The Riddle (album)

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The Riddle
Studio album by Nik Kershaw
Released19 November 1984 (1984-11-19)
ProducerPeter Collins
Nik Kershaw chronology
Human Racing
The Riddle
Radio Musicola
Singles from The Riddle
  1. "The Riddle"
    Released: November 1984
  2. "Wide Boy"
    Released: March 1985
  3. "Don Quixote"
    Released: August 1985
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4.5/5 stars[1]
Rolling Stone2/5 stars[2]
Smash Hits6.5/10 stars[5]

The Riddle is the second studio album by the English singer-songwriter Nik Kershaw. It was originally released in November 1984, on the label MCA.

On release, the album was received favourably by the majority of music critics. It went on to peak at #8 on the UK Albums Chart and reached #39 on the Australian ARIA Charts. The album launched three charting singles in the UK. "The Riddle" peaked at #3 on the UK Singles Chart; "Wide Boy" at #9; "Don Quixote" at #10. The album was certified platinum by the BPI.

The album was re-released on 9 August 2013 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 B-sides, 12" mixes, and live versions of the songs featured on the album.

Cover artwork[edit]

The album's cover photograph was shot on Chesil Beach in Dorset. On the back sleeve of the album, the Isle of Portland is seen in the background.[6] Additionally, the single release of the title song "The Riddle" used the same image of Kershaw on the beach, whilst the back sleeve featured a photograph of Kershaw reading a map, standing at Portland Bill. The Trinity House Obelisk is highlighted in the photograph.[7]

Critical reception[edit]

Smash Hits gave the album a mostly positive review calling it "a commendable offering from the thinking man's Limahl".[5] Reviewing retrospectively for AllMusic, critic Scott Bultman wrote of the album "Kershaw's second album finally garnered some deserved attention. The rest is his unique style of well-crafted synth-pop."[1]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Nik Kershaw.

Side one
1."Don Quixote"4:55
2."Know How"4:52
3."You Might"3:17
4."Wild Horses"3:59
Side two
6."The Riddle"3:52
7."City of Angels"3:56
9."Wide Boy"3:28
10."Save the Whale"6:02
Total length:42:32


Credits are adapted from the album's liner notes.[11]

Production team
Live personnel (2013 re-release)
  • Nik Kershaw – vocals; guitar; keyboards
  • Keith Airey – guitar; keyboards; backing vocals
  • Tim Moore – keyboards; backing vocals
  • Mark Price – drums
  • Dennis Smith – bass guitar
  • Gary Wallis – percussion

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1984) Peak
Australia (Kent Music Report)[12] 39
Canadian Albums Chart[13] 45
German Albums Chart[14] 12
New Zealand Albums Chart[15] 8
Norwegian Albums Chart[16] 5
Swedish Albums Chart[17] 11
Swiss Albums Chart[18] 23
UK Albums Chart[19] 8
US Billboard 200[20] 113


  1. ^ a b c Bultman, Scott. "Nik Kershaw – The Riddle". AllMusic. Retrieved 29 November 2015.
  2. ^ a b c Henke, James (5 May 1985). "Lone Justice Proves They Are More Than Hype". The Tuscaloosa News. Retrieved 2 January 2016.
  3. ^ Billboard magazine - Reviews: albums - March 30, 1985 - page 72
  4. ^ "Nik Kershaw – The Riddle". Džuboks (in Serbian) (194 (second series)): 14.
  5. ^ a b Sheaff, Claire (22 November 1984). "Album Reviews". Smash Hits. 6 (24): 25.
  6. ^ "Images for Nik Kershaw - The Riddle". Retrieved 2013-06-03.
  7. ^ "Nik Kershaw - The Riddle / Progress - MCA - UK - NIK 6". 45cat. 17 March 2012. Retrieved 2013-06-03.
  8. ^ "Nik Kershaw To Release Expanded Reissue Of 'The Riddle'". 5 July 2013. Retrieved 2013-07-09.
  9. ^ a b "Nik Kershaw: The Riddle - Deluxe Edition Track Listing". 20 June 2013. Retrieved 2013-07-14.
  10. ^ "Nik responds to The Riddle deluxe bonus track selection comments". 12 July 2013. Archived from the original on 16 October 2013. Retrieved 2013-07-14.
  11. ^ The Riddle liner notes. MCA Records. 1984.
  12. ^ 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.
  13. ^ "Bienvenue au site Web Bibliothèque et Archives Canada / Welcome to the Library and Archives Canada website". 30 March 2012. Retrieved 2015-11-29.
  14. ^ "Charts-Surfer". Retrieved 2012-01-07.
  15. ^ Steffen Hung. "New Zealand charts portal". Archived from the original on 24 July 2011. Retrieved 2012-01-07.
  16. ^ Steffen Hung (15 June 2006). "Norwegian charts portal". Retrieved 2012-01-07.
  17. ^ Steffen Hung. "Swedish Charts Portal". Archived from the original on 21 July 2011. Retrieved 2012-01-07.
  18. ^ Steffen Hung. "Die Offizielle Schweizer Hitparade und Music Community". Retrieved 2012-01-07.
  19. ^
  20. ^ "Music News, Reviews, Articles, Information, News Online & Free Music". Retrieved 2012-01-07.

External links[edit]