Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Song #397 of 9999 - Never Gonna Give You Up by Rick Astley

Guest blogger Jim Tyrrell hijacks my blog this evening to take a closer look at the song that RickRolled a nation. Jim is a professional musician soon to be playing at a bar near you! (provided you are near or in the great state of New Hampshire) You can learn more about Jim by visiting his website: or follow him on Twitter @jimtyrrell. Live free or die!


Song #397 of 9999

Title: Never Gonna Give You Up
Artist: Rick Astley
Year: 1987
Album: Whenever You Need Somebody

Hi! Guest blogger Jim Tyrrell here. I get to write about a song from 1987. This happens to have been my senior year in high school. Listening to the radio was a big part of my life then (much more than it is now), and I'd like to share with you a song that was huge then, and has clearly withstood the test of time. 69 MILLION YouTube viewers can't be wrong, after all:

Okay. Since we're here, let's talk a little bit about this gem. There's actually some legitimate information about it, I promise.

The song was written and produced by Stock Aitken Waterman, whom you can also thank for Dead Or Alive's "You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)", and a bunch of Kylie Minogue stuff.

I find this fascinating: in August 2010, the video had gotten over 39 million plays on YouTube. The amount of money Rick Astley saw from this? 12 DOLLARS.

Back in '87, during the Whenever You Need Somebody album's original popularity, I remember thinking you could take this song and his song Together Forever and "mash them up" into some kind of Frankensong because of their blatant similarity. At the time, I meant it as an insult to Astley and his apparently limited musical creativity. Here in the distant future, we can actually witness the result:

Perhaps my favorite moment in American politics: April 1, 2011, the Oregon State House. A video is posted showing legislators from both sides of the aisle. They have all slipped lines from the song into their addresses, and these have been assembled into this:

And what does Mr. Astley think of his awkward stumble back into the spotlight? In a 2012 interview he talks about his video's resurgence, and about the state of the music industry in general. It can be found here.