- Released: October 25, 1990
- Label: Sbme Special Mkts.
- 1.Never Gonna Give You Up
- 2.Whenever You Need Somebody
- 3.Together Forever
- 4.It Would Take A Strong, Strong Man
- 5.Love Has Gone
- 6.Don't Say Goodbye
- 7.Slipping Away
- 8.No More Looking For Love
- 9.You Move Me
- 10.When I Fall In Love
Personnel: Rick Astley (guitar, vocals); Mike Stock (keyboard); Matt Aitken (guitar, keyboard); A. Linn (drums).
Additional personnel: Ian Curnow (keyboard); Daize Washbourne (keyboard, drums); Gary Barnacle (saxophone); Shirley Lewis, Dee Lewis, Mae McKenna, Suzanne Rhatigan (background vocals).
Producers: Stock, Aitken, Waterman, Phil Harding, Ian Curnow, Daize Washbourne.
Personnel: Rick Astley (vocals, guitar); Matt Aitken (guitar, keyboards); Gary Barnacle (saxophone); Daize Washbourn (keyboards, drums); Ian Curnow (keyboards, programming); Mike Stock (keyboards); A. Linn (drums); Dee Lewis, Mae McKenna, Shirley Lewis, Suzanne Rhatigan (background vocals).
Audio Mixers: Peter Hammond; Mark McGuire; Phil Harding.
Recording information: PWL Studios; PWL Studios 1 & 2.
Arranger: Gordon Jenkins.
In the '80s and '90s, England's dance music team Stock, Aitken & Waterman was often accused of being too slick for its own good, and favoring style over substance. But the producers/songwriters (also known for their work with Dead or Alive and Samantha Fox) should definitely be proud of their work on fellow Briton Rick Astley's often captivating debut album, Whenever You Need Somebody. While the high-tech production is very '80s, Astley's soul/pop/dance music approach is very much a production of the '70s -- sort of the Average White Band meets Philly soul/disco meets Tom Jones. The best dance music works both on and off the dancefloor, and this certainly holds true on such slick yet gritty fare as "Together Forever," "Never Gonna Give You Up," and "Don't Say Goodbye." There are a few weak moments -- the lackluster "No More Looking for Love" being a glaring example -- but overall, this CD proved Astley to be a welcome addition to the British R&B scene. ~ Alex Henderson