A Journey Through Stock Aitken Waterman

Chart Beats

Hosts Gavin Scott (from Chart Beats: A Journey Through Pop) and Matthew Denby work their way through all the singles produced by Mike Stock, Matt Aitken and Pete Waterman (SAW), starting in 1984 with "The Upstroke" by Agents Aren't Aeroplanes and taking in hits by Dead Or Alive, Hazell Dean, Bananarama, Princess, Mel & Kim, Rick Astley, Kylie Minogue, Sinitta, Jason Donovan, Divine, Sonia and more, as well as lesser known chart misses. Bonus interviews and discussion: chartbeats.com.au/saw (Theme music: Switch Me On by Shane Ivers at www.silvermansound.com) read less
MúsicasMúsicas

Episódios

Ep 72: Make This A Special Night to So Proud Of You
20-05-2024
Ep 72: Make This A Special Night to So Proud Of You
Late in 1991, PWL was trying all sorts of things to get back in the charts on a regular basis, including working with '80s funk/soul band Cool Notes. Single "Make This A Special Night" harked back to some of SAW's earliest releases when they dabbled in R&B — and was one of several tracks recorded with the group, which was now a trio. Singer Lauraine McIntosh talks about Cool Notes' progression from reggae outfit to commercially successful soul group with mid-'80s hits "Spend The Night" and "In Your Car" — and the downturn in popularity that followed. She reveals the never-before-discussed story behind her 1988 guest vocal on "Don't Make Me Wait" by Bomb The Bass and how she wound up as a session singer at PWL, which led to Cool Notes' deal. Meanwhile, Kylie Minogue was also taken in a more soulful direction with "If You Were With Me Now", her big ballad duet with R&B sensation Keith Washington. Former PWL engineer Pete Day shares his memories of recording with Keith and we discuss the song's video and promotion, including the approach Kylie's Australian record company took with the single. Former Yell! member Paul Varney returned to PWL as a solo artist, but it seems the company didn't quite know what to do with him, almost releasing Kenny Thomas-esque track "If Only I Knew" before opting for the more pop-influenced "So Proud Of You", with both tracks ending up having a connection with the work of in-demand house producer and remixer Steve "Silk" Hurley. Paul talks about the back-and-forth situation with his two solo tracks and his subsequent musical projects, including writing Precious's 1999 Eurovision entry, "Say It Again".Support the Show.Subscribe for bonus material at chartbeats.com.au/sawTwitter: @ChartBeatsAU, @MrMattDenbyInstagram: @chartbeatsauFacebook: Chart Beats: A Journey Through PopEmail: chartbeats.au@gmail.com
Ep 64: If I Have To Stand Alone to Breakaway
05-11-2023
Ep 64: If I Have To Stand Alone to Breakaway
What a tumultuous year 1990 had been for the Hit Factory — and the final four singles produced by Stock Aitken Waterman that year certainly highlight that. What should have been Lonnie Gordon's second SAW-produced single, "If I Have To Stand Alone", came out as her third, but despite being in the same vein as top 5 hit "Happenin' All Over Again", it under-performed on the UK chart and the If I Have To Stand Alone album wasn't even released there at the time. Lonnie joins us for one final time to discuss the disappointment she faced as a result and the US dance hits she recorded with Black Box in the following years. New girl group Delage was launched in December 1990 with a remake of disco classic "Rock The Boat" — and Karina and Emma from the group reveal how the project came about. Meanwhile, one final single was belatedly released from Donna Summer's Another Place And Time album. Mike Stock tells us about the lyrical change Donna requested for "Breakaway" and the late singer's husband and manager, Bruce Sudano, talks about the song's success in South America and why Donna ultimately decided not to return to PWL. And we take a look at "Send A Prayer (To Heaven)" by Errol Brown — an often-forgotten Christmas song by the late former singer of Hot Chocolate.Support the Show.Subscribe for bonus material at chartbeats.com.au/sawTwitter: @ChartBeatsAU, @MrMattDenbyInstagram: @chartbeatsauFacebook: Chart Beats: A Journey Through PopEmail: chartbeats.au@gmail.com
Ep 63: Step Back In Time (and Rhythm Of Love)
22-10-2023
Ep 63: Step Back In Time (and Rhythm Of Love)
