rick astley 1987

COVER vs ORIGINAL: ‘Whenever You Need Somebody’

The song, “Whenever You Need Somebody”, was originally recorded by O’Chi Brown in 1985

80’s pop hitmakers Stock Aitken Waterman wrote the song “Whenever You Need Somebody” for British singer O’Chi Brown. It was released in November 1985 but only managed to reach No.97 in the UK. The following year, however, it topped the US dance/club chart. Brown never attained the status of chart star and after one further US dance/club chart hit (“100% Pure Pain”) and a few more releases, generally dropped out of sight at the end of the decade.


In their efforts to get the song into the charts, they gave it to Rick Astley to record for his debut album. Following his number one smash, “Never Gonna Give You Up”, Rick released the song as his second single in October 1987. This time it was a hit and made No.3 in the UK, where it spent three weeks in total. It also went to number one in Sweden, Switzerland and Germany and was a top ten hit everywhere else. The song also gave its name to the title of the album.

But which version is the best? O’CHI’s original or RICK’s cover?

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