Nik Kershaw responds to Riddle deluxe bonus track criticism

Nik Kershaw / The Riddle deluxe

Nik Kershaw has today defended his bonus track selection on the forthcoming reissue of his 1984 album The Riddle.

Fans had expressed dismay over the selection which omits a B-side from the era (Progress) and fails to include an extended remix of one of the album tracks (Wild Horses). Both of those issues are addressed specifically, and Nik’s comments can be read below: (link the actual post on his forum here)

From Nik..

“Regarding the ongoing, at times heated, debate on the track listing of the up and coming re-issue of “The Riddle”, here’s a few words of my own to throw in the pot.

Firstly, and contrary to popular belief, neither the “Human Racing” nor “The Riddle” re-issues were my idea. I became involved in order to oversee some kind of quality control. Historically, there have been several sub standard and Ill conceived compilations issued under Universal’s watch and I didn’t want another one of those cluttering up anybody’s shelf. Universal would have released this product regardless of my input. The recordings are their property and they’d have every right to do so.

That said, the final track listing is down to me. MCA Records were taken over by Universal and, after several changes of location, certain items have gone missing (hence the astonishing omission of “The Riddle” video on the Then and Now compilation DVD). I chose the tracks from a database supplied to me by Universal.

If I can address a few specific gripes that I’ve seen expressed:

1. The original recording of Wide Boy was never owned by MCA Records and therefore not available (not that I’d have a clue where to find a first generation copy).

2. The 12” “Remix” of Wild Horses was never any such thing. It was cobbled together by MCA whilst I was away on tour and without my knowledge. It was created by editing together sections from the half inch master of the backing track with the half inch master of the album version. No “Remixing” whatsoever was involved and, as such, I considered it pointless, a fraud and not worthy of a place on this album.

3. “Progress” is a dodgy performance of a mediocre song, badly recorded. Re-mastering it wouldn’t have helped – My song – My opinion – My choice to leave it off.

4. Some random interview that ended up as an extra track on a 12” B side – not in Universal’s library, therefore not available for this record

5. Every other “omission” noted, not in Universal’s library and therefore not available.

The Riddle re-mastered special expanded edition is released on August 12th 2013. It has a lot to commend it. The original album has never sounded so good and there are live versions of some of the tracks mixed by me and never heard before. If you like the track selection – buy it. If you don’t – here’s an idea – don’t.

Nik x”

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