Revelation - Official ILX Pet Shop Boys tracks poll results

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For info, I've left the spreadsheet public but have anonymised the names.

The multi-talented F.R. David (Billy Dods), Thursday, 7 July 2011 09:22 (2 years ago) Permalink

My ballot:

Being Boring
Always On My Mind
Left To My Own Devices
What Have I Done To Deserve This?
Go West
Home And Dry
Se A Vida E (That's The Way Life Is)
* Too Many People
So Hard
Rent
Can You Forgive Her?
Losing My Mind (Liza Minnelli)
A Red Letter Day
I Wouldn't Normally Do This Kind Of Thing
Heart
Love Etc
Where The Streets Have No Name
* Love Is Everywhere (Cicero)
* In Private (Dusty Springfield)
The Truck Driver And His Mate

* = didn't place in the 50

mike t-diva, Thursday, 7 July 2011 09:35 (2 years ago) Permalink

Billy: I voted for "Nothing Has Been Proved" too. Almost voted for it twice--I love the Strings of Love version even more than Dusty's, but I wasn't sure if Tenant/Lowe had anything to do with it beyond writing the song, so I skipped it. I was surprised it didn't make the Top 50 too.

clemenza, Thursday, 7 July 2011 09:37 (2 years ago) Permalink

xp I bought every single on seven and twelve from Please through Behaviour so every song on that first disc of Alternative means something to me, to the point where I can't really be objective about them. I remember trying to transcribe and decipher the lyrics to Don Juan. With Very they stopped doing vinyl singles so I drifted away from the B-sides. Even though many of the later ones are utterly fantastic, I discovered them en masse on Alternative so I didn't devote as much time to them.

Strictly vote-splitting (DL), Thursday, 7 July 2011 09:40 (2 years ago) Permalink

In case anyone hasn't heard this:

There's a longer and better version on the 12-inch. Being right from the Black Box moment, I have to wonder if the gorgeous woman in the video is even doing the singing.

clemenza, Thursday, 7 July 2011 09:47 (2 years ago) Permalink

Billy: I voted for "Nothing Has Been Proved" too.

Yes, you did, my mistake. Don't worry, it was counted.

The multi-talented F.R. David (Billy Dods), Thursday, 7 July 2011 10:03 (2 years ago) Permalink

Loses a little something of the Profumo story, that version

Strictly vote-splitting (DL), Thursday, 7 July 2011 10:08 (2 years ago) Permalink

Alfred, I had no idea it was you that wrote that Stylus write-up of "Young Offender". It's one of my favourite PSB write-ups.

aww thanks!

The Edge of Gloryhole (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 7 July 2011 11:06 (2 years ago) Permalink

Yeah, that was a great piece. I am curious about something, though. I grew up listening to the Pet Shop Boys without ever thinking of them as gay. Not as straight, either - for some reason, sexuality never came into my appreciation of them (or at least I was too unsophisticated to recognize it). But when "Very" came out, I was suddenly very aware of the band's sexuality, as well as the album's place in the AIDS/post-AIDS era. It was like a little light bulb that went off that cast all their previous material in a different, more illuminating light. Sort of the same thing with the Magnetic Fields' "Holiday," which I believe came out the same year.

Anyway, for those of you back in the '80s who understand what being gay was (or were gay yourselves), how did that affect your appreciation of the Pet Shop Boys? Did they seem more daring? Subversive? Like a well-kept secret that went deeper than strictly great pop? Or as strictly great pop, with the layers of politics and sexuality only revealing themselves later?

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 7 July 2011 12:00 (2 years ago) Permalink

When I bought Behaviour in early '91, there was already a lot of snickering from friends about their sexuality; it wasn't lost on anyone that "Getting Away With It" was a duet between two men. As a sixteen-year-old closeted teenager, I didn't know the language of homosexuality yet, but I sensed the oddness of the point of view in "The End of the World" (its detachment) and "Being Boring" (subject and object blur).

