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1984 is where the Stock Aitken Waterman story begins...


By January 1984 Mike Stock and Matt Aitken had agreed to finish playing live shows and concentrate on writing and producing their own records. Their plan to launch a ‘female version of Frankie Goes To Hollywood’ had led to the creation of the Hi NRG track THE UPSTROKE. Written with keyboard player Pete Ware, the track was recorded in early January with two female singers fronting the project under the name AGENTS AREN’T AEROPLANESAfter a demo recording was completed Mike and Matt set out to find a label who would support their project and release the track. After several unsuccessful meetings in London, Mike and Matt met with Pete Waterman at his offices in Camden. Mike Stock had already had a brief encounter with Pete Waterman, when his song ONE NINE FOR A LADY BREAKER, was Produced by Pete Collins (Nik Kershaw, Musical Youth) who was managed by Pete Waterman.

During a meeting on January 15th 1984, Mike and Matt explained their idea to Pete who was instantly in-tune with their concept; " OK, so you're the band, you make the record and the girls front it. I understand what you're getting at. I like it. Let's go in the studio and do it!". So on February 15th Mike, Matt and Pete went to the old Marquee Studio in Wardour Street and recorded the track that became the very first STOCK AITKEN WATERMAN record. Barry Evangeli, a Greek Cypriot who ran a label called Proto Records with his partner Nick East, agreed to put the record out.

THE UPSTROKE only made number 93 in the charts however faired significantly better on the club scene. The gay club and Hi NRG scene was quickly gaining a reputation for where the hottest new records were being discovered – a trend that would mark a lot of SAW’s future success.

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