Howard Jones: “Life in One Day” (1985)

A positive message wrapped in island melodies, from the same decade that brought you Don’t Worry, Be Happy.

Kronomyth 2.3: Jones gets thrown an hereditary bone.

As much as I enjoy both philosophy and music, I rarely enjoy the two together. Okay, that one Monty Python song, but that’s it. Life in One Day is a light entry from Howard JonesDream Into Action, pairing an upbeat island melody with the wisdom of trying not to do everything at once (stop and smell the roses, as the philosopher Ringo Starr might have said).

In the US, the nonalbum Learning How to Love was featured on the flip side. More or less filler, it lacks a strong melody and wouldn’t have made the cut for Dream Into Action. In the UK, the instrumental Boom Bap Respite was included on the B side. Featuring some tasteful piano playing, it’s much better than its title suggests and hints that Howard Jones might have a very good instrumental album up his sleeve some day.

The labels also produced a double 7-inch single and 12-inch single to support “Life in One Day,” both of which are worth hunting down if you’re a fan of the man. The double-single includes live performances of Always Asking Questions and New Song that capture the excitement of seeing Jones perform in person. And, despite my coolness toward remixes, the part one and part two extended remixes of “Life in One Day” are very well done — no by-the-numbers remixes here.

Original 7-inch single

A1. Life in One Day (Howard Jones)
B1. Boom Bap Respite (Howard Jones)

Original 7-inch single version (US)
A1. Life in One Day (Howard Jones) (3:36)
B1. Learning How to Love (Howard Jones) (5:18)

Original 12-inch single version
A1. Life in One Day (Part One) (Howard Jones)
B1. Life in One Day (Part Two) (Howard Jones)
B2. Boom Bap Respite (Howard Jones)

Original double 7-inch single
A1. Life in One Day (Howard Jones)
B1. Boom Bap Respite (Howard Jones)
C1. Always Asking Questions (live) (Howard Jones/William Bryant)
D1. New Song (live) (Howard Jones)

The Players

“Boom Bap Respite” produced by Howard Jones; engineered and mixed by Andrew Scarth. “Life in One Day” parts one and two produced by Rupert Hine and mixed by Stephen W. Tayler. Live tracks mixed by Mike Roarty.

The Plastic

Released on 7-inch, double 7-inch and 12-inch single in June 1985 in the UK (WEA, HOW 8/F/T), the US (Elektra, 7-69631) and Japan (WEA, P-1997) with regional picture sleeve. Reached #14 on the UK charts and #19 on the US charts (charted on July 6, 1985 for 16 weeks).

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