Pet Shop Boys

Message Bookmarked
Bookmark Removed
What album would you suggest to someone who's only heard Opportunities and Paninaro? I really love these songs and want buy something by these guys.

Boxcar (Crapstone), Thursday, 11 November 2004 12:37 (fifteen years ago) link

popart

Jaunty Alan (Alan), Thursday, 11 November 2004 12:39 (fifteen years ago) link

You've heard two (comparatively) upbeat songs, so it probably makes sense to go with their most upbeat album, which is "Very". If not, then obviously popart is a great starting point.

edward o (edwardo), Thursday, 11 November 2004 12:41 (fifteen years ago) link

yep, "Very" or "Actually" would be a good point to begin...

HS

hector savage, Thursday, 11 November 2004 12:43 (fifteen years ago) link

Those two songs are both from the "Please" era. I'd rather say their two albums from the first half of the 90s remain their strongest work though.

Geir Hongro (GeirHong), Thursday, 11 November 2004 12:47 (fifteen years ago) link

I'd say get all their early albums, up to maybe ten years ago. If that sounds too much, Pop Art is both great in itself and a decent guide to what stuff you like.

Martin Skidmore (Martin Skidmore), Thursday, 11 November 2004 13:16 (fifteen years ago) link

Echoing the PopArt recommendation. I'd almost say just get the DVD, it's around the same price and has all the songs plus the videos, though it doesn't include the singles specifically recorded for it, as well as the mix disc.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Thursday, 11 November 2004 13:20 (fifteen years ago) link

Just out of curiosity (as I've got both records):

Are people now offering Popart as a suggestion *instead* of the discography/singles collection? I've often wondered why they did so much overlap between the two - to me it would've made more sense to make a single-disc second volume of the discography/singles collection, as the first stands pretty mightily on its own.
(they put everything on from the first, save Was It Worth It)

it all just seems a bit unnecessary to me

rentboy (rentboy), Thursday, 11 November 2004 13:26 (fifteen years ago) link

The first is definitely a treat and has the advantage (?) of chronological progression. In that respect, the DVD is useful, as it *does* have "Was It Worth It?"

Ned Raggett (Ned), Thursday, 11 November 2004 13:30 (fifteen years ago) link

Discography is a far superior collection. All PSB albums from 1986-93 plus the two-volume Alternative compilation of B-sides are likewise indispensable.

Marcello Carlin, Thursday, 11 November 2004 13:31 (fifteen years ago) link

All PSB albums from 1986-93 plus the two-volume Alternative compilation of B-sides are likewise indispensable.

Here's a TS for you -- buying them in that format vs. the double-disc reissues from Please to Very which include all the Alternative cuts.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Thursday, 11 November 2004 13:33 (fifteen years ago) link

those double-diec reissues were one of the best purchases i ever made

i like how the first disc left the album intact and the second filled in with all kinds of neat mixes, demos and b-sides

so, naturally i'll say the double-disc versions

rentboy (rentboy), Thursday, 11 November 2004 13:37 (fifteen years ago) link

Hmmm...I'm sentimentally attached to the original Alternative package, as it came out the same day as Goldie's Timeless and the cover designs/colour schemes of the two virtually matched. Also I like the idea of a bleak Bizarro-world Pet Shop Boys where things like "Your Funny Uncle" or "We All Feel Better In The Dark" were the hits. That Monday was also overcast and cloudy. I recall standing on Vauxhall Bridge that morning listening to "Do I Have To?" on my Discman and getting that Hart Crane moment.

But if you're on a budget then I guess just go for the double-disc reissues.

Marcello Carlin, Thursday, 11 November 2004 13:39 (fifteen years ago) link

i love the b-side collections, but i wouldn't recommend it to someone who'd just heard those 2 trax!

both popart and discography are DEAD CHEAP, so there's little in it. pop art gives you a taste of the later stuff - which might be of use to someone who'd heard v little. i do prefer discography cos i'm not taken with the later stuff all that much :-(

Jaunty Alan (Alan), Thursday, 11 November 2004 13:45 (fifteen years ago) link

the reissues have been great, with the bonus mixes etc. esp as i first bought them on cassette, so the "format upgrade" feels easier to justify to my wallet

Jaunty Alan (Alan), Thursday, 11 November 2004 13:46 (fifteen years ago) link

PopArt does a better job of summarising their late albums than Discography does the earlies. Less filler on the early albums, which is why you really need everything up to "Very" ideally.

edward o (edwardo), Thursday, 11 November 2004 13:46 (fifteen years ago) link

The double-disc versions. Not only for the remastered quality, but for the hefty booklets of anecdotal song origins. Their wit shines in those booklets. Plus as rentboy says, first disc keeps the album intact, which should placate the purist.

