Rick’s return

I’m going way, way back for today’s Music Monday. All the way back to 1987 to be exact.

I like pop music. I always have, really, that’s not a secret. And while I may not have loved Duran Duran in the hay-day of the British Invasion of MTV, I did appreciate their popular hits and Rio album.

But I liked a lot of popular artists, and sometimes fall upon an artist that may not be the most popular choice.

Rick Astley was one of those artists.

Yes, I like him and his music. I don’t remember when I heard him for the first time, but I do remember playing his album – as in vinyl album – over and over and over again.

Never Gonna Give You Up became his first big hit, and has since grown into an internet phenomenon known as “rickrolling”. This viral meme tricks users into seeing the video for Never Gonna Give You Up after following a link for something else. I wrote about one here.

Back in the summer of 1987, I played that record non-stop. And even got the chance to see him play at the Kingswood Music Theatre; an open-air theatre with a covered bandshell and lawn seats that used to be located at Canada’s Wonderland. I had lawn seats and remember Martika opened for him. (Remember that song Toy Soldier? I wonder whatever happened to her?)

I loved that concert. And still remember him sitting at the top of some stairs, singing a cover of Nat King Cole’s When I Fall In Love, with his signature deep voice. It was the only chance I had to see him, as he never returned to Canada.

He put out a few more albums, including Hold Me In Your Arms in 1989, Free in 1991 and Body and Soul in 1993 before retiring from music in at the age of 27. Rick then released an album in Germany in 2001, titled Keep it Turned On and then did a collection of pop covers titled Portrait in 2005, both of which I have never heard. I did proudly own the first four mentioned above. Sadly, I think they are all vinyl, and with no record player, they are of no use to me.

I only had one other friend that I knew of, who liked him and his music. I didn’t care though, I still liked him, but as time moved on you only really hear his music when you stumble across a rickroll on the internet, or during a way-back, play-back on the radio.

Until recently.

Rick is back and has a new album 50. Aptly named, the fifty year old is even touring again. And guess what?! He has decided to make a stop in Toronto for the first time in over 28 years!

Guess who got herself tickets?!

Yes, yes I did.

So on this lovely Thanksgiving weekend, I pulled my tryptophan induced self off of the couch and made my way to the Phoenix for his only Canadian show and loved every minute of it!

The man has still got it. And appears as though he hasn’t aged a bit.

And apparently I’m not the only fan out there.

He did a full list of his greatest hits, and some off his new album. He did a few covers and even mixed it up with some Rhianna and played an AC/DC song. But my ultimate favourite songs, which was the second song of the night, Together Forever.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

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