I Won't Let the Sun Go Down on Me

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Not to be confused with Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me.
"I Won't Let the Sun Go Down on Me"
First Release
Single by Nik Kershaw
from the album Human Racing
A-side I Won't Let The Sun Go Down On Me
B-side Dark Glasses
Released 16 September 1983
Format 7" / 12" Vinyl
Genre Pop rock, synthpop, new wave
Length 3:19
Label MCA
Writer(s) Nik Kershaw
Producer(s) Peter Collins
Nik Kershaw singles chronology
"I Won't Let the Sun Go Down on Me"
(1983)
"Wouldn't It Be Good"
(1984)

"Dancing Girls"
(1984)

"I Won't Let the Sun Go Down on Me (re-issue)"
(1984)

"Human Racing"
(1984)

"I Won't Let the Sun Go Down on Me" is a song by singer Nik Kershaw, first released on his hit debut album Human Racing.

"I Won't Let the Sun Go Down on Me" only reached number 47 in the UK charts when first released. However, the follow-up single from the same album, "Wouldn't It Be Good", reached the top five and on the back of that success "I Won't Let The Sun Go Down On Me" was re-released and soared to number two. It was also subsequently a major hit in several other countries and was responsible for bringing Nik Kershaw to greater public attention.

Lyrics[edit]

The song was written during the latter part of the Cold War period when nuclear war between the two superpowers of the USSR and USA was still a very real concern, and the lyrics reflect a satirical view of politics and the threat of war with lines such as: "old men in stripey trousers, rule the world with plastic smiles", and: "forefinger on the button, is he blue or is he red?"

In September 1984, Kershaw told "Number One" magazine:[1]

It's probably not immediately obvious but I Won't Let The Sun is about The Bomb, or rather about people taking responsibility for what they do generally. It's saying that it probably won't do much good for one person to shout about these things but I'm going to anyway.

Musical arrangement[edit]

The song was originally written as a folk protest song but it turned into a pop anthem in the studio.[2]

In Kershaw's version, the synth tune was produced with an Oberheim OB-8 played by Paul Wickens (Wix).[3]

Video[edit]

There are two different music videos for this song.

First release[edit]

The original video for "I Won't Let The Sun Go Down On Me" shows Kershaw singing the song on a hillside and in a castle. He is accompanied by children, and by a minstrel, who plays the guitar parts on a lute. The video was filmed in Maidstone, Kent.:[4]

Second release[edit]

When the song was re-released in June 1984, a new video was shot. Because Kershaw was doing promotional work in Europe, there was little time to arrange anything, so a faux live video was shot. It was interspersed with occasional shots of the old men in stripey trousers.[5] At one point, one of the old men picks a blue rabbit out of a guitar case. This had been sent to Kershaw by a fan named Lauren, and he placed it on stage in front of his right hand monitor during gigs, for luck.[6] Kershaw was not happy with the video, feeling it was hurried:[7]

I'll never forget the day of the shot, it was a real pandemonium. The band was trying to rehearse -'cos we hadn't played live for so long - and do the video at the same time. It would've been a much better video if we'd had more time. The best way to shoot a live gig is over four or five nights then you might get a good set because when you're playing live, there's a lot of excitement and you can't always concentrate on every note.

Track listing[edit]

First Release[edit]

16 September 1983
7" Single (MCA 816)[8]

A I Won't Let The Sun Go Down On Me - 3:19
B Dark Glasses (4:15)

12" Single (MCAT 816)

A I Won't Let The Sun Go Down On Me (Extended Dance Mix) - 6:00
B Dark Glasses (4:20)

Second Release[edit]

4 June 1984
7" Single (MCA NIK 4)

A I Won't Let The Sun Go Down On Me - 3:19
B Dark Glasses (4:12)

12" Single (MCA NIKT 4)

A I Won't Let The Sun Go Down On Me (Extended Remix) - 6:35
B Dark Glasses (4:12)

Credits[edit]

I Won't Let The Sun Go Down On Me[9]

Produced by Peter Collins

Dark Glasses

Produced by Peter Collins

I Won't Let The Sun Go Down On Me (Extended Dance Mix)

Remix by Micky Modern and Phil Harding

I Won't Let The Sun Go Down On Me (Extended Remix)

Remix by Simon Boswell

Charts[edit]

