1989 Nik Kershaw – The Works

The Works the fourth studio solo album by the English singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Nik Kershaw. It is the last album that he created for MCA Records, in 1989. It introduces slight jazz influences in some tracks. The title could be interpreted as “the end”, a possibility supported by the lyrics of the track “Take My Place”. He did not release any new material until 15 Minutes, 10 years later.

The album was not commercially successful, failing to make any national impact in the European charts. The two singles from the album also failed to gather much attention, with “One Step Ahead” only peaking at #55 in the UK, and “Elisabeth’s Eyes” failing to chart altogether.

Although the album was produced by Peter Wolf and co-produced by Brian Malouf, both singles were written shortly after Kershaw was unhappy with Wolf’s production and his direction for the album. Both singles were produced by Kershaw and Julian Mendelsohn, whilst the two also re-worked the production of the entire album, earning them an additional production credit

Around the time of the album’s release, Kershaw was asked what he had done since his last album Radio Musicola from 1986, where Kershaw spoke of the creation and production of The Works album. “In April 1987 I finished touring, after that I wrote songs for the new album. In August of that year I went to Los Angeles to record The Works album in 4 months with producer Peter Wolf. Back home in England I listened to the album and discovered that I hated it. I could never have promoted that album. How could I tell the people: it’s a great product, buy it!, if I wouldn’t have bought it myself. So I quickly wrote two more songs, among which was “One Step Ahead”, and I did a lot all over again with Julian Mendelsohn in London. Eventually the record was only finished last year in October. But I must say that I’m a whole lot happier about it now.”

When asked why things didn’t work between Kershaw and Wolf, Kershaw stated “American producers are used to having total control over their production. But I wanted to have a say about my own songs myself. Americans want predictable songs and sounds whereas I chose the opposite. We have been fighting like cats and dogs in that studio, we were constantly clashing. In the end we decided to make a compromise, but with the result that neither of us was happy with the final result. It was all very annoying, but I also learned from it.”

The interviewer also mentioned the Queen album The Works, where Kershaw spoke of the album’s title and the meaning behind it. “I only found out about that Queen title later, when the sleeve was already finished. Oh well, nothing is new, everything has been done before. I don’t worry about it. ‘The Works’ means: the collected works of Nik Kershaw.”

Tracks

One Step Ahead (Nik Kershaw) 03:49
2  Elisabeth’s Eyes (Nik Kershaw) 04:35
3  Take My Place (Nik Kershaw) 04:01
4  Wounded Knee (Nik Kershaw) 03:49
5  Cowboys And Indians (Nik Kershaw) 03:48
6  One World (Nik Kershaw; Peter Wolf) 04:33
7  Don’t Ask Me (Nik Kershaw) 04:02
8  Burning At Both Ends (Nik Kershaw) 04:00
9  Lady On The Phone (Nik Kershaw; Peter Wolf) 04:10
10  Walkabout (Nik Kershaw) 04:57

Musicians

DrumsVinnie Colaiuta
GuitarNik Kershaw
KeyboardsNik Kershaw
KeyboardsDave Clayton
KeyboardsPaul Wickens
KeyboardsPeter Wolf
SynthesizerPeter Wolf
SaxLarry Williams
SaxDan Higgins
TromboneCharlie Loper
TrumpetGary Grant
TrumpetJerry Hey
PercussionPaulinho Da Costa
Background VocalsIna Wolf
Background VocalsMaxine Anderson
Background VocalsMichael McDonald
Background VocalsNadirah Ali
Background VocalsPhillip Ingram
Background VocalsSheri Kershaw
Background VocalsSiedah Garrett
VocalsNik Kershaw

Other Musicians

10 Walkabout

DrumsJeffrey Porcaro

Liner Notes

Producer – Julian Mendelsohn, Nik Kershaw (Tracks 1, 2)
Producer – Peter Wolf (Tracks 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)
Co-producer – Brian Malouf (Tracks 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)
Arranged By – Nik Kershaw, Peter Wolf
Engineer (Additional) – Ed Thacker, Paul Wright
Engineer (Assistant) – Dave Eden, Martin Plant, Andy Udoff, Jeff Poe
Mixed By – Julian Mendelsohn (Tracks 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)
Mixed By – Brian Malouf (Tracks 4, 10)
Recorded By – Paul Wright (Tracks 1, 2)
Recorded By – Brian Malouf (Tracks 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)
Percussion – Paulinho Da Costa

Design, Art Direction – Stylorouge
Photography By – Nic Georghiou

Phonographic Copyright (p) – MCA Records Ltd.
Copyright (c) – MCA Records Ltd.