Number Ones: #12


  • NIK KERSHAW Dancing Girls (MCA)
  • Week Ending May 5th 1984
  • 1 Week at #1


Delayed its moment of glory due to Scritti Politti’s unexpected intrusion, the second Nik Kershaw hit (and his third UK release, if we count 1983’s original outing for I Won’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me) was always going to top my charts right from the very first time I heard it on Radio Luxembourg one Sunday evening in March 1984.

Dancing Girls opened the first side of his debut album Human Racing, and was remixed rather niftily for single release (although some of the fantastic, almost Hi-NRG middle-eight is truncated, more’s the pity).

Of all his 8 consecutive UK Top 20 entries during 1984 and 1985, Dancing Girls was seen as one of the lesser lights in his catalogue, an almost-forgotten dabble with synth-heavy pop between two monster Top 5 signature hits. By all accounts, even Nik himself was not wholly enamoured with it, at least in execution; the patent lack of guitars led to some awkward TOTP performances, and its sound was felt to wrongly place him in the same “one man keyboard act” pigeonhole as Howard Jones.

Yet it’s a wonderfully morose ditty on the misery and pointlessness of a 9-to-5 existence (life was always something of a rum do in the Kershaw lyrical world), with an insistent rhythm and a nagging refrain. Until he guested on 1991’s Tony Banks album Still, and then again on a surprise collaboration with Les Rythmes Digitales in 1999 on the nearly-hit Sometimes, Nik pretty much eschewed an all-out electronic approach for his songs.

Perhaps it’s no coincidence that those songs are all in my Top 5 Nik Kershaw tracks.


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