Saturday, February 12, 2022

"She Wants to Dance with Me" by Rick Astley

Top 10 Alert!
Song#:  3752
Date:  12/17/1988
Debut:  61
Peak:  6
Weeks:  18
Genre:  Dance-Pop

Pop Bits:  Astley's debut LP, Whenever You Need Somebody, became a #10 double-platinum seller thanks to a pair of #1 hits and the #10 "It Would Take a Strong Strong Man." It would do even better in his UK homeland reaching #1, going 4x platinum, and spawning four Top 10 hits. With that success, the pressure was on for Astley to avoid the sophomore slump. He began working on tracks with the Stock Aitken Waterman team who had written and produced the hits on Astley's debut. The team would contribute four tracks to the album while the balance, save for one cover tune, were written by Astley and co-produced by him. Things were going well until a fire at a studio destroyed some of Astley's work. The incident delayed the LP, but Astley was able to regroup and complete his second effort Hold Me in Your Arms. To kick off the album, this first single, which was written by Astley, was pushed out. It would become his fourth straight Pop Top 10 while also getting to #5 AC and #13 Dance. In the UK, the tune would also reach #6. While it wasn't a smash hit, the song did well enough to prove that Astley could write and produce hits without the SAW team.

ReduxReview:  I've always kind of considered this a sort of answer song to Whitney Houston's "I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)." It had the same kind of feel and production while the lyrics were like a guy's response to Whitney's track. It was a catchy, fun tune from Astley and it separated him a little bit from the SAW production machine.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  Astley would "reimagine" this song and his other hits later in 2019 for a compilation titled The Best of Me. Disc one of the set featured his original hits along with other key album tracks. Disc two had newly arranged and recorded versions of Astley's hits. "She Wants to Dance with Me" is done in a more subdued acoustic style while his signature hit "Never Gonna Give You Up" was done in a ballad style backed by a piano. The collection was a hit in the UK where it reached #4.


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