The Edge of Gloryhole (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 7 July 2011 13:13 (2 years ago) Permalink

Anyway, for those of you back in the '80s who understand what being gay was (or were gay yourselves), how did that affect your appreciation of the Pet Shop Boys? Did they seem more daring? Subversive? Like a well-kept secret that went deeper than strictly great pop? Or as strictly great pop, with the layers of politics and sexuality only revealing themselves later?

as a pre-pubescent, I felt cheated when I clocked that NT's lyrics were dancing around gender so pointedly. be bold! why hide! I thought. your songs are so wonderful, they must be universally respected and beloved - to engage gendered pronouns would rip scales from eyes, and show the ludicrousity of homophobically languaged abuse to thousands, I thought.

later, I couldn't remember the one "she" or "her" that had tipped me towards briefly reading their songs in a heteronormative context, and became aware of how little dancing there actually was, if you didn't approach the songs in a standard pop context, and that bullies were irrational and fuckwits anyway.

undeɹrated ærosm?th b∞tlegs I have pwned (sic), Thursday, 7 July 2011 14:35 (2 years ago) Permalink

by the time Tennant did the ...Advocate? interview in ...1993? it seemed ludicrous to me that anyone could possibly need or want clarification about 'their' sexuality. I became aware that it wasn't, though.

undeɹrated ærosm?th b∞tlegs I have pwned (sic), Thursday, 7 July 2011 14:38 (2 years ago) Permalink

['their' as in the entity Pet Shop Boys, that makes the music of the Pet Shop Boys; expressed such to acknowledge Mr Lowe's disinterest in identifying sexually under anyone else's terms.]

undeɹrated ærosm?th b∞tlegs I have pwned (sic), Thursday, 7 July 2011 14:40 (2 years ago) Permalink

TBH, as a straight fan, I never thought about their sexual orientation or whether it even mattered to how I listened to the songs until they released "Go West", which I didn't like to the point of actively avoiding everything associated with Very (which was really, really easy to do in the US) and incorrectly assuming for a while that they lost a good chunk of their cleverness when they officially outed themselves, that the allusions and restrictions they imposed upon themselves were the extra parameter that elevated them from pedestrian to essential.

A year later, a friend played me Disco 2 and I realized I was being a douchebag.

DJP, Thursday, 7 July 2011 14:46 (2 years ago) Permalink

Chris Lowe has never made any statements, by the way.

The Edge of Gloryhole (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 7 July 2011 14:49 (2 years ago) Permalink

Somewhere in a shoe box in the basement, I've got an interview I did with Tennant and Lowe in '88. It was slated for the next issue of the magazine I worked for at the time, which promptly went bankrupt before it ever went to print. I've been telling myself the past few years to sit down and transcribe it and post it on my site, but I'm just too lazy. (It would also be major work to find it; the shoe box is filled with cassettes.) Anyway, I did, circumspectly, bring up the dreaded question, and got an icy stare and evasive answer from Tennant. Big surprise: he handled 97% of the talking during the interview. I've always felt pretty stupid for doing so. As I wrote on my site when I recounted the story a few years ago, it was like asking Stevie Wonder if it was true he was blind.

clemenza, Thursday, 7 July 2011 14:52 (2 years ago) Permalink

I distinctly remember when I became aware of their homosexuality: it was in a 1990 review of Behaviour in a local music magazine, which casually described Tennant's new lyrics as those of "a more mature gay man, having come to terms with x and y, in an era of z" or some such thing. It was mentioned in passing in a matter-of-fact fashion, such that I remember thinking I must have been inattentive to have not picked up on this previously. Not sure it felt like anything more than a piece of interesting trivia, as their sexuality was not something I had pondered up to that point either.

I was still relatively young and it may have had more resonance if I was gay myself. I suspect it changed my perceptions of them only insofar as certain lines in "Rent" or "It's A Sin" or "Being Boring" might suddenly have been open to different intepretations. Actually, it may have seemed kind of apt more broadly, as the one other fan I knew, my slightly older neighbour whose PSB 12"s I borrowed, was widely understood to be gay himself.