Chris Hill (Chris Hill), Thursday, 11 November 2004 14:26 (fifteen years ago) link

i'd get please and actually. and suburbia. wait is that last one an album? whats disco? is that a remixed version of suburbia? whatever, get the first two, then the one with th bluey green blurred cover

ambrose (ambrose), Thursday, 11 November 2004 14:50 (fifteen years ago) link

AMbrose is trying to say "Get _Please_, _Actually_, and _Disco_." I Agree with him but also suggest _Alternative_ because that's easily the best compilation of PSB material out that I've heard.

The Ghost of Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Thursday, 11 November 2004 14:52 (fifteen years ago) link

PopArt > Discography, because you just cannot write off everything post-93, no way, no sir.

Specifically: Se A Vida E (pure concentrated joy in a can), A Red Letter Day (it GETS me, man), I Don't Know What You Want..., You Only Tell Me You Love Me When You're Drunk (dissing, punk, hee!), Home And Dry (makes me cry), I Get Along (it's about Blair-n-Mandy u kno).

And also because Discography's strictly chronological timeline gets a bit wearing; the "pop"/"art" split may border on the arbitrary at times, but the track sequencing is still intelligently done.

Most glaring omission from Alternative: the swing version of "Can You Forgive Her", re-recorded with a full swing band arrangement, and at least 98% as good as the original.

mike t-diva (mike t-diva), Thursday, 11 November 2004 15:05 (fifteen years ago) link

marcello whats the hart crane moment?
i know what u mean and all but who/what the heck is hart crane?

(oh and check the INGA 1990 cover of DO I HAVE TO? if u haven't).

piscesboy, Thursday, 11 November 2004 15:05 (fifteen years ago) link

I really don't like "Can You Forgive Her?" It pales in comparison to "I Wouldn't Normally Do This Kind Of Thing", "Yesterday When I Was Mad", "One And One Make Five" and "Liberation (E Smoove mix)".

The Ghost of Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Thursday, 11 November 2004 15:06 (fifteen years ago) link

dan has surprised me.

Jaunty Alan (Alan), Thursday, 11 November 2004 15:10 (fifteen years ago) link

He has sorta surprised me, but please keep in mind one of his few moments of mentalism in an otherwise sane existence is his bizarre insistence that Introspective has only one good song on it, "I'm Not Scared." (Which is very good indeed but IS NOT ALONE.)

Ned Raggett (Ned), Thursday, 11 November 2004 15:12 (fifteen years ago) link

I don't like "Go West", either.

It's odd because I really adore most of their stuff (I loved _Release_, for example, and think "Home And Dry" is genius) but there are certain things that really, really aggravate me, like "Domino Dancing", "Always On My Mind", "Can You Forgive Her?", and "Go West", but those things are greatly overshadowed by the fact that most of their tracks are as great as "Se A Vida E (Deep Dish Mix)" or "The Boy Who Couldn't Keep His Clothes On" or every version of "I Want A Dog" that doesn't appear on _Introspective_.

(xpost RAISE YOUR STANDARDS, PSB FANS)

The Ghost of Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Thursday, 11 November 2004 15:15 (fifteen years ago) link

You only don't like Domino Dancing because you're American!
(yes, I'm being flip)

edward o (edwardo), Thursday, 11 November 2004 15:17 (fifteen years ago) link

DAN, IS YOUR BLOOD BOILING?!?!?!

Ned Raggett (Ned), Thursday, 11 November 2004 15:18 (fifteen years ago) link

I maintain that if "Don Juan" had been the single and "Domino Dancing" had been the b-side, I would have had a completely different reaction to _Introspective_ (besides "I'm Not Scared", most of the other tracks on it either aren't that bad or have versions elsewhere that I love but proximity to/association with "Domino Dancing" makes that entire package like Kryptonite to me).

(xpost HONOR THE FEY! Er.)

