Some people prefer their contemporary music serious - like Al Stewart
; melodic - like Wishbone Ash
; thoughtful - like Deep Purple with Jon Lord
and Ritchie Blackmore; or just plain heavy - like Black Sabbath
For those who just want to dance and have a good time, Stock, Aitken and Waterman were probably as good as anyone else. This documentary covers their phenomenally successful partnership as writers and producers from its beginning, and includes the surprising revelation that the first DJ to play a Stock-Aitken-Waterman composition on air was John Peel. This one flopped, but that was to be the exception rather than the rule. Their first top ten hit was by Hazell Dean
. Who has heard of her today?
On the other hand, who hasn't heard of Rick Astley, Kylie Minogue, Jason Donovan and many others? Astley was born at Newton-le-Willows; we are told the other claim to fame of this town is that it was the first place anywhere on Earth where someone was killed by a train. Then there were the tragic sisters Mel and Kim, Melanie Appleby dying at just 23 from a rare form of cancer. And so on, including Donna Summer
By the early 1990s, musical tastes were changing, and by 1993 the era of Stock, Aitken and Waterman was over, but the music has stood the test of time.
This documentary is more of a hagiography than a warts and all biography of three men who for a time dominated the UK singles charts, and includes interviews with many of those involved including Jason Donovan (try not to scream, girls).
For those who can receive it, The Hit Factory - The Stock, Aitken and Waterman Story
is currently on iplayer
. Otherwise, watch out for it on YouTube.
Also, the man from SongFacts
has many Stock-Aitken-Waterman titles in his database