Thursday, September 27, 2012

'Hit' Men

With thanks to my BFF Mark, who pointed me to this riveting documentary about Stock Aitken and Waterman, the legendary '80s music producers whose Hit Factory was responsible for some of the most memorable songs of the era, and turning a bit player Aussie soap star named Kylie Minogue into an international superstar. (Their Hi-NRG production was as recognizable as Phil Spector's Wall of Sound.) While I was familiar with their biggest successes -- Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up,," Dead or Alive;s "You Spin Me," Bananarama's "Venus" and Donna Summer's "This Time I Know It's for Real" -- it was still fascinating to learn about the sequence of events that led to their scoring more than 100 Top 40 hits and 13 No. 1 singles  in the UK. For instance, did you know their dance hit "You Think You're a Man" by Divine was their first success or that Mel of Mel and Kim (of "Respectable" fame) died of cancer at the height of their fame? I'll always be grateful to SAW for their better-than-the-LP remixes of Bananarama's "More Than Physical" and Debbie Harry's "In Love With Love," which put my girls on dance charts at No. 5 and No. 1 respectively. Have a look, you'll even get to see a very young (and much fitter) Simon Cowell!



Anonymous said...

That SAW album for Donna Summer was one of the most underrated albums of all time. Every song on that album was amazing.

Ruddigore said...

I've been completely obsessed with SAW lately, and thanks to YouTube have been able to discover the acts that never made it big in the US like Jason Donovan and Sonia Evans, as well as the Americans that I missed the first time around like Lonnie Gordon and Boy Krazy. And then there's the single gayest group they ever produced, Big Fun: