Friday, May 7, 2021

"Together Forever" by Rick Astley

#1 Alert
Song#:  3486
Date:  04/16/1988
Debut:  62
Peak:  1 (1 week)
Weeks:  18
Genre:  Dance-Pop, Hi-NRG

Pop Bits:  Astley's debut single, "Never Gonna Give You Up," rocketed to #1 in many countries including his UK homeland and the US. The hit would send his album Whenever You Need Somebody to its peak position of #10. For a follow-up, this next track was selected. It would repeat the result of his previous single and top of the Pop chart giving Astley two consecutive #1s. It would also get to #1 Dance and #2 AC. The hit would help sell more albums and by May of '88 it would become a platinum seller. In the UK, the single would reach #2.

ReduxReview:  If the first one work so well, why not try it again? The Stock Aitken Waterman songwriting/production team sort of used the same floor plan from "Never Gonna Give You Up" and just moved the furniture around a bit. While the two songs are similar, this one is not an exact copy and has its own merits. The chorus is undeniably catchy and there is a blue-eyed soul feeling to the bridge that adds a little meat to the tune's dance-pop bones. It was and still is an earworm just waiting to invade your brain. It doesn't always work to release two singles in a row that sound similar, but for Astley and the SAW team, they were able to make it work.

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  The rollout of singles from Astley's debut album were quite different between the UK and the US. While the first single in each country was "Never Gonna Give You Up," in the UK the follow-up single, which came out in the fall of '87, was the title track "Whenever You Need Somebody." It got to #3. Then in November of '87, the third single was a double a-sided release with "When I Fall in Love" and "My Arms Keep Missing You." It peaked at #2. None of these songs would be issued out as singles in the US. "Together Forever" would then be released in both the UK and US. Later in the US, there would be a third single "It Would Take a Strong Strong Man," which would crack the Top 10. That song would not be released in the UK.


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