In the summer of 1987, Rick Astley made one of the biggest debuts in UK Pop history. His era-defining classic ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’ shot to #1 and remained there for five weeks. It wasn’t long before it became a global phenomenon as it topped the charts in a staggering 25 countries. The follow-up singles ‘Whenever You Need Somebody’, ‘When I Fall In Love’ and ‘Together Forever’ all also went on to become domestic and international smash hits.
The singles all featured on Rick’s global multi-platinum selling debut album ‘Whenever You Need Somebody’, which celebrates its 35th anniversary this year. A newly remastered version of the album, along with physical and digital deluxes, is to be released on 6th May. The announcement comes as he prepares to embark upon a huge 3-month US tour with New Kids on the Block in May.
Rick says, “Whenever I sing these songs or even hear them on the radio, it brings back so many great memories. It makes me appreciate how lucky I was to have met all the people I worked with around making that first record. ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’ was big enough to let me travel the world – which, for a 21-year-old from Newton-le-Willows, was mind-blowing. I’m still reaping the benefits from that today.”
Astley returned to music in a big way in 2016, with 50. Entirely written and produced by Astley, the album is certified Platinum, was a #1 UK hit that sold over 400,000 copies. Beautiful Life in 2018 followed, a top 10 UK release. Astley has since played with the Foo Fighters, made international headlines for performing the songs The Smiths with Manchester band Blossoms, soundtracked a key late season scene on Ted Lasso, launched a lockdown video series that’s amassed 10.3 million views on YouTube with a growing catalogue of cover songs (including the just-released “abcdefu”), and two Autumn 2021 concerts —at Wembley Arena and Manchester Arena — for NHS workers.
While Astley continues to make new music, perform, and pursue new ventures, the resonance of his debut recording never fades. Last year, “Never Gonna Give You Up” achieved a rare milestone in becoming one of 23 music videos from the pre-internet era to hit one billion views on YouTube. He has over six million monthly listeners on Spotify and is active on social media, where 2.1 million fans follow him on TikTok. In partnership with Jacqui and Kevin Hughes, Astley also recently launched BUB CLUB. The YouTube channel for pre-schoolers shows animations filled with original music and enhanced versions of classic nursery rhymes and songs. Astley is also co-writing and co-producing new songs for BUB CLUB.
Whenever You Need Somebody (2022 Remaster) is a two-CD set and digital release that boasts the remastered original album plus b-sides, remixes, and Astley’s own reimagined versions of the album’s original singles. The set includes an expansive booklet featuring previously unseen photos from 1987/88, liner notes by Craig McLean, and reflections from Astley and two of the original album’s songwriting contributors, Mike Stock and Pete Waterman (of Stock, Aitken and Waterman). The project was remastered at Abbey Road by Frank Arkwright.
The Deluxe Edition of ‘Whenever You Need Somebody’ is now available to pre-order HERE. It will be released on single CD, 2CD and digital formats, while a limited edition coloured LP will be released for Record Store Day on April 23rd.