Thursday, October 13, 2022

"The Prisoner" by Howard Jones

Song#:  3952
Date:  07/01/1989
Debut:  89
Peak:  30
Weeks:  13
Genre:  Pop, Rock

Pop Bits:  Jones earned his fifth Pop Top 20 single with "Everlasting Love" (#12), the first single from his fourth studio album Cross That Line. The song would do very well at AC where it became his second #1. Although the single performed well, it wasn't really doing much for the album, which stalled at #65. Hoping to provide a boost, this second single was issued out. It would be able to crack the Pop Top 30 and get to #24 Modern Rock, but it didn't do much to further album sales. With those results, no further singles would be issued out from the album.

ReduxReview:  This album opening track was a good choice for a single, but it may have not been the best one to follow up the bouncy "Everlasting Love." It was a dark, brooding track with thick production that didn't necessarily pair well with Jones' previous AC #1 hit. I was even a bit surprised it made the Pop Top 30. I was happy about that because I loved the tune, but it seemed a tad heavy for pop radio at the time. The track sounded great cranked up. It was also unusual that for the first couple passes of the chorus, the beat stopped and it was driven by a repetitive keyboard. After the second chorus, the song comes to a halt and a crunchy guitar enters. It was all quite well done and it is still one of my favorite HoJo tracks.

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  Jones would return in 1992 with his fifth album In the Running. Its first single, "Lift Me Up," would crack the Pop Top 40 (#32) while getting to #10 AC. It would be Jones' final single to reach either chart. Despite the single getting some attention, it wasn't enough to promote album sales and it became Jones' first to miss the US Album chart. The results would bring an end to his association with his long time label Elektra. Jones would continue to tour and record indie albums over the years. He would get back on the UK Album chart after a 20-year absence with his 2019 album Transform. It would reach #49.


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