Friday, April 11, 2008

The only good thing about RickRolling

is how much it must be annoying Pete Waterman.

So RickRolling, which was no good to begin with, has permeated the mainstream in the last two or three weeks about four months after most people threw up their hands and announced "alright, we've got the idea". Indeed RickRolling's popular culture high point has already happened if you ask us, in the website that turned up with a countdown towards the end of last September and created a small media stir for as long as nobody did a whois on it, with the requisite embed when the clock struck zero. The effect was slightly spoilt, mind, when Johnny Greenwood posted to Dead Air Space about how there really was a Radiohead seventh album ready and look, there it is, within twelve hours of its denouement.

In a vague attempt to get it, amateur psychosociological time has been given over in several environments to trying to work out why Astley and why Never Gonna Give You Up. After all, as a spinoff of something called DuckRolling, if we're looking for a half rhyme it might as well have been MickRolling, pointing and sniggering at Mick Jagger's solo career, and if the YouTube link was to his Top Of The Pops performance of Let's Work where he used all four studio stages in a blur of perpetual motion we'd have been merrily MickRolling for years.

But no, essentially it's Rick Astley's fiefdom because of who he was. He was successful for a short period, left not much in the way of a back catalogue despite brief media-heralded comebacks about once every two years and is no more Eighties - that dress sense, that backing track, that plastic soul. Which brings us back to the first statement. When Dusty Springfield died Waterman was invited onto Channel 4 News in his dual role as record producer and soul man, and after giving fulsome praise to her way of breathing life into a lyric surmised "very few people in pop music history have had that ability. Rick Astley was one." Across the land we visualised people just staring at their televisions as the full scope of Pete Waterman having just compared Rick Astley's voice to Dusty Springfield's settled in.

Even beyond association, he had image issues. He was from Newton-le-Willows, he was discovered at a haidresser's Christmas party and last time he was seen on the publicity trail he was sporting that wet look haircut Jamie Theakston used to have several years after even Theakston had given it up. The only thing that can come out of this is a heavy download promotional repush by whichever label currently holds his rights, and nobody deserves that.


Anonymous said...

With respect, you seem rather dismissive of Astley's voice.

He's the real deal as this video clip of him singing shows:

Waterman was right about Astley. He's that good a singer.

Anonymous said...

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