The Ghost of Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Thursday, 11 November 2004 15:20 (fifteen years ago) link

whoa "Always On My Mind" is stunning, as is "Can You Forgive Her".

other favourites-
"Love Comes Quickly"
"So Hard"
"West End Girls" (obviously)
"Kings Cross"

I could go on, and on. best band ever.

Ronan (Ronan), Thursday, 11 November 2004 15:21 (fifteen years ago) link

**I don't like "Go West", either.**

WHAAAATTT??? This is madness. Holy shit, that track is so utterly great.

Dr. C (Dr. C), Thursday, 11 November 2004 15:22 (fifteen years ago) link

yes I have to agree.

Ronan (Ronan), Thursday, 11 November 2004 15:23 (fifteen years ago) link

See, I agree with the last four songs you listed, Ronan! ESPECIALLY "Love Comes Quickly" and "King's Cross"! There are just certain PSB tracks that I can't get my head around.

The Ghost of Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Thursday, 11 November 2004 15:23 (fifteen years ago) link

can you forgive her makes me want to punch things. that's a good thing.

Jaunty Alan (Alan), Thursday, 11 November 2004 15:24 (fifteen years ago) link

I think there's an invisible line in my head between "outrageously clever" and "pretentiously pandering" and the PSB songs I dislike go over that line in some vague, undefined way.

I also know that part of my issue with _Introspective_ is the super-heavy hand of Shep Pettibone.

The Ghost of Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Thursday, 11 November 2004 15:25 (fifteen years ago) link

(an ILX poll of PSB songs is in the works, obv)

Jaunty Alan (Alan), Thursday, 11 November 2004 15:25 (fifteen years ago) link

are they the stereotypical ILXors favourite band?

Ronan (Ronan), Thursday, 11 November 2004 15:26 (fifteen years ago) link

Pretty damned close. That or the Junior Boys. ;-)

Ned Raggett (Ned), Thursday, 11 November 2004 15:28 (fifteen years ago) link

Anyway:

(xpost HONOR THE FEY! Er.)

I have to hurt you now.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Thursday, 11 November 2004 15:28 (fifteen years ago) link

My work here is done!

The Ghost of Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Thursday, 11 November 2004 15:31 (fifteen years ago) link

...or the Dismemberment Plan, or Annie From Norway, or Lene Nystrom, or Luomo, or Saint Etienne, or Pulp, or Ricardo Villalobos, or...

Marcello Carlin, Thursday, 11 November 2004 15:33 (fifteen years ago) link

Annie, Villalobos and Luomo are not actually bands.

Ronan (Ronan), Thursday, 11 November 2004 15:35 (fifteen years ago) link

But only five people on here like Lene, Marcello! (PSB and Pulp are my favourite 80s and 90s artists and I'm not even a typical ILMer)

edward o (edwardo), Thursday, 11 November 2004 15:37 (fifteen years ago) link

but they're ALL WHITE!

i smell heavy handed ILX racism at work

rentboy (rentboy), Thursday, 11 November 2004 15:38 (fifteen years ago) link

(xpost about Lene)

Six if you count me. Play With Me is a superb metapop album.

Acid Alliteration, Thursday, 11 November 2004 15:39 (fifteen years ago) link

...or Jay-Z, or Ludacris, or Teedee Moses, or Saul Williams, or Destiny's Child, or...

Marcello "Acid Alliteration" Carlin, Thursday, 11 November 2004 15:41 (fifteen years ago) link

BACK TO PET SHOP BOYS

Is anyone else happy like I am that they've released the DVD of their Behaviour tour? Especially since I missed it. When they played LA. In 1991. When I was out of town that week. And couldn't catch them. WHEN THEY PLAYED WHAT WAS APPARENTLY ONE OF THEIR BEST SHOWS ON THE TOUR ACCORDING TO PET SHOP BOYS VERSUS AMERICA. But I digress.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Thursday, 11 November 2004 15:41 (fifteen years ago) link

At some point, when I'm very very good and actually own a DVD player, I will purchase that.

edward o (edwardo), Thursday, 11 November 2004 15:42 (fifteen years ago) link

Behaviour tour - Wembley Arena - highlight of one's life

Marcello Carlin, Thursday, 11 November 2004 15:43 (fifteen years ago) link

Surely you don't find Go West to be 'pretentious pandering', Dan? It's absolutely *pure* in execution and delivery - and goes right to the heart of what maked the PSBs so great. It's just a huge gush of emotion.

