Music

Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan and the pop music legends that made them stars

If you were a teenager in the late eighties, it is highly likely that you sang along to catchy hits including Kylie Minogue's I Should Be So Lucky and Jason Donovan's Too Many Broken Hearts.

Stars like Kylie and Jason seemed to rule the airwaves, along with other acts including Rick Astley, Bananarama and Mel and Kim.

They all however had one thing in common – Mike Stock, Matt Aitken and Pete Waterman, known more commonly as Stock, Aitken and Waterman, the legendary pop music powerhouse that produced more than 100 Top 40 UK hits.

Throughout the eighties they worked with huge names including Donna Summer, Cliff Richard and Paul McCartney, as well as launching the careers of artists including Bros, Sonia and of course, Kylie and Jason.

Pete Waterman told Sara Cox on BBC show Sounds of the 80s: "We never dreamt it, everybody thought that what we were doing was candy floss.

"They didn’t realise that we’d have the reverence for this stuff 30 years later… it's a testament to how good they actually were."

When Kylie and Jason first met with the three producers in 1987, the trio had already had huge success producing records for artists including You Spin Me Round by Dead or Alive, Venus by Bananarama and Showing Out by Mel and Kim.

Mike Stock recalled that Kylie Minogue was "the complete package", telling The Guardian that I Should Be So Lucky was recorded in around 40 minutes.

However, he said Kylie was not best pleased after having been at the studio all week waiting to record the song, and when Mike Stock flew out to Australia to discuss the follow up to I Should Be So Lucky, which had stayed at No1 for five weeks, he apologised to her.

He said: "I went out to Australia at the start of 1988 and met her in a bar with Jason and her manager.

"I basically crawled 100 yards on my knees and apologised profusely. She took it well and we did some more recording."

After finishing filming Neighbours, Kylie would record music in the studio in Australia, and the rest as they say is history.

Kylie went on to record four albums with Stock, Aitken and Waterman from 1987 to 1991, releasing catchy records including The Loco-motion, Hand On Your Heart and Better The Devil You Know, with her first 13 songs all reaching the Top 10.

They also launched fellow Neighbours cast member Jason Donovan to pop stardom too, with his debut single Nothing Can Divide Us released not long before one of the eighties' biggest hits – Especially For You.

Demand for a Kylie and Jason duet was high, recalls Mike Stock, saying that Woolworths even asked when the studio could deliver, as they had overwhelming numbers of requests from the public for copies of the single.

Following Especially For You, which has become a staple of slow dances throughout the decades, Jason also released singles including When You Come Back To Me and Sealed With A Kiss, scoring four No1 records during his time working with Stock, Aitken and Waterman.

In the early nineties, Kylie and Jason went on to work on other projects without the pop powerhouse, with Kylie releasing further chart topping albums such as Fever, and Jason Donovan performing in hit musicals like Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, where he scored another Top Ten hit with the song Any Dream Will Do.

However, there is no denying how influential Stock, Aitken and Waterman were in the early careers of two of pop's biggest stars.

In 2015, Kylie even organised a reunion of the three producers, where they arranged and produced a new version of her song Every Day's like Christmas, with both Kylie and Jason continuing to perform songs from their Stock, Aitken and Waterman days on tour.

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