ARTIST: Rick Astley
SONG TITLE: Never gonna give you up
RELEASE DATE: 1987
AUTHORS: Written and produced by Stock, Aitken and Waterman (the ones who have launched as well Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan. I call them Stock of Heineken in the Water closet, for their contribution on junk lyrics and lack of innovative music, but who am I to criticize the guys who placed more than 100 hits in the top 40 UK and sold 40 million records…)
MUSIC MAJOR: RCA Records
GENRE: clueless cheesy pop love song
REASON OF SHAME: romantic + old tune+ everlasting chorus = old everlasting romantic
REASON TO LIKE: no-brainer good rhythm
SONGS PLOT: A song of a guy who is sure about the love he can provide to the girl and so bold that he is mentioning “you wouldn’t get this from another guy”, how cocky you are!
At the beginning, he got some inspiration and he just shared it with the lady. Then, he is less inspired and he goes hammering “never gonna give you up”, believing that saying it, will mesmerize (=hypnotize) her. Yes that’s a good idea, no one will ever believe in everlasting love, so brainwashing your loved one may have result for short term benefits (kiss and more if affinity…). Then, she will figure out that her beloved one is luring to other girls, life is so cruel…(not for the guy though, that’s nature’s call, can’t fight against that…).
VIDEO PLOT: (please read it before watching the music video)
First, no it’s not Ron Weasley from Harry Potter who is now singing 80’s like tune, it’s Rick Astley!!!
It all starts with Rick Astley, dressed like a yacht sailor, a high volume ginger hair (I prefer the French description “poil de carotte” (carrot body hair), it’s funnier isn’t it?), looking as cool as brave as a new accounting trainee who is starting to work for a big company. He looks like he is 16 and going to a prom’s date (for your reference: at this time he was 21 years old).
Then we see Ricky at night in a place which looks like a good place to be raped, but he is dressed with a long coat as a flasher (=an exhibitionist who flashes). Don’t get blushing, he has his coat opened with a neat black clothes set underneath…
Then a girl who is appearing briefly (maybe that’s the girl who Rick is never going to give her up, I won’t as well) dancing much better than him, that’s so humiliating for him.
Now Rick is dressed full of denim clothes near a wired fence, looking like he is prisoner, let’s be honest he wouldn’t survive long in a prison. He has big sunglasses and have his shirt all closed up to the last button, maybe he doesn’t want the girl to watch his chest full of carrot body hair…
In all these places, he has dance moves like shaking a little but with high rigidity in the pelvis. His hands are hesitating between juggling, boxing or double brushing a flat surface (maybe Karate kid movie influence).
After that, he is singing in a strange bar where the windows looks like cathedral windows, does he want to marry the girl already. Oh, naughty you!
There is a black barmaid (or I better say a Descendant of African minority who now is fully integrated and recognized as English citizen yet having a noticeable color that wouldn’t classified him as a separate category of the population, nor depreciating any values of him). At first, he is kind of telling “what the heck, this ginger bouncing guy is trying to do?”. Then he is starting to move along with the song while cleaning glasses.
Then the blatant truth appears, the bar where Rick Astley is singing, is empty to death (chairs are put on the table). Basically, he is singing to a barmaid and to chairs. Some will tell me that he is rehearsing, but as a good Sherlock Holmes, I have noticed that the barmaid was cleaning the glasses and the countertop, that means that not so long ago there were lot of people in the room, maybe watching Madonna showing her ASSets… To his defense, “Never gonna give you up” was his first hit and maybe the producers didn’t want to invest so much on a “shouting” crowd.
Now the barmaid is doing acrobatics to the rhythm of “Never gonna give you up”. Really?!?!?! Is he believing that Rick says “Never gonna give you up” to him? I doubt it, he is so happy that he can slack a little, so he can show his prowess to Ricky that may want to hire him as dancer in his next video.
Now the barmaid is outside, jumping to the wired fence, then doing back flips in the raping place… You see, I was right the barmaid got promoted with all the acrobatics he has shown in the bar…
There is a blond guy now. Be careful Rick, now you are not alone on your prey. One guy hammering “never gonna give you up” (that’s you), a neat blond guy who knows how to dance (not like you) and a never-ending back flipper who can do cocktails. Guess who she is going to end her night?
All the video is a repetition of these 4 places strengthening the everlasting repetition of “never gonna give you up”. My conclusion is that I never gonna watch the video, but I’m ok with the song.
ARTIST BIOGRAPHY: Richard Paul Astley was born on 6 February 1966 in England. He has started at 10 years old to sing at a local church choir. At 16, he has dropped school to work as a driver at his father’s company during day time and at night, he was playing with a band at night clubs.
In 1985, he has been noticed by Waterman (one belonging to the hit maker trio: Stock, Aitken and himself). At first, they have given him a recording studio job to fight his shyness, then after he got the chance to record “never gonna give you up” in 1987. This song stayed 5 weeks #1 in Brit charts and was topping charts in 24 other countries.
His next single, “whenever you need somebody” was released the same year; it has reached #1 in seven European countries, but ranked #3 in UK and was not released in US.
His first album, “whenever you need somebody” released 1 month after the eponymous single, made a pretty big success, selling 15.2 million copies worldwide.
He had some successes for his new releases, like “Together forever” but didn’t reach the coveted #1 in Brit charts, as Kylie Minogue (another creation of the trio Stock Aitken Waterman). Yes, at this period of time, Stock Aitken Waterman were crafting their “creatures” in order to target some audiences. It was somehow smart but it ended up in overall rejection by the critics and the audience when all the recipes finally tasted the same.
This is what happened to Rick Astley who was called a “puppet” of the producers trio, which was a tad untrue considering that he had written 5 songs in his second album. Some of the songs he had written reached the top 10 in UK and US, but the blood-thirsty media made his success fading away.
In 1990, he said good bye to the trio in order to make an album on his own. This album :”Free” (I guess it’s an allusion of being free from the trio; not that the album was costing 0 Pound 😉 is more close to his taste, as it was more Soul and it had some good successes but not as big as the previous ones. Sometimes you have to choose between success and pride, well, he took both! Rick Astley is still the owner of a title in The Guinness Book of Records, as the first male solo artist to have his first eight singles all chart in the UK Top 10. Congrats!
In 1993, he has released another album “Body and Soul” which got a mild success. Nevertheless, the singles performed well in US.
After 1993, he decided to retire in order to focus on his family, he was 27; basically, he retired when some people started to work…
In 2002, there was a release of an album called “Keep it turned on” and another with his greatest hits, which sold around 100,000 copies.
His 2005 album “Portrait” was not satisfying for Rick and Sony (his new music major), so it has been poorly promoted. In 2006, they release “the ultimate collection: Rick Astley” which was doing good, even without promotion.
In 2007, he became an internet sensation in Youtube when many supposed videos ending up to play “Never gonna give you up from Rick Astley”. This was the famous “rickrolling” phenomenon, several millions views but only 12 USD of royalty given by youtube to Rick Astley. No comments!!!
He has toured in the late 2000’s with other 80’s stars covering their earlier successes.
He is still touring, mainly in UK and Australia, either on his own or with other artists (most of the time with artists who were famous in the 80s).
He has released in September 2012 a new single called “Superman” which was aired on BBC radio 2.
Rick Astley is still very popular as more than 147,000 people like him on his Facebook page.
Post in the comment if real shame or not and if you want a come back.
> Official website: http://www.rickastley.co.uk/
> Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rick_Astley
> Video channels: http://www.youtube.com/RickAstleytv
LINKS TO SUPPORT THE ARTIST (and me…):
If you like the 80s