During the mid-‘80s, Nik Kershaw managed to score a handful of pop hits and, in doing so, established himself as a profitable commercial songwriter. Kershaw began his musical career by learning to play guitar when he was a teenager. In 1974, he joined his first band, Half Pint Hogg, which played nothing but Deep Purple covers. However, his musical ideas were not limited to heavy metal. After he left school, he joined a jazz-funk band called Fusion, which released one album, ‘Til I Hear from You, in the late ‘70s. Once the group broke up, Kershaw signed to MCA Records with the help of Nine Below Zero’s manager, Micky Modern.
Kershaw released his first solo single, “I Won’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me,” in 1983; it peaked at number 47 on the UK charts. His next single, “Wouldn’t It Be Good,” hit number five in the UK and charted at number 46 in the U.S. Its success led to stardom in Britain for Kershaw; “I Won’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me” was re-released in summer of 1984 and charted at number two, leading to a series of hit singles. Released in 1986, his third album, Radio Musicola, wasn’t as successful as his previous albums. Kershaw subsequently retreated from performing and recording regularly. Although he released The Works in 1990, Kershaw’s main musical contribution since the late ‘80s is as a songwriter; he’s written several songs for other artists, including Chesney Hawke’s hit single, “The One and Only.” After years of writing for others, Kershaw returned with his own 15 Minutes for Pyramid Records.
Nearly 30 years after releasing his debut album Human Racing, Nik finally releases his eighth album and, as with a lot of things, time has been kind and improved the music that the man creates. In Ei8ht (2012), Nik Kershaw becomes the musician he was destined to be.
With Ei8ht, Nik Kershaw takes the past, crumbles it into little pieces, and remolds his career, knowing that his loyal followers will get this new album and take it to their hearts.
Nik is joined on the album by the very able musicianship of Erik Rydningen on drums, Paul Geary on bass and the backing vocals of Chesney and Keely Hawkes. These vocalists and musicians add to some of the great work already laid down by Kershaw and on such tracks as “The Sky’s The Limit,” “Bad Day You’re Having,” and “Red Strand,” the session musicians enhance what is already excellent work.
Although the music of the 21st century could be considered slightly more sophisticated than the era when Nik Kershaw first stormed the charts, he has had the good fortune to release the best he has produced since his heyday of the ‘80s. The music and lyrics are near perfect and are some of his most poignant in a 30-year career.