July 12th, 2015
When considering pop music in the 1980s, there are artists that immediately come to mind as defining the era’s sound. Madonna, Michael Jackson, Prince. We could spend a lot of bandwidth listing other important artists from the decade, though we probably would include a number of one-hit wonders. Anyway, let’s cut to the chase. One that should be on everyone’s short list of defining artists from the ’80s is Howard Jones. Jones, hailing from Southampton, England, is synonymous with ’80s synthesizer-laden pop. He came upon the scene with 1984’s Human’s Lib, which included the melodic hit, “What is Love?”. Jones furthered his craft with his sophomore effort, 1985’s Dream Into Action. This album contains possibly Jones’ best-known songs, “Things Can Only Get Better” and the slow, moody, “No One Is To Blame”.
Jones signed to Elektra Records. What that means to CD collectors is that there could be Target pressings of his early albums. There are, in fact, West German Target pressings of Human’s Lib and Dream Into Action. These albums were released on CD bearing both the Elektra and WEA labels (with WEA standing for Warner-Elektra-Atlantic). The WEA label was applied to some releases outside the U.S., so it would seem in this case that co-labeling Human’s Lib and Dream Into Action with Elektra and WEA was a way to have one release of each album serve all key markets.
If you are a collector of Target CDs, then you know that Elektra titles bear a silver target and orange paint coating, while WEA titles carry a purple target and medium green coating. For Human’s Lib and Dream Into Action, the parent WEA label won out. The West German Target CDs of both albums have the purple target/green coating combination. As far as Target CDs are concerned, both Howard Jones West German Targets are common. Collectors should not have difficulty locating these discs.
If you are a collector and Howard Jones fan, then take note. There are rare Target pressings of Dream Into Action for you. U.S. Target pressings have been mentioned on this page before, and some are also shown in the Gallery. These are rare discs that, for some titles, were issued briefly between Target and Non-Target pressings. Some U.S. Target CDs bear the same colors as their West German counterparts, while others have unique color combinations. Typically, there is just one U.S. Target pressing of a particular album, but in the case of Dream Into Action, there are two, differing by their color schemes.
Like the West German Target, the U.S. Targets of Dream Into Action show the WEA label as the primary one and bear both WEA catalog number 240 632-2 and Elektra catalog number 9 60390-2. The first U.S. Target of Dream Into Action has a purple target and green paint coating. Sounds like the West German Target, doesn’t it? Well, the U.S. pressing has a lighter shade of green, more like teal. The other U.S. Target has a green target and purple paint coating, the opposite of the first one. If you are a seasoned collector, you may think that this second U.S. Target looks like the (common) West German Target pressing of U2 War on the Island label. Well, for Dream Into Action, the green target is a lighter shade of green, again like teal. So, both U.S. Target pressings of Dream Into Action have unique color combinations.
Like many other U.S. Target CDs, the Dream Into Action discs were pressed by Philips-DuPont Optical (PDO). Hence, both discs have “MADE IN USA BY PDO” printed along the perimeter. The matrix code for both U.S. Target pressings is “7559 240632-2 2895 468 03 *”. The two discs have identical inserts, printed in the U.S. These same inserts were used for later, far more common U.S. Non-Target pressings. Thus, one unfortunately cannot spot one of these rare U.S. Targets by merely inspecting the inserts.
Shown below is the cover and back insert for the U.S. Target pressings of Dream Into Action, along with both discs.
The cover for the U.S. Target pressings of Howard Jones Dream Into Action (WEA catalog number 240 632-2). This is the standard cover artwork for this album.
The back insert for the U.S. Target pressings of Howard Jones Dream Into Action (WEA catalog number 240 632-2). As noted along the bottom, this insert was printed in the U.S. The Elektra catalog number, 9 60390-2 is also shown.
A U.S. Target pressing of Howard Jones Dream Into Action (WEA catalog number 240 632-2). This disc resembles the West German Target except that the green paint is lighter on the U.S. disc. Note that the disc has “MADE IN USA BY PDO” printed along the perimeter. The matrix code is “7559 240632-2 2895 468 03 *”. Also shown on the disc is the Elektra catalog number, 9 60390-2.
A second U.S. Target pressing of Howard Jones Dream Into Action (WEA catalog number 240 632-2). The color scheme is the opposite of the disc shown above. This disc has “MADE IN USA BY PDO” printed along the perimeter and also has “MADE IN USA BY PDO” stamped on the play side near the center hole. Like the disc above, the matrix code is “7559 240632-2 2895 468 03 *”. This disc also shows the Elektra catalog number, 9 60390-2.