Human's Lib

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Human's Lib
Studio album by Howard Jones
Released 9 March 1984 (UK)
12 June 1984 (USA)[1]
Recorded 1983
Genre Synthpop
Length 42:58
Label WEA/Elektra
Producer Rupert Hine
Colin Thurston ("New Song")
Howard Jones chronology
Human's Lib
The 12" Album
Singles from Human's Lib
  1. "New Song"
    Released: September 1983
  2. "What Is Love?"
    Released: November 1983
  3. "Hide and Seek"
    Released: February 1984
  4. "Pearl in the Shell"
    Released: May 1984

Human's Lib is the debut album by British pop musician Howard Jones. It was released in March 1984[1] and entered the UK Album Charts at the no. 1 spot, spending a total of 57 weeks in the charts.[2] The album sold 100,000 copies in its first week of release[1] and has been certified 2× Platinum by the BPI for sales in excess of 600,000 copies.[3] The album went gold in many European countries and was a big hit in Japan and also went gold in the US.

Four songs from this album were released as singles in the UK, all of which reached the top 20: "New Song" peaked at #3,[4] "What Is Love?" at #2,[5] "Hide and Seek" at #12,[6] and "Pearl in the Shell" at #7.[7] "New Song" and "What Is Love?" also made it into the Billboard charts in the US-going top 30.[8]

"Equality" was released as a single only in South Africa, as a commentary about the policy of apartheid there at the time.[9]

At the beginning of the NCIS episode Detour someone in the NCIS office shows his Human's Lib t-shirt.


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[10]
Robert Christgau C-[11]

In a contemporary review for The Village Voice, music critic Robert Christgau panned the album as a "revolving self-help manual" marred by Howard's "ressentiment" and unadorned synthpop.[11]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks composed by Howard Jones unless indicated otherwise. Track timings are taken from the original UK LP edition.[12]

Side One
No. Title Length
1. "Conditioning" (music Jones, lyrics Bill Bryant) 4:32
2. "What Is Love?" (music Jones, lyrics Bryant/Jones) 3:45
3. "Pearl in the Shell"   4:03
4. "Hide and Seek"   5:34
5. "Hunt the Self" (music Jones, lyrics Bryant/Jones) 3:42
Side Two
No. Title Length
6. "New Song"   4:15
7. "Don't Always Look at the Rain"   4:13
8. "Equality" (music Jones, lyrics Bryant/Jones) 4:26
9. "Natural" (music Jones, lyrics Bryant) 4:25
10. "Human's Lib" (music Jones, lyrics Bryant) 4:03

Some CD editions substitute the 6:32 extended mix of "What Is Love?" for the 3:45 album version and add "China Dance", an instrumental B-side from the "Hide and Seek" single, as a bonus track (track 11).[13]



  1. ^ a b c "Howard Jones Discography – Albums". Retrieved 30 June 2010. 
  2. ^ "Chart Stats – Howard Jones – Human's Lib". Archived from the original on 21 July 2012. Retrieved 30 June 2010. 
  3. ^ "Certified Awards Search". Retrieved 30 June 2010. 
  4. ^ "Chart Stats – Howard Jones – New Song". Retrieved 30 June 2010. 
  5. ^ "Chart Stats – Howard Jones – What Is Love". Retrieved 30 June 2010. 
  6. ^ "Chart Stats – Howard Jones – Hide And Seek". Retrieved 30 June 2010. 
  7. ^ "Chart Stats – Howard Jones – Pearl in the Shell". Retrieved 30 June 2010. 
  8. ^ "Howard Jones > Charts & Awards > Billboard Singles". allmusic. Retrieved 8 August 2009 (2009-08-08). 
  9. ^ "Howard Jones Discography – Singles". Retrieved 30 June 2010. 
  10. ^ Human's Lib at AllMusic
  11. ^ a b Christgau, Robert (June 12, 1984). "Christgau's Consumer Guide: Turkey Shoot". The Village Voice (New York). Retrieved August 22, 2013. 
  12. ^ "Howard Jones – Human's Lib (LP, Album) at Discogs". Retrieved 30 June 2010. 
  13. ^ "Howard Jones – Human's Lib (CD, Album) at Discogs". Retrieved 30 June 2010. 
Preceded by
Into the Gap by Thompson Twins
UK number one album
17 March 1984 – 30 March 1984
Succeeded by
Can't Slow Down by Lionel Richie