Dr. C (Dr. C), Thursday, 11 November 2004 15:44 (fifteen years ago) link

As opposed to the group Go West, who certainly could be categorised as "pretentious pandering."

Marcello Carlin, Thursday, 11 November 2004 15:44 (fifteen years ago) link

And they have a song called "Thursday "!

recriminations from the nitpicking woke (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 2 May 2019 16:41 (nine months ago) link

Glad to be of assistance

PaulTMA, Thursday, 2 May 2019 17:08 (nine months ago) link

that's why I only seem to listen to them on Thursday, Alfred. I assumed the connection would be made. good way to kick off the day.

brotherlovesdub, Thursday, 2 May 2019 18:20 (nine months ago) link

one month passes...

Surely there's not just me thinking that we should have heard something more about a new album by now.

Le Baton Rose (Turrican), Tuesday, 11 June 2019 16:16 (eight months ago) link

three months pass...

We got an answer! A new track featuring Years & Years (for their forthcoming album, I assume):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RokbHjyPbyk

winters (josh), Wednesday, 11 September 2019 18:21 (five months ago) link

S'alright.

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 11 September 2019 18:22 (five months ago) link

Nice enough and certainly better than anything on that recent EP. I just wish the chorus hit harder. It seems quite uneventful.

kitchen person, Wednesday, 11 September 2019 18:25 (five months ago) link

Kinda generic but I like it fine.

Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 11 September 2019 19:12 (five months ago) link

I don’t know much about it, but I saw posters for this when I was up in Edinburgh:

https://petshopboys.co.uk/theatre-film/musik-2019#1

Chewshabadoo, Thursday, 12 September 2019 16:02 (five months ago) link

Dont like being cruel and hey we all get old but this would sound better if Olly Alexander sang solo

or something, Thursday, 12 September 2019 16:26 (five months ago) link

This song is a non-entity to me, much like everything else I've heard involving Years & Years

brigadier pudding (DJP), Thursday, 12 September 2019 17:15 (five months ago) link

This song is a non-entity without Y&Y.

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 12 September 2019 17:34 (five months ago) link

mind you, I'm not saying that taking Y&Y off would change anything

brigadier pudding (DJP), Thursday, 12 September 2019 17:36 (five months ago) link

four months pass...

new video for single "Monkey business" ft. a dancing Chris at the end (which makes it a must-watch):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JPx8P8pcrdA

winters (josh), Thursday, 23 January 2020 21:13 (three weeks ago) link

It's a mediocre album, alas, thanks to tracks like this.

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 23 January 2020 21:32 (three weeks ago) link

i like it

frogbs, Friday, 24 January 2020 03:38 (three weeks ago) link

the way he says PAAH-TEE is enough to hate champagne and margaritas

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 24 January 2020 03:42 (three weeks ago) link

yeah but Neil pronounces a lot of words in obnoxious ways, its part of the Pet Shop Experience

frogbs, Friday, 24 January 2020 03:43 (three weeks ago) link

Makes me think I’d like to hear them cover “Margaritas at the Mall.”

... (Eazy), Friday, 24 January 2020 03:52 (three weeks ago) link

Otm

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 24 January 2020 03:55 (three weeks ago) link

Feels like either taking seven years to get around to finishing the JLC trilogy was a bad idea, or they should have made sure to do a boring album in between each one to refresh their banger tank.

don't care didn't ask still clappin (sic), Friday, 24 January 2020 04:56 (three weeks ago) link

Huh: turns out they have also been filling up the tank with other material to pump out later.

They wrote two songs and four pieces of score for a new stage version of My Beautiful Laundrette that was staged last year, and they plan to release the soundtrack this year - one song was used as a Dreamland B-side.

They wrote four new songs for a cabaret sequel to Closer To Heaven that ran at the Edinburgh Fringe last year, which they intend to release "at some point."

An extended orchestral production of their Turing musical is planned, which would provide an opportunity to finally release a recording.

