The Very Best of Howard Jones is a collection of Howard Jones's biggest hits from 1983 through 2003. It also contains one new track, "Revolution Of The Heart", in its original form. It would later be altered and featured on his 2005 album, "Revolution Of The Heart". The Very Best Of Howard Jones also came with a bonus disc of b-sides. The two-disc set featuring 36 synth-pop hits includes "New Song", "Everlasting Love", and the Phil Collins-produced version of "No One Is To Blame".
This CD was initially recorded in 1993 and was reissued in 2001. That is fortunate for those of us who missed it the first time around, for Paul Coletti has produced one of the finest recorded examples of viola playing to be found. Coupled with the sensitive and thoughtful piano playing of Leslie Howard, this makes for benchmark renditions of these musical gems. Hyperion's sound is gorgeous and perfectly balanced throughout. The listener is drawn into the music making, with all its expressive and tonal nuances.
After a three-year wait, this album was a bit of a disappointment. Musically, it is his best yet, but it lacked a certain energy that the others had. The songs seemed to replace vivacity with length. The album didn't do very well on the charts; the number 13 single (U.S.), "Everlasting Love," was the biggest hit. Ironically, the best song on this album, "Out of Thin Air," does not use a single synthesizer but instead is a solo piano piece performed by Jones himself. After all those years of electronic music, a song featuring a real instrument is a welcome relief.
British singer/songwriter Howard Jones was a glinting jewel caught in the avalanche of synthesized music that overwhelmed the pop scene in the '80s. Jones had a true gift for crafting gleaming melodic hooks that make his hits some of the most memorable of the era. He used synthesizers not because they were "in," but because he could use them to create a delicious soundscape that couldn't be created without them. (Later in his career, he proved that he didn't need the electronics to write compelling pop music.) This 12" Album was released in support of his 1984 effort Humans Lib. It includes remixes of four of the hits from that record, including a previously unreleased extended mix of "Pearl in the Shell" and a "new version" of the now-classic "New Song," which features a reworked bass run and a new piano solo. The 12" Album also introduced the catchy "Always Asking Questions." The enclosed "international mix" of "Like to Get to Know You Well" (which was to appear on his next album, Dreams Into Action) is given an appealing reggae-flavored steel band backing.