Ever since the dawn of MTV and Friday Night Videos, the music video has significantly impacted musical tastes and pop culture. It might not be as extreme as when the Buggles declared that "Video Killed the Radio Star", but there is no arguing that the music video certainly could make or break a song's popularity. So this regular Flashback Video feature will serve to remember some of the music videos from the great '80s decade that made an impact on me in one way or another. This issue we will cover "Wouldn't It Be Good" by Nik Kershaw. Despite significantly more success in the UK, Kershaw is best known in the U.S. for his breakout 1984 single “Wouldn’t It Be Good” from his debut album Human Racing. It was the second single released from that album in January of 1984. The song spent three weeks at #4 on the UK charts and was very popular throughout Europe and in Australia reaching the Top 10 in at least ten other countries. It only reached #46 in the United States, but I remember it well and have always been a big fan.
Over a year later, in July 1985, Kershaw performed “Wouldn’t It Be Good” at Live Aid in London’s Wembley Stadium. It’s a catchy tune, but there are probably two reasons why I remember it so well. First, though not Kershaw’s version, the song was in the 1986 John Hughes film Pretty in Pink (covered by former Three Dog Night vocalist Danny Hutton’s band the Danny Hutton Hitters). Kershaw's actual version was featured in the 1985 film Gotcha. The other reason would be the music video that was in heavy rotation on MTV with Kershaw wearing a sweet chroma suit. In the video, Kershaw is supposed to be an alien visitor sent here to observe. The video was directed by Storm Thorgerson, an English graphic designer known best for his work with Pink Floyd (including designing the iconic album cover for The Dark Side of the Moon). Thorgerson used chroma key technology to achieve the alien suit's special effects. See the cool wardrobe effect for yourself. Here is the the music video for “Wouldn’t It Be Good” by Nik Kershaw…
I love the chroma suit! The success of “Wouldn’t It Be Good” would lead to stardom in Britain for Kershaw as his first single “I Won’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me” Nik Kershaw was re-released in summer of 1984 and charted even higher at #2 in the UK, leading to a series of hit singles there. Unfortunately, Kershaw would not find similar success on the U.S. charts again. In fact, in 2009, VH1 listed “Wouldn’t It Be Good” as #88 among their 100 Greatest One-Hit Wonders of the '80s. Kershaw continues to write, record and perform music, but it is very likely he will always be remembered best for his big hit from 1984.
Hope you enjoyed another trip back to the '80s thanks to Flashback Video!