Cry For Help

Album: Free (1991)
Charted: 7 7
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Songfacts®:

  • Astley wrote this song with Rob Fisher, who in the late '80s had some success with the duo Climie Fisher, in particular the transatlantic Top 30 hit "Love Changes Everything." Fisher died after stomach surgery in 1999.
  • In a 2018 Songfacts interview with Rick Astley, he talked about the meaning and inspiration for the song: "It's that thing that you can go through life and you can be around someone and you know that there's something wrong, you know there's something going on, but they don't want to say anything. They don't want to do it.

    I co-wrote that song in 1991 and I think the world has changed even since then. People do talk more about their feelings and they do open up. I'm feeling very, very conflicted about saying this, but I wrote it with Rob Fisher, who was a great songwriter and had his own band as well with a guy called Simon Climie called Climie Fisher, the band was. Rob passed away quite early, and I think he had some problems. I'm not even sure I was aware of it at the time, and I don't know whether that was connected to that, but I sensed that not everything was completely okay in his life.

    But, I've definitely been around people like that. My mum and dad even had a son that passed before I was born, and they never talked about it. That is the hardest possible subject to talk about, I guess, for parents to their other children, but it just never got spoken about.

    I'm not saying that's exactly what it's about, but it's the theme of it. It's that moment when you can cry for help and you can actually say to someone, 'I'm dying here. I'm bleeding.' We all need that moment where we sort of say, 'Right, I've just got to talk to someone,' and that's what it's about."
  • Free was Rick Astley's third album and his first away from the pop productions of Stock, Aitken and Waterman. Among the guests to appear were Elton John, who played the piano on two songs self-written by Astley.
  • Gospel star Andrae Crouch arranged the choir on this song. Andrae Crouch revolutionized gospel music in the '70s by adopting contemporary styles. In 2004 he became only the third gospel artist ever to have his star enshrined on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
  • This song's #7 UK chart placing made Astley the first male solo artist to have his first eight singles reach the British Top 10. It was his last major hit, but Astley knew from his time working with Stock, Aitken and Waterman that his pop star days would be numbered, and he planned accordingly, maintaining a frugal lifestyle in line with his Northern English upbringing. He enjoyed family life out of the spotlight for about 20 years before making a triumphant return in 2016 with the album 50, which went to #1 in the UK.

Comments: 1

  • Jorges from Oaxaca, MexicoCry for help- was the single released from the album FREE: the 3th Rick Astley's album we already know it- but a "surprise"!! : to see him with long hair in his new era (in these times).
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