The first song I remember hearing

Louis Prima – ‘I Wan’na Be like You (The Monkey Song)’

“It’s from The Jungle Book. You know, [Astley sings] ‘I wanna be a man, mancub/And stroll right into town‘. That was the album that we had at home that I always wanted to listen to. I had to listen to Genesis, Queen and Bowie because I’m the youngest of four kids.”

The first album I bought

AC/DC – ‘Highway to Hell’

“I know people will think, ‘he’s just saying that so he can appear rock and roll’, but I heard the album on Tommy Vance’s rock radio show which was on Friday nights [when I was young]. It was in my dad’s van. For some reason, [Vance] played the album in its entirety. I don’t know whether it was because he thought: ‘This is the best thing, you’ve all got to hear all of it’ or he just kept playing the tracks.”

The first gig I went to

Supertramp at Manchester Free Trade Hall, 1975

“It’s one of two, and I’m not sure which came first. It was either Supertramp – I was about 10 and my sister took me – or it was a band called Camel, who are a progressive rock band and they have flute solos going on and all sorts. It was very, very prog rock.”

The song that makes me want to dance

Luther Vandross – ‘Never Too Much’

“Oh there’s loads of them, absolutely loads of them. But this is the ultimate one. He was an amazing vocalist, unbelievable. And the intro to that song is just… we’re on the dancefloor and that’s it.”

The song I do at karaoke

Angela Lansbury – ‘Beauty And The Beast’

“I like a bit of everything, but this is just phenomenal. Our daughter’s 31, so obviously that was one of her favourite movies [when it was released in 1991] – and I love it too. She played the teapot. Her singing in a mock cockney accent is priceless.”

The song that makes me cry

Biffy Clyro – ’Many Of Horror’

“That is a monster tune, that. There’s something in the lyrics, and something in the majesty of it, the way it’s produced and the way that they play it. I was driving home and the song came on the radio and it brought me to tears. I had to pull the car over. I made a mental note of who it was and I went ‘that can’t be Biffy Clyro, that can’t possibly be Biffy’, because all I knew of Biffy Clyro was they just made music that went [makes roaring noise]… I got home, I got on iTunes or what have you, and I listened to it about 20 times. I was mesmerised – and every now and again it catches me unaware and it makes me cry.”

The song I can’t get out of my head

Harry Styles – ‘As It Was’

“Well, we’ve been playing Harry Styles’ ‘As It Was’ [live] a bit, and the simplicity of that tune is annoyingly brilliant. I really like him, I think his records are great.”

The song I can no longer listen to

Black Lace – ‘Agadoo’

“I can’t see the humour in it, you see. I can’t see that it’s fun. I can see people having fun to it. I can literally see that – but my heart and my mind and my every being wants to stop it. It just never needs to be played again. It wasn’t funny the first time. It wasn’t anything the first time, and it should just be erased. I will also say that whoever made those records, I hope they’ve had a nice life because obviously they must have made some money from them and all power to them. But I bet they don’t play the songs very often.”

Rick Astley’s new album ‘Are We There Yet?’ will be released on October 6

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By mrtrv

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