- Audio CD (January 25, 2000)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: Import
- Label: MCA Records
- ASIN: B0000071BO
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #314,984 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
Human Racing Import
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Top Customer Reviews
"Human Racing" by Nik Kershaw is an absolutely unique counterbalance of techno drums and synths, heavy metal guitar and sophisticated literacy bound together by some of the catchiest melodies pop has known since Motown was in charge -- not to mention a challenging and eclectic vocal score and some very impressive harmonies. The introspective cycle of Side One (yes, Virginia, this album dates back to an era when the songs were grouped together in Sides) leads to the weltschmarz of Side Two, with its afore-mentioned defiance and eventual retreat into the hamster-wheel. Brilliantly musical, poetically resonant to a Dylan-esqe degree and embodying a particularly wide-awake insanity only alluded to by his peers, this is without doubt THE milestone of the early MTV era.
So why wasn't Nik a household name by 1985? Who knows. Who cares? When have the masses ever had any idea what music sounded like? That's why Britney Spears has sold 50 million records and Brahms died broke. It doesn't matter. Kershaw's surpassing genius is encapsulated forever in this amazing work. My "original" is locked up in a fireproof safe; I only let copies out of the house. That's how much I intend to hang on to this single recording, even if everything other piece of 80s music burns to a crisp.
The bad news about Nik is that he never caught on in the US. The good news is that he never was over commercialized and crammed down our materialistic necks by record moguls who wanted to put him in McD's Happy Meals, like 98degrees and Brittny what's her name ("Don't you just love my belly button? Here, take ANOTHER look").
If I could find this cd again I'd buy it in a heartbeat.
Listening again to this album, which is very much a sound of its time, I'm struck by its similarity to Level 42. But there are also shades of Duran Duran and Thomas Dolby. There's a lot of Yamaha DX7 synth sounds throughout the LP, which together with the processed thud of the drums, date the album almost to the year, 1983.
I always felt Kershaw looked uncomfortable with his pop/teenybop positioning. He certainly looked uneasy the only time I saw him on 'Top of the Pops'. His was the poster that decorated many British girls' bedrooms at the time, but nine years earlier (1974), Kershaw had tried unsuccessfully to join Deep Purple. Disappointed, he then moved into fusion, which probably explains the Level 42 influences on this CD. Kershaw never had the most distinctive or powerful voice, but he was a fine guitarist.
The one reason for getting this album is the tremendous 'Wouldn't it be Good', which has an outstanding chorus and perhaps the last great guitar solo on any pop or teenybop record.
So, to the album. How anyone could claim he's a 'one-song wonder' is beyond me. Admittedly, 'Wouldn't it be good' is a near-perfect slice of pop, but what about 'Human Racing' - as concise and perceptive an observation of human existence as I've ever heard?
The theme of the album is survival in an increasingly cut-throat & competitive world ('the stakes so high & my resistance so low', 'it's getting harder just keeping life & soul together', 'I won't let the sun go down on me', etc.) & it certainly has a relevance that most people should be able to identify with.
No, Nik should be applauded for trying to maintain and improve the qualities that kept pop music popular for so long. He's a PURE SOPHISTICAT, which is possibly why he's not more widely appreciated.
2015 UPDATE TO THIS REVIEW: Sorry, I got title wrong: Tim Rice-Oxley of Keane is the last of the great songwriters!
Can't say if the sound is compressed like todays recordings. But to me this CD set sounds good to me.I get iffy when I see Remastered now days. This can be a HIt,or Miss deal.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It's not easy to get the original song. I'm glad to finally have a copy.Published 16 months ago by JC
Kinda' cheesy 80's techno pop.... Did I mention I love cheesy 80's techno pop? Hard to beat Nik's melodies. I love music that makes you smile.Published 23 months ago by Mario R. Ortega
Mastering sound clean!! Great album!! Been waiting for this for a long time & you can't beat the price!!Published 24 months ago by M. Quinonez
I had only discovered Nik Kershaw playing the game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories in 2007 (apologies to anyone I offend who reads this. Read morePublished on December 27, 2013 by Bryan
It would've been good to see Nik Kershaw perform at least when he was doing so well back in the 80's and from some of these past British ALL 80's band Festivals he does sound very... Read morePublished on July 13, 2013 by 1GR8MATEMB
When I was 11, in 1983, actually I asked my mother to buy me Nik Kershaw - it was th is cd, in form of a cassette. Read morePublished on September 8, 2012 by Clarice
Great to see this release being give a new lease of life. The sound is excellent and can't be faulted. All the original songs and production are brilliant. Read morePublished on April 15, 2012 by Guy
I won't really comment on the album. If you're reading this and considering plunking down $20+ for it, you must be a fan already. Read morePublished on March 31, 2012 by David G. Marut