The Works (Nik Kershaw album)

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The Works
Studio album by Nik Kershaw
Released 22 May 1989 (1989-05-22)
Recorded 1988-89
Length 49:18
Label MCA
Producer Nik Kershaw, Peter Wolf, Julian Mendelsohn
Nik Kershaw chronology
Radio Musicola
The Works
The Best of Nik Kershaw
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars [1]

The Works the fourth studio solo album by the English singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Nik Kershaw. It is the last album that he created for MCA Records, in 1989. It introduces slight jazz influences in some tracks. The title could be interpreted as "the end", a possibility supported by the lyrics of the track "Take My Place". He did not release any new material until 15 Minutes, 10 years later.

The album was not commercially successful, failing to make any national impact in the European charts. The two singles from the album also failed to gather much attention, with "One Step Ahead" only peaking at #55 in the UK,[2] and "Elisabeth's Eyes" failing to chart altogether.

Although the album was produced by Peter Wolf and co-produced by Brian Malouf, both singles were written shortly after Kershaw became unhappy with Wolf's production and his direction for the album. Both singles were produced by Kershaw and Julian Mendelsohn, whilst the two also re-worked the production of the entire album, earning them an additional production credit.[3]

After the original release, the album remained out-of-print on any format for years. However, in November 2006, the album became available via online MP3 download on major sites such as Amazon[4] and iTunes.[5]


Around the time of the album's release, Kershaw was asked what he had done since his last album Radio Musicola from 1986, where Kershaw spoke of the creation and production of The Works album. "In April 1987 I finished touring, after that I wrote songs for the new album. In August of that year I went to Los Angeles to record The Works album in 4 months with producer Peter Wolf. Back home in England I listened to the album and discovered that I hated it. I could never have promoted that album. How could I tell the people: it's a great product, buy it!, if I wouldn't have bought it myself. So I quickly wrote two more songs, among which was "One Step Ahead", and I did a lot all over again with Julian Mendelsohn in London. Eventually the record was only finished last year in October. But I must say that I'm a whole lot happier about it now."

When asked why things didn't work between Kershaw and Wolf, Kershaw stated "American producers are used to having total control over their production. But I wanted to have a say about my own songs myself. Americans want predictable songs and sounds whereas I chose the opposite. We have been fighting like cats and dogs in that studio, we were constantly clashing. In the end we decided to make a compromise, but with the result that neither of us was happy with the final result. It was all very annoying, but I also learned from it."

The interviewer also mentioned the Queen album The Works, where Kershaw spoke of the album's title and the meaning behind it. "I only found out about that Queen title later, when the sleeve was already finished. Oh well, nothing is new, everything has been done before. I don't worry about it. 'The Works' means: the collected works of Nik Kershaw."[6][7]

The track "One World" was later issued on Kershaw's 1991 compilation The Collection,[8] whilst the German vinyl and Japanese CD editions of the compilation featured a re-recorded version of the track instead. In recent years, Kershaw stated via his Q&A sessions "Drum Talk" that the re-recorded version was to be a single after the release of "Elisabeth's Eyes", however this never materialised as he and the record label MCA parted company. In 1991, English pop singer Chesney Hawkes covered the song for his album The One and Only,[9] where it also appeared as b-side to his third single "Secrets of the Heart", taken from the same album.[10] In the same year, Hawkes had scored a number one hit in the UK with the Nik Kershaw-penned song "The One and Only".[11]

Track listing[edit]

Cassette, CD[edit]

  1. "One Step Ahead" – 3:53
  2. "Elisabeth's Eyes" – 4:40
  3. "Take My Place" – 4:04
  4. "Wounded Knee" – 3:53
  5. "Cowboys & Indians" – 3:52
  6. "One World" – 4:39
  7. "Don't Ask Me" – 7:31
  8. "Burning at Both Ends" – 4:05
  9. "Lady on the Phone" – 7:45
  10. "Walkabout" – 4:56



  1. ^ The Works at AllMusic
  2. ^ "The Official Charts Company - One Step Ahead by Nik Kershaw Search". The Official Charts Company. 6 May 2013. 
  3. ^ "Images for Nik Kershaw - The Works". Retrieved 2012-09-10. 
  4. ^ "The Works: Nik Kershaw: MP3 Downloads". Retrieved 2012-09-10. 
  5. ^ "iTunes - Music - The Works by Nik Kershaw". 1958-03-01. Retrieved 2012-09-10. 
  6. ^ "The big Nik Kershaw interview". Archived from the original on December 1, 2012. Retrieved 2012-09-10. 
  7. ^  Posted by Krissnikkers at 11:14 am. "Translations » Nik Kershaw Fan Website". Retrieved 2012-09-10. 
  8. ^ "Nik Kershaw - The Collection (CD) at Discogs". Retrieved 2012-09-10. 
  9. ^ "Chesney Hawkes - The One And Only (CD, Album) at Discogs". Retrieved 2012-09-10. 
  10. ^ "Chesney Hawkes - Secrets Of The Heart (Vinyl) at Discogs". Retrieved 2012-09-10. 
  11. ^ "The Official Charts Company - The One And Only by Chesney Hawkes Search". The Official Charts Company. 6 May 2013. 

External links[edit]

'The Works' lyrics: