Battle of the Songs: Whenever You Need Somebody

It’s mid-February already! My, my, my! Where did this month go? It flew by too fast! I am still recovering from the chocolate overload of Valentines. But, while I am getting over the massive intake of chocolate, please enjoy the next “Battle of the Songs”. Well, this time is more of a “Battle of the Bands”.

SAW: The Legendary Powerhouse

Was I able to rickroll you? Yes, Yes, Yes?

This song was the pivotal part of a meme that was popular about ten years ago. I really didn’t follow it. My sister tried to rickroll me a couple of times, but I avoided it like a ninja. I knew her intentions before opening those links.

Yet I feel like the rickroll meme is the only thing that the newer generations know about Rick Astley and the powerhouse 80s’ music team Stock Aiken and Waterman (or SAW). Now, I am considered “young” (but I hate to be called that because for me “young equals stupid and naive” and I always wanted to be an adult) since I was born in 1989, but I have been a SAW fan for a long time. It is all thanks to my mom as she listened to a lot of music when I was growing up, mostly British. She knew I was a SAW fan in high school because she would buy me Bananarama records and a Steps CD when I was in high school.

I am a massive fan of SAW’s music. I researched and listened to a lot of artists, major and minor ones, produced by the team (or at least one member). Yes, I know the big ones like Bananarama, Dead or Alive, Rick Astley, Mel & Kim, and etc. But, I know the minor ones like O’Chi Brown, KAKKO, and Princess. Actually, one of my prized possessions in my record collection is a signed 7-inch single of KAKKO’s “We Must Be Dancing.” KAKKO, who now goes by the name Anju Suzuki, wasn’t much of a success with SAW and her singing career in the early 90s. But, she is now a successful actress and personality here in Japan.

The Gloves Are Off

Today’s battle two artists who worked with the musical powerhouse trio: one who recently had a birthday and one who was a one-hit wonder. I love SAW music because I love the Eurobeat sound. In fact, I wrote a big paper, which is now lost in cyberspace, about the evolution of the Eurobeat sound and influences back in college.

Listen and tell me which one is your favorite!


O’Chi Brown – Whenever You Need Somebody (1985)

We start off the competition with O’Chi Brown with her original rendition of “Whenever You Need Somebody”. She was a one-hit wonder as this 1985 single was the only one out of her discography to land on the top of some chart: the US Dance charts. After that, her career just fizzled out by the end of 80s.

You could tell that this song was written in the early part of SAW’s career. It has more of the early 80s’ high-pitched synthesizers, a drum kit straight out of Ollie And Jerry’s “There’s No Stopping Us”, and slower tempo. Even though the instrumentation feels slowed down and somewhat cheap, Brown’s vocals are the opposite. They are powerful and full of texture. I love how they are like a chameleon: going from powerful to sultry to cool without any troubles.

Rick Astley – Whenever You Need Somebody (1987)

Ok, ok, ok! I admit! I did pick Rick Astley because his birthday was last week. And also, “Whenever You Need Somebody” can be a great (post-) Valentine’s day song, right?

“Whenever You Need Somebody”. is one of my favorite Rick Astley’s song. I also love the album it came from. If you do intend to listen to the album Whenever You Need Somebody after this, please listen to “Slipping Away” and “You Move Me”. Those are great songs (and usually album-only songs are overlooked).

I like the instrumentation of Astley’s better because it is more polished and mixed better. This was made in the period when SAW produced their songs with a really great sound. It also somewhat sounds really modern. I have a feeling that this song could be a hit today with Bruno Mars singing this and little changes in instrumentation. (This makes me wonder what would the 1987 “Whenever You Need Somebody” sound like if I substituted Astley’s vocals for Brown’s?)


Before You Go…

Here is an interesting fact: These two have worked with each other before in the mid-80s. Before becoming famous, Rick Astley worked at the PWL Studios as a tea boy and a backup singer. One of his first recording opportunities was with O’chi Brown on the 1986 single “Learning To Live”. Although Astley was uncredited on the initial pressings, he was credited on the reissues.


What Will It Be?

Now it is your turn to vote! Who will be the victor of the first-ever “Battle of the Songs”? Tell me in the comments below! Also, tell me why you choose a particular version! I can’t wait to hear what you guys think!

