Harman Patil (Editor)

Wouldn't It Be Good

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B-side  "Monkey Business"
Recorded  Summer 1983
Length  4:32
Released  21 January 1984
Genre  Synthpop, New wave
Format  7", 12", CD Single, CD Maxi

"Wouldn't It Be Good" is a song by the English singer-songwriter Nik Kershaw. It was released one month prior to his debut studio album Human Racing. The release was Kershaw's second single, and features the non-album track, "Monkey Business" as the B-side, which was also released as a bonus track on 2012 re-release of the album.



"Wouldn't It Be Good" was the second single from Kershaw's debut solo album Human Racing and turned out to be among his most popular single releases. It spent three weeks at #4 in the UK charts and became a hit throughout Europe, as well as a top 10 hit in Canada. Kershaw is also most closely associated with this song in the U.S., where it narrowly missed going Top 40. Kershaw performed this song at Live Aid in London's Wembley Stadium in July 1985.

Kershaw's first single from this album had failed to be a major hit, and it was on the strength of this recording's success that the earlier single, "I Won't Let the Sun Go Down on Me", was promoted for a re-release. This time the single went all the way to #2 in the UK, becoming his highest-charting single there to date.


"Wouldn't It Be Good" was released in a single version and an extended 12" version. The main synth tune was produced using a combination of PPG Wave 2.2 and a Yamaha DX7. A remix by Simon Boswell, clocking in at 7:20, appears on the album Retro:Active 4: Rare & Remixed.

Music video

The music video for "Wouldn't It Be Good", directed by Storm Thorgerson, was released in 1984 and received heavy rotation on MTV, which helped the song reach No. 41 on the US charts. It used chroma key technology to achieve the alien suit's special effects.

The video opens with two men talking, followed by heavy breathing. Nik Kershaw, wearing a vintage white suit, crosses in front of an antique car, carrying a briefcase. He enters ornate doors, and the music starts to play. Kershaw climbs stairs inside the building, enters a room and leans against the door. He opens his hand and lets a rock fall. His clothing and haircut transform, becoming 80s fashion, and the suit plays vague scenes. He crosses to a bank of equipment, adjusts dials and then looks out the window. He begins to sing. Sitting down, he presses buttons on a bulky remote, and more definite video scenes begin to play on his white clothing, showing people, shoes, grass, a satellite dish and other items that illustrate what he sings.

Kershaw opens French doors and exits to a balcony, leans against a column to sing. Below him, a vagrant has built a fire in a steel drum to keep warm. Kershaw goes back inside the room, and something lights the window. He takes a tube from his equipment, leaves the room. In the hallway, a woman is amazed at the scenes playing on his suit. He meets a little girl with ponytails, bumps into a man on the stairs, while scenes related to them play on the suit. Outside, he looks around, sees a woman walking a dog and the two men who opened the video. He falls in the street and a crowd gathers around him. He crawls away, manages to get up and run. The scenes on his suit have stopped playing now, and the crowd watches him run away. The white clothing stands out as he runs into darkness toward a horizon that is only faintly lighted. He sees the transmission from a satellite dish, runs toward it. He stops at the dish and dissolves into static.

Track listings

7" single
  1. "Wouldn't It Be Good" — 4:35
  2. "Monkey Business" — 3:28
12" maxi
  1. "Wouldn't It Be Good" (special extended mix) — 6:50
  2. "Monkey Business" — 3:28

Cover versions

  • In 1984: German singer Juliane Werding recorded a German version of "Wouldn't It Be Good".
  • In 1986, Danny Hutton Hitters covered "Wouldn't It Be Good" which appeared on the soundtrack for the 1986 film Pretty in Pink.
  • In 1992, American singer-songwriter Tommy Page recorded a cover of the song for his album, A Friend to Rely On.
  • Belgian rock band Soulwax covered the song in 1999.
  • German Eurodance group Cascada covered the song in 2006, from the album Everytime We Touch. It peaked number 54 in Sweden only.
  • In 2009, Placebo recorded their version as the B-side to their single "For What It's Worth".
  • References

    Wouldn't It Be Good Wikipedia

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