Nag! Nag! Nag!, Thursday, 7 July 2011 14:54 (2 years ago) Permalink

Anyway, I did, circumspectly, bring up the dreaded question, and got an icy stare and evasive answer from Tennant.

I've learned that their policy with most journalists before '93 was to admit Tennant's sexuality off the record.

The Edge of Gloryhole (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 7 July 2011 14:58 (2 years ago) Permalink

as someone who only discovered the group through Bilingual and Nightlife as an out gay teenager, their evasiveness seems silly and anachronistic. Only a gay man would write and perform the songs they did in the way they did; it takes what feels like an almost willful ignorance to separate their music from their sexuality. Of course times were different back then.

skip, Thursday, 7 July 2011 15:29 (2 years ago) Permalink

As a straight kid living with a gay dad (who only did his business outside the house), PSB were about as oblique and transparent as everything else around me. I bought Please when I was 15-16 and loved it; my Dad, mostly a folk and new-age guy, came home one day with the Opportunities 12".

Lazy Lay (Eazy), Thursday, 7 July 2011 15:42 (2 years ago) Permalink

xpost It takes what feels like an almost willful ignorance now, but yeah, times are different. If they weren't, they likely would never have had much chart success in the US, I bet. I mean, even Boy George's sexuality was more often than not totally elided back then.

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 7 July 2011 15:48 (2 years ago) Permalink

John Gill's "Queer Noises" has a section on the Pet Shop Boys - I remember thinking at the time that it was well-written and thoughtful but that was a few years ago. IIRC he takes a pretty negative view about their semi-non-closeted status.

skip, Thursday, 7 July 2011 16:17 (2 years ago) Permalink

^^^ YES. That was the journalist I was trying to remember. He was very offended.

The Edge of Gloryhole (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 7 July 2011 16:27 (2 years ago) Permalink

It didn't change my own perception but what I really, really hated after "Very" and Tennant's coming out was that the general public/media perception (at least in North America) immediately went to "lol the gay duo who makes gay music for gay people" and that was pretty much that. So sometimes I wish Tennant hadn't come out, but then it would've probably not make much difference.

daavid, Thursday, 7 July 2011 16:52 (2 years ago) Permalink

In America their profile is "lol the gay duo who did 'West End Girls.'"

The Edge of Gloryhole (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 7 July 2011 16:54 (2 years ago) Permalink

I recall a friend recounting telling me, "It must be obvious? well it wasn't to me."

Gukbe, Thursday, 7 July 2011 16:54 (2 years ago) Permalink

Well I kind of see why it wasn't obvious to everyone. I mean in the eighties everyone looked (and acted) gayer than the PSB.

daavid, Thursday, 7 July 2011 16:59 (2 years ago) Permalink

That was part of the joke too: they were less, er, flamboyant than their peers.

The Edge of Gloryhole (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 7 July 2011 17:02 (2 years ago) Permalink

So pre'93, were their shows not 75% gay men like they are now? I don't think I saw them live until the Nightlife tour.

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 7 July 2011 18:54 (2 years ago) Permalink

That percentage is wrong in Germany and the UK.

Gukbe, Thursday, 7 July 2011 19:07 (2 years ago) Permalink

Yeah, not true at all of any PSBs shows I've been to.

Strictly vote-splitting (DL), Thursday, 7 July 2011 19:56 (2 years ago) Permalink

Since Miami is one of their US strongholds, the percentage of straights attending their shows is MUCH higher.

The Edge of Gloryhole (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 7 July 2011 19:59 (2 years ago) Permalink

Hadn't heard their own version of this, really into it tonight.

Lazy Lay (Eazy), Friday, 8 July 2011 05:36 (2 years ago) Permalink

TBH, as a straight fan, I never thought about their sexual orientation or whether it even mattered to how I listened to the songs until they released "Go West", which I didn't like to the point of actively avoiding everything associated with Very (which was really, really easy to do in the US)

Except in gay clubs.

As a straight kid living with a gay dad (who only did his business outside the house)

Define "business."

