Number ones: #5


  • HOWARD JONES Hide & Seek (WEA)
  • Week Ending 3rd March 1984
  • 3 weeks at #1

The third single from Howard Jones continued his 100% strike rate on my charts (if we assume New Song would undoubtedly have been a #1 for me in 1983), but the ambient majesty of Hide & Seek couldn’t repeat the trick on the UK Top 40 despite a few optimistic predictions of bettering What Is Love?’s #2 peak.

It was a brave single to release so early in his career, yet it did create the desired effect of showcasing yet another side to his music. From the quirky, spiky-haired chap with a mime artist on the bouncy New Song to a fully-fledged serious artist capable of transcendental, ethereal pop all in the space of six months, the public’s perception of Howard Jones was being challenged; and judging from the first week sales of his debut album Human’s Lib (released shortly after Hide & Seek) they were very much along for the ride.

There were plenty of magnificently moody singles on the chart during the early weeks of 1984 (The Killing Moon, Soul Train, Here Comes The Rain Again and Speed Your Love To Me to name just a few), and Hide & Seek didn’t feel quite as out of place as it might have done. Even so, building from its “distant hum” into an uplifting and almost hymnal refrain, the track wasn’t obvious Top Of The Pops material; the classy video certainly did it more justice than drowning Howard in dry smoke as he valiantly performed a live version in the BBC studios with just a piano for company.

One wonders if the resulting spectacle really helped the single’s chart prospects, but Jones enjoyed the experience nonetheless and would go on to play the song in a similar style during Live Aid more than a year later.




  1. Been waiting for this one. A very smart and touching song that proves that people who claim the 80s were all style over substance are just plain wrong.


    • Yes, it’s conveniently the one Howard Jones song that everyone (or rather anyone who wants to typecast him as indicative of “things that were wrong with the Eighties”) forgets about. Such a shame that he moved away from this style so quickly with the 2nd album.


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