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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 stars for the 2CD edition. 5 stars for the 3CD edition
This review is for: Pete Waterman Presents the Hit Factory (3CD edition, but also covering the 2CD edition)

I am a huge Stock Aitken Waterman/PWL fan, so I pre-ordered the 3CD edition. I was shocked to see it go out of print so fast because there was no warning that this was a limited edition. Now I see the price escalating, so I figured I would write a review...
Published 23 months ago by Mr. D

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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Hit Factory - The Soundtrack To A Missed Opportunity
Deluxe editions of albums are now relatively common, but a deluxe edition of a back catalogue compilation is something I've not encountered before. The PWL/Stock-Aitken-Waterman production sound dominated the charts in the latter half of the 80s and there's a wealth of released and rare material to pick from. Sadly, the deluxe edition follows the conventional route of new...
Published on 20 July 2012 by James says...


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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 stars for the 2CD edition. 5 stars for the 3CD edition, 19 Sep 2012
By 
Mr. D "Mr. D" - See all my reviews
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This review is for: Pete Waterman Presents the Hit Factory (3CD edition, but also covering the 2CD edition)

I am a huge Stock Aitken Waterman/PWL fan, so I pre-ordered the 3CD edition. I was shocked to see it go out of print so fast because there was no warning that this was a limited edition. Now I see the price escalating, so I figured I would write a review to tell people exactly what is on the discs, so you can decide whether it really is worth tracking down at the high prices now being asked, or whether the 2CD edition is good enough.

The 3CD set contains the exact same tracks on the first 2 discs as the 2CD edition. These are the hits that the fans will already have multiple times, but if you don't have them already this may be sufficient (However, before buying the 2CD edition, I would say it is worth first looking at the track selection on Stock Aitken Waterman "Gold", which in my opinion is stronger, particularly because it includes the Donna Summer hits which are missing here. Plus you get a disc of 12" mixes without a crazy price tag).

There are 2 things of note on the first 2 CD's

1) the version of Mel & Kim's "Showing Out" is the 4:50 Vocal edit used for the Japanese 7" and included on the U.S. 12" single. To my knowledge, this has never appeared on CD before.

2) the "WIP 2 Tribute Mix" is in my opinion a waste of space. It only has 4 tracks and these don't even go together well: Loveland "Let The Music Lift you Up", Rick Astley "Never Gonna Give You Up", Stock Aitken Waterman "Roadblock", Steps "Better The Devil You Know". Just looking at that list is enough to tell you those tracks don't go together at all. The track selection and execution of this mix is poor and I won't be playing it again.

Onto disc 3 now, which is a mix of essentials and disappointments. I'll go through them track by track:

01) Princess "Say I'm Your Number One (Princess To A King Mix)" - This is a 7 minute unreleased Tony King remix, which is very good and I would say an essential purchase for a fan of SAW/PWL.

02) Mondo Kane "New York Afternoon (Extended Version)" - This has got that great 80's Matt Bianco vibe. First time this 12" mix has appeared on CD and great to finally get it.

03) Three Degrees "The Heaven I Need (Extended Version)" - This is the full UK 12" version for the first time on CD. It was previously included on a Dutch CD: "Dance Classics 19/20" but faded early. There was also another version on a 4CD set called "Maximum 80's", but that was the 12" version released in Germany & Holland. So this is the first time we get the full UK 12" version.

04) Morgan McVey featuring Neneh Cherry "Looking Good Diving (With The Wild Bunch)" - This was from a Morgan McVey B-Side and is fascinating to hear what would later be reshaped by Bomb the Bass' Tim Simenon into the first huge hit for Neneh Cherry; "Buffalo Stance".

05) Mandy Smith "I Just Can't Wait (Alternative 12" Mix)" - This is the 12" version released in Germany. Only really essential for collectors who must have everything (like me!)

06) Precious Wilson "Only The Strong Survive (Extended Version)" - I never thought I would see this on CD. I have loved this 12" since it was released back in 1987. Listening to it again it still sounds great, but I would imagine if you are new to the song in 2012 it might not be that essential. It is less immediate than most SAW tracks. But if you like Three Degrees, you'll probably like this too.

07) Sybil "When I'm Good And Ready (Original 12" Mix)" - This is an unreleased Dave Ford 12" mix and I have to say it is excellent. For me, this is the best version of this song. I never thought any of the released mixes quite got it right, although the "Woman's Prerogative Mix" came closest. This Dave Ford mix gets it absolutely spot on.

08) Jason Donovan "Too Many Broken Hearts (Party Hardy Mix)" - This is the version from the B-Side on the U.S. 12" single which incorporates a snippet of Pat & Mick's "I Haven't Stopped Dancing Yet". The volume levels are not quite right when it chops back into Jason, but it is an interesting mix and I'm glad to finally have this on CD.

09) Kylie Minogue "What Do I Have To Do (Billy The Fish Mix)" - I tracked down this mix on a South African Kylie "Greatest Hits" CD last year. It's not that essential. It sounds virtually identical to one of the other mixes I already had.

10) Dead Or Alive "You Spin Me Round (Buzzing Bees Mix)" - I have been a Dead Or Alive fan since before they were famous and this version has been the stuff of legend for a long time (alternatively known as the TDF mix), so to finally see this released was exciting. However, I've tried to listen to it a few times and I think it's dreadful. In the entire history of Dead Or Alive, I rate this as a real low point. Both the Murder Mix and the Performance Mix are far superior.

