The Reunion

Ep 3/5

Sunday 19 April



When pop impresario Pete Waterman suggested collaborating with song-writers and musicians Matt Aitken and Mike Stock in 1985, they had little idea of the impact they were going to have on the music industry.

Their sonic template included a take on ‘HI–NRG’, a sound that had been popular, especially in gay clubs in the north of England. Waterman was a regular DJ at the clubs and was well acquainted with the dancefloor lights that were triggered by the sounds of a particular record being played.

He explains: ‘When one of our records came on, it was louder than the previous one and the lights would go off like fireworks.’

You Spin Me Round (Like a Record) by Dead or Alive reached number one in December 1984, and the writing, production and management trio had hits with Bananarama, Donna Summer and Divine, but their real achievement was in breaking the careers of new artists like Rick Astley, Sonia, Sinitta, and Mel And Kim. The triumph, however, was spotting that two stars of a cult Australian TV soap could become pop giants. Jason Donovan and Kylie Minogue, both together and separately, would go on to top charts around the globe.

In this episode of The Reunion, Sue MacGregor is joined by Sinitta and Jason Donovan, together with Pete Waterman and recording engineer Phil Harding, to relive the days when their unique ‘80s sound ruled the airwaves.

Presenter/Sue MacGregor, Producer/Emily Williams for Whistledown Productions

BBC Radio 4 Publicity