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Howard Jones / Best: 1983-2017

New 3CD compilation offers career overview

Cherry Red have recently acquired the Warners back catalogue of Howard Jones and in July will put out their first release, a three-CD compilation called Best 1983-2017.

This was compiled and annotated by Howard himself, although in SDE’s opinion the artist doing these things does not always deliver the optimum result (see the Phil Collins reissues).

The big claim to fame with this new retrospective is that it spans Howard’s entire career, so inevitably the first CD is hit-heavy, while most of the second disc’s content will only be well known to those who’ve stayed in touch with Howard’s newer music by going to his shows and ordering albums direct from his website (where he continues to issue them via his own Dtox label).

The third CD here is technically a ‘bonus disc’ which was only previously available as a DVD with the interactive book edition of 2015’s Engage. You do get an ‘exclusive’ bonus remix – You’re The Buddha (The Robbie Bronnimann Mix).

While it’s obviously not up-to-date, it’s hard to make a case for this being better than 2003’s two-disc The Very Best Of which gathered A-sides and B-sides, but no doubt Cherry Red are keeping content like that (B-sides) close to their chest, for future releases. Howard did a great job five or six years ago, licensing his music from Warners and putting out his own box sets (see this review from the early days of SDE!) so Cherry Red are going to have to work hard to better them. My guess is that they will work through each album one at a time, and deliver individual expanded deluxe sets.

‘Best’ 1983-2017 will be released on 28 July 2017. 150 signed copies (stingy!) were briefly available via the Cherry Red website, but went very quickly, as you’d expect.

Compare prices and pre-order

5013929170735

Howard Jones

Best: 1983 - 2017 (3Cd)

Shop Price GBP Stock
Amazon de 6LP coloured vinyl box 13.24
Amazon usa 6LP coloured vinyl box 14.64
Amazon ca 6LP coloured vinyl box 16.52
Amazon uk 6LP coloured vinyl box 14.43
Amazon fr 6LP coloured vinyl box 14.48
Amazon it 6LP coloured vinyl box 18.95
Amazon es 6LP coloured vinyl box 16.49
JPC de 6LP coloured vinyl box 18.95
HMV uk 6LP coloured vinyl box 16.99
Currency:

TRACK LIST

DISC ONE:
1. THINGS CAN ONLY GET BETTER
2. NO ONE IS TO BLAME
3. WHAT IS LOVE?
4. NEW SONG
5. LIKE TO GET TO KNOW YOU WELL
6. PEARL IN THE SHELL
7. HIDE & SEEK
8. EVERLASTING LOVE
9. LOOK MAMA
10. LIFE IN ONE DAY
11. SPECIALTY
12. ALL I WANT
13. YOU KNOW I LOVE YOU… DON’T YOU?
14. LITTLE BIT OF SNOW
15. THE PRISONER
16. WILL YOU STILL BE THERE?

DISC TWO:
1. LIFT ME UP
2. CITY SONG
3. ONE LAST TRY
4. COOKIN’ IN THE KITCHEN
5. NOTHING TO FEAR
6. YOU’RE THE BUDDHA
7. IF YOU LOVE
8. LET THE PEOPLE HAVE THEIR SAY
9. JUST LOOK AT YOU NOW
10. REVOLUTION OF THE HEART
11. THE PRESENCE OF OTHER
12. SOMEONE YOU NEED
13. SOON YOU’LL GO
14. ORDINARY HEROES
15. JOY
16. THE HUMAN TOUCH
17. EAGLE WILL FLY AGAIN

DISC THREE: BONUS DISC
1. BACK IN YOUR LIFE (Acoustic Live)
2. BUILDING OUR OWN FUTURE (Acoustic Live)
3. CITY SONG (Acoustic Live)
4. NO ONE IS TO BLAME (Acoustic Live)
5. EVERLASTING LOVE (Acoustic Live)
6. JUST LOOK AT YOU NOW (Electric Live)
7. DON’T WANNA FIGHT ANYMORE (Electric Live)
8. LIKE TO GET TO KNOW YOU WELL/COOKIN’ IN THE KITCHEN (Mash Up Live)
9. YOU’RE THE BUDDHA (The Robbie Bronnimann Mix)

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42 responses to Howard Jones / Best: 1983-2017

  1. Auntie Sabrina says:

    As Howard is involved, there should be no quibbles regarding the sound quality then.

  2. elliott buckingham says:

    brilliant sleeve art but as you say not much past cd 1 worth a look in. I did buy the reissue from dtox in the box sets and the sound quality is amazing. but I will wait for expanded editions of the 1st 2 albums not that I think they could put much more on that was on the 12″ collections box set. also a crime that the best b-side ever released isn’t included ie bounce right back

    • Neil says:

      Bounce Right Back is on the very best of from 2003 and Dream Into Action so there is no reason to include it on this as it’s a singles compilation though i have no idea why Specialty is on here. The sound was good on the dtox box sets but they were let down by those track marker errors on the remix disc and Human’s Lib which were flagged up at the time of release but totally ignored.

    • Phil says:

      If you are a fan all cds are worth listening to.Strange comment.

