First Hit #1: March 12, 1988
Never Gonna Give You Up is hard to talk about today, in 2013, because of the bizarre revival that happened in the form of RickRolling. I’m not going to try to explain the meme, but ever since people were linked to the track as a prank it’s kind of become a joke, which is sort of a shame.
Honestly, Never Gonna Give You Up is a pretty great song. I say that because after being bombarded with it for a few years, I’m not sick of it at all. Rick Astley’s deep voice doesn’t quite seem like it belongs to a skinny white guy with terrible dance moves, but it is distinctive and actually pretty appealing. As a love song, it’s sincere and strangely quotable, and it does have a pretty great hook in there. It’s also just a nicely assembled pop song, with a memorable melody, a pretty fantastic bridge, and an arrangement that is just barely not obnoxious. It’s good pop music, fun and engaging without being too serious. It’s a shame that it’s been turned into a punch line.