No One Is to Blame
|"No One Is to Blame"|
|Single by Howard Jones|
|from the album Dream Into Action and One to One|
|Released||15 March 1986 (UK)
24 March 1986 (US)
|Genre||New wave, soft rock|
3:29 (1985 version)4:13 (1986 version)
Elektra Records (US)
|Producer(s)||Phil Collins & Hugh Padgham|
|Howard Jones singles chronology|
"No One Is to Blame" is a song by British new wave musician Howard Jones. The song, in its original version, can be found on his second studio album, Dream into Action, which was released in 1985. Following the success of the previous singles taken from the album, the original track for "No One Is to Blame" was re-recorded to give the song a more radio-friendly sound. Phil Collins and Hugh Padgham produced the re-recording, with Collins adding his own backing vocals and drum work. This new version of the song was included on the 1986 US EP Action Replay as well as the CD version of Jones's 1986 studio album, One to One.
"No One Is to Blame" was released as a single in March 1986 and became Jones's biggest hit in the United States, peaking at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song also became the first of his two #1 songs on the U.S. adult contemporary chart ("Everlasting Love" would top this chart in 1989). The song was also a top 10 hit in Australia and a #16 hit in the U.K..
The song is about unfulfilled attractions, saying that they're normal and commonplace ("We want everyone - no one ever is to blame"). It uses a number of metaphors, such as "You can look at the menu, but you just can't eat" and "It's the last piece of the puzzle, but you just can't make it fit," to describe the frustration of experiencing attraction but being unable to act on it, for whatever reason. On a deeper level it describes the frustration and pain of unfulfilled desires and dreams inherent in the human condition.
- “No One Is to Blame” – 4:14
- “The Chase” – 2:53
- “No One Is to Blame (Extended Mix)” – 5:16
- “The Chase” – 2:53
- “No One Is to Blame (The Long Mix)” – 3:07
"The Long Mix" is significantly shorter than the single; it is actually not a remix, but an entirely different piano and vocal-only version of the song recorded in session for the BBC Radio 1 Janice Long show.
- Jones performed the song solo on The Old Grey Whistle Test in 1985.
- Played by Jones on grand piano accompanied only by a percussionist, the song appeared on the 1996 album Live Acoustic America.
- An entirely re-recorded version featuring the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra was included on Jones' 2000 studio album Perform.00 (released the following year in the US as Perform.01).
In 2007, American singer-songwriter Katrina Carlson recorded a cover version, on which Jones contributed piano and backing vocals. Carlson’s version, which is taken from her album Here and Now, reached #20 on the US Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks chart.
Emile Millar covered the song for the soundtrack of Waitress in 2007.
"No One Is to Blame" featured on Cindy Alexander's 2007 album, Wobble with the World.
American indie artist Jules Larson features "No One Is To Blame" in her 2010 EP "A Lot Like You".
On October 19, 2015, contestants Braiden Sunshine and Lyndsey Elm performed a duet of the song during the "Battle Rounds" on NBC's television program "The Voice."
|1986||US Adult Contemporary||1|
|US Mainstream Rock Tracks||20|
|Billboard Hot 100||4|
|Australian Singles Chart||9|
|Italian Singles Chart||21|
|UK Singles Chart||16|
- Dean, Maury (2003). Rock N' Roll Gold Rush. Algora. pp. 180, 453. ISBN 0-87586-207-1.
- One to One track listing Discogs.com. Retrieved 29 April 2009.
- Hyatt, Wesley (1999). The Billboard Book of #1 Adult Contemporary Hits (Billboard Publications), page 307.
- UK Singles Chart info Chartstats.com. Retrieved 29 April 2009.
- The Old Grey Whistle Test Vol. 3 (DVD). BBC Video. 2006.
- Billboard.com for US artist chart history
- Chartstats.com for UK artist chart history
- Here And Now at cdbaby.com
- Katrina Carlson at Billboard.com
- Full lyrics of this song at MetroLyrics