Chart (1983) Peak
position
United Kingdom (First Release)
(The Official Charts Company)
47
Chart (1984) Peak
position
Canada (RPM) 5
Ireland (IRMA) 4
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[10] 6
Norway (VG-lista)[11] 8
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[12] 10
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[13] 6
United Kingdom (Second Release) 2

Robin Cook[edit]

"I Won't Let the Sun Go Down"
Single by Robin Cook
from the album Land of Sunshine
B-side "Reggae in the Night"
Released June 1996
Format CD single
Genre Reggae fusion
Length 03:20
Label Stockholm Records
Robin Cook singles chronology
I Won't Let the Sun Go Down
(1996)
Comanchero
(1997)

The song was released by Jonas Ekfeldt as Robin Cook under the name "I Won't Let the Sun Go Down" and later formed part of the album Land of Sunshine in 1997. The song charted in Sweden for 19 weeks in 1996 peaking at no. 3 and in Finland for 2 week peaking at no. 16.[14]

Track listing[edit]

CD single - Europe (1996)
  1. "I Won't Let The Sun Go Down" (Radio Edit) - 3:05
  2. "I Won't Let The Sun Go Down" (Extended Version) - 4:34
  3. "I Won't Let The Sun Go Down" (Summer Club Mix) - 7:00
  4. "Reggae In The Night" - 3:25

Sampled by Sveriges Radio[edit]

Ekfeldt filed a lawsuit against Sveriges Radio for sampling "I Won't Let the Sun Go Down" and accused them for using the sample without permission in the parody "I Won't Let Susan Go Down on Me" on the album Rally 2 from the radio show Rally on the channel SR P3. Sveriges Radio denied the accusations, but the National Laboratory of Forensic Science in Sweden compared the songs[15] and asserted that the former song indeed had been sampled.

The amount of Ekfeldt's compensation was not made public, but was said to be of a significant amount and a lot more than if the channel had asked for permission first.[16]

Charts[edit]

Chart (1996) Peak
position
Denmark (Tracklisten)[17] 4
Finland (Suomen virallinen lista)[18] 16
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[19] 3

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Nik Kershaw Picture Show". www.nikkershaw.it. 2005. Retrieved 2013-07-17. 
  2. ^ "Interview with LineaMusica - October 2008". www.nikkershaw.it. 2005. Retrieved 2013-07-17. 
  3. ^ http://www.nikkershaw.co.uk/drum-talk.asp
  4. ^ "Nik Kershaw: The Face of 84 - Beatbox, July 1984". www.nikkershaw.it. 2005. Retrieved 2013-07-17. 
  5. ^ "The Nik Kershaw Picture Show". www.nikkershaw.it. 2005. Retrieved 2013-07-17. 
  6. ^ "Nik Kershaw: Smash Hits Interview - 5 July 1984". www.nikkershaw.it. 2005. Retrieved 2013-07-17. 
  7. ^ "The Nik Kershaw Picture Show". www.nikkershaw.it. 2005. Retrieved 2013-07-17. 
  8. ^ "Nik Kershaw Singles Discography 1984-2005". www.nikkershaw.it. 2005. Retrieved 2013-07-16. 
  9. ^ "Nik Kershaw Singles Discography 1984-2005". www.nikkershaw.it. 2005. Retrieved 2013-07-16. 
  10. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Nik Kershaw search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40.
  11. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Nik Kershaw – I Won't Let the Sun Go Down on Me". VG-lista.
  12. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Nik Kershaw – I Won't Let the Sun Go Down on Me". Singles Top 60.
  13. ^ "Nik Kershaw – I Won't Let the Sun Go Down on Me – swisscharts.com". Swiss Singles Chart.
  14. ^ I Won't Let the Sun Go Down on swedishcharts.com. Retrieved on 9 November 2010.
  15. ^ Elin Törnqvist. "Ny analysmetod avslöjar olagliga musiksamplingar" (in Swedish). Swedish Police Service's webpage, 23 November 2006. Retrieved 2 July 2007. Archived with Wayback machine here. Retrieved 9 November 2010.
  16. ^ Tony Fischier. "Återskapad inspelning var stöld" (in Swedish). Göteborgs-Posten's webpage, 31 August 2006. Retrieved 2 July 2007.
  17. ^ Danish peak
  18. ^ "Robin Cook: I Won't Let the Sun Go Down" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland.
  19. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Robin Cook – I Won't Let the Sun Go Down". Singles Top 60.

External links[edit]