Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Nik Kershaw 'I Won't Let The Sun Go Down On Me'

Chart Peak: 2 [47 in 1983]


Charted at No.18 on 18th June - had reached No. 2 by 26th June. Originally made No. 47 on 29th November 1983.
You might have spotted that I didn't actually bother reproducing the sleeve note from the Duran Duran track, as those on the early albums aren't generally that interesting, just recounting chart positions. This one does sort of give away when they went to press at least. As it turned out, this made no further progress, and to add insult to injury it was pushed down to 3 the next week by another track from the same act who were at the top of the chart.

Still, a big hit, and an improvement on its non-Top-40 performance when originally issued as his debut single. Repromoted as the follow-up to breakthrough hit 'Wouldn't It Be Good', this Cold War satire became his biggest ever hit as a performer, and not undeservedly so as, despite its slightly dated reference points it seems the better song now. When I wrote about 'Wouldn't It Be Good' (almost four years ago!) I did single out Kershaw's failure to adopt different voices for the two parts as a flaw. That's not a problem this time, but I do also think this one's more melodically satisfying, and the use of bitter sarcasm about the absurdity of global politics, though hardly original, was fitting then and now. Even after these years of writing about 80s pop I still find it hard to warm to this sort of production, especially from a muso like Ni[c]k Kershaw. In some ways I think this live version with real musicians from, of all places, Fairport Convention's Cropredy Festival, is more effective; I wonder if that's closer to how he actually wrote it. 

Also appearing on: Now 2, 4, 6
Available on: Human Racing

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