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The Hit Factory: Pete Waterman's Greatest Hits

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  • what happened to Mr Stock and Mr Aitken?
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    2 Reviews
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    • More +
      15.09.2003 18:22
      Very helpful



      • "what happened to Mr Stock and Mr Aitken?"

      Pete Waterman has enjoyed something of an unexpected renaissance in recent years thanks to Pop Idol, where he gets to do a bit of staged bitching with Nikki ‘Dido in 15 years’ Chapman, Neil ‘A paedophile has more in common genetically with crabs than you or I’ Fox (who recently gave his age in an interview as 42!!!) and Simon ‘Sinitta’s-ex before she dated Brad Pitt’ Cowell. Of course, he made his name in the 1980’s with his counterparts Stock and Aitken as part of the most successful production team of all time with scores of number ones against their name. Curiously, the bulk of this CD contains collaborations completed as a trio, despite Mr Stock and Mr Aitken’s absence from the title credits. Despite selling millions of records, everyone hated them, so much so that they beat Maggie Thatcher at her most unpopular to win the NME’s Villain Of The Year award in the late 1980’s. Such resentment was undoubtedly fuelled by the fact that they were so popular, spawning chart-toppers with alarming regularity and seemingly never having a single out of the Top 40 for about 5-6 years at their peak. There are too many tracks to go through each one, so here are the highlights, lowlights and er, downright awful... The Good: 1. Mel & Kim – Respectable & Showing Out (Pop perfection from the duo, whose careers were cut short after Mel’s death aged 21). 2. Dead Or Alive – You Spin Me Round (He might look like the bastard offspring of Cher and Leslie Ash these days, but the Pete Burns vocalled song still gets people on the dancefloor all these years later). 3. Donna Summer – This Time I Know It’s For Real (Off my first album, so a sentimental favourite and something of a change of direction from the heavy-breathing 70’s diva). 4. Hazell Dean – Wherever I Go (Stock, Aitken and Waterman’s first top 10-er and disco
      synths to die for). 5. Bananarama – Venus & Love In The Third Degree (A rapid departure from the career-starting things they did with Fun Boy Three, but great records even now). (Worthy mentions to some early Kylie, Sonia and the rave anthem ‘It’s A Fine Day’ from Opus III as well) The Bad: 1. Steps & Other non-entities – Thank ABBA For The Music (Medley cover monstrosity somehow wangled its way onto here ahead of Lonnie Gordon’s ‘Happening All Over Again. So wrong…) 2. Tina Cousins – Pray (Tokenistic Waterman-only weak-trance offering that sold about 4 copies) 3. Jason Donovan – Everyday I Love You More (The weakest of many entries for Mr Donovan on this album, it’s not surprising he went off the rails having to record dross like this) 4. Sam Fox – Nothing’s Gonna Stop Me Now (Not a patch on the cheese anthem ‘Touch Me’, it’s dated the worst off a badly-aging bunch). 5. Musical Youth – Pass The Dutchie (Kids + record deal = very wrong). The Ugly: 1. Undercover – Never Let Her Slip Away (As if murdering Baker Street wasn’t bad enough, this godawfully limp cover is one of the worst things committed to vinyl) 2. Kylie & Keith – If You Were With Me Now (Worst Kylie song ever. Yup, that includes ‘Je Ne Sais Pas Porquoi…). 3. Cliff Richard – I Just Don’t Have The Heart (Stop-gap in between Mistletoe and Wine and that nasty Millenium cash-in, this is pure stale mozzarella). 4. Stephen Gateley – Chiquitita (At least it wasn’t ‘Dancing Queen’ I suppose...) 5. Westlife – Seasons In The Sun (‘we had joy, we had fun, we had chicken in a bun...’) The split of half-decent (in a gay, camp nostalgic kind of way rather than a Coldplay on the coffee-table kind of way) and rubbish tracks on here is about 5
      0/50, although the shamelessness of Waterman trying to peddle his wares whilst neglecting to mention his co-producers on well over half of the tracks is a reason for avoiding this collection. Many of the more recent tracks are also complete dogs dinners with bands like Steps having been played to death already. Still, if you remember Quattro fizzy drinks and Rolf’s Cartoon Club, it might be worth a trip down memory lane for the older stuff, especially as the CD has a bargainous 40 tracks in total. Just remember to hide it under something else if you have visitors...


