Deny it as we may, the great works of Stock, Aitken and Waterman have been a part of my generation’s lives since before we were born. Producing such megastars as Mel & Kim; Kylie Minogue; Jason Donovan and this month’s glorious AOTM group: Dead or Alive.
This was once more a month of agonising and overwhelming choice musically. I considered such albums as Funkadelic – One Nation Under a Groove; A Flock of Seagulls’ debut album and Scritti Politti’s Absolute. Nothing compares to the all encompassing brilliance of Youthquake. Interestingly, the word “youthquake” made the word of 2017 by the Oxford Dictionary.
I had a bit of a tragic history with this record. I ordered it from Amazon hoping I’d be able to listen to it in a few days. The post comes and a fold in the protective cardboard is immediately noticeable. Fearing the worst, I open the package to find the record had indeed been separated into two pieces.
Crestfallen, I took it upon myself to go from a few days’ delivery to “instant delivery” as Ian at Vinyl Destination economically put it. If you don’t recall the last three words from the Queen’s 2017 Christmas speech, you’re disloyal.
Finally the vinyl is in my possession. They way it was intended to be heard. And what a sound.
You’ll all recognise the first song “You Spin me Right Round”, but what you might not know is that Pete Waterman knew it would be a No1 hit as soon as he heard it. And it stayed atop the charts for 5 weeks! Stock; Aitken and Waterman’s first of 13 UK number 1 singles in 3 years. But as usual, to really understand an artist one must listen to the whole album. This one is a powerhouse. Each track seems driven by some unseen force to divine perfection.
My Heart Goes Bang is perhaps my favourite. Closely followed by It’s Been a Long Time. The seamless combination of Pete Burns’ angelic voice and more instruments than I ever thought I would hear at once make for an auditory experience quite beyond anything I have heard before.
This album encapsulates for me the essence of that time one was a child and uncovered something beautiful which he had not considered could exist before. It is an exciting discovery and has cast me into a mine of late 1980’s gold hitherto unnoticed by your humble Suggestor.
Listen for yourselves the mad and frankly beautiful amalgamation of sound in Youthquake. It truly sent me to another dimension.
Rest in Peace, Pete Burns.