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Whenever You Need Somebody

Rick Astley

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Album Review

In the '80s and '90s, England's dance music team Stock, Aitken & Waterman was often accused of being too slick for its own good, and favoring style over substance. But the producers/songwriters (also known for their work with Dead or Alive and Samantha Fox) should definitely be proud of their work on fellow Briton Rick Astley's often captivating debut album, Whenever You Need Somebody. While the high-tech production is very '80s, Astley's soul/pop/dance music approach is very much a production of the '70s — sort of the Average White Band meets Philly soul/disco meets Tom Jones. The best dance music works both on and off the dancefloor, and this certainly holds true on such slick yet gritty fare as "Together Forever," "Never Gonna Give You Up," and "Don't Say Goodbye." There are a few weak moments — the lackluster "No More Looking for Love" being a glaring example — but overall, this CD proved Astley to be a welcome addition to the British R&B scene.

Biography

Born: 06 February 1966 in Warrington, England

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Wielding a rich, deep voice, Rick Astley became an overnight sensation in the late '80s with his well-crafted dance-pop. Astley was discovered by producer Pete Waterman in 1985, when the Merseyside native was singing in the English soul band FBI. After that, Waterman's production team — Stock, Aitken & Waterman — took Astley under their wing, writing and producing such impeccably crafted pop singles as "Never Gonna Give You Up" and "Together Forever." After two hugely successful albums...
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Whenever You Need Somebody, Rick Astley
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