I am also part of The “Battle of the Bands” blog collection. After you vote, please visit the other battles from this blogger circle. There are really interesting battles!

🌞 Visit TOSSING IT OUT by clicking HERE.
🌞 Visit MIKE’S RAMBLINGS’by clicking HERE.
🌞 Visit CURIOUS AS A CATHY by clicking HERE.
🌞 Visit THE SOUND OF ONE HAND TYPING by clicking HERE
🌞 Visit JINGLE JANGLE JUNGLE by clicking HERE.
🌞 Visit ANGELS BARK by clicking HERE.
🌞 Visit THE DOGLADY’S DEN by clicking HERE.
🌞 Visit CHERDO ON THE FLIPSIDE by clicking HERE
🌞 Visit STMoC PRESENTS BATTLE OF THE BANDS by clicking HERE.


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This Post Has 196 Comments

  1. I mean I just feel like I HAVE to pick Rick Astley – he’s Rick Rolled me my whole life!

    1. Thanks for the vote. Check back on Wednesday to see who is the winner!

  2. Honestly, I had never heard of these artists until now! I will definitely check them out. I’m excited.

    1. Let me know which one is your favorite!

  3. Great post! I love rick Astley – whenever you need somebody.. one of my all time faves!

    1. Thanks for the vote. Check back on Wednesday to see who is the winner!

  4. I definitely love the O’ Chi Brown’s version far more- it has cleaner vocals and more energy.

    1. Thanks for the vote. Check back on Wednesday to see who is the winner!

  5. Rick Astley for me! It speaks to me more than the other.

    1. Thanks for the vote. Check back on Wednesday to see who is the winner!

  6. I’ve never heard of these bands. Now I will have to look more into them. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Let me know which one is your favorite!

  7. Hands down Rick Astley Never gonna give you up!

    1. Thanks for the vote. Check back on Wednesday to see who is the winner!

  8. I don’t think I’ve ever heard either of these before. They are both so different, I don’t think I can decide.

    1. It’s ok to vote for both! Thanks for the vote. Check back on Wednesday to see who is the winner!

  9. Oh yes I remember being Rick Rolled. I thought it was pretty funny. I vote for the O’Chi Brown version.

    1. Thanks for the vote. Check back on Wednesday to see who is the winner!

  10. OK, “rickrolled” is a new term for me. 🙂 And yes you ARE a young’un – I was in high school in 1989! 🙂

  11. Chocolate overload is a great struggle to have! I love that Rick Astley song you shared.

    1. Thanks for the vote. Check back on Wednesday to see who is the winner!

  12. I always said that I never heard of the artists I had the pleasure to discover through your post. Today, as I am sharing this post with my daughter, she knows about them.

  13. This reminded me of a mall near our place which constantly played these songs back in the 90s.

  14. Never gonna give you up ensured so many laughs, and it was fun to try to rick roll somebody especially with hiding the links, 90-s was a great time for music, so many godo hits were made back then

    1. Let me know which one is your favorite!

  15. Your posts always open my eyes to music I hadn’t heard before. Thanks for sharing,

  16. I feel like I should bookmark your blog because you keep introducing me to new music and artist I haven’t really heard of before. Plus, I love O’Chi Brown. I’ve been a big fan.

    1. Thanks for the vote. Check back on Wednesday to see who is the winner!

  17. I am not one for either song and I am not a Rick Ashley fan but my vote goes to him. I could hear the melody better and he sang it better so he gets my vote

    1. Thanks for the vote. Check back on Wednesday to see who is the winner!

    1. Thanks for the vote. Check back on Wednesday to see who is the winner!

  18. Amy,
    I don’t remember this song but I definitely like Rick Astley better. 🙂

    1. Thanks for the vote. Check back on Wednesday to see who is the winner!

  19. AMY ~
    I’ll cast my vote for Rick Astley.
    Both songs sound to me like they could have even come out of the late-1970s Disco era, which wasn’t exactly in my wheelhouse, but I preferred the melody and enthusiasm of Rick’s recording.
    ~ D-FensDogG
    STMcC Presents BATTLE OF THE BANDS

    1. Thanks for the vote. Check back on Wednesday to see who is the winner!

  20. Always love to discover some new music, thanks!

  21. What a great collection of music you have here! Thank you so much for putting together this list.
    Elizabeth | Tired Mom Supermom

  22. Got to be Rick for me. Did you know he’s actually performed Never Gonna Give You Up with Foo Fighters? They did it live…like a mix of Smells Like Teen Spirit and NGGYU…it’s brilliant. Should be on YouTube somewhere!

