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Category:    Home > Reviews > Concert > New Wave > Rock > Howard Jones – 20th Anniversary Concert Live At The Shepherd’s Bush Empire

Howard Jones – 20th Anniversary Concert Live At The Shepherd’s Bush Empire (DVD-Video set)

 

Picture: C+     Sound: B-     Extras: C+     Concert: B

 

 

You have to give him credit.  Howard Jones was one of the best, smartest artists of 1980s New Wave music and he never got the total success or respect he deserved.  Electra Records did a fine job of promoting him, but New Song was a 1984 single that should have been an international smash.  Instead, it was only Top 30 though it did better overseas.  More hits followed into the early 1990s and then he was gone, but boy, does his music deserve a second chance.  Howard Jones – 20th Anniversary Concert Live At The Shepherd’s Bush Empire is a very ambitious 2 DVD set where Jones goes all out with his life’s work and adds other favorites.

 

The two discs offer a concert in four sections: Acoustic, Retro, Electro and with the full band.  The songs are as follows, with an * marking his U.S. hits:

 

Acoustic

 

We Make The Weather

Dreamin’ On

Pearl In The Shell

Someone You Need

Life In One Day*

No One Is To Blame*

 

 

Retro

 

Natural

Equality

Hide & Seek

Don’t Always Look At The Rain

New Song*

Bounce Right Back

 

 

Electric

 

Conditioning

Just Look At You Now

Like To Get To Know You Well

Hunt The Self

All I Want

I Don’t Hate You

Revolution Of The Heart

You Know I Love You… Don’t You?*

 

 

Full Band

 

Tomorrow Is Now

Wedding Song

99 Luftballons

Dancing With Tears In My Eyes

Vienna Prisoner

Everlasting Love*

What Is Love?*

Things Can Only Get Better*

 

 

Yes, that is the hit record 99 Luftballons (aka 99 Red Balloons) by Nena, a big U.S. hit in both English and original German versions.  The anti-nuclear bomb song was #2 in the U.S. and many people did not even know what it was about.  Nena joins Howard to do her classic and its like the ballet dancer in reshot footage for the digitized Return Of The Jedi in that she has hardly changed and the voice is still there.

 

However, poor Howard may still have his voice, but the highs are gone as demonstrated by the live version of New Song, where the “woo woo woos” are done by the audience because he does not have that part of his voice left.  The concert runs 164 minutes total and especially for fans of 1980s Pop, Rock and New Wave, a blast from the past you will likely enjoy.  Cheers to too the nice package design.

 

The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image was shot on digital High Definition video and is not bad, but has some detail limits, though color is not bad throughout.  The shooting goes out of its way to show the fans and be live, which goes just fine with Jones on the loose.  The Dolby Digital 5.1 mix fares better, though this called for DTS, preferably DTS 96/24, but is recorded well enough with enough of a soundfield to make you feel like your there.  Extras include a section with 250 stills set to music, 14 minutes audience interview section, 37 minutes general interview section and 51 minutes Howard Jones interview section.  Overall, this is a truly loaded set you will get a kick out of.

 

 

-   Nicholas Sheffo


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