HOWARD JONES – WE’RE IN THIS TOGETHER
BOOK REVIEW BY TONY STUART
Howard Jones is celebrating his 40th year as a recording artist, and in typical Howard Jones fashion, he wanted his fans and people he has known throughout the years to be part of the process.
The resulting book, We’re In This Together, is gorgeous. Chock full of photographs, concert programs, anecdotes, reflections from fans and acquaintances, and photographs, it is clear that Jones is an artist who really appreciates all of the people in his life. For the purposes of this review I had access to the digital copy, which is itself beautifully laid out. I can imagine that the physical copy will occupy a place of pride in most collections.
The first graphic in the book is a list of Jones’ shows from 1981-1983. It offers a glimpse into just how hard fledgling artists have to work, especially as they are first embarking on their careers. There are photographs everywhere in this book, and as I mentioned earlier in the review, the layout is beautiful.
After this, there are reflections from people who have met Jones. Incidentally, the very first one in the book is from Ottawa in or around 1967, when the Jones family briefly lived in Canada.
As one would expect, there are plenty of anecdotes and photographs from people who have collaborated with Jones, but it is the recollections from fans who only met Jones briefly which really shine a light on his personality, and his recognition that so many people helped him in both big and small ways on this journey over the past 40 years.
We’re In This Together is a beautifully laid-out, thoughtfully curated look at a remarkable career, and is available in several different versions, offering both casual fans and serious collectors the opportunity to share in the experience. One of the hallmarks of Howard Jones’ music is his unrelenting optimism; this is captured brilliantly in this book. Kudos to both Jones and the publishers for producing something a little different that is going to appeal to almost any reader. This is a book that wants to be picked up and enjoyed.