  23. Got to be Rick for me. Did you know he’s actually performed Never Gonna Give You Up with Foo Fighters? They did it live…like a mix of Smells Like Teen Spirit and NGGYU…it’s brilliant. Should be on YouTube somewhere!

    1. Thanks for the vote. Check back on Wednesday to see who is the winner!

    1. Thanks for the vote. Check back on Wednesday to see who is the winner!

    1. Thanks for the vote. Check back on Wednesday to see who is the winner!

    1. Thanks for the vote. Check back on Wednesday to see who is the winner!

  24. thabks for sharing such beautiful songs list. well my fav one is TOGETHER FOREVER by Rick

    1. I looooooooooooooooooooooooooooooove that song. Like LOVE it!

    1. Thanks for the vote. Check back on Wednesday to see who is the winner!

  25. O’Chi Brown – Whenever You Need Somebody, all day! It got me in energetic good mood

  26. O’Chi Brown – Whenever You Need Somebody, all day! It got me in energetic good mood

    1. Thanks for the vote. Check back on Wednesday to see who is the winner!

  27. I never hear about this songs, but thank you for share

    1. Thanks, you should listen and let me know which one is your favorite!

  28. These are all new to me. I have never heard these songs before. But I did like to vote for Rick. 🙂

    1. Thanks for the vote. Check back on Wednesday to see who is the winner!

  29. This is such a cool idea for a series of posts, I love throwbacks like Rick Astley. Aside from the obvious Never Gonna Give You Up, I don’t actually think I’ve listened to any of his other music so I’ll have to give the songs you’ve included a listen!
    Alice x

    1. Thanks, let me know which artist you like better!

  30. lol i think these were before my time! Thanks for sharing, Ive learned something new. I think I’ll go with Rick Astley (h’s kinda cute ;))

    1. Thanks for the vote. Check back on Wednesday to see who is the winner!

  31. Ok, this is so weird, I was born in 1979 and I don’t know any of these artists! Thank you for sharing them with us!

  32. Rick Astley is a favorite singer from the past, as I grew up at 80s. Music was so different then and I recall so many memories every time I hear a song from this decade.

  33. such a great gold old songs, thank you for the reminder of those, I enjoyed it

  34. To be honest, I haven’t heard of them before, but i’ll definitely check them out. Love your website!!

    1. Thanks, let me know which one is your favorite!

  35. Good choice of songs. I had to Google them though. They are a good addition to my play list.

  36. Sorry I missed this, but better late than never, yes? 🙂 Not a huge fan of 80s music – my tastes are more late 60s, early 70s – but that notwithstanding, Rick Astley gets my vote. His vocals are a little more pleasing to the ear than O’Chi Brown.
    There’s still time to vote in my BOTB as well. Come on over, if you get the chance:
    https://thedogladysden.com/port-of-amsterdam-battle-of-the-bands-botb/

    1. Thanks for the vote. Check back on Wednesday to see who is the winner!

  37. I have never heard any of those songs before, but I like each of them. It’s really hard to decide, you always have really good songs for battles

  38. My friend actually knows Rick Astley and my husband’s friend did an amazing cover of this song when he was 14 so I think it has to be Rick Astley!

  39. Oh my! Never gonna give you up fever way back high school or elementary days. Have a feeling we are the same age hehe. LOve the 80s and 90s, nothing compares.

  40. I grew up with Rick Ashley, so he wins it for me. It’s hard to get used to a new version when you’re used to the original.

    1. Thanks for the vote. Check back on Wednesday to see who is the winner!

  41. I’ll go for Risk Astley, ‘Never gonna give you up”, this song is so lively, easy to remember and the lyrics are so clear. Plus he is handsome.

