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Human Racing Import

4.6 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, January 25, 2000
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Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Dancing Girls
  2. Wouldnt It Be Good
  3. Drum Talk
  4. Bogart
  5. Gone To Pieces
  6. Shame On You
  7. Cloak And Dagger
  8. Faces
  9. I Wont Let The Sun Go Down On Me
  10. Human Racing


Product Details

  • 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)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
After having had 30 years to evaluate the decade, there is one bright shining moment of music that, to me, still pierces the post-disco gloom like a laser, and one cycle of lyrics that absolutely defines what it was like to be young and European during the early days of the Reagan era. Lines like "old men in striped trousers rule the world with plastic smiles" are still among the most evocative ever written, and the defiant chorus "I WON'T let the sun go down on me" prefaces the contemplative acceptance of the title track, where the singer observes "there's a man, a real go-getter, coming after me...and after him there's someone better, and after him there's me."

"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.
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Format: Audio CD
Dare I say this is the only "pretty boy" pop album I will ever buy. Although it came out in 1983 I still find the writing and production absolutely stunning.
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.
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Format: Audio CD
This album was Kershaw's first and biggest-selling, driven by the success of the two singles, 'I Won't Let the Sun ...' and the outstanding 'Wouldn't it be Good'.
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.
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Format: Audio CD
First of all, let's get one thing clear - Nik Kershaw is a great talent. In an era when songriters have virtually dispensed with melody, his clever, original tunes stand out like a beacon. His lyrics are pure poetry (if Smokey Robinson can be described as America's greatest living poet, then I nominate Nik as England's). His musicianship is peerless. He can also sing stylishly & he's not bad-looking, to boot. Hey, this guy is THE consummate rock artiste - THE FINISHED ARTICLE.

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!
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is on the back cover : This Special 2CD edition,compiled by Nik himself features the album digitally re-mastered from the original 1/2" mix tapes & 12" Mixes & B Sides. {2012]. I no longer have the LP. So I wanted a good copy of "Wouldn't It Be Good" ,plus I have the Extended 12" Remix,too .
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.
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