Paul!

    I really hope those 5.1 mixes happen. I’d buy those immediately.

  14. David Cornyn says:

    I’m not a fan of Jones but read this link as it’s always good to see people passionate about their favourite music. However, I have to say I have become intrigued with the whole story between Howard and this Bill Bryant character. Clicking on some of the links people left led me to Bryant’s own website where he admits “What developed was later described by Bill as improper and should not have happened.” Sounds like there is an intriguing story left untold. Not sure whether Paul would think it appropriate to discuss it here but anyone know anything else?

  15. musicoloog says:

    Thanks for the interview, Paul!

    In the meantime my “Human’s Lib” box-set has arrived! They did a great job compiling ‘almost’ all tracks/versions that were released around the time “Human’s Lib” hit the charts…
    Almost all, as (again) there are a few tracks missing:
    (What’s a box-set without missing tracks…right?)

    1. What Is Love? (7″/original album version)
    The ‘Extended Version’ is on both CD1 and CD2 as track 2. With some proper software the original 7″/album version can easily be edited from the remastered extended version.

    2. Hide And Seek (7″ Version)
    Using the right software the original 7″ version can be edited from the remastered album version.

    3. Pearl In The Shell (Extended Mix) [unmixed]
    In fact an edit of the US promo 12″ Mix, to be found on “The 12″ Album”.

    4. Always Asking Questions [unmixed, cold ending]
    The full length version appears on “The 12″ Album”, but sequenced into ‘New Song’.
    (Some previously released HoJo compilations include (slightly) edited fade-out versions of ‘Always Asking Questions’.)

    5. Total Conditioning [unmixed, edited]
    A slightly edited version, to be found on “The 12″ Album”.

    6. What Can I Say? (Rough Mix)
    Originally released on the first cassette as track 5 (side b, track 2 – https://www.discogs.com/Howard-Jones-Howard-Jones/release/9499511). This version appears also on “The Very Best Of Howard Jones” (CD2.16).

    7. New Song (New Version) [Full Length]
    The full length version appears on “The 12″ Album”, sequenced into ‘What Is Love?’. The box set includes an early faded version (CD2.4), which has the acapella intro.

    8. Hide And Seek (Concert Version)
    Taken from HOW 3L (10″), recorded live at High Wycombe Town Hall, 22nd December 1983.

    9. New Song (Live)
    Taken from Risk 1 fanclub 7″, recorded live at High Wycombe Town Hall, 22nd December 1983.

    10. Don’t Always Look At The Rain (Live)
    Taken from Risk 1 fanclub 7″ and “Specially Selected Live Tracks” (bonus CD), recorded live at High Wycombe Town Hall, 22nd December 1983.

    11. What Can I Say? (Live)
    Taken from HOW 2T / SAM 183 (free 7″) and “Specially Selected Live Tracks” (bonus CD), recorded live The Marquee Club London, 20th September 1983.

    Both concerts at High Wycombe Twon Hall (22nd Dec. 1983) and at The Marquee Club (20th Sept. 1983) seem to be recorded. It would be great to have these concerts in full.

    • Neil says:

      Why would you want to edit the extended version of What Is Love? to get the (7″/original album version) when a remastered version is on The Very Best of Howard Jones from 2003.

      • musicoloog says:

        Not sure the versions on The Very Best Of Howard Jones are remastered. You can hear a difference, slightly, but it’s there. Editing the 12″ of the Super Deluxe Box Set gives you the exact same sound quality. (And I’m just such a freak… LOL :-) )
        But be honest, it’s a bit sloppy putting twice the extended version on a very comprehensive box-set, while some original 7″ versions omit, right?

        • Daneil says:

          What Is Love? (Extended Version) there is a difference between the version on disc 1 and 2, it’s slightly different around 2m52s for a few seconds it might take you a few listens to spot it. A 2018 remastered version of the original album/single version is available in FLAC form on 7digital.

          New Song (New Version) the version on the box set is the version originally released on the USA 12″ of “Things Can Only Get Better”.

    • Glenn says:

      Total Conditioning is included unmixed

  16. StephendC says:

    Great interview again.

    Had a quick chat with Howard a few years ago on a radio show where he advised me on the synth that was hiding in my loft. Got some great advice and a very good price for it.

    Top man!

  17. Ken.e says:

    Are the other Howard Jones WEA records getting a similar treatment?

    These are two of my favorite albums but I struggle with the price tag on the Super Deluxe Editions. There are things like the picture discs and cassette (because I don’t have a player) that just don’t appeal to me.

    I would love to see the Japanese show however.

    Great interview however, thanks so much Paul!

  18. Schu says:

    Awesome stuff Paul. As always, thanks for doing these. It’s always great to hear the background on how these sets are researched/collected, and the decisions made to include or not include material. Can’t wait to hear these two HJ’s sets.

  19. Michael says:

    Enjoyed the interview Paul. Good questions. And thank you Howard if you reading this about the support you do on behalf of animals.

  20. SimonP says:

    Do we really need to scroll past that huge tracklisting yet again? CherryRed have 20% today on their website, but the SDEs are conveniently out of stock. It does mean that the 3 disc editions are down to £16.80 though.

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      Life is hard when you have to scroll past a track listing…

      • SimonP says:

        It is when it’s that bleedin’ long and it’s about the hundredth time you’ve done it! ;-)

        Just noticed I failed to put the word off after 20% above, too, so I can have a go at myself while I’m here.

        • Paul Sinclair says:

          Third time and also I try not to assume everyone has seen/read everything :) That said, I a ‘collapsible’ track listing might be a good idea, so might do that.

