Episode 233: Rick Astley

“Never Gonna Give You Up”

Rick Astley is a singer and songwriter from England, whose debut single, “Never Gonna Give You Up,” became an international smash hit. The song came out in July 1987 and won the BRIT Award for “British Single of the Year.” It hit number one in 25 countries, and Rick Astley was nominated for a Grammy for Best New Artist. And then, 20 years after the song came out, it became a new kind of phenomenon, when the meme Rickrolling was born. Last year, the music video for “Never Gonna Give You Up” passed a billion streams on YouTube. The song was written and produced by the production team Stock Aitken Waterman, who became hitmakers for artists like Kylie Minogue, and others. For this episode, I spoke to Rick Astley, and songwriter and producer Mike Stock, and the two of them tell the story of how “Never Gonna Give You Up” was made.

You can buy or stream “Never Gonna Give You Up” here.

Illustration by Carlos Lerma.

footnotes
Ian Curnow
Dee Lewis
Coral Gordon
Fairlight
Linn 9000
Rick’s high school band, FBI
Rick Astley on Top of the Pops, 1987
“Never Too Much” by Luther Vandross
Rick’s cover of “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg” by The Temptations
RCA Records
Motown
Luciano Pavarotti
Bananarama
Mel & Kim
Dead or Alive
“Hotel California” by The Eagles
Never Gonna (emote)– Fortnite