top of page


1988 is probably the year that SAW became just as (If not more so) famous as the artists performing their songs, and truly launching the era of the super-producer. If proof of that were needed they were voted Best British Producer at the annual B.P.I. Awards in February and won Best British Single for Rick Astley's, "NEVER GONNA GIVE YOU UP".  They also cleaned up at the prestigious Ivor Novello Awards in April, bagging BEST SELLING A SIDE, MOST PERFORMED WORK and INTERNATIONAL HIT OF THE YEAR all for "NEVER GONNA GIVE YOU UP" as well as being voted SONGWRITERS OF THE YEAR!

1988 was a momentous year for Bananarama. They started the year off with a Top 20  hit , "I CAN'T HELP IT"  that was to be the last of the groups releases in their original line-up. Siobhan Fahey made the decision to leave and she was replaced by Jaquie O Sullivan. The next single, "I WANT YOU BACK" was re-recorded using Jaquie's vocals and gave the girls a huge hit reaching #5. They had a further two singles this year, the brand new song "LOVE, TRUTH & HONESTY" #23 and the final track lifted from "WOW!", "NATHAN JONES" #15. They released "THE GREATEST HITS COLLECTION" which peaked at #3 in the album charts and were also entered into the Guinness Book of World Records as the all-female group who have the most chart entries in history, a record they still hold. Not a bad year at all!

Then came the SAW record that was possibly the most pivotal of their career. Not simply because it became their most famous (or even infamous) record, or because it launched the career of a true pop icon, but because Kylie Minogue's I SHOULD BE SO LUCKY gave SAW the final nudge into the public consciousness and the forefront of the UK pop music scene.

"I SHOULD BE SO LUCKY" started the year off in fine style, staying at #1 for five weeks in March and became the best selling single of the year, not bad for a song that was written and recorded in 40 minutes. This success was followed by three further hits from Kylie, GOT TO BE CERTAIN, the SAW re-produced  THE LOCO-MOTION and JE NE SAIS PAS POURQUOI all peaking at #2. In July the album "KYLIE" was released peaking at #1 and going on to sell over 2 million copies. There was more to come from Kylie this year though!

Kylie was joined at PWL by her Neighbours co-star Jason Donovan whose debut single NOTHING CAN DIVIDE US reached a very respectable #5. After this success, borne out of public demand, was that Kylie & Jason should sing a duet to coincide with planned screen marriage of their Neighbours characters, Scott and Charlene. ESPECIALLY FOR YOU was tipped to be the Christmas Number One but was held off the spot by Cliff Richard's "Mistletoe And Wine". They would have to make do with #2 - for now at least!

Mel & Kim returned to the Top Ten with THAT'S THE WAY IT IS, but this would tragically be Mel & Kim’s last success together as Mel Appleby's worsening health prevented further work. She would finally lose her battle with cancer in January 1990. 


Hazell Dean teamed up with Stock Aitken Waterman again, scoring a #4 hit with a revival of Anne Murray's WHO'S LEAVING WHO, which she followed up with two further hits, MAYBE WE SHOULD CALL IT A DAY and TURN IT INTO LOVE all tracks from her 2nd SAW produced album, "ALWAYS".

The super producers auctioned off their services for the Young Variety Club Of Great Britain Charity and E.M.I. won with the highest bid. The result was the breakthrough hit for Brother Beyond, THE HARDER I TRY which made #2 in the summer and this was followed up with HE AIN'T NO COMPETITION that reached #6 in November giving the group the  success they had been striving for during the previous two years. 

Rick Astley returned with a largely self-penned second album, it included 4 SAW tracks one of which was a Top 10 single with TAKE ME TO YOUR HEART reaching #8, the same peak position the album made on release in December. Mike, Matt and Pete also wrote and produced a football song for the England Football Squad for the Euro '88 campaign but it wasn't a great success as it couldn't get any higher than #64, which unfortunately reflected England's poor showing in the competition!

Stock Aitken Waterman returned as artists on their own single, the credible acid house track SS PAPARAZZI. SAW released LET'S ALL CHANT, the first of six annual collaborations with Capital Radio DJ's Pat Sharp and Mick Brown, aimed to raise money for the radio station's Help A London Child charity, giving the duo a #11 hit!

One could be forgiven for thinking that the Stock Aitken Waterman machine had reached its peak this year - one could be so wrong!

bottom of page