After the big creative risk that was previous single and video "Better The Devil You Know", Kylie Minogue and Stock Aitken Waterman went for something more playful with follow-up "Step Back In Time". With its fun lyrical nod to '70s disco music and a video dripping in retro style, the song was pure pop joy — and another big hit at a time when the Hit Factory sorely needed one. Mike Stock and Matt Aitken recall pulling the lyrics together for the nostalgic tune, while Phil Harding and Ian Curnow provide insight into the mixing stage, which was a crucial part of the process in delivering a single that satisfied Kylie's desire to be relevant in clubs. Phil and Ian also discuss the track they wrote with Kylie in 1990, "I Am The One For You", as part of PWL's efforts to accommodate her eagerness to develop her songwriting skills. Over in the US, Kylie also wrote with Michael Jay, who returns to the podcast to talk about Rhythm Of Love track "The World Still Turns", while former PWL engineer Peter Day also shares memories of working on the album, in particular the track "Always Find The Time". And on the visual side of things, Nick Egan details how he came to work with Kylie on both the "Step Back In Time" video and the cover for Rhythm Of Love. Support the Show.Subscribe for bonus material at chartbeats.com.au/sawTwitter: @ChartBeatsAU, @MrMattDenbyInstagram: @chartbeatsauFacebook: Chart Beats: A Journey Through PopEmail: chartbeats.au@gmail.com
Ep 59: One Love One World to You've Got A Friend
27-08-2023
Ep 59: One Love One World to You've Got A Friend
They'd been on the verge of breaking through for a couple of years, and sisters Romi & Jazz had their hopes up when their record label paired them with Stock Aitken Waterman for their latest single in 1990. The siblings join us to share their musical journey — from their first steps into the industry with a bhangra meets hi-NRG remake of The Four Tops' "Reach Out", which was co-produced by former SAW associate Pete Ware, to their two initial singles with Chrysalis Records, "People In The House" and "Love Crime". Romi and Jazz talk about their aim of breaking down barriers with their fusion sound and rewriting the rule book for Asian women, despite some resistance from men in their culture to them even being onstage in the first place. Their collaboration with SAW, "One Love One World", was a club-influenced, socially conscious track born out of Romi and Jazz talking to Mike Stock and Matt Aitken about the struggles they'd faced as young Indian women. Another song with a more serious theme than you'd expect from the Hit Factory was "You've Got A Friend", a collaboration between Sonia and Big Fun (featuring Gary Barnacle on saxophone) for UK charity Childline. With help from Matt Aitken, we discuss the record and why the original track was chosen over a cover of the Carole King song of the same name, which the pop stars also recorded.Support the Show.Subscribe for bonus material at chartbeats.com.au/sawTwitter: @ChartBeatsAU, @MrMattDenbyInstagram: @chartbeatsauFacebook: Chart Beats: A Journey Through PopEmail: chartbeats.au@gmail.com
Ep 57: Better The Devil You Know Part 1: the song
06-08-2023
Ep 57: Better The Devil You Know Part 1: the song
After two very successful albums at PWL, but little in the way of artistic control, Kylie Minogue was ready for a change. And in this first part of a two-part special looking at landmark release "Better The Devil You Know", we hear from those closest to her about the strategy taken to compel Stock Aitken Waterman to agree to a more collaborative approach. From directly influencing the style of tracks — edgier, clubbier — to veto power on the final mixes, Kylie gained input to an extent way beyond any other Hit Factory artist. In turn, SAW delivered what is widely regarded as one of their all-time best tracks. The lead single from eventual third studio album Rhythm Of Love, "Better The Devil You Know" was SAW tapping back into their club roots, but in a way that was still pure pop. And while the song has gone down as a landmark release in Kylie's career, not everyone was thrilled with the way the working relationship or the musical output was developing. In Part 2 (coming soon), we'll focus on the game-changing music video. Interviews in Part 1: Mike Stock, Matt Aitken, Yoyo, Pete Hammond, Julian Gingell, Miriam Stockley, Karen Hewitt and one more very special guest connected to Kylie, who features on the podcast for the first time.Support the Show.Subscribe for bonus material at chartbeats.com.au/sawTwitter: @ChartBeatsAU, @MrMattDenbyInstagram: @chartbeatsauFacebook: Chart Beats: A Journey Through PopEmail: chartbeats.au@gmail.com