Welcome back to the music scene, Rick Astley
He popped into The Bay studios for a chat. We had to start by talking about those halcyon days of the late 80s where Astley with the help of Stock Aitken Waterman dominated the charts.
He was 21 when he had his first hit ‘Never Gonna Give You Up.’ That track went to number one in 16 countries and was the biggest selling song of 1987. In total he had eight consecutive top ten hits.
Recalling the time, Rick told me, “I had an amazing time when I was young and I wouldn’t swap it for anything. For me towards the end of it though I’d just had enough. I don’t think you can put anyone in such a tight box for so long or something is going to give.”
After the huge success Rick made the decision to just disappear. He was out of the limelight for more than a decade. I was intrigued to find out what made him return to the music business.
“I wasn’t really in a position to make that decision really. It was purely down to the fact that my wife and daughter wanted to go to Japan. The offers used to come in for me to do gigs here, there and everywhere and I didn’t really fancy it.
“And when they heard that I’d been offered some in Japan they cornered me and forced me to do it! When I sang those old songs on the first night something just sort of washed over me and I realised that I can do this and I can do it when I want.
“I can pick and choose which is what I do. It never felt like that back in the day. It was like running on a treadmill and you couldn’t stop because the minute you did it’s over.”
Rick has decided that now is the time to release a new album. “It’s coming out in June. There are a few tracks with a bit of a gospel feel on there. There are a few up-tempo tracks on there although I haven’t gone all Calvin Harris on you don’t worry! Firstly I made a record that I like, so hopefully an audience that may have an inkling towards me might like as well.”
Rick Astley is touring the UK in April.