The Hit Factory #2
Cheiron Studios was a recording studio in Stockholm, Sweden founded in 1993 by Tom Talomma and Denniz Pop. As a record company, Cheiron didn't achieve any major success - they experimented with other styles of music, until they finally hit their stride with Pop.
From 1996 up until its closure, Cheiron partnered up with Zomba/Jive Records. Cheiron's rise to international fame and success was then halted by the sudden loss of Denniz Pop to cancer aged 35. In spite of this setback, Max Martin took over as director and the team pushed on, regardless. In the days of Denniz Pop, one of their earlier productions was Ace of Base's 'All That She Wants', which topped the US top 100 Billboard singles charts in 1994 and around the globe.
Max Martin's work on Robyn's debut album, 'Robyn Is Here' helped nurture the studio's trademark sound that would eventually dominate the pop scene throughout the 90s' decade. That sound blended funk/pop with eurodance & a punchy, distinct edge in stark contrast to their other 90s musical counterparts.
With so many hit songs under their belt doing so well on the Billboard chart, charting in high positions, these have been labelled as the best of late 90s popular music. Cheiron's achievements were significant: it not only earned them the moniker 'the hit factory'; they were the hit factory. They were Scandinavia's own PWL/Stock, Aitken and Waterman in terms of commercial pop aimed at teenagers & young girls. PWL had Kylie Minogue, Jason Donovan, Sonia, Rick Astley.... & Cheiron had the Backstreet Boys, NSYNC, Britney. They were their main target demographic audience, who chose to part with their money so that they could have a slice of Britney, Backstreet Boys and NSYNC.
Cheiron are up there with some of the best, most successful pop producers in not just modern pop history, but pop history in general as well.
In contrast to the likes of Cheiron and Stock, Aitken and Waterman, many of the major record labels of today are not in the business of creating and developing talent. Solo music producers and writers tend to look out for the interests for recording artists, rather than a team of 3 or more people forming together, helping to write, produce and record songs and that artists are under one label or recording studio.
Max Martin and Cheiron were an unknown quantity during the early 1990s; for many of us, we loved and heard some of their songs, but at the time, we had no idea who was behind the lyricism, instrumental, who was producing the sound. With Max Martin's body of work increasing, his media profile shot up to the max; when people talk about today's pop music, most of it originated from this guy.
Whenever I hear a song on the radio, even if I may not know who sung it, the melodies, the chord structures, strong catchy hooks, as well as the sing-a-long potential it possesses, deep down, I recognize that it is or may be a trademark Max Martin production.
I was a big pop music fan growing up as a child and teenager, and when PWL/SAW folded in the '90s along with their poppy, commercial hit, care-free tunes, it took another team to fill that void left by Pete Waterman and co. to carry on the pop mantle: and thankfully, that was Max Martin & Deniz Pop with Cheiron and later on, Maratone. From early euro pop/dance influences to American 90s pop to today's organic, mainstream - sounding electro - dance pop fusion and soft rock, the Max Martin effect has successfully transitioned from the Cheiron era of the past 20 years to the post - 2000s and current Maratone era.
Their talent and craft to create songs that have great melodies, lyrics, which makes them memorable in years to come, is why they will go down as one of the pioneers and successful creators of a brand of pop music with a Scandinavian & Euro -centric flavour to it.
With that in mind, here are my best of and favourite songs, representing some of the best moments of Max Martin, past and present-day.
1. I Will Be There - Britney Spears (1999)
2. To Be Able To Love - Jessica Folker (1998)
3. That Girl Will Never Be Mine - NSYNC (2001)
4. Get Another Boyfriend - Backstreet Boys (2000)
5. Rock 'n' Roll - Avril Lavigne (2013)
6. What Makes You Different - Backstreet Boys (2000)
7. This Is How We Do - Katy Perry (2013)
8. If I'm Not The One - NSYNC (2000)
9. (You Drive Me) Crazy - Britney Spears (1999)
10. As Long As You Love Me - Backstreet Boys (1997)
11. Stronger - Britney Spears (2000)
12. Whataya Want From Me - Adam Lambert (2009)
13. The Sign - Ace of Base (1993)
14. Born to Make You Happy - Britney Spears (1998)
15. Teenage Dream - Katy Perry (2010)
16. Criminal - Britney Spears (2011)
17. Here and Now - Steps (2001)
18. Domino - Jessie J (2011)
19. Part of Me - Katy Perry (2012)
20. That's The Way It Is - Celine Dion (1999)
21. I Knew You Were Trouble - Taylor Swift (2012)
22. Show Me What You Got - G.R.L (2014)
23. For All That You Want - Gary Barlow (1999)
24. Life Goes On - Leann Rimes (2002)
24. When The Wrong One Loves You Right - Celine Dion (2002)
25. Private Eye - Jessica Folker (1998)
26. We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together - Taylor Swift (2012)
27. It's The Things You Do - Five (1999)
28. I Want You To Want Me - Solid Harmonie (1997)
29. Show Me Love - Robyn (1997)
30. Stranded - Lutricia McNeal (1997)