Lerner & Rowe Music News

RickRolled: Johnny Marr not a fan of Rick Astley’s attempt to cover The Smiths


The idea of ’80s crooner Rick Astley, of “Never Gonna Give You Up” fame, singing a song by The Smiths is hard to imagine, but it actually happened — and former Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr has weighed in on the performance.  Let’s just say that, unlike the promise he makes in his song lyrics, Astley has, indeed, let Marr down.

This week, Astley and the U.K. band Blossoms performed The Smiths’ classic “This Charming Man” in London. Marr responded on Friday by retweeting the video of the performance and noting, “This is both funny and horrible at the same time.

When one fan asked how Astley and Blossoms got approval for the cover, Marr replied, “Well, I met The Blossoms a few weeks ago and they elected to not mention it. Nice.

When another fan suggested that the legendary guitarist should be flattered, he responded,I’ve got no problem with tribute bands or with anyone doing anyone’s songs good or bad. I’ve got no problem with Rick Astley. There’s a back story. That’s that.” 

Unfortunately, Marr didn’t reveal what the “back story” was.

Meanwhile, Astley and Blossoms are playing two Smiths tribute shows in the U.K. in October. Blossoms shared a video of themselves rehearsing another classic, “Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now,” with Astley on vocals.

Some fans are loving the collaboration, with a few petitioning for a new version of The Smiths with Astley replacing the now-problematic-yet-iconic Morrissey on lead vocals.

Meanwhile, Marr will release a solo album called Fever Dreams Pts 1-4. As previously reported, the record is made up of four different EPs, the first of which arrives October 15.  Next year, he’ll tour with The Killers.


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