Howard Jones

Things Can Only Get Better

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For his first album, 1984's Human's Lib, Howard Jones was still nominally associated with the UK's synth-pop scene and the increasingly archaic term "new wave." 1985's glossy Dream Into Action was a calculated bid for mainstream chart action (bye-bye to the mime that accompanied Jones in his early videos and concerts, hello to more fashionable clothes) and thanks in part to Rupert Hine's slickly attractive production and Jones' own more direct songwriting, it was a successful one. "Things Can Only Get Better" quickly became the favorite song of high school girls across the land in the fall of 1985 (supplanting their previous favorite, a-ha's "Take On Me"), thanks in huge part to its immediately catchy wordless chorus (unless "whoa," repeated 24 times per chorus in a call and response pattern, counts as a word) and the "Sussudio"-style white-boy pop-funk of the song's undeniably appealing groove. It should be ghastly, but somehow -- perhaps due to Jones' obvious earnestness -- it doesn't sound as grossly calculated as it undoubtedly is.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Dream into Action 1985 Elektra 3:56
The Best of Howard Jones 1993 Elektra 3:57
Only Dance 1985-1989 1995
Various Artists
Rhino / JCI Associated Labels 3:57
Radio City Classic Hits the 80's 1995
Various Artists
Polydor 3:55
Best of Dance 1985 1996
Various Artists
ZYX Music 3:55
18 Modern Rock Classics from the 80's 1996
Various Artists
Essex 3:59
Rock On 1985 [CD #1] 1996
Various Artists
Madacy 4:02
Sounds of the Eighties: The Mid-'80s Take Two 1996
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 3:55
Electronic Eighties, Vol. 1 1999
Various Artists
Polygram 3:55
MTV the First 1000 Years: New Wave 1999
Various Artists
Rhino 4:00
'80s Pop Hits 2001
Various Artists
Compose Records 3:56
Perform '01 [Avex] 2001 Avex 7:43
The Essentials 2002 Rhino 4:01
Greatest Hits 2002 Masters / Intercontinental Records 7:05
Flashback 80s Club Classics 2003
Various Artists
Rhino 4:01
What Is Love and Other Hits 2003 Rhino 3:58
80's in Concert 2005
Various Artists
St. Clair 6:54
Ultimate Collection 2005 Warner Music 3:55
The Best of the 80s [Madacy Box Set] 2006
Various Artists
Madacy 4:01
Smash Hits Years: 1985 2009
Various Artists
Rhino 3:56
80s Fundamentals 2015
Various Artists
Rhino 3:54
The Other Side of the 80's [Rhino] 2016
Various Artists
Rhino
The Best 1983-2017 2017 Cherry Red 3:56
No Image 2019
Various Artists
Legacy / Sony Music 3:54
300 Hits: The '80s
Various Artists
Bellevue / Wienerworld 3:55
80's Top 40 Hits
Various Artists
Warner Music 3:56
Awesome 80s Hits: 15 Original Hits of the 80s
Various Artists
Green Hill / Green Hill Music 3:57
Bumblebee
Various Artists
Republic 3:55
Just Can't Get Enough: Pop Hits of the '80s
Various Artists
Rhino
No Image Elektra / Rhino