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In this episode of The Story Behind the Song, UK-based singer-songwriter Howard Jones reveals how he broke all the rules when he arrived as a one-man band and topped the charts with “New Song.”
As Jones’ debut single, “New Song” is a synth-pop masterpiece, peaking at No. 3 on the UK Singles charts. It’s instantly memorable melody lines, bouncy production, and care-free energy have led it to become and enduring document of the early ’80s music scene.
But the tune wasn’t always thought of so positively. Literally singing, “I don’t wanna be hip and cool/ I don’t wanna play by the rules,” Jones’ use of drum machines and synthesizers ruffled so many feathers in the industry that the musicians union tried to ban him. Little did they know, Jones had stumbled across a sound that would define the decade.
In his interview with SBTS host Peter Csathy, Jones recounts being influenced by David Bowie, that epic Live Aid concert in 1985, his thoughts about AI songwriting, and his 40th-anniversary tour (grab tickets here) kicking off later this year.
Listen to Howard Jones chat about “New Song” and more in the episode above. Then make sure to like, review, and subscribe to TSBTS wherever you get podcasts for updates on all our new episodes.
You can also follow the Consequence Podcast Network for updates on all our series, and check out host Peter Csathy on Twitter @pcsathy and at Creative Media.