And Neil has suggested a Disco 5 comp would be due once the Hotspot cycle is over.

don't care didn't ask still clappin (sic), Friday, 24 January 2020 05:24 (three weeks ago) link

They should have gone away for 10 years. Greatest Hits tour sounds.. ominously like a last hurrah.

piscesx, Friday, 24 January 2020 12:37 (three weeks ago) link

Fabulous interview.

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 24 January 2020 13:06 (three weeks ago) link

Mediocre is the word... at least there was entertainment value in the flat-out terrible songs on Elysium

PaulTMA, Friday, 24 January 2020 13:41 (three weeks ago) link

Well, I like monkey business quite a lot, so that’s one up on Elysium and the last EP

Chuck_Tatum, Friday, 24 January 2020 14:18 (three weeks ago) link

I'm still not sold on Burning The Heather which is a bit too similar to some of the more boring songs on Elysium and Wedding In Berlin is a bizarre closer. I enjoyed the first eight songs though. I'm surprised how much I liked the ballads.

kitchen person, Friday, 24 January 2020 15:08 (three weeks ago) link

xxxp hilarious interview. PSB bringing the zings.

DJI, Friday, 24 January 2020 16:23 (three weeks ago) link

The album pretty much bored me as dog-walking music this morning. I'll see how it does as writing music in a few days.

One sorta "West End Girls"-ish song towards the beginning sounded ok. "Wedding in Berlin" is uniquely terrible.

Maria Edgelord (cryptosicko), Friday, 24 January 2020 17:18 (three weeks ago) link

Story from a UK writer via a friend's feed:

They DJ’d at some electroclash night in Liverpool Street once, donkey’s years ago, and they just stood there drinking champagne and telling Pete Gleadall what records to play. 'That’s not really DJ’ing, is it?' I submitted to them some years later and they said that’s the way Afrika Bambaataa used to do to it, so they were doing it right and everybody else was doing it wrong. There’s no answer to that, is there?

Ned Raggett, Friday, 24 January 2020 17:20 (three weeks ago) link

Madonna telling Stuart Price which records to play, Annie putting on records for Timo Kaukolampi to mix, Tim Goldsworthy telling Tim Sweeney which records to mix, Casey Spooner waving his hair & sleeves while a tiny lady puts the records on...

don't care didn't ask still clappin (sic), Friday, 24 January 2020 17:34 (three weeks ago) link

“I’m quite looking forward to that actually,” nods Lowe. “Running out of ideas.” He grins. “Because that’s when you go and work with Brian Eno.”

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 24 January 2020 19:00 (three weeks ago) link

damn

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 24 January 2020 19:04 (three weeks ago) link

Diana Ross 'djing' at Studio 54...

https://i.pinimg.com/originals/fe/34/40/fe3440e97c6fe77d877e7a21c9f00f2e.jpg

piscesx, Friday, 24 January 2020 19:18 (three weeks ago) link

Diana Ross otm

don't care didn't ask still clappin (sic), Friday, 24 January 2020 19:34 (three weeks ago) link

Diana Ross otdj

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 24 January 2020 19:45 (three weeks ago) link

Bernard Butler is playing on the new album:

https://i.imgur.com/yiV5D8G.jpg

(his twitter bio reads "In a secret life I was a randy general.")

don't care didn't ask still clappin (sic), Friday, 24 January 2020 20:24 (three weeks ago) link

Perfect time to reintroduce You Only Tell Me You Love Me When You're Drunk to the set

PaulTMA, Friday, 24 January 2020 20:54 (three weeks ago) link

From the interview, I love “authenticity is a style, and it’s always the same style”

Chuck_Tatum, Friday, 24 January 2020 21:15 (three weeks ago) link

Australian newspaper interview with some interesting tidbits. They're considering Where The Streets / Can't Take medley, Losing My Mind and Hallo Spaceboy for the upcoming Greatest Hits tour. The next b-side is a song called New Boy that was written on the same day as Rent. The BFI have done a restoration of It Couldn't Happen Here, coming out in June.

Fantastic. Great move. Well done (sic), Friday, 7 February 2020 08:44 (one week ago) link

Any chance you can C/P it?

DJI, Saturday, 8 February 2020 00:06 (one week ago) link

This is the first time in years that I've wanted to read something behind the Herald-Sun paywall.

Nag! Nag! Nag!, Saturday, 8 February 2020 01:06 (one week ago) link

The Pet Shop Boys have broken one of their own rules on new album Hotspot.

