By Mark Nobes

Most definitely one of my favourite 80s artists, Nik Kershaw spent fifty weeks in the UK singles chart during 1984. The re-issue of "I Won't Let The Sun Go Down On Me" reached #2 (following the popularity of "Wouldn't It Be Good") during the early summer of that very memorable year for pop music, although the original release in September 1983 peaked at #47.

The song featured on Nik Kershaw's debut album Human Racing which reached #5 in the UK and #70 in the U.S. Other hit singles from the album were; Wouldn't It Be Good (#4 for three weeks), Dancing Girls (#13) and the title track Human Racing (#19).

You can listen to the original 12 inch Extended Mix in our video above, and as you'll soon discover, it's a pretty experimental one!
The song was produced by Peter Collins, who was being managed by Pete Waterman at the time. However, Waterman had no involvement in the production.
There are actually four different vinyl sleeves that were released (eight if you include the 12" sleeves, although these use the same imagery as the 7" versions).


The excellent lyrics reflect the cold war period and deal with the threat of Nuclear War, as did Frankie Goes To Hollywood's Two Tribes which spent nine weeks at the top of the UK singles chart during 1984, and also preventing Nik Kershaw from reaching No.1.

"Forefinger on the button, is he blue or is he red" asks the question will it be the USSR or the United States who start a nuclear war? Fortunately, it was neither. It is thought provoking that here I am in 2023 asking exactly the same question, as Putin threatens to push to button once more. It seems that although times may change aesthetically, nothing actually changes in reality, if you get my drift.

My favourite line is "Old men in stripy trousers rule the world with plastic smiles", which still rings true today, of course.
You can view the lyrics further down the page.
I won't Let The Sun Go Down On Me 7


The original medieval themed video was filmed at Allington Castle in Maidstone, Kent, England. It features children dancing around a maypole, and a minstrel playing the guitar parts on a lute. We also see Nik playing a keytar while surrounded by a group of children playing mini keyboards.
A second video was filmed very quickly for the 1984 re-release of the single, and features Nik performing on stage with his band in front of fans. The "live" performance was set-up especially for the video, and is not footage from an actual tour gig.
This is mixed with other imagery of old men dressed in striped dark suits and bowling hats, which matches the lyrics "Old men in stripy trousers rule the world with plastic smiles". Nik Kershaw was never happy with this video and felt it was "rushed". It was filmed during a very busy period while he was doing promotional work in Europe.
I Won't Let The Sun Go Down On Me (MCA NIK 4) rear sleeve

All releases of the single included "Dark Glasses" on the B-side.

Nik Kershaw on front vinyl sleeve of
Rear Vinyl Sleeve NIK T 4 - I Won't Let The Sun Go Down On Me
Nik Kershaw - I Won't Let The Sun Go Down On Me
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