  3. Tim-meh says:

    Artwork on sale at Athena.

  4. Lenny K. says:

    Still waiting for a CD release of the UK 12″ of “Look Mama” :-(

  5. Daniel ( from Berlin ) says:

    the content is not really interesting for me.
    sorry. i like the first 2 albums extremely but after that i lost my focus in his music…
    i’ll wait for a box set like the “tomb of memories” box with some alternate mixes
    of well-known songs and album tracks.
    Paul you should call Howard Jones and offering your help with a 4 CD box.

  6. Jon says:

    I’ve been waiting years for proper reissues which include all b-sides and remixes (and maybe an unreleased song or two)? Although I wish they had started with the albums first, I will be buying this even if it leaves off some singles.

  7. Jon says:

    The singles left off: Equality (South African Single), Other People Than Us, I.G.Y (International Geophysical Year), Angels & Lovers, Tomorrow is Now, Slip Away, Do You Feel Scared and Straight Ahead.

  8. Jan says:

    Interesting fact… He offeed me £20 for his own record once.
    I got him to sign it instead. Still got it.

    This is a bit disappointing with no 12″ mixes. Here’s hoping that comes along.

  9. Paul English says:

    Nice set – but agree the 2003 Very Best Of was pretty great – aside from omitting Pearl In The Shell and Look Mama.

    Re: the DTOX box sets

    Had to settle for the Tour Edition of Human’s Lib / Dream Into Action so missing the third live CD. What’s it like?

    The 12” Album / Action Replay set is good but the indexing issue on the bonus disc is annoying – had to fix myself via Audacity and burn a CDR. The fact that it was never acknowledged by the label is frustrating.

    The third box is excellent.

    • Paul E. says:

      @Paul English…same issue with the 12″ “Risk” CD. I’m too lazy to adjust the files though. Can I borrow your .cue file ha ha!

    • Tony Clarke says:

      What are the tracks on that bonus disc? I’ve got it, but not sure which one it is!

  10. Marcel Rijs says:

    For those who are into it for the music: cd2 is arguably better than cd1. Sure, cd1 is more familiar, but Howard’s output past-1980’s is even more melodic and catchy. All IMHO of course, but still.

  11. Philip Armstrong says:

    What’s with the cover art! Howard is no way as electronic sounding as what the cover art makes him and his music overall out to be! It would have been fine on his art for the engage project he involved himself with a few years back (with which 2 of these songs are taken) as that was totally electronically produced making it electronic at its best, along with the songs from his 2005 and Human’s Lib (his first release) being pretty electronic. But the majority of tracks and albums, certainly weren’t that. What is Speciality doing on here instead of ‘Bounce Right Back’. It would have been nice to include – ‘We Make The Weather’, ‘Tears To Tell’ and ‘Two Souls’, due to each of them being without any doubt all single releases, along with ‘Two Souls’ and ‘Angels and Lovers’ or how’s about ‘Cross That Line’ or ‘Powerhouse’ as they were both out as singles (‘Powerhouse’ would be a more in keeping inclusion to, whereby it’d be more fitting where the final design chosen for this compilation artwork is concerned. It is a good career overview overall, though does miss some of the singles I outline above! Glad to see the ‘Eddie The Eagle song’ on here, as without that – this best of certainly would be even more incomplete for sure. Cd 3 is a bit short and sweet, even though it is nice to have some acoustic songs included. Couldn’t there be live recordings besides, along with some rarities or b sides to help give cd 3 more bulk and make it a slightly more worthy Howard Jones career spanning compilation album. There are some nice inclusions, like ‘One Last Try’ and ‘The Presence of Other’, in spite of them both being non singles to name a few more examples that Howard and his record companies over the years had out as singles during his last 30 plus years of recording and releasing class tunes and albums.

    • Gareth Pugh says:

      Powerhouse ended up being promo only and I don’t recall Cross That Line being a single? Fresh Air Waltz nearly was but then WEA cut the CTL campaign short after The Prisoner. That album’s tour never reached the UK, sadly.

  12. Shawn says:

    Indeed, there is much to explore in HJ’s post-hits years. Worthwhile though not quite capturing the glory of the first two albums but then again, what artist manages that feat? As for this comp, smart move by the label to start with a set such as this but here’s hoping for some nice expanded reissues (preferred over a “tomb” box but I’d take either one).

    And as for an autograph, admittedly not keeping up with his private release issues, I tripped into a copy of “Working In The Backroom” in a used bin for all of $4.99 (USD). Pleased to see when I investigated further that it was an autographed copy!

    • Chris Squires says:

      Where a “Tomb of memories” style box would be useful is that Howard’s and Paul’s solo career were almost mirror’s of each other (as, curiously, was Nik Kershaw’s). Great and defining opening album, decent, accessible, successful second album then a tailing off.

      So a 4 disc set would be ideal. the first to cover Human’s Lib and the 12″ album, the second disc to cover Dream into Action and the 3rd and 4th to span the best and most interesting pieces of the rest of the career.

