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Hated It Then, Totally Dig It Now

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Fess-up time. I just finished compiling a mix CD called Hit Factory: The Stock Aitken Waterman Years, 18 songs by the most critically derided dance-pop production team that ever was. SAW were huge in the UK (not so much in the US) around 1987-90. The trio is best known for sugary, synth-heavy confections produced for the likes of Kylie Minogue, Rick Astley and Bananarama. Back then, I was indifferent to that sort of thing — it was just another ingredient in the soufflé of post-Madonna dance pop. I enjoyed Erasure and Dead Or Alive (another SAW client), but most of my musical interests lied in darker, more rock-oriented stuff.

Now, on the other hand, I find myself fascinated by their work — and it’s pretty damn brilliant. I can groove to Boy Krazy’s “That’s What Love Can Do” without shame. The dense layering of synths and catchy melodic thrust in their music can be enjoyed without irony. Working on this mix made me realize that they also delved into more hardcore dance-clubby material, like Lonnie Gordon’s “Happening All Over Again” and Divine’s “You Think You’re a Man” (yes, the Hairspray star was an early SAW collaborator). Then again, maybe it helps that much of those overseas smashes they did flew under America’s radar back then. Therefore it sounds fresher, at least to my ears.

Anyway, I wanted to ask you, dear readers, if you have anything to share under the “hated it then, totally dig it now” category. It can be music, movies, TV, whatever. Do you secretly covet Full House repeats? Are there undiscovered gems in the cinematic efforts of Michael J. Fox? Let me know!

3 Thoughts on “Hated It Then, Totally Dig It Now

  1. Mass Bradley on June 15, 2006 at 9:37 pm said:

    Herring.
    Pickled herring in cream sauce.
    Used to hate it.
    It took me years to erase (or manage) the image of my dad in his bermudas and leather Birkenstocks (Daddy feet–yikes…) knocking back jarfuls of the vile little fishes each summer. They were a family delicasy, it seems.
    I would sneer and roll my eyes.
    When I was about 18,and verrry grown up, of course, my dad said, “You like sushi, right?”
    “Sure I do. Best stuff on earth!”
    He smiled.
    “Well look at this herring. It’s just sushi in a jar, dummy!”
    He had me.
    I tried some.
    Damn.
    It. Was. Goooood! Briny and sweet, with hefty chunks of firm filets in a tangy buerre-blanc (ok,ok, that may be going overboard)…
    I realized it wasn’t the fish, it was the feet and Bermudas.
    But changing THAT is another story…

  2. I’d have to put just about everything in that category. It’s not the work itself that I hate, it’s the promotion, the hype, the attachment to the current zeitgeist that I find so offensive. I have to wait until my fellow jackasses stop braying about it before the waters are calm enough to discover it for myself. Once I can associate something to my own personal “quest” for entertaiment, and fit it into my own personal landscape, then I’ll let it in. Otherwise its an unwelcome distraction.

  3. Eric on June 17, 2006 at 2:48 pm said:

    Speaking of Michael J. Fox…I remember being mightily disappointed in the movie “Light of Day.” But recently I saw Joan Jett and Bruce Springsteen perform the title track (thanks YouTube!) and it made me curious to revisit this old Paul Schrader flick. Maybe now, after nearly 20 years, I’ll be able to sit back and dig it. What do you think?

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