The Hit Factory - Part 2

Stock Aitken & Waterman, better known by the abbreviation SAW, is an English trio of songwriters and producers to this day considered one of the most productive and most importantly effective composition and production associations of all time. With the key more than 100 titles having integrated the English Top40 and 40 million records sold, just that.

The SAW saga began in the early 1980s when the first of the trio, Mike Stock, then renowned composer, met the second of the trio, Matt Aitken, then accomplished guitarist. A meeting which resulted in the creation of a first label in 1982.

But it was only from 1984 that the duo gained momentum and especially joined forces with the third thief of the future trio, namely Pete Waterman, composer and DJ. Trio which released the same year a first title "You think you’re a man" for the singer Divine, drag queen then very in vogue. Followed by little "Whatever I do (Wherever I go)" for another singer who is none other than Hazell Dean. Two titles that will hit the mark and highlight the trio in a shattering way.

So much so that the group Dead Or Alive took a keen interest in them and asked them to produce and arrange their new track "You spin me round (Like a record)". And the result will go well beyond the expectations of the group with the production of a global mega hit the following year in 1985. Mega hit which will literally explode the notoriety of the group, while exploding that of the production trio.

The year 1985 also saw the creation of their new recording studio The Borough, very quickly renamed hit 'The Hit Factory'. A recording studio that sees the production of a first hit with the track "Say I'm your number one" for singer Princess. That same year, it was the Bananarama's turn to appeal to the trio by asking them to revisit the Shocking Blue's flagship title "Venus". New version released the following year in 1986 and which in turn became a global mega-hit.

Also in 1986, it was the turn of the duo Mel & Kim to benefit from the favors of the trio with the production of the title "Showing out (Get fresh at teh weekend)". Flagship title which launches the 2 girls in a sensational way on the front of the English music scene.

The following year in 1987, the 'Hit factory' continued to produce new top hits with the titles "Heartache" for the duo Pepsi & Shirlie, "I jus't can't wait" for Mandy Smith, "In love with love” for Debbie Harry,“Get ready” for Carol Hitchcok and “Toy boy” for Sinitta in particular.

But also, and above all, the huge "Nothing's gonna stop me now" for Samantha Fox, "Never gonna give you up" for Rick Astley and "I should be so lucky" for Kylie Minogue. Three artists then totally unknown and who will become indisputable and undisputed stars in the years that will follow.

The trio also created their own PWL label in 1987, a label which will become one of the planetary references in the years that will follow and one of the very first titles produced will be Kylie Minogue's “I should be so lucky”.

The incredible success of the trio more and more resembles that met a few years before by Motown in the United States, begins to make people envious and arouses more and more jealousy in the community.

This does not prevent them from continuing to fly to stratospheric heights on the success side in 1988 with the production of new titles and above all new artists such as Brother Beyond and Jason Donovan in particular. Which will hit the track "The harder I try" for the first and "Nothing can divide us" for the second. Not to mention the magic association Minogue/Donovan on the track "Especially for you" which will undoubtedly remain as one of the most glamorous hits of the decade.

The year 1989 will remain as the most exceptional vintage of the trio with no less than 7 titles ranked No.1 and 15 titles ranked in the Top5 by English Charts, all SAW artists combined. With new winners like Donna Summer and the title “This time I know it's for real”, Sonia and her “You'll never stop me loving you”, “Blame it on the boogie” for the group Big Fun and “I just don't have the heart ”for Cliff Richard.

An incredible adventure that unfortunately began to falter in mid-1991 when Matt Aitken decided to leave the ship. Then it will be Mike Stock's turn to leave the adventure in his turn two years later in 1993, a Mike Stock who will have recorded the writing or the production of more than three hundred titles classified in the English Top75 and 30 albums having been certified Platinum, just that !

A final departure which will thus put an end to a truly incredible saga, a saga which will have produced an incredible number of planetary mega hits to say the least and which will have made this brilliant trio one of the most inspired and the most productive of this end of the XXth century. century!

To discover or rediscover.

