Peak UK Chart Position: #2 in January 1984.

Happy birthday today to synth pioneer Howard Jones – born John Howard Jones, in Southampton, Hampshire, England – who turns 62. Influenced by the likes of OMD, Keith Emerson, and Stevie Wonder, he first appeared on the UK charts in 1983 with “New Song” which started a string of nine top twenty hits. His debut album “Human’s Lib” went straight to the top of the charts early in 1984, spending 32 consecutive weeks in the top forty, and ultimately selling over 600,000 copies. More recently, he toured Australia with Kim Wilde back in November 2016, and has a ‘songs and stories’ tour of his own planned for March of this year.

Quick facts:

  • “What Is Love?” originally entered the charts in November 1983, steadily climbing through the Christmas period before peaking in its eighth week.
  • The song was originally entitled “Love?” on a demo tape recorded in 1982, which Jones made available at his gigs.
  • Jones’ biggest American success was “No One Is To Blame” which reached number four in the Billboard Hot 100.
  • His other American top ten hit, “No One Is To Blame”, saw a 2013 revival on the US Billboard dance charts with assistance from French DJ Cedric Gervais.

Here is his appearance on the all-star 1984 Christmas special of Top of the Pops, complete with live vocal, on “What Is Love?”.

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