I suppose the subtlest condemnation of the Mike Stock, Matt Aitken, and Pete Waterman is to place Donna Summer’s last American hit atop my list here’s an example of an artist who didn’t surrender a millimeter of her personality to the demands of the late eighties’ most terrifying trio. “No hitmakers since have been as brazen about making pop into a cheap, kit-built, product,” Tom Ewing wrote about Mel and Kim’s “Respectable,” a #1 hit in the UK and on the American dance chart. S-A-W unnerved Neil Tennant enough that in Chris Heath-written memoir Literally he argued with partner Chris Lowe over whether S-A-W produced music for proles or each time out wrung small but brilliant changes in their structures.
All the same, I’m shocked I have fewer songs on this list than expected.
1. Donna Summer – This Time I Know It’s For Real
2. Dead or Alive – You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)
3. Bananarama – I Heard a Rumour
4. Rick Astley – Together Forever
5. Hazell Dean – They Say It’s Gonna Rain
6. Kylie Minogue – I Should Be So Lucky
7. Mel and Kim – Respectable
8. Bananarama – Love in the First Degree
9. Debbie Harry – In Love With Love (Extended Version)
10. Princess – Say I’m Your Number One