70 episodes

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)

A Journey Through Stock Aitken Waterman Chart Beats

    • Music
    • 5.0 • 39 Ratings

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)

    Ep 66: What Do I Have To Do Part 2: the styling and video

    Ep 66: What Do I Have To Do Part 2: the styling and video

    While "What Do I Have To Do" by Kylie Minogue stands on its own two feet as a song, the impact of the single was increased greatly due to the striking imagery on display on the single cover and in the music video. Celebrity stylist David Thomas takes us right back to the early years of his career and tells the story of how he was hired to style the video. His desire to take Kylie into a much more fashionable direction was something she was right on board with and their collaboration produced some of the most iconic visual images of her career. Video director David Hogan, who also joins us on the podcast, delivered an edgy, stylish, exciting music video that remains a fan favourite — and he recalls how it came together and some of the challenges posed by particular scenes. Responsible for the phrase "SexKylie" being coined, the video for "What Do I Have To Do" was a huge step in Kylie's career that further proved how in control of her image she now was. 
    Subscribe for bonus material at chartbeats.com.au/saw
    Twitter: @ChartBeatsAU, @MrMattDenby
    Instagram: @chartbeatsau
    Facebook: Chart Beats: A Journey Through Pop
    Email: chartbeats.au@gmail.com

    • 48 min
    Ep 65: What Do I Have To Do Part 1: the song and mixes

    Ep 65: What Do I Have To Do Part 1: the song and mixes

     In 1991, it was another bold step forward for Kylie Minogue, and in the decades since, "What Do I Have To Do" has cemented its place among fans' all-time favourites from her extensive back catalogue. But the third single from Rhythm Of Love didn't come together easily, with a lengthy period of time spent mixing the club-influenced track — and remixing it. Songwriters and producers Mike Stock and Matt Aitken, mixers Phil Harding and Ian Curnow, and engineer Peter Day all join us to discuss the evolution of the song and the inspirations and thought processes behind the different versions. Backing vocalists Miriam Stockley and Mae McKenna also return to the podcast to reveal how Kylie threw the rulebook out the window when it came to recording the BVs for "What Do I Have To Do". 
    Subscribe for bonus material at chartbeats.com.au/saw
    Twitter: @ChartBeatsAU, @MrMattDenby
    Instagram: @chartbeatsau
    Facebook: Chart Beats: A Journey Through Pop
    Email: chartbeats.au@gmail.com

    • 47 min
    BONUS: Promoting PWL — Sharp End's Ron McCreight on Kylie, Jason, Sinitta, The Reynolds Girls and more

    BONUS: Promoting PWL — Sharp End's Ron McCreight on Kylie, Jason, Sinitta, The Reynolds Girls and more

    You can have the best single in the world, but there's little chance of it being a hit if no one hears it. That's where pluggers come in — taking songs to radio and convincing programmers to playlist them. In 1987, Ron McCreight and his business partner, Robert Lemon, joined forces with PWL's Pete Waterman and David Howells in a plugging company that became known as Sharp End. In this special episode, Ron talks about how the music industry power players teamed up and the role Sharp End had in not only taking Stock Aitken Waterman's music to radio and TV but also handling publicity and promotion for many of the artists to work at the Hit Factory, including Kylie Minogue, Jason Donovan, Sinitta, Sonia, Hazell Dean, Mandy Smith, The Reynolds Girls, Big Fun, Boy Krazy and more.


    Subscribe for bonus material at chartbeats.com.au/saw
    Twitter: @ChartBeatsAU, @MrMattDenby
    Instagram: @chartbeatsau
    Facebook: Chart Beats: A Journey Through Pop
    Email: chartbeats.au@gmail.com

    • 46 min
    SNEAK PEEK: Kylie by Kylie Minogue and Youthquake by Dead Or Alive track-by-track previews

    SNEAK PEEK: Kylie by Kylie Minogue and Youthquake by Dead Or Alive track-by-track previews

    Check out previews of two of our most popular bonus track-by-track episodes. Gavin and Matt discuss Kylie, the debut album by Kylie Minogue, and, with special guest Barry Stone, talk about the first SAW-produced album by Dead Or Alive, Youthquake. As well as giving our thoughts on every song, we count down listeners' favourite tracks. If you enjoy these sneak peeks, you can subscribe to hear the full bonus episodes and all the other extra content at chartbeats.com.au/subscribe.
    Meanwhile, existing subscribers can now listen to the bonus track-by-track episode for If I Have To Stand Alone by Lonnie Gordon, which has been added to the bonus content.
    Thanks to everyone for listening and supporting the podcast — see you in 2024 for more of A Journey Through Stock Aitken Waterman.
    Subscribe for bonus material at chartbeats.com.au/saw
    Twitter: @ChartBeatsAU, @MrMattDenby
    Instagram: @chartbeatsau
    Facebook: Chart Beats: A Journey Through Pop
    Email: chartbeats.au@gmail.com

    • 20 min
    Ep 64: If I Have To Stand Alone to Breakaway

    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.
    Subscribe for bonus material at chartbeats.com.au/saw
    Twitter: @ChartBeatsAU, @MrMattDenby
    Instagram: @chartbeatsau
    Facebook: Chart Beats: A Journey Through Pop
    Email: chartbeats.au@gmail.com

    • 57 min
    Ep 63: Step Back In Time (and Rhythm Of Love)

    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. 
    Subscribe for bonus material at chartbeats.com.au/saw
    Twitter: @ChartBeatsAU, @MrMattDenby
    Instagram: @chartbeatsau
    Facebook: Chart Beats: A Journey Through Pop
    Email: chartbeats.au@gmail.com

    • 1 hr 3 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
39 Ratings

39 Ratings

Leo Mears ,

Awesome podcast!

Gavin and Matthew take us through the SAW catalog with an extensive knowledge of the songs/artists, as well as great interviews with many of the people involved. I truly appreciate how they sometimes ask those tough, good probing questions in an empathetic and non-judgmental manner. They’ve also introduced me to some great tracks I wasn’t aware of such as Sonia’s “Better than Ever”, Mandy Smith’s catalog and some Princess tracks that I’m discovering for the first time. Keep up the terrific job guys. Thank you!

The Ebony Enchantress ,

An In Depth Look at Every SAW Single

I was already a huge fan of Dead or Alive and Kylie. And sure there are plenty of SAW singles i love; but this podcast has exposed me to SO MUCH MORE! I look forward to each episode!

Jason L. in Milwaukee ,

Wonderfully thorough and full of passion!

I suspect there is a booming amount of interest in PWL after the recent UK documentary aired, and having been a listener to this podcast since the first episode, I’ll say: it’s a PERFECT accompaniment to what folks saw on the TV documentary. On screen, we got a quick, incisive overview of the beginning, middle and end…but on this podcast, we get a DEEP narrative about every step in the Stock / Aitken / Waterman journey. Gavin and Matthew are so passionate about the music and the narrative. I wish I hadn’t already been such a devoted SAW fan, because hearing the story and the music for the first time through THEIR ears would have been wonderful. That said, they still cover songs I didn’t know about and speak to people I’ve rarely (if ever) heard interviewed, as an American PWL fanatic. Long story short: Gavin and Matthew have a fun, informative and easy to listen to podcast that truly celebrates a magical era in pop music. I gave it five stars, and with so many more exciting stories to tell (I wrote this in early-2023, as the guys are just getting into 1989), I’m sure that five star mark will hold even stronger with time.

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