Human Racing

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This article is about the Nik Kershaw album. For the title track, see Human Racing (song).
Human Racing
Studio album by Nik Kershaw
Released 27 February 1984
Recorded Summer 1983 at Sarm East Studios, London;
Sarm West Studios, London;
Marcus Music; and
Cherokee Studios, Los Angeles[1]
Genre New wave, synthpop, electronic, pop rock
Length 39:39
Label MCA
Producer Peter Collins
Nik Kershaw chronology
Human Racing
(1984)
The Riddle
(1984)
Singles from Human Racing
  1. "I Won't Let the Sun Go Down on Me"
    Released: 16 September 1983
  2. "Wouldn't It Be Good"
    Released: 21 January 1984
  3. "Dancing Girls"
    Released: 2 April 1984
  4. "I Won't Let the Sun Go Down on Me (Re-release)"
    Released: June 1984
  5. "Human Racing"
    Released: August 1984
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3/5 stars[2]

Human Racing is the debut solo studio album by the English singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Nik Kershaw. The album was released in early 1984 on MCA Records. It features guest keyboardists, including Don Snow, Nick Glennie-Smith, and Reg Webb, the latter a member of the band Fusion (for which Kershaw was the guitarist). Several songs like "Drum Talk" were based around improvisation; other songs, like "I Won't Let the Sun Go Down on Me", had a political message. "I Won't Let the Sun Go Down on Me", "Wouldn't It Be Good", "Dancing Girls" and "Human Racing" were all released as singles with corresponding music videos. The album achieved platinum status from the BPI, and received a nomination for Best British Album at the 1985 Brit Awards, but lost to Sade's Diamond Life.[3]

On release, the album was received favorably by the majority of music critics, although opinions have become more negative in subsequent decades. Being Kershaw's most commercially successful solo album, it went on to peak in the top ten in four countries, including the United Kingdom, Germany, Finland, and Norway.

The album was re-released on 27 February 2012[4] on Universal's new Re-presents imprint featuring rare bonus content. The reissue is a 2-CD set with the original album digitally remastered from the original 1/2" mix tapes; the bonus content consists of associated 12" mixes and B-sides including a previously unreleased version of "Bogart", a special brass mix of "Shame on You" and a live version of "Cloak and Dagger" recorded at the Hammersmith Odeon.

Production and recording[edit]

"Human Racing" was recorded over a period of ten weeks during the summer of 1983. Every day at 11:00, Peter Collins, Julian Mendelsohn, and Kershaw himself gathered at Sarm East Studios in East London to record the album.[5] When Kershaw was asked about how he wanted the album to sound he said:

"What we really did was just re-record the demos I'd made the previous year on a Portastudio, in my front room. All the parts were there, we just improved the quality and changed a few sounds around. We stuck quite faithfully to the original arrangements."[6]

Release and chart performance[edit]

The album's first single in the United Kingdom was "I Won't Let the Sun Go Down on Me", which peaked at #47 upon its first release. It became a major hit in Scandinavia, the Netherlands and Switzerland. "Wouldn't It Be Good" became Kershaw's first major hit in the UK, spending three weeks at #4 on the UK Singles Chart and logging his longest chart run there. It is the song Kershaw is best known for in the United States, where it narrowly missed the top 40, peaking at #46. Further hits from the album were "Dancing Girls" and the title track, which reached #19 in the UK. First single "I Won't Let the Sun Go Down on Me" was later re-released, becoming the album's second international hit and reached #2 in the UK, making it the song Kershaw is best known for there, in Canada and the Netherlands. Human Racing later peaked at #5 in the UK and #70 in the US. In the UK, it was the 22nd best selling album of 1984.

Critical reception[edit]

Reviewing for AllMusic, critic Scott Bultman wrote of the album: "His debut, although rough around the edges, showed talent and promise, and includes "Wouldn't It Be Good."".[7]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written, arranged, and composed by Nik Kershaw.

No. Title Length
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
Additional tracks

Personnel[edit]

Additional personnel
Engineering

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1983) Peak
position
Total
weeks
Canadian Albums Chart[13] 19 23
German Albums Chart[14] 8 27
New Zealand Albums Chart[15] 32 11
Norwegian Albums Chart[16] 7 10
Swedish Albums Chart[17] 38 3
Swiss Albums Chart[18] 12 24
UK Albums Chart[19] 5 61
U.S. Billboard 200[20] 70 17
Chart (2012) Peak
position
Total
weeks
UK Albums Chart 159 1

Singles[edit]

  • "I Won't Let the Sun Go Down on Me" (#47 on first release in 1983; #2 on re-release in 1984)
    • B-side - "Dark Glasses"
  • "Wouldn't It Be Good" (#4)
    • B-side - "Monkey Business"
  • "Dancing Girls" (#13)
    • B-side - "She Cries"
  • "Human Racing" (#19)
    • B-side - "Faces" (Simon Boswell remix)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Kershaw 2012, p. 2-3.
  2. ^ Allmusic review
  3. ^ Shows, retrieved 14 August 2014 
  4. ^ "Nik Kershaw To Release Expanded Reissue Of ‘Human Racing’". thisisnotretro.com. 2012-02-15. Retrieved 2013-07-09. 
  5. ^ "Nik Kershaw To Release Expanded Reissue Of ‘Human Racing’". thisisnotretro.com. 2012-02-15. Retrieved 2013-07-09.
  6. ^ Nik Kershaw talks 80s pop and Human Racing 28 years on, retrieved 14 August 2014 
  7. ^ Human Racing, retrieved 14 August 2014 
  8. ^ Kershaw 2012, p. 14-15.
  9. ^ http://www.superdeluxeedition.com/interview/nik-kershaw-talks-80s-pop-and-human-racing-28-years-on/
  10. ^ http://www.discogs.com/Nik-Kershaw-Human-Racing/release/177061
  11. ^ http://www.discogs.com/Nik-Kershaw-Human-Racing/release/177061
  12. ^ Kershaw 2012, p. 3.
  13. ^ "Welcome to the LIBRARY AND ARCHIVES CANADA website | Bienvenue au site Web BIBLIOTHÈQUE ET ARCHIVES CANADA". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. Retrieved 2011-01-31. 
  14. ^ "Charts-Surfer". Charts-surfer.de. Retrieved 2011-01-31. 
  15. ^ Steffen Hung (2011-01-24). "New Zealand charts portal". charts.org.nz. Retrieved 2011-01-31. 
  16. ^ Steffen Hung (2006-06-15). "Norwegian charts portal". norwegiancharts.com. Retrieved 2011-01-31. 
  17. ^ Steffen Hung (2005-03-10). "Swedish Charts Portal". swedishcharts.com. Retrieved 2011-01-31. 
  18. ^ Steffen Hung. "Die Offizielle Schweizer Hitparade und Music Community". swisscharts.com. Retrieved 2011-01-31. 
  19. ^ "UK Singles & Albums Chart Archive". Chart Stats. Retrieved 2011-01-31. 
  20. ^ "Music News, Reviews, Articles, Information, News Online & Free Music". Billboard.com. Retrieved 2011-01-31. 
  • Kershaw, Nik (2012). Human Racing (2CD Expanded Edition) (CD booklet). Nik Kershaw. Universal/Island Records Ltd. UMCREP2013. 

External links[edit]