Title - In The Running: Expanded Deluxe (3CD+DVD)
Artist - Howard Jones
Cherry Red Records is both delighted and proud to announce the newly remastered and expanded release of Howard Jones fifth and final long player album for Warner Bros, In The Running (May 7th, 2021).
Released in April 1992, the album was produced by Jones with Ross Cullum, whom he had worked with on his previous album Cross That Line. Rupert Hine (who had produced Howards first two multi-million selling albums Humans Lib and Dream Into Action) was the albums Executive Producer and it was mixed by Bob Clearmountain.
In The Running marked a conscious move away from the use of electronic instrumentation towards more piano based melodies. It is the most deeply melodic recording that Jones had made up until that point, full of meticulously-crafted songs that focused on personal, societal and environmental concerns.
There was also a stellar array of guest musicians that featured on this album including Richie Hayward from Little Feat, Dean Parks from Steely Dan, Mark Brezecki from Big Country and Midge Ure from Ultravox.
It is beautifully packaged in a digipack with a fully illustrated 16-page booklet containing a brand new sleeve note and track by track annotation about In The Running by Howard Jones as told to acclaimed writer Anil Prasad.
It features an expanded selection of previously unreleased studio versions, edits, instrumentals, live versions and remixes plus newly remastered tracks.
All that and we also get versions of a previously unreleased 93 Remix of Howards biggest hit What Is Love? along with a DVD (NTSC/Region Free) containing a brand new interview with Howard Jones from October 2020 discussing creating the In The Running album, a Track By Track Commentary, TV appearances as well as Promotional Videos.
1. Lift Me Up
2. Fallin Away
3. Show Me
4. The Voices Are Back
6. Tears To Tell
7. Two Souls
8. Gun Turned On The World
9. One Last Try
10. City Song
11. I. G. Y. (What A Beautiful World) [Single Mix]
12. New Man
13. Takin The Time
14. You Say
15. One Last Try [Edit]*
* PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED
Most musicians who were famous in the 80s often faced an impasse. If they stuck to the synthesized sound that they became popular with, they would be considered out of touch and old-fashioned. If they tried to change and update themselves for the times, they had be considered sell-outs or out of their range.
Howard Jones faced that kind of problem. His biggest hits like What Is Love and Things Can Only Get Better were some of the better-conceived synth-pop hits of the decade, but he was smart enough to realize that the sound would not be popular forever and did the right thing by moving on through the years.
The only problem was that the public did not want him to change and as a result, his audience was cut down to a cult following. Especially, it not more so, here in the U.S. as Howards last album of any note in America was 1992s this one in review, In The Running.
Despite having hits post-synthesizers like No One Is To Blame and the brilliant Everlasting Love, they were not the major successes of his more upbeat computerized tunes.
With In The Running, Howard had his last top 40 hit to date with the uptempo Lift Me Up and then that was sadly that. That said, there are still some synths in the mix, but they are not as intrusive and the result is one of Howards most underrated singles ever (IMHO).
Elsewhere, he tries his best to use actual keyboards on songs like Fallin Away, Tears To Tell (a minor hit single that barely went anywhere) and the closing epic City Song, which is another hats-off to Howards biggest idol, Elton John.
The results are surprisingly successful, proving that he is actually quite a good keyboard player even when he is not plugged in.
1. Lift Me Up [Instrumental]*
2. Fallin Away [Instrumental]*
3. Show Me [Instrumental]*
4. The Voices Are Back [Instrumental]*
5. Exodus [Instrumental]*
6. Tears To Tell [Instrumental]*
7. Two Souls [Instrumental]*
8. Gun Turned On The World [Instrumental Extended Version]*
9. One Last Try [Instrumental Extended Version]*
10. City Song [Instrumental]*
11. I.G.Y. (What A Beautiful World) [Instrumental]*
12. Road To Cairo [TV Mix]*
13. Other People Are Us [TV Mix]*
14. What Is Love? [93 Remix Instrumental]*
* PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED
For me, and whether it be the original version, the instrumental version, the live version, or any number of the remixes down the years, the best of the rest included, right there at the fire, the stunning Gun Turned On The World.
In truth, it is rather hard to grasp its meaning when you hear it the first time, unlike The Voices Are Back - which is much hated by Howards fans - and it is very surreal in its DNA.
Another decent track is Exodus which has Howard contributing his own brand of social commentary, but perhaps he has not really understood the meaning of too preachy just yet at that time.
Show Me and One Last Try are run-of-the-mill love songs that could have come from anyone, even a 90s Elton John, but they all come together to make one highly listenable album, that is for sure.
1. What Is Love? [93 12 Inch Remix, Part 1]*
2. What is Love? [93 12 Inch Remix, Part 2]*
3. Tears To Tell [7 Inch Edit]**
4. Dont Be Part Of It
5. Road To Cairo [Andy Scarth Mix]**
6. I. G. Y. (What A Beautiful World) [Special DJ Edit]**
7. Other People Are Us
8. What Is Love? [93 Remix]*
9. Two Souls [Early Extended Mix]*
10. Dont Be Part of It [Moo Mix]**
11. I. G. Y. (What A Beautiful World) [Live at the Spectrum Theatre, Philadelphia 1987]**
12. Road To Cairo**
13. Tears To Tell [Early Mix]*
14. One Last Try [Extended Version]*
15. Dont Be Part Of It [Dance Mix AKA Dub Mix]**
* PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED
** PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED REMASTERED
Always a strong lyricist, Howard took the time on this album to express the uneasiness that a musician of his age bracket might have been feeling during this era.
By bumping up the soul and jazz touches in his music, he made these lyrics and strong melodicism evident to those who may not have noticed it before.
After In The Running, Howards American appeal disappeared and even now his major fan base remains, to this day, in his homeland of Europe.
However, 1997s Angels & Lovers was another excursion into acoustic keyboard territory which was later released in an Americanized version called People in 1998.
So while Howard may now be considered more of a cult favorite since he has affirmatively non-synthesized, that does not mean his music has gone bad - as this album clearly showcases.
1. Interview with Howard Jones (October 2020):
Creating In The Running
Track By Track Commentary
2. I.G.Y. (What A Beautiful World) [Pebble Mill - 18/05/1993]
3. What Is Love? [Pebble Mill -18/05/1993]
4. Tears To Tell [Promo Video]
5. Lift Me Up [Promo Video]
6. I.G.Y. (What A Beautiful World) [Promo Video]
7. Tears To Tell (Blue Tint Version) [Promo Video]
Official 3CD/DVD Purchase Link
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