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Rick Astley

Posted by Big Boo on June 17th, 2008

Rick AstleyFor music the 1980’s was a bit of a mixed bag. Whilst the early 1980’s saw a ton of originality from bands such as Culture Club, Duran Duran and Adam and the Ants, the late 1980’s suffered from an explosion of manufactured pop music, most notably the output from “The Hit Factory” team, as they called themselves, of Stock Aitken Waterman. At their height they dominated the UK music industry, churning out songs for the likes of Kylie Minogue, Jason Donovan, Bananarama and the subject of todays post, Rick Astley.

Rick was originally discovered when he was just 19 by Pete Waterman, but he was at first reluctant to leave his current band, FBI.  Eventually he was enticed away, and hit it big in 1987 with his first solo single Never Gonna Give You Up, the song for which he will probably always be best remembered.

His non-threatening good looks and the lyrics for the song itself instantly scooped him a gaggle of adoring teenage girls as fans.  After all, he told them that he was never gonna let them down, lie or say goodbye, and more importantly seemed fairly honest about it at the same time.  Personally I always thought he looked a little bit like the Harry Enfield character Tim Nice-But-Dim, as the accompanying picture I think shows (sorry Rick).  Rick also only seemed to have a single dance routine, called the Rick Astley Shuffle by many, which involved sidling side to side waving your arms up slightly at the extremes of the shuffle.

His first song stayed at the top of the UK charts for five weeks, and also topped the US, Norwegian, Spanish and New Zealand charts too.  Follow up single Whenever You Need Somebody repeated this success, hitting the top spot in no less than seven countries.  Rick’s first album took the title of this second song when it was released in 1987, and also featured other successful songs such as My Arms Keep Missing You and When I Fall In Love, a cover of the classic Nat King Cole song.  Indeed this latter song was probably more suited to Rick’s looks and singing style than many of the more poptastic numbers, as he was seemed every inch the crooner.

His second album Hold Me In Your Arms was released in 1988 and featured the title track and another big hit She Wants To Dance With Me.  The crooning also continued with a cover of Ain’t Too Proud To Beg, a cover of a song originally by The Temptations.

Rick’s career continued into the early 1990’s and he also released his most recent album, Keep It Turned On, in 2001.  Most recently though he has been used as the basis of an Internet prank known as RickRolling.  People have put links on websites claiming to provide information or pictures on a particular subject, most notably things like video game previews, the audience for which is probably diametrically opposite that of the average Rick Astley fan.  Upon clicking the link you are instead whisked away to a page containing the video for Never Gonna Give You Up.  The prank even became so popular that video site YouTube itself even got in on the act for an April Fools Day trick, where clicking every video on the main YouTube page instead yielded Rick’s best known hit.

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