Rick Astley shared his thoughts on the ‘Rickrolling’ phenomena spawned by his iconic 1980s hit’Never Gonna Give You Up.’ He also spoke about the success of his new album ’50’ and his return to the concert stage and much more.
Upon its release, 50-year-old Rick Astley’s latest album album ’50’ — his eighth studio album — debuted at No. 1 on the UK Albums Chart. It was his first time to top the chart since his debut album ‘Whenever You Need Somebody’ in 1987, which also happens to be the album that spawned his breakthrough hit “Never Gonna Give You Up” that has found a new life thanks to the Internet meme known as “Rick Rolling” that got its start nearly ten years ago.
In an interview with Rolling Stone it was one of the topics he addressed. He said of it, “I have no problem with it. It’s done me a lot of good, probably. The thing is it’s not personal to me, even though I know it is me and it’s my name in the title of Rickrolling. It’s that video that I’m in, it’s that song that’s mine, but it could have been anybody.”
He went on to say, “So I don’t see it as negative. If someone had messed around with it and cut it all up and made me look stupid – I mean I look pretty stupid anyway in that video – if it was nasty, then I’d be probably a bit pissed off, but it’s not. It’s like, “We’re choosing that video because it’s a full-on Eighties, cheesy video.” There’s no getting away from it now and I’ve got to own it because if I don’t, it’s like being petty.”
He was also asked about his new album ’50’ and whether he had taken title inspiration from Adele whose three albums ’19,’ ’21’ and ’25’ all reference her age. He said, “I quite like that and I thought it would be quite funny. Truth to be told, I was not expecting [to have] the Number One album in the U.K., so I thought, “It’s not like anyone’s even going to necessarily notice it.”
Continuing, he went on to say, “To me it was also the fact that the year building up to being 50 – I think for men, possibly more than women – is a bit of a thing. It’s like if you’re not a man by then, you get in trouble. It does feel like one chapter starts, one finishes.”
As for writing, singing and playing all of the instruments on the album and whether he felt he wanted to prove something after the British production trio Stock Aitken Waterman had produced all of his iconic 1980s songs, he said, “No, [but] I think there’s a satisfaction in it, definitely. I’m very proud that I played every single thing on it.”
He also opened up about the autobiographical songs of the album, some of which make direct references to his childhood, including “Keep Singing” in which he evokes a memory of his father crying at the steering wheel. He said, “That was one I finished early on and it was like putting my flag in the ground and saying, “OK, I’m actually going to say some things on some of these songs. I’m going to be 50 next year. I want to mark that for myself.”
He’s been away from the spotlight for several years, and asked about performing his signature 1980s songs again, he said, “I’ve learned to appreciate my old songs. I quit for about 15 years, didn’t sing any of them ever, and I’ve learned to realize how lucky I was to have them.”
There’s much more to the interview and you can see it in its entirety here and below, you can check out some of the music videos from Rick Astley’s new album ’50’ and the iconic ‘Never Gonna Give You Up!’
Pictures: PR Photos