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      • More +
        27.03.2002 18:19
        Very helpful



        When Stock, Aitken & Waterman started writing together they had one ambition and that was to be as great as the Motown hit tunesmiths. On the evidence of this album, I can only hold my hands up and admit that for my generation they've damn near achieved it. Looking back to about 1987, it was nearing the end of Primary school and like every other person my age Kylie was simply the best thing since sliced bread. I formed what was my first band aged 8 and it has to be said that if we listed the influences it would simply be S.A.W and not a lot else. Its Musical Youth's "Pass The Dutchie" that stands out for me. Far from the clean cut image of Mr Waterman's current stable of Steps it was a self confessed song about cannabis smoking. It was the first record I ever owned and I can still remember the original green 7" sleeve with white writing, surprisingly it still stands the test of the time. You could say the next high point is the album opener, Kylie's "I Should Be So Lucky". Clearly when Kylie was still making classic records its still miles ahead of her recent single "Spinning Around". If you were a Kylie fan you couldn't help but loathe Jason Donovan, a simple case of Jealousy methinks, but you can't deny that "Too Many Broken Hearts" is one of the better songs the 80's produced. Looking at Brother Beyond "The Harder I Try" its easy to see the influence that S.A.W had on the recent pop acts. Its quite safe to say that A1 simply wouldn't have existed if it wasn't for this band, which is a good thing or bad thing depending on whether you like A1. Now far from just looking to the past you only have to look at the recent chart successes he's been involved in with Steps, Westlife, the Abba tribute album and many many more. This is probably the best document of pop music you can lay you're hands on and confirms Pete Waterman as the ultimate king
        of pop. With only a handful of mistakes (Sonia, Sam Fox, Cliff Richard) and the continued success of Stock & Aitken with acts like Scooch its hard to see a point when we'll ever be without them. Alex McCann


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      • Product Details

        Disc #1 Tracklisting
        1 I should be so lucky - Kylie Minogue
        2 Never gonna give you up - Rick Astley
        3 Too many broken hearts - Jason Donovan
        4 Venus - Bananarama
        5 Respectable - Mel & Kim
        6 Harder I try - Brother Beyond
        7 Say I'm your number one - Princess
        8 Wouldn't it be good - Nik Kershaw
        9 This time I know it's for real - Donna Summer
        10 I just don't have the heart - Cliff Richard
        11 I want you back - Bananarama
        12 Pass the dutchie - Musical Youth
        13 Grease megamix - John Travolta & Olivia Newton John
        14 Baker Street - Undercover
        15 It's a fine day - Opus III
        16 No limit - 2 Unlimited
        17 Pray - Tina Cousins
        18 Nothing's gonna stop me now - Samantha Fox
        19 Blame it on the boogie - Big Fun
        20 Thank Abba for the music - Steps & Tina Cousins/Cleopatra/B-witched/Billie
        21 Roadblock - Stock/Aitken/Waterman

        Disc #2 Tracklisting
        1 Tragedy - Steps (1)
        2 Better the devil you know - Minogue, Kylie
        3 You spin me round (like a record) - Dead Or Alive
        4 Love in the first degree - Bananarama
        5 Together forever - Astley, Rick
        6 Showin' out (get fresh at the weekend) - Mel & Kim (1)
        7 Whatever I do (wherever I go) - Dean, Hazell
        8 I want you back (PWL remix '88) - Jackson Five
        9 You'll never stop me from loving you - Sonia (1)
        10 I won't let the sun go down on me - Kershaw, Nik
        11 If you were with me now - Minogue, Kylie & Keith Washington
        12 Every day (I love you more) - Donovan, Jason
        13 Chiquitita - Gately, Stephen
        14 Sealed with a kiss - Donovan, Jason
        15 Seasons in the sun - Westlife
        16 Especially for you - Minogue, Kylie & Jason Donovan
        17 Tragedy (video) - Steps (1)

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