The Second Disc

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Reissue Theory: Nik Kershaw

with 3 comments

It’s not hard to see why Nik Kershaw was considered a teen idol in the 1980s, but it is hard to understand why this was the case after listening to his music. The British guitarist released several great albums of atmospheric yet accessible guitar pop-rock, but it seemed a bit heavier than the usual teen idol fare of generations past or future.

Kershaw’s best-known output don’t deal with typical teen fare. His biggest singles, “Wouldn’t It Be Good,” “I Won’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me” and “The Riddle” wouldn’t ever be mistaken for Frankie Avalon or Take That. “The Riddle,” in particular, could pass for the score to a medieval short film. Whatever the label, though, Kershaw knew how to make ear-catching pop for the 1980s. And those first two records – Human Racing (1983) and The Riddle (1984) – are perfect indicators of this fact.

As underrated as they are in the U.S. – neither charted higher than No. 70 on the Billboard charts – there’s easily enough bonus material (and enough of a fan base, one imagines) to warrant a reissue of those first two records. Get the Reissue Theory perspective on things after the jump!

Nik Kershaw, Human Racing (MCA MCF 3197 (U.K.)/39020 (U.S.), 1984)

Disc 1: Original LP

  1. Dancing Girls – 3:46
  2. Wouldn’t It Be Good – 4:32
  3. Drum Talk – 3:10
  4. Bogart – 4:38
  5. Gone to Pieces – 3:11
  6. Shame on You – 3:33
  7. Cloak and Dagger – 4:55
  8. Faces – 4:05
  9. I Won’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me – 3:23
  10. Human Racing – 4:26

Disc 2: B-sides and remixes

  1. Monkey Business – 3:28 (single B-side – MCA NIK 2, 1984)
  2. She Cries – 3:46 (single B-side – MCA NIK 3, 1984)
  3. Dark Glasses – 4:12 (single B-side – MCA NIK 4, 1984)
  4. Faces (Simon Boswell Remix) – 4:40 (single B-side – MCA NIK 5, 1984)
  5. Wouldn’t It Be Good (Special Extended Mix) – 6:50 (12” A-side – MCA NIKT 2, 1984)
  6. Dancing Girls (Single Remix) – 3:36 (single A-side – MCA NIK 3, 1984)
  7. Dancing Girls (Special Hi-Energy Remix) – 7:35 (12” A-side – MCA NIKT 3, 1984)
  8. Drum Talk (Special Hi-Energy Remix) – 7:24 (12” B-side – MCA NIKT 3, 1984)
  9. I Won’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me (Extended Dance Mix) – 6:00 (12” A-side – MCA T-816, 1984)
  10. I Won’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me (Simon Boswell Remix) – 6:35 (12” A-side – MCA NIKT 4, 1984)
  11. Human Racing (Simon Boswell Remix) – 5:30 (12” A-side – MCA NIKT 5, 1984)
  12. Cloak and Dagger (Live) – 5:10 (single B-side – MCA NIKD 5, 1984)
  13. Drum Talk (Live) – 4:05 (single B-side – MCA NIKD 5, 1984)

Nik Kershaw, The Riddle (MCA MCF 3245 (U.K.)/5548 (U.S.), 1984)

  1. Don Quixote – 4:55
  2. Know How – 4:52
  3. You Might – 3:17
  4. Wild Horses – 3:59
  5. Easy – 4:12
  6. The Riddle – 3:52
  7. City of Angels – 3:56
  8. Roses – 3:58
  9. Wide Boy – 3:28
  10. Save the Whale – 6:02
  11. Progress (Live) – 3:02 (single B-side – MCA NIK 6, 1984)
  12. So Quiet – 3:12 (single A-side – MCA NIK 7, 1984)
  13. Don’t Lie – 3:52 (single B-side – MCA NIK 8, 1985)
  14. The Riddle (Extended Riddle) – 5:08 (12” A-side – MCA NIKT 6, 1984)
  15. Wide Boy (Single Remix) – 3:19 (single A-side – MCA NIK 7, 1984)
  16. Shame on You (Remix) – 3:39 (12” B-side – MCA NIKT 7, 1984)
  17. Wide Boy (Extended Remix) – 5:07 (12” A-side – MCA NIKT 7, 1984)
  18. Don Quixote (Extra Special Long Mix) – 8:41 (12” A-side – MCA NIKT 8, 1985)

Written by Mike Duquette

July 15, 2010 at 12:36

Posted in Features, Nik Kershaw, Reissues

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3 Responses

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  1. I’d go along with the tracklisting on the two above. However, Human Racing disc 2, I have a 12″ extended version of Dancing Girls that runs for 8 minutes. Also the b-side has a 5 minute remix of Drum Talk. I’m not sure if these are the same mixes. You also omit The Simon Boswell 12″ mix of Wouldn’t It Be Good.

    As for the Riddle 2nd disc although only a b side on When a heart beats there is an extended version of Wild Horses too, if not a tad dull.

    Neil Young

    August 28, 2010 at 10:12

  2. Unlike much of the poppier material from the time, both these Nik Kershaw albums stand up VERY well. Can’t wait for the inevitable reissues, I’ll be front of the queue.

    Icy Dead People

    August 30, 2011 at 08:38

  3. Interesting track listing for The Riddle, although I’d personally swap out the Shame On You remix (already included on the recent Human Racing Deluxe) and Wide Boy 7″ remix in favor of the Wild Horses 12″ remix (which clocks in at 6:48) from the When A Heart Beats single .

    Then I’d include a bonus DVD of the Live at Hammersmith Odeon VHS, and add in the relevant singles videos.

    As a final touch, I’d also add on to the DVD all the audio from the CD and the singles remixes (ie including the 7″ remix of Shame On You), at CD resolution (16/44.1) and in hi-res (24/92), since there should be plenty of space on the disc to give this, and frankly there is no reason not to include it.

    gabacabriel

    March 7, 2012 at 12:40


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