Friday, November 11, 2016

"Wouldn't It Be Good" by Nik Kershaw

Song#:  1846
Date:  03/31/1984
Debut:  93
Peak:  46
Weeks:  13
Genre:  New Wave, Synthpop

Pop Bits:  This English musician played in several bands before stepping out on his own in 1982. He secured a manager who ended up getting Kershaw a deal with MCA. Work began on a debut album titled Human Racing and its first single, "I Won't Let the Sun Go Down on Me," was issued. The song could only muster at #47 showing in the UK, but in countries like Norway and Sweden, it was a Top 10 hit. Attention then fell to this second single, which caught on in the UK and went to #4. The tune made it Stateside, but it just wasn't a major chart contender even though its associated video was popular on MTV. It would end up being Kershaw's only song to hit the US chart. Back in the UK, his debut single was reissued and it became his biggest hit there going to #2. His second album, The Riddle, provided Kershaw with three more UK Top 10 hits. After that, his fortunes began to wane and over the years he could only manage a few minor chart entries. He still continues to record and tour.

ReduxReview:  To me, this sounds like two different songs that got mashed together - one great, one not so good. The best part is the chorus. It's a nice slice of Brit synthpop that is highly memorable. The instrumental solo part is also a gem of a blast. Based on the chorus alone, this should have easily been a Top 10 hit. However, I think what held it back was the verse. It's a bit monotone with a bridge that sounds unfinished due to the chorus coming in and stomping on it. The two just don't match up or flow together well and as good as the chorus is, it's not enough to compensate for the dreary verse. Kershaw is not the most interesting vocalist either, so that plays into it as well (for a better take on the song, listen to the Danny Hutton version mentioned below - he kills it). I still like this song, but it stops short of being an 80s classic thanks to its robotic verse.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  Folks who love the 1986 film Pretty in Pink and its associated soundtrack may be familiar with this song, but in a different version. The tune was recorded by the Danny Hutton Hitmen for the soundtrack. Hutton was one of three lead vocalists for the very successful late 60's/early 70s band Three Dog Night. That band scored eleven Top 10 hits from 1969 to 1974.  The run netted them three #1's including "Black and White," which featured Hutton on lead vocals.


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