Howard Jones – 20th
Anniversary Concert Live At The Shepherd’s Bush Empire (DVD-Video set)
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:
We Make The Weather
Pearl In The Shell
Someone You Need
Life In One Day*
No One Is To Blame*
Hide & Seek
Don’t Always Look At The Rain
Bounce Right Back
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?*
Tomorrow Is Now
Dancing With Tears In My Eyes
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