From what I can tell, this is the first time Kershaw and Thorgerson made a music video together. They would end up doing at least four of them. It’s not often that you come across a music video where the Wikipedia article describes the whole thing in detail. I guess it makes it easier for me.
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. 46 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.
What am I supposed to add to that? How about this from an interview he gave to The Telegraph in 2014:
Q: What did your parents think about you leaving halfway through your A-levels?
A: I had one conversation with my father about it. He said: “Are you sure?” I replied yes and he just said: “All right then.” He knew I wanted to be in the music business and he himself was a frustrated architect working for the local council. He would have run away to the circus if he could. I ended up as a pop star and my brother ended up training dolphins.
The part about this song and others paying his kids way through school is more relevant, but I like that story. Yay, my father didn’t have a problem with me leaving mid-schooling. So, I ended up doing a music video where I was followed around a giant question mark by The Riddler and my brother went into training dolphins. I think I was also an alien who wore a bright white suit that was connected to a rock in another video.
I love his answer to the question about whether a “jetset lifestyle” came after his high period died down considering some people probably know him via Doc Hollywood:
No, I’m a country boy at heart and was never flash with money. I didn’t have a flash car until my mid-life crisis when I splashed out on a Porsche. I hate waste and hate having the p‑‑‑ taken out of me. That’s what happens when you have money: people take the p‑‑‑ out of the high fashion accessories and flash cars. I never felt the urge to go out and blow money.
I can also add that according to The London Salad, the video was shot inside the St. James’s Hotel. At the time it wasn’t in use, but it appears to be up and running again.
If you recognize the song, but not the video, then it’s probably because it was on the soundtrack for the movie Pretty In Pink (1986).
30 Days Of Surrealism:
- Street Of Dreams by Rainbow (1983, dir. Storm Thorgerson)
- Rock ‘n’ Roll Children by Dio (1985, dir. Daniel Kleinman)
- The Thin Wall by Ultravox (1981, dir. Russell Mulcahy)
- Take Me Away by Blue Öyster Cult (1983, dir. Richard Casey)
- Here She Comes by Bonnie Tyler (1984, dir. ???)
- Do It Again by Wall Of Voodoo (1987, dir. ???)
- The Look Of Love by ABC (1982, dir. Brian Grant)
- Eyes Without A Face by Billy Idol (1984, dir. David Mallet)
- Somebody New by Joywave (2015, dir. Keith Schofield)
- Twilight Zone by Golden Earring (1982, dir. Dick Maas)
- Schism by Tool (2001, dir. Adam Jones)
- Freaks by Live (1997, dir. Paul Cunningham)
- Loverboy by Billy Ocean (1984, dir. Maurice Phillips)
- Talking In Your Sleep by The Romantics (1983, dir. ???)
- Talking In Your Sleep by Bucks Fizz (1984, dir. Dieter Trattmann)
- Sour Girl by Stone Temple Pilots (2000, dir. David Slade)
- The Ink In The Well by David Sylvian (1984, dir. Anton Corbijn)
- Red Guitar by David Sylvian (1984, dir. Anton Corbijn)
- Don’t Come Around Here No More by Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers (1985, dir. Jeff Stein)
- Sweating Bullets by Megadeth (1993, dir. Wayne Isham)
- Clear Nite, Moonlight or Clear Night, Moonlight by Golden Earring (1984, dir. Dick Maas)
- Clowny Clown Clown by Crispin Glover (1989, dir. Crispin Glover)
- Black Hole Sun by Soundgarden (1994, dir. Howard Greenhalgh)
- Total Eclipse Of The Heart by Bonnie Tyler (1983, dir. Russell Mulcahy)
- Harden My Heart by Quarterflash (1981, dir. ???)
- Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This) by Eurythmics (1983, dir. Jon Roseman & Dave Stewart)
- Far Side Of Crazy by Wall Of Voodoo (1985, dir. ???)
- Wide Boy by Nik Kershaw (1985, dir. Storm Thorgerson)