Discography (among others ...) :

  • Mandy Smith - I Just Can't Wait 1987

  • Morgan Mc Vey – Looking god diving 1987

  • Debbie Harry - In Love With Love 1987

  • Carol Hitchcock – Get ready 1987

  • Samantha Fox - Nothing Gonna Stop Me Now 1987

  • The Mint Juleps – Best of both worlds 1987

  • Sinitta – Toy boy 1987

  • Stock Aitken Waterman – Roadblock 1987

  • Precious Wilson – Only the strong survive 1987

  • Dolly Dots – What a night 1987

  • Laura Branigan - Shattered Glass 1987

  • Rick Astley - Never Gonna Give You Up 1987

  • Nick Straker - A Walk In The Park 1987

  • Edwin Starr - Whatever Makes Our Love Grow 1987

  • Steve Walsh - Let's get Together Tonight 1987

  • Kylie Minogue - I Should Be So Lucky 1987

  • E.G. Daily - Mind Over Matter 1988

  • Brother Beyond - The harder I try 1988

  • Jason Donovan - Nothing Can Divide Us 1988

  • Sabrina - All Of Me Boy oh Boy 1988

  • Sigue Sigue Sputnik – Success 1988

  • The Reynolds Girls - I'd Rather Jack 1989

  • Donna Summer - This Time I Know It's for Real 1989

  • Pat and Mick - I Haven't Stopped Dancing Yet 1989

  • Sonia - You'll Never Stop Me Loving You 1989

Clips :

1987 ... first title and first direct mega hit. A notoriety that literally explodes overnight and propels the singer to the top of fame at the speed of light. HU-GE !

Full Article Mandy Smith

1987 ... one of the many duos of the Hit Factory which went completely under the radar. Many suitors but few chosen in the end ...

1987 ... surprisingly, and despite an obvious title quality, the contribution of the SAW on this one will not be the most decisive for the solo career of the singer. Bad pickaxe as they say ...

Full Article Blondie

1987 ... a title, THIS title, was enough to bring the singer into the musical legend of the 80s. One example among many others in the SAW team ...

1987 ... a healthy takeover of the singer which allows her to obtain her second global mega hit. That's for sure, no one will be able to stop her !

Full Article Samantha Fox

1987 ... another group for which the intervention of the SAW will not have brought much. It must be said that the trio specializes in hits, not necessarily miracles ...

1987 ... The Tube Makers gave her his first intergalactic hit. HUGE title which will set fire to all the Dancefloor of the planet and explode the notoriety of the singer. She signs here quite simply the biggest hit of all her discography. MAS-TER-FUL !

Full Article Sinitta

1987 ... they even allow themselves the luxury of writing for them. Even if this title will not remain as their Masterpiece, it will at least have had the merit of staging them !

1987 ... the solo career will have been a little more complicated to manage than expected. The Eruption adventure will have been grandiose but the rest much less. And even the SAW will not be able to change anything ...

Full Article Precious Wilson

1987 ... an adventure that will have lasted almost 8 years, not bad for a small unpretentious group. And which ends with a bang with this title which will undoubtedly remain as one of their best

Full Article Dolly Dots

1987 ... a small passage through the Hi-NRG which allows her to come back to the race at the end of the 1980s. It just goes to show that in a career, nothing is ever finished !

Full Article Laura Branigan

1987 ... the HUGE transcosmic hit that will reveal him ! This title literally sets fire to every Dancefloor on the planet and will surely remain as his most emblematic hit

Full Article Rick Astley

1987 ... a first version of the title was released in 1980 and launched the group's career. This remixed version of SAW will end their career in the best possible way. What more !

Full Article The Nick Straker Band

1987 ... the SAW are called to the rescue to save the career of Private Starr but unfortunately it is wasted effort. Man is now part of the past ...

Full Article Edwin Starr

1987 ... a promising career - the proof with this title - ended abruptly by a premature death at the age of 30 in a car accident on the roads of Ibiza. Cruel fate !

1987 ... from her 2nd single, the beauty gets her first global mega hit, just that. A dazzling success, shattering and which propels One Shot our pretty blonde from the highest spheres of glory and success. MAS-TER-FUL !

Full Article Kylie Minogue

1988 ... few titles to credit the singer but some great successes. Including this title which will be one of the 3 major titles that will have allowed her to shine during this blessed decade

Full Article E.G. Daily

1988 ... arrives the magical trio Stock-Aitken-Waterman and the group finds a certain new breath, as very often with the SAW. The group simply signs here the biggest success of its career and one of the biggest hits of the decade. MAS-TEr-FUL !

Full Article Brother Beyond