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Digital Subscriptions > Classic Pop > Aug-18 > BACK for GOOD

BACK for GOOD

HE FAMOUSLY RETIRED AT 27 BUT RICK ASTLEY WAS NEVER SERIOUSLY GONNA GIVE POP UP. IN 2016, LANCASHIRE’S FAVOURITE SON RETURNED TO TOAST A MILESTONE BIRTHDAY WITH AN ALBUM SIMPLY TITLED, 50. NOW, AS CLASSIC POP SPENDS A BALMY SUMMER’S AFTERNOON WITH THE MODEST STAR, HE REVEALS WHY LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL.
© Rankin

TO BE HONEST, IT WAS REALLY HARD, IF NOT IMPOSSIBLE, TO GET ON THE RADIO OUTSIDE OF THE UK”

RICKA STLEY

Two years ago, when Rick Astley announced his return to planet pop with 50, his first studio album in over a decade, few could have predicted such a strong comeback. The album “incredibly” – his word not ours – sold more than 300,000 copies on its way to No.1, landing him his first platinum-selling album in 28 years. Eighteen months of promotion and touring followed before Rick caught his breath and reflected: “Did that really happen?” Back at his home studio, Rick set out to prove to himself, and the world, that 50 was no fluke. His next, Beautiful Life, is a musical celebration of his rise from the ashes as he also tackles personal demons.

That chart-topping album, forged without the assistance of old pals PWL, still smoulders while yet another self-produced opus is ready to go, along with global tour dates booked for the next 12 months. “You have to find a way to live that beautiful life and I certainly have these last two years”, notes the singer, basking in a sun-kissed booth at Ronnie Scott’s club in London. At the same time, he is taking nothing for granted. “Even though we had this amazing success with 50, I went back into the studio with trepidation and thought: ‘How do I do that again?’ I’d made 50 with no expectations whatsoever but with this one, I kind of knew somebody might hear it.” As with 50, Rick wrote, recorded and produced Beautiful Life by himself, seeing it as an opportunity to learn from previous mistakes. “I did some lyrical things on the last album which I might not have said”, he confesses. “I was doing it completely subconsciously. The opening lines to the song Keep Singing are about my dad having a bit of a meltdown in the car when I was a young lad. It just came out of me one day when I was sat at the piano and arrived fully formed. My mum and dad went through a terrible divorce and, as kids, we experienced it. If

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About Classic Pop

In the latest issue of Classic Pop, our cover star is the mighty Rick Astley. We have an exclusive in-depth chat with the singer as he returns with new record Beautiful Life – the pressure's on as he attempts to follow up his hit album 50. Synth-pop icons Heaven 17 look back on their superb LP The Luxury Gap and the legends keep on coming this month as The Human League talk us through their back catalogue, album by album. For ABBA fans, we go behind the scenes with Carl Magnus Palm for the inside track on their career in the recording studio and also serve up a buyer's guide to Sweden's finest. We travel Down Under to speak to Dannii Minogue as she relives her Neon Nights album 15 years on – it's the record that transformed her into a bona fide dancefloor icon. Massive Attack's imperious Blue Lines is our Classic Album this issue and we also meet Jennifer Warnes to talk about her brand new studio LP as well as her Oscar-winning songs that soundtracked the 80s. Our packed reviews section features new albums from All Saints, Gorillaz, The Proclaimers, Rick Astley and Gabrielle and many more while the reissues take in a superb Soft Cell boxset, Depeche Mode 12" singles, Morrissey and Jean-Michel Jarre. On the gig front, we're bowled over by an astonishing David Byrne live show, travel to the Isle of Wight Festival to see Depeche Mode and check out two legends, George Benson and Quincy Jones. Enjoy the issue! Steve Harnell Editor Classic Pop