|"Things Can Only Get Better"|
|Single by Howard Jones|
|from the album Dream into Action|
|B-side||"Why Look for the Key"|
|Released||9 February 1985|
|Howard Jones singles chronology|
A typically upbeat Jones composition, it was one of two songs from the album to feature all-female singing group Afrodiziak on backing vocals. John Leland from Spin magazine wrote that "It mines the best of the Anglo soul movement: a clean slap-bass line, precise horns and synths, and some well-paced and inviting singing".
The main B-side was another album track from the UK version of the album, "Why Look for the Key", although with a slightly longer fade that made it about twenty seconds longer than the version on the UK version of Dream into Action. "You Jazzy Nork!" is a reworked instrumental version of "Why Look for the Key" performed by the Alphonse Conway Orchestra.
The cover of the 12" single featured a photograph of Jones, in profile, sitting on a high bar stool. This image was used in silhouette for the 7" artwork, the single being issued in several alternative sleeves with different colour backgrounds.
The video depicts Jones singing the song as his road crew sets up equipment for a concert, followed by a transition to the show as he performs for a lively crowd. It is intercut by Jones being interrupted in his dressing room by a dancing pastiche of Daniel from the 1984 film The Karate Kid, and the Tramp character made famous by Charlie Chaplin, both of whom appear in the crowd at the end.
- "Things Can Only Get Better" – 3:57
- "Why Look for the Key" – 3:43
- "Things Can Only Get Better (Extended Mix)" – 7:18
- "Why Look for the Key" – 3:43
- "You Jazzy Nork!" – 4:48
Both a 7" and 12" picture disc were released with the same tracks as the standard formats.
In 2005, Swedish DJ Eric Prydz released a remixed version and renamed it "And Do You Feel Scared?". It is featured in the video game 2006 FIFA World Cup as one of the many EA Trax that appear in the game.
In 2013, French house music artist Cedric Gervais released a song featuring the vocal track from Howard Jones' original song. It too was titled "Things Can Only Get Better".
"Things Can Only Get Better" reached number six in the UK Singles Chart and number five in the United States on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Curiously, the song also crossed over to the R&B charts in America, peaking at number 54.
|Australia (Kent Music Report)||11|
|Canada RPM Top Singles||9|
|Italian Singles Chart||13|
|UK Singles Chart||6|
|US Mainstream Rock Tracks||21|
|US Billboard Hot 100||5|
|US Dance/Club Play Songs||10|
|U.S. Billboard Hot Black Singles||54|
|Year-end chart (1985)||Rank|
|US Top Pop Singles (Billboard)||41|
- John Leland (June 1985). "Singles – Howard Jones "Things Can Only Get Better" (Elektra)". Spin. p. 36. Retrieved 2010-08-22. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "Howard Jones – Chart history | Billboard". www.billboard.com. Retrieved 2016-08-27.
- Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (Illustrated ed.). St. Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 161. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. N.B. the Kent Report chart was licensed by ARIA between mid 1983 and 19 June 1988.
- "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. 1985-06-29. Retrieved 2020-01-09. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Things Can Only Get Better". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved January 7, 2020.
- "officialcharts.com". Retrieved April 13, 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "1985 The Year in Music & Video: Top Pop Singles". Billboard. Vol. 97 no. 52. December 28, 1985. p. T-21.
- Abad-Santos, Alex. "How Watchmen's giant squid attack changes everything". Vox. Retrieved 28 August 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)