It was in 1983 that Howard Jones first burst upon the contemporary music scene with his very English songwriting, pioneering synthesizers and thought provoking lyrics. He set out his manifesto in his very first single ‘ New Song’. The lyrics called on the listener to challenge their preconceived ideas, to see both sides and ‘throw off your mental chains’. New Song was recently used in a pivotal scene in ‘Breaking Bad’ where Aaron Paul’s character Jessie Pinkman questions if he wants to ‘play by the rules’. New Song peaked at number 3 in the UK singles charts.
Along with ‘New Song’, The first two albums, ‘Humans Lib’ and ‘Dream into Action’, brought Howard a host of hits including ‘Things Can Only Get Better’, ‘What is Love?’, ‘Pearl In The Shell’, ‘Like to Get To know You Well’, ‘Hide And Seek’ (performed at Live Aid), ‘Look Mama’ and ‘No One Is To Blame’, which reached No.1 in the US. Howard has sold over 8 million albums across the globe and is one of a select group of British artists who have comprehensively ‘broken America’.
Howard’s Synthesiser driven debut influenced a new generation of electronic and dance musicians. Widely regarded as a pioneer of synths such as the Roland Juno 60, Jupiter 8 and Moog Prodigy he has worked with contemporary electronic artists such as Ferry Corsten, Eric Prydz and most recently Cedric Gervais. Howard enjoyed 14 weeks in the billboard dance chart top 40 in 2013 with his collaboration with Cedric on a new version of ‘Things Can Only Get Better’. Howard continues to operate at the forefront of music technology in both his live shows and productions.
Howard Jones has earned a reputation within the music industry for pioneering the ‘independent artist DIY’ approach, developing the essential connection between artist and fans. Howard was the first artist to make a recording of that nights gig available on CD to purchase. The CD would even feature digital artwork of photos taken during the gig. His latest project ‘Engage’ is entirely music fan funded with money raised via studio visits, the creation of personalized ‘Piano Solos’ composed specifically for fans and a unique “arthouse” interactive book.
Howard Jones continues to tour across the world every year performing to hundreds of thousands of music fans. His current high tech band features Jonathan Atkinson on electric drums and Robbie Bronnimann on sequencing and additional keyboards. Recent highlights include 80+ shows in 2015 alone including his new multimedia show ‘Engage’ at The indigo at the 02’ in London, The Saban Theatre in LA and at the Gramercy in New York City. The ground-breaking multi-media show incorporated specially commissioned visuals, projected both in front and behind the band and invited the audience to participate through smart phone apps, customised clothing, and fluorescent makeup.
This year also found Howard performing numerous intimate solo shows entitled ‘The Songs – The Piano – The Stories.’ The shows take the audience on a personal trip through Howard's 30 year music career. Many of his best known songs were composed on his favorite instrument; the piano. At these shows Howard shares behind the scenes stories and reveals the inspiration behind the songs.
Men Without Hats:
The new wave synth pop collective Men Without Hats were formed in 1980 by brothers Ivan and Stefan Doroschuk. Ivan was the leader of the group, writing the majority of the songs and providing the lead vocals; Stefan was the guitarist; and other members changed frequently throughout the course of the group's career. They independently released their debut EP, Folk of the '80s, in 1980; it was reissued the following year by Stiff in Britain. During 1982, the band consisted of Ivan, Stefan, another brother Colin Doroschuk (keyboards), along with drummer Allan McCarthy; this is the lineup that recorded Men Without Hats' 1982 debut album, Rhythm of Youth. Taken from their debut, the single "The Safety Dance" became a major hit, peaking on the American charts at number three in 1983. Driven by an insistent three-chord synthesizer riff, the song was one of the biggest synth pop hits of the new wave era.