Happy 2017 everyone! Hope your holiday season treated you well!
For the January 8, 2017 edition of STUCK IN THE 80s, my little retro radio show on WMPG community radio in Portland, Maine, I’ll be hosting my final (?) All-Request Fest. It’s something I thought of years ago as a way to give back to everyone who tuned in to the show and pledged money on STUCK IN THE 80s during the bi-annual pledge drives. From Pop to Punk, Rap to Rock, New Wave to New Romantics, it’s about the listeners and their requests, and it’s always spontaneous and fun.
For this final (?) edition of the All-Request Fest, I’ll also be channeling my inner chart nerd and will bring folks 17 for ’17, where I’ll be playing just some of the many songs that peaked at No. 17 on the BILLBOARD Hot 100 between 1979 and 1989. So, from now until the All-Request Fest, I’ll be posting all No. 17 hits…just because, well, I AM a chart nerd. And I’m okay with that.
One of my favorite No. 17 hits on the Hot 100 is courtesy of one of my all-time favorite recording artists – Southampton, England’s wonderful Howard Jones – “You Know I Love You…Don’t You?”
From Howard’s third studio album, ONE TO ONE, “You Know I Love You…Don’t You?” was the first single released from the album here in America (in the U.K. and other parts of the globe, “All I Want” was the first single released).
Just four weeks after HoJo’s biggest American hit, “No One Is To Blame,” departed the BILLBOARD Hot 100, he debuted at No. 69 with “You Know I Love You…Don’t You?”
The creative part-animated, part-live action video (perhaps inspired by the Richard Lowenstein-directed INXS video of “What You Need” earlier that year) was directed by Wayne Isham, who was attending the University of California at Santa Barbara when the video for David Bowie’s “Ashes To Ashes” was released in 1980, and the video inspired him to start making videos.
While the majority of the early videos Wayne directed were by Hard Rock and Metal artists like Mötley Crüe, Def Leppard, Bon Jovi, Judas Priest, Ozzy Osbourne, Queensrÿche and Megadeth, he also directed videos for folks like The Psychedelic Furs (“Pretty In Pink”), Whitney Houston (“So Emotional”), The Rolling Stones and Roxette. At the MTV Video Music Awards in 1991, Wayne Isham (along with Bon Jovi) received the Lifetime Achievement Award, better known as the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award.
With help from the cool music video, “You Know I Love You” debuted on the Top 40 of the Hot 100 in just four weeks. Just before Xmas 1986, it was stuck in a competitive part of the chart, and spent three weeks over the holiday season at No. 17.
While “You Know I Love You” was one of HoJo’s biggest hits here in the U.S., it sadly didn’t fare as well elsewhere. In Canada, it reached No. 26, a peak of No. 61 in Australia, and in his U.K. homeland, it stalled at No. 43.
My oldest friend, Peter, and I got to see HoJo in Portland, Maine in late June 2016. It was my second time seeing HoJo perform (the first time was in 1998 in Boston, on a tour with The Human League and Culture Club). I honestly could see this man perform every day of the week and twice on Sunday. Howard hasn’t had a Top 40 hit in 25 years, but as much as I love singles chart trivia, I also know the Pop charts don’t define recording artists, and definitely doesn’t define HoJo.
One of the things I love about seeing Howard Jones perform is how comfortable he is in his element. And the things that man can do with a synthesizer! Holy cats! Brilliant, and incredibly fun to watch.
I know I don’t have to ask this question, but Howard, “You Know I Love You…Don’t You?” You bet I do. Hope to see you around these parts again soon…