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The Hit Factory

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Theblip | 12:27 Thu 22nd Apr 2021 | Music
14 Answers
A pal in the US asked me to describe “the sound of Stock Aitken & Waterman” hits from yesterday, after I had said that to my ears they all sounded roughly the same. I was stumped. Can you come up with anything...other than derogatory terms? Or am I wrong in remembering common ingredients?

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I'm afraid they were my guilty pleasure from the eighties, they were always cheerful upbeat songs, so much better than the aggressive rap or miserable over sung ballads we get today.
07:17 Fri 23rd Apr 2021
Mainstream or bubblegum pop music
why "The Hit Factory"?

someone was mad when they got to the office and slammed the door so hard that the "S" fell off.......

:-)
All songs had similar backing tracks.
samey
Far better just to give him links to maybe 5 song's- something by Kylie, Jason, Dead or Alive, Bananarama, Rick Astley. And maybe Sonia as a bonus track.
He'll be sorry he asked, altho Never Gonna Give You Up still sounds good
The temptation to Rickroll well resisted there bobbinwales
I'm afraid they were my guilty pleasure from the eighties, they were always cheerful upbeat songs, so much better than the aggressive rap or miserable over sung ballads we get today.
Loved Kylie, Bananarama, Mel & Kim :o)

I always described it as boppy pop or happy pop. Get them to YouTube Better The Devil You Know - Kylie version, You'll Never Stop Me From Loving You, and some Mel & Kim.
you beast, bobbinwales
Best to get them to listen to the hits to get the idea. There is probably some common musical technicality on the beat or harmonies that escapes me but they were all good fun listening and usually uplifting. However a bit like Abba in their day, to admit liking them was uncool and not highbrow. I cannot actually fathom how anyone can't secretly like Never Gonna Give You Up by Rick Astley, probably the best fun pop song ever.
Nice try bobbinwales. I didn't click. ;0)
Despite the ongoing cynicism and critical mauling that they received at the time, and still receive today, I believe that history will judge Stock Aitken And Waterman as they are - the Holland Dozier Holland of their generation.

There is nothing wrong with hitting on a formula for a sound, and replicating it over and over - pop stars have done that for generations, with massive success.

And it's the volume of sales that indicate the success of the formula, not critical judgement.

The sound the trio crafted carries a number of standard features inccluding very bright and splashy production, with lots of synth strings and toppy sounding synth drums over a fast dance beat.

The real skill is the musical hooks they created which were instantly memorable and caught the imagination of the teenage record-buying public in their late-eighties heyday.

Everything your friend needs to know is here -

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stock_Aitken_Waterman
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stock_Aitken_Waterman

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