Amazon also lists a track which was going to be included, but which isn't on the disc: Dolly Dots "What A Night". It is disappointing that it didn't make it onto this collection, but it is available on a 2CD set from Holland which is expensive but worth it because it does include the full PWL 12" version: Give the Girls a Break

So, over all, this is a really good collection, but with a few letdowns. The lack of Donna Summer is no doubt due to licensing restrictions following her passing and I would have created a better megamix, but I would say this is an essential purchase and easily worth 5 stars.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Love the collection, 18 July 2012
By 
Eddie Davis (Hoboken, NJ United States) - See all my reviews
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Was mine the only one missing the Dolly Dots track on Disc 3? I'm surprised no one else has mentioned it, so made me wonder.

Otherwise, PHENOMENAL compilation. There are definitely some on here that have been on multiple previous sets, but they all sound terrific and being from the US, some of these tracks are not so readily available!!

Personally, Disc 3 is worth the price of the set by itself but I sure did love that Dolly Dots track.... :(
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Hit Factory - The Soundtrack To A Missed Opportunity, 20 July 2012
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Deluxe editions of albums are now relatively common, but a deluxe edition of a back catalogue compilation is something I've not encountered before. The PWL/Stock-Aitken-Waterman production sound dominated the charts in the latter half of the 80s and there's a wealth of released and rare material to pick from. Sadly, the deluxe edition follows the conventional route of new releases and adds a bonus disc - which seems like a missed opportunity. Casual listeners will be catered for with the standard two disc release, whereas the deluxe edition could have worked harder in terms of offering up the rarer tracks and mixes. And ultimately that's what most people buying this deluxe edition want - along with liner notes and decent artwork (for a deluxe edition CD it feels remarkably cheap with no booklet and all the credits underneath each disc).

CDs 1 and 2 offer a 39 track retrospective, the third such outing in 12 years. A lot of the same tracks are dragged out again, and it's questionable how many people really needed `I'd rather Jack' after its inclusion twice on the `Gold' compilation. Similarly Steps - who were neither signed to PWL or produced by S/A/W - notch up two appearances. Bafflingly, Lonnie Gordon also has two cuts across these CDs - the same as Bananarama and Hazell Dean - despite the fact that `Beyond Your Wildest Dreams' never bothered the Top 40. Donna Summer's work is missing in action, presumably because of her recent passing. A track by Loveland and a pointless megamix also pad out the first two discs, meaning that CD rarities like Carol Hitchcock, Sequal, and Dolly Dots are absent. One pleasant surprise is that Kylie's version of `Better the Devil' is absent in favour of `Hand On Your Heart' - but sadly not the video mix, which has yet to make it on to a CD release. We know from the iTunes and Cherry Pop releases that there's plenty of alternative single mixes out there, it just isn't making the cut.

CD 3 is where it gets interesting. Because of their studio process S/A/W often started with the extended version and trimmed it down to create the single edit. So a disc of extended mixes really plays to their strengths. You may not be familiar with all the tracks, but the production is classic Hit Factory. `Looking good diving', which would later become Neneh Cherry's `Buffalo Stance' is also a fascinating listen. The Billy the Fish mix of Kylie's `What Do I Have To Do' is a treat.

Ultimately I would have been happy with a 3CD set that had one disc of alternative hit single mixes - Donna Summer's `Love About To Change My Heart', to name but one - and two discs of rarities and extended mixes. I don't know how that would have affected the overall sales of this edition - but I do know that I'm more frustrated at what's missing rather than happy with what's included. Not enough to deter me from buying it though!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth Every Penny I Paid For It!, 9 Oct 2012
By 
William E. Gordon "Seasoned Dj" (Louisiana) - See all my reviews
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We in the U.S. did not get the 3rd CD to Pete Waterman Presents "The Hit Factory". So tryed my luck in the UK. Finally Sucess!! I will enjoy this gem of a CD for years!
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great collection of timeless pop, 13 July 2012
Love them or loathe them, there is no denying that the SAW team changed the face of pop in the 80's with their trademark sound.This is a great collection of thier finest moments along with some scarce mixes, the standout for me being Dead or Alive's 'You Spin' in it's Buzzing Bees Mix, which was the stuff of folklore!(If what I'm told is correct, it was also known as the T.D.F mix, if you want to know what TDF stands for do some investigating!)). It's about time these guys were given some respect for their contribution to pop, at least their tracks were proper songs, unlike most of today's garbage! Highly recommended, and if you're too young to remember this music, buy it, and see what you missed!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the hit factory, 19 Sep 2012
By 
S. Tranter - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Pete Waterman presents the Hit Factory (Audio CD)
this cd is br i illiant,im dancing around the living room too this,its pure cheeeesy pop at its best,i wouldadvise people too buy this
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5.0 out of 5 stars party tunes sorted, 16 May 2014
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what it says on the tin, if you having a party for the older set bung this on, watch people moan and then get down to the sound of the 80s, good fun or is that big fun?
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5.0 out of 5 stars Made my wife's day, 25 April 2014
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This review is from: Pete Waterman presents the Hit Factory (Audio CD)
Sadly I've been forced to listen to this ever since, which given I'm more of a stereophonics kind of guy isn't great, but it makes her happy and she assures me it's definitely 5* track listing.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Rare item, 22 Jan 2014
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I'm so glad that I god this item for this particular price, since it usually cost + 50 pounds. And it's seldom found on ebay and such.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Total Nostalgia!!!, 18 Nov 2013
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Anyone who was a teenager in the 80s and 90s, couldn't fail to notice the Hit Factory. Containing a large amount of Stock/Aitken/Waterman's work, this is a great, feel good album.
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Pete Waterman presents the Hit Factory
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