          • CJ says:

            I appreciated the track listing being here, because I keep debating what edition to get, and while I could have easily searched for the other articles, it was super-convenient to have the track lists right here to make it easier to find them. So I will be the voice for the other side, saying that having them here–even if it’s the third time posting them–was very much appreciated.

    • Neil says:

      If you click comments at the top of the post it skips past all the info straight to the comments.

  21. John Archbell says:

    “I didn’t like that amount of attention, it was too much attention. I remember slightly complaining once to Paul Conroy and he said, “Don’t you ever do that. There’s people would die to be in your position.” And, I thought, “Yes, he’s right.”

    Sound advice. HJ has obviously never forgotten Paul Conroy’s guidance – Howard sounds like a really nice guy as well as a synth genius.

    Great interview Paul.

  22. garax says:

    I loved this album as a kid growing up – it was incredibly incredibly important to me – not least him referencing sleeping with guys which I just found entirely shocking but also fantastically comforting to hear someone actually say it in such a matter of fact way.

    The William Bryant stuff though – that just reads like he totally shut that subject down. What on earth? I thought it was really interesting he said 2 or 3 songs – like – come on – he pretty much co wrote the album – and for my money Howard never did another album to touch it so this guy – he seems to have been important. I would love at least to understand how that writing came about – and if he regrets not writing more with him – the personal aspect of it is none of my business – but there is clearly an untold story here.

  23. Christopher Old says:

    Fantastic article as always. Thank you so very much Paul and Howard for all of your phenomenal work! I appreciate it immensely, made my day.

  24. Adrian says:

    Thanks to You and Howard for the interview. Fascinating reading. Humans Lib and Dream into Action are two of my favorite albums from that period. I must of played them to death. I really love the new super deluxe box sets with all the different versions. Bit disappointed with the quality of the Last World Dream DVD. I just don’t get it. It looks like it was lifted off VHS, yet Warner issued a version of Last World Dream on Laserdisc in Japan so a better version existed somewhere. Oh well … better than nothing I guess. The Live in Japan DVD is a bit better quality.

  25. -SG- says:

    Great interview, thank you again Paul.
    Now regarding Bill Bryant, more can be read here:
    http://hunttheself.com/howard-jones/

    • Rob says:

      “What developed was later described by Bill as improper and should not have happened. ”

      The mind boggles.

      • -SG- says:

        Just to be fair, I actually have a lot of respect for Howard Jones as a musician. However, the Bill Bryant story is fascinating though, as his influence, yet really essential to everything that happened, now seems to be really invisible, and virtually skipped over to the point of his reference in Discogs being incorrectly referred to a Motown session player. Perhaps like early Pet Shop Boys and Bobby O there was a real vibe going on early that played an essential role, that just didn’t work and got weird once the “big time” arrived.

        • Paul Sinclair says:

          As I admitted to Howard, I was slightly oblivious to the collaboration, and expected him to talk warmly about the partnership. But is probably apparent, he had no desire at all to discuss and it was the only slightly awkward moment during our chat.

          • Eric says:

            Don’t beat yourself up about it…..the subject is very much off-limits with HoJo, though I was never told why and I never felt the urge to delve any deeper. As others say, it casts a shadow over the album and that period of his career, and moreso when HoJo tries to rewrite history and reduce the part Bryant played in getting him to where he was able to make Human’s Lib the classic it became.

            EG.

  26. Ian says:

    ‘Dream into Acton’ would have been a so much better title!

    I’m reminded of a story Boo Hewerdine once told about when The Bible were supporting China Crisis and a letter had fallen off the marquee at one venue, so that it read ‘Chin Crisis’. This inspired an on-the-road game of coming up with the best improvements that would be made to a band or album through the loss of one letter. ‘The Grateful Dad’ was one favourite, and ultimately it led to the title of Chris Difford’s album ‘The Last Temptation of Chris’. But I think that ‘Dream into Acton’ could be the best yet!

    P.S. I’m honestly not trying to pick fault with what is a fascinating interview with Howard, but the Pro One was rather more than a sequencer: it was the monophonic sibling of the Prophet Five, made by Sequential Circuits, and a contributor to many legendary electronic basslines. I always preferred the sound of analogue synths like the Pro One to the digital ones that followed them.

  27. Chris says:

    Thanks for this, Paul.

    A little bit of a delay in the _Human’s Lib_ getting to me, but it’ll come next week I think. And the _Dream Into Action_ box got here this morning.

  28. Rob says:

    Hmm Bill Bryant seems to be a sore point? Maybe they fell out?

  29. Craig says:

    Great and informative interview Paul! Thanks for doing it!

    Still would like an all CD/DVD version for those of us who don’t want/care about vinyl so we could get all the mixes and Live in Japan show, etc.

  30. Mark Bumgardner says:

    Thanks for this. Great read.

  31. Kauwgompie says:

    Great interview, thanks Paul! Always love that insight. Interesting that he was very much involved with these box sets. Two so so box sets of two amazing albums. I will absolutely buy the 5.1 mixes if that actually materializes. Would be excellent to have these in 5.1. They should have obviously included those in the box sets for this price but anyway, that’s an old discussion.

  32. Keith Ainsworth says:

    I’m really enjoying the Human’s Lib box. Great songwriting, it sounds superb and I’m enjoying all the various versions. It was great to finally get Live in Japan on DVD too. I’d been chasing after the VHS tape on ebay and never got it. Hope there will be a full 5.1 mix available at some point.

  33. Steven Roberts says:

    Great interview, Paul.

    And great to hear that Howard is open to the idea of releasing material in 5.1…let’s hope it isn’t too long before he get’surround (!) to doing it.

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