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John Howard



John Howard made an obscure British singer/songwriter album in the mid-'70s, Kid in a Big World which, like several efforts from that period, showed the heavy influence of then-newly emergent superstar Elton John. Howard was lower-key and more inclined toward eccentric story-songs, and not as gifted with a flair for chart hooks, though he too had a keyboard base to his arrangements, with melodic ideas combining Beatles-Beach Boys pop with '70s singer/songwriter. Howard first tried to enter the record business in the late '60s, when the classically trained pianist unsuccessfully sent in a tape of his songs to Apple Records for consideration. Changing his name from Howard Jones (though he was no relation to the '80s pop star Howard Jones) to John Howard, he actually turned down the chance to join a band that later become Iron Maiden. Instead, he worked on the college circuit and folk clubs, and got a management contract with Hurricane Smith's manager, Stuart Reid. He signed to CBS UK in late 1973, and recorded Kid in a Big World with ex-Shadows drummer Tony Meehan as producer and Argent's Bob Henrit and Rod Argent among the sessionmen. Preceded by the late-1974 release of the "Goodbye Suzie" single, Kid in a Big World was released in February 1975, although it suffered from indifferent promotion and didn't make much of an impact. Although a second album was started, it never reached completion, in part because of intervention from CBS to try making it more commercial. The RPM label finally released the demos for that album in 2004 as Technicolour Biography. A year later, RPM issued another collection of demos, Can You Hear Me OK?, while the Bad Pressings label issued The Dangerous Hours, the first new album he had recorded in three decades. The wait would be much shorter for the next new album -- As I Was Saying appeared before the end of 2005 on Cherry Red. Howard was very busy during the next five years, releasing Same Bed, Different Dreams in 2006, Barefoot with Angels one year later, and Navigate Home in 2009. An archival release of Navigate Home demos followed in 2011, and Exhibiting Tendencies appeared the same year. In 2012, Howard revisited some of his '70s demos with fully dressed recordings, aptly titling the release You Shall Go to the Ball!. Further digital albums followed over the next few years, highlighted by the 2015 album John Howard & the Night Mail, which found him paired with a full-fledged band for the first time in years. ~ Richie Unterberger
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Top Tracks

  1.   Track
  2.   I Got My Lady
  3.   Take It All Away (I'll Take It Back)
  4.   Gone Away
  5.   So Silly Now
  6.   After The Fall-Out
  7.   The Pros And Cons Of Passion
  8.   Born Too Early
  9.   Dying Day (The What We Had)
  10.   The Deal (Revisited)
  11.   Sacred Heart
  12.   I'll Feel What I Feel (Part 1 & Part 2)
  13.   Walk on the Wild Side
  14.   Calm (My Blind Fury)
  15.   Blue Afternoon at the Old Plantation House
  16.   You're Mine Tonight
  17.   Soundscape No.4: "Hard Floor, Hard Times"
  18.   The Season of Loss featuring André Barreau
  19.   Barefoot With Angels
  20.   Secrets
  21.   Ever the Moon
  22.   Same Mistakes
  23.   She Ain't the Kind of Girl
  24.   A Girl Like You
  25.   Spacewalk
  26.   First Kiss
  27.   From The Morning
  28.   Jean Genet Just Imagined
  29.   Taking It All to Heart
  30.   Blue Lady
  31.   A Willing Deception
  32.   (I See You've Got) New Shoes
  33.   Oh, Do Give It a Rest, Love
  34.   Genius
  35.   The Business Side of Beauty
  36.   Personal Ad
  37.   Spellbound
  38.   Don't Shine Your Light
  39.   Reels: Drunken Tailor/Teetotaler
  40.   It's Gonna Last All Night
  41.   Play Me a Love Song
  42.   Grown Old Too Soon
  43.   The Exquisites
  44.   The Love In Your Eyes
  45.   Navigate Home
  46.   Werewolves (Demo) (Bonus Track)
  47.   Kid in a Big World
  48.   Our Lottery Tickets
  49.   A Wardrobe Dreams
  50.   Blame the Night
  51.   Tip of Your Shoe
  52.   Elizabeth Duke
  53.   Miles Away
  54.   Introduction
  55.   Misty
  56.   Pearl Parade (Revisited)
  57.   Last Bus Home
  58.   Run or Stay
  59.   Party Deux (Demo) (Bonus Track)
  60.   Finally Adored
  61.   Good Morning Starshine/Let The Sunshine In/Hare Krishna
  62.   A Smugglers Tale
  63.   Return of the Comeback Kid
  64.   Guten Abend
  65.   My Beautiful Days
  66.   Star Through My Window (Revisited)
  67.   Control Freak
  68.   Submission
  69.   Goodbye Suzie
  70.   Thunder in Vienna
  71.   Soundscapes No. 3: "It's Full of Stars!"
  72.   You Keep Me Steady
  73.   I Wanna Be
  74.   Lion in My Winter
  75.   Precious
  76.   Yes I Surrender by Jamonte Ford
  77.   19th September
  78.   Last Stand
  79.   Two People in The Morning '96
  80.   If I Could Stay Asleep
  81.   You're Mine
  82.   Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands
  83.   Free Man
  84.   Baby Go Now
  85.   The Reckoning
  86.   In the Heartache Called a Home
  87.   Old Movies
  88.   You Will See
  89.   Birds
  90.   Small World
  91.   Family Man
  92.   Cut the Wire
  93.   Pre-dawn
  94.   Remains
  95.   The Price We Paid for Coal
  96.   You Warm Me in My Dreams
  97.   I Won by J. Nathan
  98.   Aeiou
  99.   Safety in Numbers
  100.   Deborah Fletcher
  101.   Before
  102.   City St. Sirens
  103.   Bob/Bobbi
  104.   Clear Blue Light
  105.   She's Gone
  106.   The Gift
  107.   The Old Man In His Raincoat
  108.   Miracles
  109.   Girlfriend From Gomorrah
  110.   Playground Bully
  111.   All the Way
  112.   Permanently Temporary
  113.   Believe Me, Richard
  114.   Aging Children
  115.   Lonely I, Lonely Me
  116.   That's All
  117.   In The Bliss Of A Stolen Moment
  118.   Magdelena Merrywidow (For April Ashley)
  119.   Unrequited
  120.   In Your Dreams
  121.   Soundscape No.2: "Dance With Me"
  122.   Nothing But the Truth That I Lied
  123.   In There Somewhere