Rick Astley - Whenever You Need Somebody 2022 Remaster
On the day I met Kylie, we were not expecting to see her or to work with her. An arrangement had been made by David Howells, our business manager, and Pete Waterman; but somehow they forgot to tell me!
Kylie turns up, unannounced, expecting to record a song before she goes back to Australia that same day. I had to think quickly.
In the studio I worked with Matt Aitken, and I remember saying to him that we needed to come up with something right there and then. Kylie had been sent to get a coffee and sit in the waiting room whilst we worked up some ideas.
I asked David Howells to give me some kind of a steer. Who was Kylie? What was she like? What had she done? He told me she was a highly successful actress in Australia, having just won a Logie award for her role in Neighbours - neither of which I had ever heard of! She was pretty, he said, can sing and she's a great dancer. I thought, 'what does she want to make a record with us for? She's obviously got a great career going.' Then I thought, 'she’s got everything as far as a career, work and financial security, but maybe she doesn’t have love. Or maybe someone special in her life.' It seemed to be a half-decent idea. She’s lucky in life, but not lucky in love.
Once the idea was honed a bit, I set about putting a chord structure down on tape. I had never heard her sing before, so I had worked out a tune which was pitched too low for her range. When I got her behind the mic I swiftly realised and changed the melody to suit her. She was very quick. She has a great ear. We hadn’t written a lyric for the second verse before she’d finished singing the first, so we were truly on our toes.
The whole process of recording only took an hour; she really is that good. We were writing as we recorded it, as far as lyrics are concerned. I knew what the tune was having got that fixed in about forty minutes before, whilst she was waiting.