when it came out im sure i read/heard somewhere that the song contained clues to a real place where the record company had hid a prize and if you deciphered the lyrics and found this place the money was yours i cant find anything on the internet to back up this `memory` tho
did this publicity stunt actually happen
Yes & no.
The story was as you remember it. The lyrics were meant to lead you to a prize, but it was record company hype, and nothing more
Nik even admits the lyrics were pants & didn't mean anything.
If they had done it today, there would be pages and pages of forum posts claiming to "know" the answer :)
This what he had to say about it..
"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 ******* off a lot of people.
In short, "The Riddle" is nonsense, rubbish, b*ll*cks, the confused ramblings of an 80's popstar.
Please forgive me. I knew not what I did."
I guess Masquarade a few years earlier had inspired people into finding hidden meanings into things.
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