    1. Thanks for the vote. Check back on Wednesday to see who is the winner!

  42. Hahaha as a matter of fact I still try to Rick Roll my followers on IG but i think theyre too young to understand lol. Never heard of O’Chi Brown lol

    1. Hahaha, that is awesome to hear. I hope you don’t traumatize them toooo much.

  43. Never gonna gve you up is such a hilarious video and song. It always gets stuck in my head!

  44. I love any type of music, this got me ready to get going this morning! I love hearing upbeat music first thing in the morning.

    1. What kind of music you like to listen to?

  45. I like reading your blog coz of your unique niche. Cool music that isn’t ordinary.

  46. This band is highly creative, am a music fans I love listening to cool music

  47. O’chi! I never heard her before but I like it

    1. Thanks for the vote. Check back on Wednesday to see who is the winner!

  48. I have not heard a few songs. I hate to admit this. But even if I had, Rick Astley for the win any day. I would always be a die hard fan

    1. Thanks for the vote. Check back on Wednesday to see who is the winner!

  49. I’ve never heard of these artists until now. Thank you for sharing I learned something new today.

  50. These are such fun songs to listen to! I’ve never heard of any of them, so appreciate the information!

    1. Thanks, let me know which one was your favorite!

  51. Rick Astley takes my vote. I grew up listening to his songs in the car with my aunts. I like a lot of the 80’s and 90’s music because that is when I grew up. Music just isn’t the same anymore.

    1. Thanks for the vote. Check back on Wednesday to see who is the winner!

  52. In my opinion, even though Rick Astley made it a hit, O’Chi Brown wins this battle. I’ve always preferred her version.

    1. Thanks for the vote. Check back on Wednesday to see who is the winner!

  53. I am totally not a an 80’s rock band person at all but this was a great look at some of the best songs and I loved the battle feel. My favorite was O’Chi Brown!

    1. Thanks for the vote. Check back on Wednesday to see who is the winner!

  54. Hey, hey, hey I am for Rick Astley all the way!. This one’s easy for me. You just made me dance so early in the morning, thanks for always putting great song choices. Have a nice day!

    1. Thanks for the vote. Check back on Wednesday to see who is the winner!

    1. Thanks! Let me know which one is your favorite!

  55. I would vote to Before You Go! Not really a fan of this type of songs but my husband loves them!

  56. I love the music you shared, I honestly hadn’t heard them before. So thankul for some new music to check out.

    1. Thanks, tell me which one is your favorite!

  57. Awesome post. definitely going for Rick Astley – whenever you need somebody.. Love his voice.

    1. Thanks for the vote. Check back on Wednesday to see who is the winner!

  58. Liked the first two songs. Awesome.

    1. Thanks for the vote. Check back on Wednesday to see who is the winner!

    1. Thanks for the vote. Check back on Wednesday to see who is the winner!

  59. Man i am such an old soul I love/loved O Chi. You made it so convenient to watch videos and listen to their songs!

    1. Thanks for the vote. Check back on Wednesday to see who is the winner!

  60. Nice song from Rick Astley. I’m a fan.

    1. Thanks for the vote. Check back on Wednesday to see who is the winner!

  61. Rick Astley for sure! I got really fed up with him as a kid when the Rock Roll’d meme was constant but honestly whenever I’m at a wedding or something and he comes on, I do join in and sing (poorly)!

    1. Thanks for the vote. Check back on Wednesday to see who is the winner!

  62. I’ve heard of Rick Astley but not O’chi Brown. I’m voting her because support women artists! And it’s not over played.

    1. Thanks for the vote. Check back on Wednesday to see who is the winner!

  63. Fun songs! They bring me back to the ’90’s. I loved the video of Kakko…so ’90’s with the colors, the dance moves, everything about it. Thanks for bringing back good memories.

    1. I miss the 90’s and it’s pop culture!

  64. I’ve never heard of these, so much music out there to explore!

  65. Oh man rick astley! That takes me way back. Rick rolled!

    1. They are! Tell me which one is your favorite!

  66. Haven’t really heard of the other bands but yeah Rick Astley – my cousin used to love and always had the songs on whenever I visited – so this made me nostalgic!

