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The Hit Factory: The Stock, Aitken and Waterman Story [Hardcover]

Mike Stock
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

30 Sep 2004
However, as is the way with popular culture, the bubble eventually burst. The Hit Factory is an account of this exciting journey from the perspective of Mike Stock, one third of the hit-making triumvirate. From his early life to the early days of SAW, writing for the Eurovision Song contest and their first hit with Dead Or Alive in 1984, through to that fateful first meeting with Kylie and the halcyon days of 1989, the book also goes on to relate the darker side of being so successful - and where things started to go wrong. It is candid, revealing and sometimes shocking, exploring uncharted territory and exploding the myths about a seemingly jolly scenario.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: New Holland Publishers Ltd (30 Sep 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1843307294
  • ISBN-13: 978-1843307297
  • Product Dimensions: 23.8 x 16 x 2.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 358,941 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Mike Stock is still a record producer, having founded Better The Devil (BTD) Records and launching the pop project the Fast Food Rockers. He lives in London and Sussex.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating but badly edited. 25 May 2011
Towards the end of the book Mike thanks two people for taking what he had written and organising it. I wish that they had done a better job. The book is packed with interesting information, but it needs ordering properly. Topics veer all over the place in a disjointed manner.

Not to worry. The book is still fascinating and draws the reader in because there's the climb up to the peak and then the decline. Several restarts are described and they were sucessful in their own way.

In the end Mike Stock does come across as a bit too bitter and sure that the way he thinks of pop music is the only right way. I could sympathise with the rants against the music business, but some of it just sounds too bitter. The music scene changed; dance music came and changed a lot of things. Not everyone wants a 3 minute pop song from a hit factory.

Overall, even though I don't like a lot of the SAW songs I still appreciate what they did. The work rate was astounding and I have a soft spot for a good pop record. I've been listening to loads on Youtube and some of the Sonia songs are masterpieces. At the time I thought that Sonia was really naff. I don't care about that any more.

If you're interested in how SAW operated and how their main song writer thought then this book will not disappoint you.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You have to grab the tune and drive it. 20 Sep 2009
By Peter Wade VINE VOICE
Mike Stock came from humble beginnings and created a career for himself by playing in pubs and clubs. He learnt a few lessons on the way up such as play what the public want such as the Birdie song not just to please yourself.

If you learn anything from this book that is it. How many people decry popular success and say that they only admire more worthy work such as rock.

" We were there to entertain. It was another important lesson: if you want to play your own stuff, fine ,do it in your bedroom- don't charge people money just to indulge yourself."

He decided that song writing was his forte and joined up with Pete Waterman and he liked his salesmanship.
"Pete's job was to keep supplying us with work and putting us in touch with artists "

He expanded on the theme of what people think is acceptable. These groups would have hits that were totally manufactured by SAW and then they would listen to their "mates down the pub" they would say I want to do something heavier not this pop stuff. None of their so called mates was ever successful. They just had ordinary jobs but they had opinions about music.

He recorded with some of the best such as Cliff Richard and Paul McCartney and he said that Donna Summer was the best singer he worked with.

You have to grab the tune and drive it.

It was a good insight in to the pop music industry but I would have suspected a lot of it.

He gives his top ten rules for survival in the great game of pop.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars King of Hits 17 Feb 2005
Mike Stock is the guy who wrote the hits and should be given the credit he deserves,this book is frank,and I believe an honest account of the SAW days and,if you've read Pete Waterman's autobiography this is an essential read,as it highlights the internal wranglings of the three guys from another perspective,from the perspective of the multi-talented guy who wrote all the hits,it's a great book and Mike Stock is the REAL hitmaker.He alludes to current programmes like Pop Idol so it's a very current book and anyone wishing to perform or aspire to write a hit record should buy a copy,a fascinating insight into the pop industry and sometimes a rather disturbing one.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars So sad to watch good love go bad 22 Mar 2005
By Cyberic
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a sorry tale straight from the horse's mouth. Mike Stock really has suffered the trials and tribulations of outrageous fortune. Starting in a south east London garage studio he instigated a production and songwriting team, Stock Aitken and Waterman, which for a while conquered all. The music business, however, hated them and eventually SAW parted company.
A first-hand insight to the UK music industry, predominently late 80's early 90's, and what can go wrong.
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4 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quite Good 17 Oct 2004
If you're interested in the pop music business and remember the late 80s favourably, you'll no doubt find this worthwhile. Easy to read, amusing at times and just a pleasant light-hearted read.
I'd put this in a similar league to Simon Cowell's autobiography which I also found enjoyable.
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