Kevin John Bozelka, Sunday, 10 July 2011 15:50 (2 years ago) Permalink

A friend posted this old Drudge headline this morning--he can't remember the context. I think you might call this Soto bait:

clemenza, Friday, 22 July 2011 17:59 (2 years ago) Permalink

how can you expect to be taken seriously?

The Edge of Gloryhole (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 22 July 2011 20:10 (2 years ago) Permalink

i don't think they were *so* evasive about it, i was at school in 88/89 when there was a (Channel 4?) tv special made by Jon Savage that at one point had the boys sitting together, with one saying clearly that they first heard disco 'in all the gay clubs'. also there's plenty of lines to read between in the '... Vs America' book.

piscesx, Friday, 22 July 2011 20:37 (2 years ago) Permalink

yeah but they're British, and most Americans assume they're all gay.

The Edge of Gloryhole (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 22 July 2011 20:38 (2 years ago) Permalink

3 weeks pass...

"Heart" was the album's FOURTH single (and it hit #1, to their and everyone's surprise).

The lowest-selling ever No 1 or something at the time, I seem to recall from my Record Mirror reading days.

Alba, Wednesday, 17 August 2011 22:02 (2 years ago) Permalink

Enjoyed today's Introspective article by Tom

http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/musicblog/2011/aug/17/introspective-pet-shop-boys

oppet, Wednesday, 17 August 2011 22:35 (2 years ago) Permalink

Sadly Tom didn't vote in the poll, I don't know if he even lurks around here. Would've been interesting to see his choices.

The multi-talented F.R. David (Billy Dods), Thursday, 18 August 2011 08:35 (2 years ago) Permalink

Just finished Pet Shop Boys: A Life in Pop. Would I ever have loved to be at that Potemkin presentation in Trafalgar Square--any British people who were there? It reminded me a bit of seeing Daniel Lanois preview Neil Young's album at Nuit Blanche last year, with video screens all around Nathan Phillips Square, but of course there was no Neil at that. Loved the West End Girls too--much better than the West End Girls who were from Vancouver 20 years ago. Anyway, good film. Didn't even mind having to listen to so much of someone from the Killers--seemed like a knowledgeable fan.

clemenza, Saturday, 27 August 2011 04:23 (2 years ago) Permalink

Yeah, I was at that Potemkin show, am sure some other people here were too. It was good - I have a vague memory of some rain, but perhaps I'm imagining that? It was the first time I saw Potemkin, too, which helped.

toby, Saturday, 27 August 2011 11:10 (2 years ago) Permalink

The rain was real--somebody in the documentary said that people were politely putting away their umbrellas so other people behind them would be able to see okay.

clemenza, Saturday, 27 August 2011 15:24 (2 years ago) Permalink

I was there as well. There was a lot of rain, but as I recall the rain stopped just before the performance, and umbrellas were duly lowered. Great event, but I remember the film more than I remember the music, to be honest.

mike t-diva, Tuesday, 30 August 2011 09:44 (2 years ago) Permalink

2 weeks pass...

http://open.spotify.com/user/djperry1973/playlist/7LyurbFLzd9cnbyqaBdYKs

countdown from 50 - 1, five tracks missing because I couldn't find them (stupid Spotofiy, missing Behaviour) plus 2 versions of "I Want A Dog" (the superior original version and the boring Introspective version)

sick yr finger up his butt (DJP), Friday, 16 September 2011 20:45 (2 years ago) Permalink

2 months pass...

Format, a new B-Sides collection coming in February.

encarta it (Gukbe), Friday, 18 November 2011 20:25 (2 years ago) Permalink

4 months pass...

aww, RIP. A big reason why Catalogue is my favourite coffee table book.

stay in school if you want to kiw (Gukbe), Thursday, 22 March 2012 20:37 (2 years ago) Permalink

RIP. Those sleeves and videos are burned into my brain.

And I have been called "The Appetite" (DL), Thursday, 22 March 2012 23:20 (2 years ago) Permalink


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