In the summer of 1987, Rick Astley made one of the biggest debuts in the history of UK pop. His era-defining classic Never Gonna Give You Up shot to #1 in the UK and remained at the top for five weeks. It wasn’t long before it became a global phenomenon as it topped the charts in a staggering 25 countries. In the months that followed, Rick proved that it was no fluke. Whenever You Need Somebody, When I Fall In Love and Together Forever were also domestic and international smash hits.
All of those singles featured on Rick’s debut album Whenever You Need Somebody, which followed later that year. It went straight to #1 in the UK as it commenced an eight-week run in the Top 5. It raced up charts all over the globe, selling millions of copies as it went on to achieve Platinum or multi-Platinum status in countless territories. Now Rick celebrates its 35th anniversary by announcing that the album’s Deluxe Edition will be released on May 6th.
Rick says, “Whenever I sing these songs or even hear them on the radio, it brings back so many great memories. It makes me appreciate how lucky I was to have met all the people I worked with around making that first record. ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’ was big enough to let me travel the world – which, for a 21-year-old from Newton-le-Willows, was mind-blowing. I’m still reaping the benefits from that today.”
The Deluxe Edition features the original album, which has been newly remastered at Abbey Road. Primarily produced and written by the iconic hitmakers Stock, Aitken and Waterman, the album features those four big hits, plus another Stateside hit in the shape of It Would Take A Strong Strong Man. Setting Rick’s soaring vocal gift to S/A/W’s instantly addictive pop production and timeless songwriting from both parties, it’s a collection which still stands the test of time today.
The 2CD and digital version of the Deluxe Edition also extend the story with a wealth of bonus material from the archives. The non-album track My Arms Keep Missing You became a hit in Germany, while other highlights include b-sides, remixes and instrumental versions. It also features Reimagined and Pianoforte versions of four songs, which Rick recorded and produced himself in 2019.
The 2CD version also features brand new liner notes courtesy of The Telegraph journalist Craig McLean, which include contributions from Rick, Mike Stock and Pete Waterman, as well as previously unreleased photos of Rick from the time of the original album’s release.
The Deluxe Edition of Whenever You Need Somebody is now available to pre-order HERE. It will be released on single CD, 2CD and digital formats, while a limited edition coloured LP will be released for Record Store Day on April 23rd. A standard black vinyl format will follow in September.
To coincide with the announcement, Rick today shares the digitally restored 4K video of Together Forever, the original of which has already accumulated over 143 million views. His profile will remain high throughout the rest of 2022. He commences a huge US tour with New Kids on the Block in May on a bill that also features En Vogue and Salt-N-Pepa, while a long awaited documentary about Never Gonna Give You Up will be released soon.
Whenever You Need Somebody provided the first chapter for one of music’s most enduring careers. After his first flourish of success, Rick stepped away from the music scene to spend more time with his family. But he made a triumphant comeback in 2016 when he returned to #1 in the UK for the first time in almost 30 years with the ‘50’ album. The follow-up, Beautiful Life, and the career-spanning hits collection The Best of Me both extended his resurgence with Top 10 chart positions. More recently, he played free arena shows for NHS staff and frontline workers in London and Manchester; saw Never Gonna Give You Up reach the landmark of a billion views; and embraced the power of social media with 2.2 million followers and 11 million likes at TikTok.
The tracklist for the 2CD Deluxe Edition of Whenever You Need Somebody is below. The single CD version features the new remaster of the original album (tracks 1-10), while digital formats run as below with four additional tracks.
- Never Gonna Give You Up
- Whenever You Need Somebody
- Together Forever
- It Would Take A Strong Strong Man
- The Love Has Gone
- Don’t Say Goodbye
- Slipping Away
- No More Looking For Love
- You Move Me
- When I Fall In Love
- My Arms Keep Missing You
- I’ll Never Set You Free (7” Mix)
- Just Good Friends
- Never Gonna Give You Up (Pianoforte)
- Together Forever (Reimagined)
- Whenever You Need Somebody (Reimagined)
- When I Fall In Love (Reimagined)
- Never Gonna Give You Up (Phil Harding 12” Mix)
- Together Forever (Lover’s Leap Remix)
- My Arms Keep Missing You (The “Where’s The Harry” Remix)
- Whenever You Need Somebody (XK 150 Mix)
- My Arms Keep Missing You (Bruno’s Remix)
- Never Gonna Give You Up (Cake Mix)
- Whenever You Need Somebody (Lonely Hearts Mix)
- My Arms Keep Missing You (No L Mix)
- Never Gonna Give You Up (Escape From Newton Mix)
- Together Forever (House Of Love Mix)
- Whenever You Need Somebody (Rick Sets It Off Mix)
- Never Gonna Give You Up (Instrumental)
- It Would Take A Strong Strong Man (Instrumental)
- Whenever You Need Somebody (Instrumental)