Tuesday, September 24, 2019

"You Know I Love You...Don't You?" by Howard Jones

Song#:  2901
Date:  10/18/1986
Debut:  69
Peak:  17
Weeks:  16
Genre:  Synthpop

Pop Bits:  Following his successful second album, the platinum Dream Into Action, Jones unexpectedly scored his biggest US hit with a new version of the album track "No One Is to Blame." The song would reach #4 Pop and #1 AC and it would be included on a stop-gap EP titled Action Replay that made it to #34. The hit gave Jones time to finish up his third studio album One to One. This first single got pushed out and initially it start to do quite well, but then progress slowed and the song stopped inside the Pop Top 20. It was also a minor entry at Rock getting to #46.

ReduxReview:  I loved this song when it came out. It was an excellent jam with a memorable synth riff and chorus. It chugged along at a frantic pace and was an exciting tune. I thought for sure this was an easy Top 10 entry and for a while it looked like that was going to happen. But then it petered out in the Top 20. I was surprised. I'm not sure why it didn't do better. My guess is that "No One Is to Blame" pushed him in different direction and folks who loved that tune weren't all that interested in a charging synthpop track. On the bright side though, the sections of the song with the synth riff got used quite a bit as intro/outro music during televised sporting events. I especially remember hearing it a lot during basketball games coming in and out of halftime reports and commercials. Hopefully Jones made a few bucks off of that. In my opinion, this should have been a much bigger hit.

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  With a few minor exceptions, Jones played all the instruments (usually keyboards and drum machines) on his first two albums himself. He had producer Rupert Hine on board for both to help shape the music. For One to One, Jones got an opportunity to switch things up. Famed producer Arif Mardin (Aretha Franklin, Chaka Khan) was available and wanted to work with Jones and Jones jumped at the chance. While Jones will still supply a lot of the keyboard/synth/drum machine work, Mardin brought in several musicians to expand Jones' sound. Even a few famous folks helped out including Nile Rodgers (guitar), Gary Burton (vibraphone), and Steve Ferrone (drums). One of the songs, "A Little Bit of Snow," even got an actual string arrangement. It was a positive experience for Jones who would continue to evolve his sound over his next couple of albums.


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