Song written by Nik Kershaw, released in 1984 as the lead single of Kershaw's second album of the same name. The single reached number 3 in the UK singles chart and Ireland and went top 10 in most other Euopean countries.
On 15 October 2013, he performed the song acoustically with Kim, Rick and Scarlett Wilde by his side on The Morning Show on Network 7 in Australia.
Kim Wilde performed the song live during her Dutch tour in October 2015.
Nik Kershaw about 'The Riddle'
What's the answer to 'The Riddle'?
It amazes me that people are still asking me this question. I spilled the beans a few years ago now so this isn't exactly news.
My producer (Peter Collins) came over to my house just before we commenced recording on the second album to hear how I was getting on with the writing. He went away saying he thought it sounded great but didn't think I had the first single. Incensed by this, I went straight up to the spare room and got the chords and melody together for the Riddle. This must've taken all of twenty minutes. Knowing time was short before we started recording I jotted down some jibberish with the intention of writing the real lyric as we were recording it.
About a week later we started recording and I threw a rough guide vocal down using the jibberish lyrics. As the album progressed, I tried various different lyric ideas but nothing seemed to fit as well as the guide lyric. So we decided to stick with what we had. "Let's call it the Riddle", I thought. Then people would think it was actually about something.
I had completely underestimated the fuss this would cause and, to make matters worse, the marketing and promotions people at MCA decided to make a competition out of it (without telling me). The response was unbelievable. We got sack loads of mail with elaborate and detailed analysis of the song. Line by line, word by word. Some were the size of small novels. Some even made sense!! People stopped me in the street to give me their thoughts and theories. On one occasion I arrived to do a live Radio 1 interview with a certain DJ only to find he'd told the great British public that I would be "revealing all" on his show. He was most put out when I wouldn't (couldn't) co-operate.
It all got a bit out of hand and, very quickly, passed the point at which I could come clean without pissing off a lot of people. In short, "The Riddle" is nonsense, rubbish, bollocks, the confused ramblings of an 80's popstar. Please forgive me. I knew not what I did. (1)
(1) Official Nik Kershaw FAQ from the official Nik Kershaw website, 2005.