Song Review: Howard Jones – “The Prisoner”

“The Prisoner” was released as the second single from Howard Jones’ 1989 album, Cross That Line. This is a song that, while it may not have been a big pop hit on a national level, it was rather popular on my local Top 40 station during the summer of 1989. I loved this song back in 1989, and I still love it to this day; in fact, it’s still one of my favorite Howard Jones song of all time.

When Howard went on his acoustic tour about three years later, I was able to see him perform during his stop in Spokane, Washington. It was a great show, and I enjoyed it a lot. Several times during that show, though, the audience erupted into chants of “The Prisoner” several times. After hearing these chants, Howard did attempt to perform the song. He didn’t get too terribly far before he stopped and apologized to the audience; he hadn’t rehearsed that song, because he didn’t expect to be playing it. But he promised that the next time he came to Spokane, that he would perform that song.

I remember seeing the music video for “The Prisoner” on MTV back in 1989, and being impressed by some of the effects that appeared in it. By today’s standards, these effects would like a bit cheesy now; but back in 1989, this video actually looked pretty darn cool!


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