242 009-1 One To One
Produced by Arif Mardin
Released on October 1986
UK CHART POSITION #10 . . . US CHART POSITION #59
Find it at GEMM
242 009-1 cover
[high resolution photo]
 

A fter the success of Dream Into Action, another hit record was expected. No, demanded. And so professional producer Arif Mardin, a man of considerable spit and polish, was brought in to turn a suddenly blue pixie into a green cash cow. Or so it seems to me and my skewed color scheme. The songs on One To One are not the life-affirming fare of earlier records; to judge from the lyrics, the wounds from a failed (failing) romance are still fresh. Exhibits A through C: “Where Are We Going?,” “You Know I Love You... Don’t You?,” “Will You Still Be There?” The remaining tracks aren’t any brighter, musing on misunderstanding and despair. Enter Arif. Lots of studio effects are brought in to punch things up (Mardin had apparently confused Jones with Thomas Dolby), the Afrodiziak singers return to sweeten the deal, and guest musicians like Mo Foster and Gary Burton float in and out like hired guns taking target practice. All of which covers Mardin’s butt remarkably well; you can’t say he didn’t try to make One To One a commercial success. But HoJo’s fans knew the difference between a genuine smile and shinola, and were likely left wondering why someone made such a production fuss over simple, blue tunes. Not that One To One is as bad as some critics have cited, it’s just a compromise where Dream Into Action felt like unadulterated Howard. For example, I can imagine where two very different-sounding songs like “Step Into These Shoes” and “Will You Still Be There?” may have sounded similar at their inception, suggesting that someone decided which songs would be upbeat and which would be ballads. You can make a good pop album from a popped cork, and Mardin comes awfully close to doing just that, but Jones’ blue mood ultimately choked the anticipated green cash flow. Note that the CD included a new version of “No One Is To Blame,” just in case the last two versions didn’t float your boat.

242 009-1 back cover 242 009-1 lyric sleeve
242 009-1 back cover 242 009-1 lyric sleeve

TRACK LISTING

  1. YOU KNOW I LOVE... DON'T YOU?    4:04
  2. THE BALANCE OF YOU (GIVE AND TAKE)    4:24
  3. ALL I WANT    4:36
  4. WHERE ARE WE GOING?    5:00
  5. DON'T WANT TO FIGHT ANYMORE    4:32
  6. STEP INTO THESE SHOES    4:19
  7. WILL YOU STILL BE THERE?    4:41
  8. GOOD LUCK, BAD LUCK    4:12
  9. GIVE ME STRENGTH    5:02
  10. LITTLE BIT OF SNOW    4:25
  11. (*CD bonus track:) NO ONE IS TO BLAME

    All music and lyrics by Howard Jones

CREDITS

HOWARD JONES -- keyboards, drums and percussion programs, sequencing and vocals
MIKE ROARTY -- CMI (Fairlight), quality control
Afrodiziak (Caron Wheeler, Claudia Fontaine, Naomi Osborne) -- backing vocals
Boys from the Choir of St. Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin -- backing vocals
Gary Burton -- vibraphone
Damaris Carbuagh -- backing vocals
Mathew Cornish -- brass
Kendall Crane -- brass
John Dexter -- choir director
Max Eastley -- whirling instruments and the arc
Doris Eugenio -- backing vocals
Steve Ferrone -- drums
Deborah Forman -- backing vocals
Mo Foster -- bass guitar
Bob Gay -- brass, alto sax
Scott Gilman -- brass
Martin Jones -- bass guitar
Louise Lowry -- tap dancing
Matt Malloy -- flute and penny whistle
Arif Mardin -- string arrangement (10)
Marcus Miller -- backing vocals
Cindy Mizelle -- backing vocals
Trevor Morais -- drums
Nick Moroch -- guitar
Mike Murphy -- backing vocals
Gene Orloff -- string concertmaster
Phil Palmer -- guitar
Reb -- guitar
Nile Rodgers -- guitar
Mark Stevens -- backing vocals
Fonzi Thornton -- backing vocals
Kevin Killen -- engineer, quality control
Chris Garnham -- cover photo
Simon Fowler -- inner sleeve photo

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
UK October 1986 WEA LP/CD/CS WX68/C lyric sleeve
US 1986 Elektra LP/CD/CS 60499 lyric sleeve
CAN/GER 1986 WEA LP/CS 242 009-1/4 lyric sleeve
GER 1986 WEA CD 242 011  
JPN 1986 Warner/Pioneer LP P-13401  

 

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