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In 1984 SAW had been using the Marquee Studios, but the equipment was old and breaking down so Mike proposed building their own studio. Mike and Matt knew of some available premises at the Vineyard in The Borough, Southwark. They managed to persuade Pete Waterman to rent the place and they started building the studio in January 1985.

The year started off slowly musically for Stock Aitken Waterman, as their first release that year, Hazell Dean's NO FOOL (FOR LOVE) stalled frustratingly at #41, just like her previous single did. However, this was overshadowed by Mike, Matt and Pete getting their first number one single, as Dead Or Alive's YOU SPIN ME ROUND (LIKE A RECORD) finally reached the top spot nearly four months after its release. Dead Or Alive won further hits with LOVER COME BACK TO ME, IN TOO DEEP and MY HEART GOES BANG (GET ME TO THE DOCTOR), all taken from the SAW-produced YOUTHQUAKE album.

Fellow Goth-rock band The Danse Society also hoped to benefit from the magic SAW had weaved with Dead Or Alive, but SAY IT AGAIN failed to chart, as did Canton's STAY WITH ME and Rin Tin Tin's SHAKE IT!.

By March the studio was almost fully operational and SAW took on an act called Brilliant, who were signed to Warner Bros. A very different SAW sound was apparent in the debut single from Brilliant, a band that featured Jimi Cauty of The KLF and future top producer Youth (The Verve).

Their version of James Brown's IT'S A MAN'S, MAN'S, MAN'S WORLD won great acclaim, despite only peaking at #58. What the Brilliant sessions did do, however, was to introduce SAW to one of the group’s backing vocalists, one Desiree Hislop.

Mike loved Desiree's voice and had a song he and Matt had written called SAY I'M YOUR NUMBER ONE that he thought would be perfect for her. After finishing recording with Brilliant Desiree stayed behind and they recorded the track. Pete absolutely loved the song and touted it around a few record companies under Desiree's stage name – Princess – to no avail. At this point Barry Evangeli and Nick East of Proto Records had ended their business partnership and so SAW took Nick East on board and at their behest he set up a new label, Supreme Records. The Princess record became a big hit in the Summer of '85 and she followed this up with AFTER THE LOVE HAS GONE - another Top 30 hit in November.

Stock Aitken Waterman had demonstrated a talent for soul-tinged pop this year, as the Princess hits proved. This new diversion was consolidated with American singer O'Chi Brown and her SAW written and produced debut single WHENEVER YOU NEED SOMEBODY (later covered by Rick Astley), while The Three Degrees scored a minor hit with THE HEAVEN I NEED. Meanwhile, the hi-NRG sound that SAW had developed over the past year or so was giving way to a less frenetic and more mainstream sound, as typified by releases like Hazell Dean's THEY SAY IT'S GONNA RAIN, Haywoode's GETTING CLOSER and the two releases from pop svengali Tom Watkin's pop hopefuls, Spelt Like This, CONTRACT OF THE HEART and STOP THIS RUMOUR.

Although wanting to concentrate on their own songs, SAW were still doing remix work for other acts releases. They did a 12" remix for former Dollar singer Thereza Bazar's solo single THE BIG KISS and, now a rare and hard to find, 12" remix of Elton John's Top 20 hit single WRAP HER UP that was only ever released on promo.

History will show 1985 as the year that SAW got their first number one, but it was a year that was a real work in progress - building a new studio and getting their name and sound out there. It was their ever more defined sound that would lead them to their next artist and to their next HUGE hit.

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