Music Monday – Rick Rolled

There’s this Internet phenomenon that I heard about a couple years ago.  I was actually accused of trying to do it to some friends and I was told that I would have to be a little more stealthy if I was going to successfully Rick Roll someone.  Rick Rolling, for those of you who may not have heard, is getting someone to click a link that spawns Rick Astley‘s video for “Never Gonna Give You Up.”

As it turns out, I wasn’t really trying to Rick Roll anyone.  I like Risk Astley’s music.  I liked it when it first became popular back in the late eighties when he had quite an impressive*** string of hits and I still like it.  His first couple albums were catchy and upbeat, for the most part, and Rick has a great voice which he showcased more on his next album Free.  From that album, here’s Cry for Help.

I think his career suffered a bit because his big hits from the albums Whenever You Need Somebody and Hold Me in Your Arms were all disco-ish, dance club jams, so when his slower, less club-worthy offerings hit the airwaves, they weren’t what most of the listening public were interested in hearing from him.  Some of them still did well enough, though.  Peaking at #10 in the UK, here’s the title track from Hold Me In Your Arms.

What I really find interesting is how we, as consumers, listeners, will purchase and request to hear on the radio some song by a new artist just breaking on the scene and watch their song and/or album debut at number one and within a few years be joking about the song/artist whenever we hear it or hear someone admit to liking the song/artist.  A couple that pop into my head are Vanilla Ice with Ice Ice Baby and Billy Ray Cyrus with Achy Breaky Heart.  Those songs and artists didn’t become household names on their own.  It took millions of people buying and requesting them.  I was in Korea when I first heard Ice Ice Baby and had my parents buy it and ship it to me before it hit the PX.  I still own it and am not ashamed to play it.  Sure, it’s cheesy rap and Vanilla Ice wasn’t the best rapper ever, but it’s catchy.

To that extent, I still have Whenever You Need Somebody vinyl and Rick’s Greatest Hits on CD.  The jams never get old.  I was going to link Together Forever in here, but since I linked the title track from his second album, I’ll link in the one from the first.  Here’s Whenever You Need Somebody.

OK.  I can’t stop myself.  This is a shout out to my fellow HHS Senior Class Trippers.  I vividly recall dancing the night away in Lloret de Mar to this after a visit to the Hula Hula club.  What a great trip!

***According to his website’s biography page, and cited on Wikipedia, Rick Astley is in the Guinness Book of World Record for being the only male solo artist to have his first eight singles hit the top ten in the UK.

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