….Dead Or Alive were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘You Spin Me Round (Like A Record). It was the first No.1 for the production team of Stock, Aitken and Waterman who went on to produce over 100 UK Top 40 hits.
Pete Burns R.I.P.
Here’s the video, and below you can read the story behind the song.
More than 30 years after its release, “You Spin Me Round” is still instantly catchy from the opening synth chords to Burns’ dramatic, almost operatic, vocals. But it was not an instant success; though it reached number one in the U.K. it took 17 weeks to ascend to the top of the charts. More surprising still is that it was almost never made. Dead or Alive’s record label Epic was, according to Burns in his 2007 autobiography Freak Unique, apathetic about the song. Burns claimed he took out a £2,500 loan to record it and that the “the record company said it was awful. It was unanimous – it was awful, it was rubbish.”
“You Spin Me Round” was produced by a then-rising pop trio, Stock Aitken Waterman, who were banking on the record’s success just as much as Burns and his band mates. S.A.W.—comprised of Mike Stock, Matt Aitken and Pete Waterman—had their first number one with the Dead or Alive song and would later go on to greater successes with the likes of Kylie Minogue (for whom they produced “I Should Be So Lucky”) and Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up.”
Waterman tells Newsweek that he first saw Burns on the BBC music program Top of the Pops and was “smitten” by the singer’s animated stage presence. He would later get a call from Burns requesting a meeting to discuss working together.
“He played me three songs which in truth weren’t the greatest songs he played us. But I desperately wanted to work with him,” says Waterman.
The pairing of S.A.W. and Dead or Alive was not well received by the band’s label but they eventually authorized them to record together, albeit on “the tiniest budget… almost impossible to make records with that sort of budget.”
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