Rick Astley Essentials

Rick Astley Essentials

Rick Astley's 1987 debut, Whenever You Need Somebody, put an of-the-moment spin on the Motown ideal; hitmakers Stock Aitken Waterman paired Astley's vocal with sparkling synth-pop on smashes like the joyous “Together Forever” and the giddily devoted “Never Gonna Give You Up.” After Astley broke with SAW, his smooth yet strong voice gave urgency to the gospel-tinged “Cry for Help” and the wrenching “Hopelessly.” In the mid-'00s, “Never” returned via the fake-out meme known as “Rickrolling”; not long after, Astley came back as well, stripping down on “Keep Singing” and heading to the disco on “Beautiful Life.”

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