Sunday, July 17, 2016

Howard Jones - Dream Into Action & Action Replay - 1985-86

My favorite of Howard Jones albums, this one reminds me of my youth in Chicago.  It came out when I was in Junior High, and I had the cassette of Action Replay.  At the time it wasn't one of my favorites, but it was always a go-to when I was looking for something "normal" to listen to.

As I've aged, I have grown to respect the work that Howard did in the 80s.  Yes, it was Psuedo-New Wave Radio Pop, but it was all well written.  He worked with a number of talented producers and musicians, including Phil Collins, that helped to give true heart and life to his work.  Although some of the songs aren't too interesting, I can't say anything bad about them lyrically, their melodies aren't that bad, and the production was always tight.  He is a true artist and master at what he does.

I saw him live in 1999 in Chicago with Human League and Culture Club.  All three bands were great, but Howard was the only one who went out there without pretense, and just to have a good time.  He didn't dress up flashy, he didn't have the wild hair, and he was smiling the entire time.  He even brought his teenage son out on stage for a couple of songs.

I don't know how else to put it other than the guy is simply GENUINE. And I love that about him.


  1. I once saw Howard Jones play a small club, Slims in San Francisco. Halfway through the show the sequencer malfunctioned, about 45 minutes later he decided to go on and play all the parts of the songs manually... It was awesome. I had heard about his ability but there he was doing it all live. The group of about 50 of us clapped and sang along for the rest of the evening. Mind you, this was sometime around 1993 and no one cared about Howard Jones anymore, well I did , and was glad to finally be old enough to see him in concert even if it meant going alone. About 4 years earlier he was top 40 and playing arenas, now here he was playing to 50 HOJO fans: a lot of people would be bitter but not Mr. Jones, he was about as down to earth and real as you could get. His parents even manned the merchandise booth. I feel so lucky to have seen him, and he has my complete respect.

  2. "Look Mama" is still an awesome song !!! So, it's good that it's here in both versions!!!

    I was lucky enough to have seen him live a year ago and I agree with both of you that he is a phenomenal, unpretentious artist!

  3. Howard Jones was my first concert at the tender age of 15, during his tour for One To One. His show was incredible- I especially remember his percussionist, Trevor Morais, who was particularly impressive that evening.

    Then I got to see him perform Human's Lib at Irving Plaza in NYC a couple years ago and he was equally impressive. Great set with amazing energy and awesome video backdrops. I'm so pleased to see him still going thirty years later with the same energy and skills.

    Thanks for sharing these!

  4. Hello, any chance for re-up please: Howard Jones - Dream Into Action - 1985, sadly down.
    thanks best regards