One of the leading lights of the 80’s synth-pop movement, Howard Jones makes his Rockport debut armed with vintage new wave smash hits like “No One Is to Blame” and “Things Can Only Get Better” as well as tunes from his acclaimed recent record Engage.
Jones’ bright synthesizer pop dominated the charts throughout the mid 1980’s, his infectious melodies and electronic new wave aesthetic helping define the sound of the decade. In a span of just four years (1983-1986) the UK pop artist landed over a dozen charting singles, the majority in the top ten. His Human’s Lib reached #1 in 1984. There were few bigger pop stars in the UK, or the U.S. for that matter.
Coming from a highly musical family, Jones first began in a band with his brothers called Red Beat in the late 70’s, but it wasn’t until he was discovered playing solo by legendary British DJ John Peel that he got his first real break. His BBC Radio session in 1983 caught the attention of record labels and Jones was soon signed to WEA/Elektra.
Jones’ first single, “New Song,” wasted little time, shooting up the British charts and landing him a spot on the coveted TV program Top of the Pops. His particular brand of cheery synth pop soon caught on with a worldwide audience as subsequent singles like “What Is Love” and “Pearl in the Shell” also became massive hits. When his debut record Human’s Lib was released in 1984, it quickly went platinum in the UK. Capitalizing on his rapid success, Jones continued touring and recording, as well as becoming a staple on MTV. His second record, Dream into Action, released in 1985 was his breakthrough record in the U.S., buoyed by the radio and MTV airplay of hits like “Things Can Only Get Better” and the ballad “No One Is to Blame,” his highest charting American single.
As the new wave trend gave way to hair metal and then grunge, Jones’ perch at the top of the charts came to an end by the close of the decade, though his artistic output and songwriting prowess remained as strong as his mid 80’s commercial heyday. Later records, like 1992’s In the Running, saw Jones moving away from synthesizers and into more acoustic piano outings. He’s continued to record and tour, and with the renewed interest in new wave music and 80’s nostalgia, Jones has found a niche cult following, playing a combination of his earlier synthesizer pop with his more acoustic adult contemporary material. His most recent album, 2015’s Engage was released on his own D-TOX label.
A soulful vocalist and innovative multi-instrumentalist, singer/songwriter and producer Rachael Sage is one of the busiest touring artists in independent music, performing 100+ dates a year both solo and with her band The Sequins throughout the US, UK, & Europe. She has earned a loyal following for her dynamic piano playing, delicate guitar work, soulful vocals, and improvisational audience interaction. Artist’s Website
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