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Baker's Dozen

Never Gonna Give 'Em Up: Rick Astley's Favourite Albums
Colm McAuliffe , June 13th, 2018 05:41

The absolutely charming Rick Astley sits down with Colm McAuliffe to tell him about his favourite records, from Roxy to Biffy Clyro and Tori Amos, taking in his enduring love of pop and prog along the way


Ben Howard – Every Kingdom
Something about what he does make you feel like he's doing it from this room, it's so intimate. Hang on – have I got his name wrong? Oh wait, I haven't. He has gigged a lot as a singer songwriter so I think he translates that when he makes a record. This record went mad [in terms of popularity] but someone gave this record to me before he blew up. When I listen to this particular album, I just had the feeling like I'm in the room with him. I don't know whether he wants it to be intimate but it is. Some of the arrangements are mad, with the length of the intros and so on. You're never gonna get that on the radio! Who's gonna do that? The intros are 48 bars long or its him scratching around and doing other things. There's a real beauty in that but he also seems to have thought 'I don't really care.' Is this reflected in my own work? I think my own new record is a hotchpotch of things. The first track is called 'Beautiful Life' and anyone who's heard it has said 'you've gone a bit Nile Rodgers there with the guitar!' But that's inescapable, it's the way it is if you use that sound. And the very last track is that love letter back to prog rock and subconsciously, I've thought 'the last record did alright so now I'm doing whatever I want'. And I was doing it without anticipating anyone ever hearing it, if I'm brutally honest. My fans – yes but not Radio 2 or whatever. With this one, I've gone in without a clock and just played. I went in my room, my wife went to States, I had a bit of fun, went mad, had a load of ideas and made a record. And here we are with 'Beautiful Life'.

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