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
(1984)
The 12" Album
(1984)
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]

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[10]
NME unfavourable[11]
Robert Christgau C-[12]

In a contemporary review for The Village Voice, music critic Robert Christgau panned Human's Lib as a "revolving self-help manual" marred by Howard's "ressentiment" and unadorned synthpop.[12] NME said, "It's as hard to distinguish his music as it is to distinguish it from your carpet; conveniently, though, the lyrics are printed on the inner sleeve so that we may fully appreciate the complete lack of any novel observation in the songs... What's so amusing about Jones' songwriting is the glib manner in which he brandishes threadbare platitudes as unique insights."[11] Mike DeGagne of Allmusic was more favorable in a retrospective review and wrote, "the tracks on Human's Lib are energetic and colorful" and that "the album still holds well".[10]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks composed by Howard Jones unless indicated otherwise. Track timings are taken from the original UK LP edition.[13]

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).[14]

Personnel[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Howard Jones Discography – Albums". howardjones.com. Retrieved 30 June 2010. 
  2. ^ "Chart Stats – Howard Jones – Human's Lib". chartstats.com. Archived from the original on 21 July 2012. Retrieved 30 June 2010. 
  3. ^ "Certified Awards Search". bpi.com. Retrieved 30 June 2010. 
  4. ^ "Chart Stats – Howard Jones – New Song". chartstats.com. Retrieved 30 June 2010. 
  5. ^ "Chart Stats – Howard Jones – What Is Love". chartstats.com. Retrieved 30 June 2010. 
  6. ^ "Chart Stats – Howard Jones – Hide And Seek". chartstats.com. Retrieved 30 June 2010. 
  7. ^ "Chart Stats – Howard Jones – Pearl in the Shell". chartstats.com. Retrieved 30 June 2010. 
  8. ^ "Howard Jones > Charts & Awards > Billboard Singles". allmusic. Retrieved 8 August 2009. 
  9. ^ "Howard Jones Discography – Singles". howardjones.com. Retrieved 30 June 2010. 
  10. ^ a b DeGagne, Mike. Howard Jones – Human's Lib > Review at AllMusic
  11. ^ a b Watson, Don (17 March 1984). "Review: Howard Jones – Human's Lib". NME (London, England: IPC Media): 33. 
  12. ^ a b Christgau, Robert (12 June 1984). "Christgau's Consumer Guide: Turkey Shoot". The Village Voice (New York City, USA). Retrieved 22 August 2013. 
  13. ^ "Howard Jones – Human's Lib (LP, Album) at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 30 June 2010. 
  14. ^ "Howard Jones – Human's Lib (CD, Album) at Discogs". Discogs.com. 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