Stock Aitken Waterman – In The Mix

Stock Aitken Waterman in the mix - The best of The Hit Factory

This week we go back, way back! Get your spandex on because, just like Marty McFly, we’re going back to 1985!

Not that they need any introduction, but just in case you’ve been in a K-hole for the past 30 years or so, Stock Aitken Waterman were/are a hugely successful pop-music trio consisting of Mike StockMatt Aitken, and Pete Waterman, writing and producing some of the best known hits from the late-1980s and early-1990s.

Their label became synonymous with the phrase Hit Factory and was hugely popular on the gay scene, having successfully married up the uplifting sounds of Hi-NRG and soulful vocals of Motown. Their tracks provided the perfect soundtrack to a ‘hands in the air’ dance party.

Here’s my take on some of their most popular productions, made especially for The Mr Blue Lips Podcast. All of the tracks featured here originated from the Hit Factory and for the first time many original productions have been included. Some reproductions have been blended in too.

‘Never Gonna Give You Up’ is a song originally written for, and sung by, Rick Astley. This track was recently featured on this podcast so I decided to include the Almighty version with Carolyn Winters on vocals. It’s a brilliant production and lends itself well to the original – the sharp eared amongst you may be able to spot Belle Lawrence on backing vocals.

‘That Sounds Good To Me’ is the most recently produced track to be included in the mix. This was originally produced for Josh Dubovie for the 2010 UK Eurovision entry. It didn’t chart very well – in fact it didn’t even make the top 100! – but the Almighty mix is very well made with production by Gemini Jones (AKA Castro Boy) and vocals provided by Natalie Browne.

For the first time on The Mr Blue Lips Podcast, the original of Dead or Alive‘s ‘You Spin Me Right Round’ is featured. This track has been a favourite of mine ever since I first got a computer and downloaded it as a teenager. Lead vocals are provided, obviously, by Pete Burns who recently passed away.

Here’s a bit of trivia for regular subscribers – some of you may have spotted the odd W.I.P. remix featured on the podcast over the years. W.I.P., an acronym for Work In Progress, were a remix duo prolific in the early-2000s and known for some of the biggest chart remixes of the time. One-half of the production team was Pete Waterman’s son, Paul Waterman. Sadly he also passed away in 2005 marking the end of W.I.P.

This mix-set has been made to accompany the forthcoming event in Manchester, ‘Cheer Up: Twelve Inches Of Pleasure‘.

Track listing with iTunes links (where available):

  1. Love In The First Degree – Bananarama
  2. Together Forever – Rick Astley
  3. This Time I Know It’s For Real – Donna Summer
  4. Never Gonna Give You Up (Almighty Club Mix) – Carolyn Winters
  5. I Don’t Wanna Get Hurt – Donna Summer
  6. Better the Devil You Know (Pete Hammond Mad March Hare Mix) – Kylie
  7. Happening All Over Again – Lonnie Gordon
  8. What Would I Have To Do – Kylie
  9. When You Come Back To Me – Jason Donovan
  10. Who’s Leaving Who – Hazell Dean
  11. Love’s About To Change My Heart – Donna Summer
  12. When I’m Good And Ready (Almighty Anthem Mix) – Almighty Boys
  13. He Ain’t No Competition (Matt Pop Mix) – Almighty Boys
  14. You’ll Never Stop Me Loving You (Almighty Anthem Mix) – Belle Lawrence
  15. The Love I Lost (Almighty Club Mix) – Alisha King
  16. You Spin Me Round (Like A Record) – Dead or Alive
  17. Too Many Broken Hearts (Almighty Anthem Mix) – Almighty Boys Vs. Almighty Showgirls
  18. I Should Be So Lucky (Almighty Mix) – Almighty Showgirls
  19. Hand On Your Heart (Mike Danavan Matix Kitch Mix) – Kylie
  20. That Sounds Good To Me (Almighty Hands In The Air Mix) – Natalie Browne
  21. You Think You’re A Man (Castro Boy Mix) – Full Frontal
  22. Toy Boy (Bulging Bicep Mix) – Sinitta
  23. Respectable (Almighty Mix) Girls@Play
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