Things Can Only Get Better (Howard Jones song)

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"Things Can Only Get Better"
Things Can Only Get Better.jpg
Single by Howard Jones
from the album Dream Into Action
A-side "Things Can Only Get Better"
B-side "Why Look For The Key"
Released 9 February 1985
Format 7", 12"
Genre New wave, synthpop

3:57 (Album Version)

3:29 (Single Version)
Label WEA, Elektra Records
Songwriter(s) Howard Jones
Producer(s) Rupert Hine
Howard Jones singles chronology
"Like to Get to Know You Well"
"Things Can Only Get Better"
"Look Mama"
"Like to Get to Know You Well"
"Things Can Only Get Better"
"Look Mama"

"Things Can Only Get Better" was released as the first single from Howard Jones' 1985 album Dream Into Action, reaching #6 in the UK Singles Chart and #5 in the United States on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Curiously, the song also crossed over to the R&B charts in America, peaking at #54 (a rarity for a white artist at the time).[1]

A typically upbeat Jones composition, it was one of two songs from the album to feature all-female singing group Afrodiziak on backing vocals. John Leland from Spin magazine wrote that "It mines the best of the Anglo soul movement: a clean slap-bass line, precise horns and synths, and some well-paced and inviting singing".[2]

The main B side was another album track from the UK version of the album, "Why Look For The Key", although with a slightly longer fade that made it about twenty seconds longer than the version on the UK version of Dream Into Action. "You Jazzy Nork!" is a reworked instrumental version of "Why Look For The Key" performed by the Alphonse Conway Orchestra.

The cover of the 12" single featured a photograph of Jones, in profile, sitting in a high bar stool. This image was used in silhouette for the 7" artwork, the single being issued in several alternative sleeves with different colour backgrounds.

Uses in media[edit]

Music video[edit]

The video depicts Jones singing the song as his road crew sets up equipment for a concert, followed by a transition to the show as he performs for a lively crowd.

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Things Can Only Get Better" - 3:57
  2. "Why Look For The Key" - 3:43
  1. "Things Can Only Get Better (Extended Mix)" - 7:18
  2. "Why Look For The Key" - 3:43
  3. "You Jazzy Nork!" - 4:48

Both a 7" and 12" picture disc were released with the same tracks as the standard formats.


In 2005, Swedish DJ Eric Prydz released a remixed version and renamed it "And Do You Feel Scared?". It is featured on the video game 2006 FIFA World Cup as one of the many EA Trax that appear in the game.

In 2013, French house music artist Cedric Gervais released a song featuring the vocal track from Howard Jones' original song. It too was titled "Things Can Only Get Better".

Chart positions[edit]

Year Chart Position
1985 US Mainstream Rock Tracks 21
US Billboard Hot 100 5
US Dance/Club Play Songs 10
Australia (Kent Music Report)[3] 11
Italian Singles Chart 13
UK Singles Chart 6


  1. ^ "Howard Jones - Chart history | Billboard". Retrieved 2016-08-27. 
  2. ^ John Leland (June 1985). "Singles - Howard Jones "Things Can Only Get Better" (Elektra)". Spin. p. 36. Retrieved 2010-08-22. 
  3. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (Illustrated ed.). St. Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 161. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.  N.B. the Kent Report chart was licensed by ARIA between mid 1983 and 19 June 1988.

External links[edit]