Reworked music brought up-to-date, is the second in a short series looking at original music reworked by the artist. In my previous blog I focused upon ‘Layla‘ by Eric Clapton. In this blog I look at ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’ by Rick Astley.
Reworked Music Brought Up-To-Date
We all have favourite songs. Many of them go back to when we were younger and they carry an element of nostalgia. But what happens many years later when the same artist records that song again. Does it still carry the weight of the original? Is it better than the original?
Rick Astley is an English singer-songwriter who achieved fame at a young age. He looked good, his voice was incredible and his music was very popular. He enjoyed huge success in the dance pop gentre. But his passion was and is soul music. One of his songs ‘Cry for Help’ is one my favourites from this period of his work.
In 1993, at 27 years of age, Rick retired from the music business to focus on his family – something I have always admired. Having raised his daughter he came back into the music business in 2000. And he was better than ever. At the age of 50, he released an album called appropriately ’50’ and it knocked my socks off when I first heard it.
Rick has taken several of his original tracks and released them as reworked music brought up-to-date. The one I want to talk about here is ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’.
Never Gonna Give You Up – Original
‘Never Gonna Give You Up’ was Rick Astley’s debut single. It is bouncy and catchy and carries all the hallmarks of the writers and producers Scott Atken Waterman. It was a world wide hit when it was released in 1987.
About 30 years later, the song also led to an internet meme known as ‘rickrolling’. Essentially a joke, ‘rickrolling’ involves a misleading shortened URL that leads to the song’s music video (below). This was particularly the case in 2008 when it was used as an April Fools’ Day joke, most notably by YouTube who ‘rickrolled’ all their featured videos on that day.
The song reminds me of my youth! And how young was Rick Astley when he made this video? Answer, he was 21.
Never Gonna Give You Up – Piano Forte Version
Jump forward to 2019, and some 30 years after the intial release, Rick Astley produced this Piano Forte Version of the song.
As we saw with Layla in the previous blog, this version is stripped right back. It focuses on the voice and the lyrics of what is actually a beautiful ballad. Something that might have been missed whilst bopping along to the original pop version at the disco. It allows for a wonderful depth of emotion and expression.
Is it better than the original? I can’t honestly say that it is, much as I love the newer version. The original was a product of its time and a wonderful piece of music history. But maybe the more mellow tones and emotion in the ballad appeals more to the older me? Still hooked on Rick Astley after all these years.
In the next blog in this series I will be featuring Woodkid.
Before you go
My name is Dorothy Berry-Lound an artist and writer. You can find out more about my art and writing at https://dorothyberryloundart.com.
Thank you for reading!