Radio Musicola

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Radio Musicola
Studio album by
Released24 October 1986 (1986-10-24)
StudioSwanyard Studios, London
ProducerNik Kershaw
Nik Kershaw chronology
The Riddle
Radio Musicola
The Works
Singles from Radio Musicola
  1. "When a Heart Beats"
    Released: November 1985
  2. "Nobody Knows"
    Released: October 1986
  3. "Radio Musicola"
    Released: December 1986
  4. "James Cagney (edit)"
    Released: 1987
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic2/5 stars[1]
Number Onefavourable[2]

Radio Musicola is the third studio album by the English singer-songwriter Nik Kershaw. It was originally released in October 1986, on the label MCA Records, just under two years after Kershaw's previous album, The Riddle. It was the first album to be produced by Kershaw. It features guest backing vocalists, including Icehouse's Iva Davies, and Night's Stevie Lange, and Miriam Stockley.

The album was released to critical acclaim, but wasn't as successful as Kershaw's previous albums. It peaked at #47 on the UK Albums Chart, marking the beginning of a downturn in Kershaw's fortunes on the album charts. Four singles were issued from Radio Musicola: "When a Heart Beats", "Nobody Knows", "Radio Musicola", and "James Cagney", but none of them reached the Top 20, a first for Kershaw.[3] However, Kershaw did find some minor success with the aforementioned single "When a Heart Beats" (which was not featured on the LP release, only on the cassette and CD versions of the album). The album (to date) remains Kershaw's last album to make the Top 75, and was his last to receive a certification, being certified silver by the BPI.

After the original release, the album remained out-of-print on any format for many years. However, the album became available via online MP3 download on major sites such as Amazon,[4] and iTunes.[5]


The album showcased Kershaw's frustration at the time, with subjects of integrity – media scepticism (particularly towards tabloid journalism), privacy, insecurity and mass-produced run-of-the-mill pop music ("Why can't you let us do it like Joni does it? There you go again, giving it your very best - trying so hard to make it sound like all the rest").[6] The subject is reflected in the cover artwork's concept. The LP record release featured 1950's style spoof advertisements with the song titles woven in, some of which were replicated in the compact disc's booklet.

Release and chart performance[edit]

The album's first single in the United Kingdom was "When a Heart Beats", which peaked at #27 upon its release, the first time that a lead single from a Kershaw album failed to hit the Top 20 in the UK. It became a bigger hit in Ireland, peaking at #14. Further singles from the album were "Nobody Knows" and the title track "Radio Musicola", which peaked at #44, and #43 respectively.

When Kershaw was asked about the poor sales of the album he said:

"I didn't keep their attention – two albums in nine months was a stupid idea because the next one took two and a half years and a lot of people lost interest and went elsewhere, which is fair enough. And the music changed a little bit as well and I produced it myself so that might have been a reason."[7]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Nik Kershaw.

Side one
1."Radio Musicola"5:53
2."Nobody Knows"4:21
4."What the Papers Say"3:33
5."Life Goes On"5:02
Side two
6."Running Scared"5:03
7."James Cagney"5:20
8."Don't Let Me Out of My Cage"4:34
9."Violet to Blue"6:16
Total length:44:20


Credits are adapted from the album's liner notes.[8]

Production team

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1986) Peak
Australia (Kent Music Report)[9] 92
Canadian Albums Chart[10] 87
UK Albums Chart[11] 47


Region Certification Certified units/Sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[12] Silver 60,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Radio Musicola - Nik Kershaw | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2015-11-29.
  2. ^ Number One magazine - Albums - reviewed by Pat Thomas - 1 November 1986 - page 38
  3. ^ "(AWS) - Nik Kershaw". Antiwar Songs. Retrieved 2015-11-29.
  4. ^ "Radio Musicola: Nik Kershaw: MP3 Downloads". Retrieved 2015-11-29.
  5. ^ "Radio Musicola by Nik Kershaw on iTunes". 1958-03-01. Retrieved 2015-11-29.
  6. ^ "DjPaulT's 80's and 90's Remixes » Blog Archive » Nik Kershaw – Radio Musicola (UK 12″)". Burning The Ground. 2010-08-24. Retrieved 2015-11-29.
  7. ^ "Nik Kershaw talks 80s pop and Human Racing 28 years on". superdeluxeedition. Retrieved 2015-11-29.
  8. ^ Radio Musicola liner notes. MCA Records. 1986.
  9. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 165. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  10. ^ "Bienvenue au site Web Bibliothèque et Archives Canada / Welcome to the Library and Archives Canada website". 2012-03-30. Retrieved 2015-11-29.
  11. ^
  12. ^ "British album certifications – Nik Kershaw – Radio Musicola". British Phonographic Industry. Select albums in the Format field. Select Silver in the Certification field. Type Radio Musicola in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.

External links[edit]