      (Swap Human Racing and The Riddle and you have the perfect Nik Kershaw 4 Cd set too….).

      Nik, Howard and Paul pretty much define what I think of as the 1980s (chuck in Japan, Wham, FGTH and TinTin and it’s right there).

      • Daniel ( from Berlin ) says:

        thats 100% right chris.
        all 3 artists made 2 pop albums with great melodies and synth sounds
        and then all 3 turned to more rock-pop style with regular instruments
        and lost their great success they had before.
        the same was with a-ha – 2 wonderful pop albums – then half-rock oriented 3rd album
        and then the creepy 4th album. ( my “creepy” exclude 1st single “crying in the rain” ).
        that was the first AND last album that i bought without listen before.
        i remember i was so shocked and disappointed at home
        and finally learned my lesson: never buy a pig in a poke

  13. Omar says:

    I have the d-tox boxsets and love them. As far as this compilation goes (would’ve loved a disc of 12″ mixes).

  14. alan hansen says:

    no “I.G.Y.” = quibble! an audiophile and good friend of mine opined that once an artist has released a hits and/or best-of set, all subsequent similar sets should include as a minimum all of the tracks on those previous one(s) – this is a simple courtesy to collectors and fans. i could not agree more.

  15. dazzler says:

    Great to hear Cherry Red will probably rerelease the Howard Jones backcatalogue. Howard himself did a great job a few years ago but his expanded boxes were quite expensive, difficult to purchase and already out of order. The b-sides of the first two albums were missing too (although they had been included on the bonusdisc of the 2003 compilation The Very Best Of).

    The new 3CD compilation sounds interesting enough to me because I lost touch with his work after Cross That Line (1989). I don’t know if the 3rd CD is a must have. I like the tracklist of the first disc (altough I would go for a chronological order) because it’s the first compilation that includes Little Bit of Snow and the limited released single Will You Stil Be There. But what the hell is Specialty doing there? It was left out on the original US vinyl release of Dream into Action together with Why Look for the Key in favour of Like to Get to Know You Well and Bounce Right Back. If any albumtrack of Dream into Action deserves an inclusion on this Best Of it should be the brilliant Why Look for the Key in my opinion.

  16. Ralph says:

    Never cared a bit for Mr. Jones, who like Nik Kershaw simply happens to use Keyboards here and there but doesn’t even come Close to the electronic Spirit of the League or OMD and others.

  17. memoryboy says:

    Howard Jones remastered all his albums with his participation years ago, I do hope those remasters are the ones used here, because they are excellent. I bought all those reissues myself off his website. I think this 3-Disc set looks great!

  18. mike says:

    Baffled by most the comments. Its a taster for the new deal, if you dont like it, buy his curated earlier reissues or the 2003 gh set, which together had 99% of his output so far. Sure there will be more releases to follow as there wouldnt been such publicity for the deal otherwise. Its his tracklist choice, so whether or not it includes the Peruvian 10″ remix of Bounce Right Back is largely irrelevant.

  19. Barbara Steele says:

    “…so Cherry Red are going to have to work hard…”

    Heh. Heh heh. Heh heh heh. Heh heh heh heh. Heh heh heh. Heh heh. Heh.

  20. elliott buckingham says:

    i wonder which version of no one is too blame is being used the original or the 1 with phil Collins on drums

  21. Todd R. says:

    The cover image seems to be Mr. Jones becoming the Automaton he sang about on DREAM INTO ACTION. :) Thankfully his performances are far far from robotic. Would love to have a recording (live or otherwise) of his Careless Whisper (George Michael) that he’s recently included in his acoustic sets. Hoping he might be giving that a nod on the upcoming RETRO FUTURA tour of the US (July/Aug 2017).

  22. Omar says:

    This would be my version. Disc 3 would contain all the essential 12″ mixes. That way it would be the first proper HJ retrospective to have all the major ext. mixes. Here we go:

    Disc 3

    1. New Song (ext. version)
    2. What Is Love (long version)
    3. Hide & Seek (orchestral version)
    4. Pearl In The Shell (US 12″)
    5. Like To Get To Know You Well (international mix)
    6. Things Can Only Get Better (extended)
    7. Look Mama (extended version)
    8. Life In One Day (part 1)
    9. No One Is To Blame (extended mix)
    10. All I Want (ext. mix)
    11. Everlasting Love (808 mix)

    • pinkfloyd says:

      super! will buy just for your Disc 3!

    • Neil says:

      Strange that you would omit the long version of Hide & Seek in favour of the orchestral version.

      • Omar says:

        Always felt the orchestral was more interesting than the standard 12″ which was an extension of the standard version. I know the long version was the official 12″ mix though.

  23. Michel Bendichou says:

    Yet again, no vinyl?

    And the cover is a rip off from UK Subs’ Diminished Responsibility.

    :¬p

  24. mike says:

    Now I have received my copy, very intriguing that if his back catalogue was up for sale, he allowed Cherry Red to purchase, over himself. I suppose 1) he might not have had the cash, 2) thinks he has made all he can via the DTox licencing from Warners earlier, or 3) might not care about ownership. Any thoughts?

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