    1. Glad that I brought back the memories!

  67. My mom was a big Rick Astley fan! I grew up listening to quite a few of his songs.❤

  68. It’s rare for any song to stand the test of time I find. That said, I just Rick Rolled my son the other day. It never gets old. lol

    1. It never does! Hahaha, poor son. I hope he is ok after being rickrolled.

  69. I def prefer Rick Astley’s version because it’s smoother and more polished. Plus, I’ve always loved his voice and he’s a classic. The videos are so 80s lol.

    1. Thanks for the vote. Check back on Wednesday to see who is the winner!

  70. As always, your blog is the source of great songs! I am not too fond of this group but my husband does love them!

    1. Thanks. Which artists does your husband like?

  71. Never heard of these bands before should check them out!

  72. I have listened to a few Rick Astley’s songs here and there. Loved it

  73. It’s still nice that I am still a huge fan of old school music like , ‘whenever you need somebody’ ; so I can understand when you say that you’ve listened to most of SAW’s music because of such much love.

  74. Your blog really makes me appreciate old music more.

  75. I almost missed this Battle just like I apparently missed this song back in the eighties. I guess I was listening to different music back then though I do remember a lot of music with this sound. Astley I remember well while O’Chi doesn’t even ring a note of recollection for me.
    Give my vote to O’Chi. I think the song fits her voice better.
    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

    1. Thanks for the vote. Check back on Wednesday to see who is the winner! Don’t worry about not remembering Brown’s version, it was #1 in the UK and a minor one.

  76. I think I’d have to go for Rick Astley – that song just makes me smile every time I hear it! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    1. Thanks for the vote. Check back on Wednesday to see who is the winner!

  77. I definitely love the O’ Chi Brown’s version far more- it has cleaner vocals and more energy.

    1. Thanks for the vote. Check back on Wednesday to see who is the winner!

  78. Wow! I love listening to this kind of music. It brings happiness to me. Love this blog.

  79. Love this post! I gotta go with my guy Rick! I just love the guy ❤️

    1. Thanks for the vote. Check back on Wednesday to see who is the winner!

  80. Going with Rick Astley, he was a big part of my 80s!

    1. Thanks for the vote. Check back on Wednesday to see who is the winner!

  81. HAHAHA the Rick – Never Gonna Give You Up has trolled me on so many things on the internet. But it actually isn’t a bad song. But he will forever be known as the rickrolled. 🙂

    1. It is isn’t but it got a new rep of being a meme.

  82. what a nice song! It makes me wanna dance disregarding the version. Never heard it before but I am sure I will again soon. Thanks!

  83. Old songs eh? Not a fan but generally I would prefer songs before than now. Hehe

  84. I love old songs and u have a wonderful list of them. Intro was funny about the valentine’s chocolate 😁. Thanks for sharing.

  85. Great post, Loved listening to the different versions, my vote is for Chi Brown!

  86. Thanks for sharing – it’s the first time I am listening to their song… It’s not my favourite kind of music, but I am still interesting, who will win the battle 😉

  87. I never heard about this song, but thank you for share

  88. I think I’ll go for Never Gonna Give You Up – just because it’s such a classic!

  89. I was DJ in the 80’s at parties and weddings. Rick was popular at least for one song, I had to play it a lot. I don’t know if I would have included him and his music as rocknroll or power house, Pop ok. The other two I can’t say I ever came across them. This particular genre of pop dance changed very fast it you didn’t break the top fourty, your song was lost in the abyss of white noise. Interesting dig into a favourite time in music for me.

  90. This is really tough as I like both of them. Such great song in all!

  91. I honestly don’t think I know enough to cast a vote, but from reading some of the previous comments, I think Rick Astley is pretty popular!

  92. I thought I was an aficionado with 80s music, and the only one I knew of was Rick Astley. But man, those songs take me back to the day. Such a fun time!

  93. I have no favourite yet. But, I’m looking forward to see the winner. Who is winning?

  94. Honestly, I have never heard of these songs or artists but will check it out.

  95. My first time hearing this song and hearing those artists. But my vote will go to Bananarama.

  96. This was a great song. I never heard of this before. Those artists were really great and I can’t decide.

  97. Never heard of these artists and the songs … I would definately love to explore more of their work.

  98. This was definitely before my time, but I feel like I’d have to go with Rick Astley’s. The “Whenever You Need Somebody” seems like such a fun song.

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