Various Artists

Pete Waterman Presents: the Hit Factory: the Soundtrack To a Generation

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The owner/operators of the Hit Factory were Mike Stock, Matt Aitken, and Pete Waterman. Also known as Stock, Aitken & Waterman or SAW, the trio was responsible for some of the biggest hits of the mid- to late '80s in the U.K. and around the world. Featuring an assembly-line style of upbeat, shiny synth pop that was heavily inspired by Motown and the poppier side of R&B, and usually fronted by attractive singers, SAW's first hit was Bananarama's cover of "Venus" in 1986. As the double-disc collection Pete Waterman Presents: The Hit Factory - The Soundtrack to a Generation shows, that was only the beginning of quite a run of hits. Some of their biggest were Kylie Minogue's "I Should Be So Lucky," Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up," Mel & Kim's "Respectable," and Dead or Alive's "You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)," all of which are here along with loads more. While the songs may sound a little dated to modern ears, there is enough energy and craft in the music and performances to make a collection of SAW tracks worth hearing to anyone who loves a good tune.

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