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In the 80s, Howard Jones was our synthpop hero. At school dances, his "New Song" had a way of drawing all of us disparate kids together. Then he told us that "things can only get better." But in 1989, when many of us were entering college, you could see that, on "Everlasting Love" and "The Prisoner," Jones was moving towards adult contemporary.
Three long years later, when some of us were finishing college, Jones' metamorphosis into AC was complete, with the Spring 1992 album, In The Running. Now, as it came during a time of musical distortion, Jones' brand of AC was actually a welcome relief. Whether hanging out at my house, or sitting on the bleachers/benches at fields/playgrounds, my friends used In The Running to bring a moment of calm. During the summer of '92, while waiting for others to arrive, so that we'd have enough to play softball, we liked Jones' "Lift Me Up" and "Tears To Tell." At that particular moment, no one was going through a breakup. Thus, even though "Tears To Tell" was a breakup song, that did nothing to lessen our enjoyment of this song. Shoot, while this was playing at Rossi Playground, Patricia, my summer fling, leaned against my shoulder, before putting on her mitt, and taking the mound. Watching her from 3rd base, I just sighed at the sight, and didn't care if she got shelled or induced the other team to go down 1-2-3.
In 1993, "Tears To Tell" would appear on Jones' Best Of, which was used at Bay Area audio stores. Having heard "Tears To Tell" sound very good via the Martin Logan Aerius i, I kick myself for getting other, lesser speakers. But that's neither here nor now. One wing of my audiophile friends likes "Tears To Tell," would like to share it, and says it dials back our age by 25 years.
-Lummy The Loch Monster
During that summer of '92, my friends would arrive at the playground at various times. Thus, whoever was there first would do sports which didn't require armies of people. They'd dabble in tennis and basketball, for example. Once we had numbers, we liked ending with softball, which was mellower than the intense basketball and football.
When we were up to bat, SF's parks didn't always have dugouts. Thus, we sat on the bleachers along a baseline. This was the opportunity to grab a snack or get water. It was also a chance to chat. So it was common, while we were up to bat, to have the boombox [my friend, now in the Seattle area, says he discovered that he still has the Sony boombox we used that summer of '92] play lighter, more laid back and romantic fare.
Somebody had Howard Jones' In The Running on CD, and "Two Souls" put us in a softer mood. It's about a strained or distant relationship needing a restart. But that didn't matter. Whether we went quickly 1-2-3, or had a prolonged rally, "Two Souls" put us at ease.
Usually after you're done with sports, you just want to go home. But after we finished playing softball, "Two Souls" made us want to wash up, and go out at night. And remember; we were all college kids. We didn't have money for fancy clothes, expensive restaurants, exhorbitant desserts, tokens at an arcade, exclusive nightclubs, Broadway shows, or high-end audio. We just used public transportation to go sightseeing around the Bay. We enjoyed walking along the Wharf area. And at the end of the day, it was kind of neat, walking arm-in-arm with a girl, who smiled back, and debated whether we should blow our money, and share a sundae at Ghirardelli Square. Beaming with optimism, she'd declare, "And tomorrow, I will hike the [foot]ball right, and hit the [soft]ball out of the infield."
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