Rick Astley’s ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’ Bears ‘Uncanny’ Resemblance To Iconic Nirvana Song

by : Cameron Frew on :
Rick Astley's Never Gonna Give You Up Has 'Uncanny' Resemblance To Iconic Nirvana SongAlamy/@RickAstley/YouTube

Dave Grohl has revealed the similarities between Rick Astley’s Never Gonna Give You Up and Nirvana’s most famous song.

Astley’s ’80s tune is inescapable, whether you were there when it was first released, it was played in the car when you were younger or your pal sent you an exciting YouTube video only for you to be Rickrolled.


However, the song has an ‘uncanny resemblance’ to one of Nirvana’s iconic tracks. As he listened to Astley’s song, the Foo Fighters frontman realised the connection.

Never Gonna Give You Up. (Rick Astley/YouTube)Rick Astley/YouTube

While it’s certainly up for debate, one could argue Smells Like Teen Spirit is the rock band’s most notable song. Amazingly, if you listen closely to Never Gonna Give You Up, the songs run rather similarly.

Grohl first noticed it back in 2017, when Foo Fighters were rehearsing a cover of Never Gonna Give You Up for a festival in Japan, alongside Astley – the epiphany soon followed.


‘We started kind of learning it true to the original. And then I start to realise that the arrangement is exactly the same as Smells Like Teen Spirit,’ he told Rolling Stone.


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‘The chord progression has an uncanny resemblance. It’s true. There’s a riff and then the drums kick in, and then there’s a verse… there’s a lot. I’m like, ‘Oh my God.’ So we start joking around playing it in that same style, and it was so funny that we did it 10 times in a row.’

When they eventually took to the stage, they Rickrolled the attendees with a Nirvana twist on Never Gonna Give You Up. ‘When you wanna Rickroll someone but still keep it grunge,’ one YouTube user commented under a video mashing the two songs together.


Astley earlier spoke about his gig with Grohl and co., saying it ‘just all went nuts… Dave Grohl came over and said hello, gave me a hug, said hello, and then a half hour later he’s inviting me onto the stage.’

‘I never met them, I have no why idea why he’d invite me onstage. I didn’t know what it was all about… all credit to them, because they didn’t know I wasn’t gonna go out there and fall apart and be drunk or whatever,’ he said, as per Consequence of Sound.

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Cameron Frew

Entertainment Editor at UNILAD. 2001: A Space Odyssey is the best film ever made, and Warrior is better than Rocky. That's all you need to know.

Topics: Film and TV, Dave Grohl, Foo Fighters, Music, Nirvana, Now


Rolling Stone and 1 other
  1. Rolling Stone

    ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’ Is ‘Exactly The Same’ As ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ – and 11 Other Things We Learned From Dave Grohl

  2. Consequence of Sound

    Rick Astley shares the story behind his onstage RickRoll with Foo Fighters