You’ll hear an acoustic guitar on Burning the Heather, played by Suede’s Bernard Butler.

“There is a new Apple program where you can play a guitar that sounds really good just by programming the chords,” Pet Shop Boys’ singer Neil Tennant explains.

“But even we thought that was too much, having a programmed acoustic guitar. So we brought a real guitarist in. We broke our rule with Bernard Butler.”

Hotspot is the British electronic duo’s fourteenth album since their 1986 debut Please, home to their global No. 1 West End Girls.

Since then they’ve sold 100 million albums, released 55 singles, written soundtracks for musicals and ballets, collaborated with everyone from Liza Minnelli to David Bowie and became an unlikely touring act.

This year Tennant and bandmate Chris Lowe will embark on their first ever Greatest Hits tour.

“I suppose it’s a very Pet Shop Boys thing to do a Greatest Hits tour in the same year you’ve released a new album, and it’s a very Pet Shop Boys thing to have not really thought that through. But otherwise we’d have just turned into album/tour, album/tour act.

“We fancied doing something that summed everything up. Even though it’s a Greatest Hits tour we will be regarding Monkey Business from Hotspot as a greatest hit. It’ll hold its own.”

Hotspot is their third consecutive album to be produced by Stuart Price (Madonna, Kylie, the Killers).

“He sort of becomes the third member of Pet Shop Boys when we work with him,” Tennant says.

Tennant left his job as a journalist at pop magazine Smash Hits to commit to Pet Shop Boys full time. Sometimes his reviews came back to haunt him once he became a musician.

“Freddie Mercury famously told someone at EMI that he hated the Pet Shop Boys because I’d slagged off one of Queen’s records when I was at Smash Hits. And I did slag them off, to be fair. He hadn’t forgotten that.”

Always a writer at heart, Tennant, 65, admits he still devours reviews of Pet Shop Boys albums.

“I’m not one of those people who doesn’t see anything. I don’t really read comments on line anymore, it’s too maddening. But we’ve had some very nice reviews. It gives a positive aura around what’s going on. It’s nice to do something and not get slapped in the face.”

Unlike many bands who began in the 80s, the Pet Shop Boys have never had to hit the retro circuit and their new material is still well received.

“You might not be interested in us, or not like our music or my voice or those things, but I think we’ve maintained a very high standard of songwriting over the years,” Tennant says.

“I think people are cynical, in a world of streaming when there’s so much music sitting on your phone, and expect that you’re resting on your laurels. We don’t. From within the Pet Shop Boys it’s never been any different. It’s me and Chris, sitting in a room, writing songs together, with a lot of energy and still enjoying doing it, and laughing and having fun. It was like that in 1984. And it was like that making this new album.”

Robbie Williams, a Pet Shop Boys fanboy who the duo have collaborated with over the years, recently said he’s disillusioned with the music world now that streaming has killed off the singles chart for his demographic – “the middle aged” pop star.

Hotspot’s first single, Dreamland, was a collaboration with young UK synth act Years and Years. While it championed by the BBC’s Radio 2, who play older artists, it was deemed unsuitable for Radio 1, who play younger acts, including Years and Years. It missed the UK singles chart.

“If Dreamland had been a Years and Years single Radio 1 would have played it,” Tennant says. “But because Pet Shop Boys were on it, it couldn’t be played. Because Pet Shop Boys are too old. That’s just the way it is. Several times over the last 20 years the head of programming at Radio 1 has told our promotions guy this is a great record but we won’t be playing it. You just get used to the way it is.

“It is a fascinating thing that we totally accept that because someone has reached a certain age you will not play their record on the radio. It’s the only area where that is even allowed, isn’t it? I won’t use the word ageism, but it’s sort of amazing everyone just accepts that. Really, a record should be chosen on how good it is.

“Obviously pop is meant to be music for young people. And again, this is the only area where this assumption is made, but the assumption is that young people can only listen to records by young people. In other areas that would be regarded as unacceptable. In pop music, it’s deemed totally acceptable. One of the problems with social media in this rather narcissistic world we live in is that like only ever talks to like. Unless it’s to abuse them.

“Nowadays when everyone is so sensitive about acceptance and tolerance of everything, which is quite right, there’s just a little brickwall when it comes to age in music.”

Good news for local Pet Shop Boys fans – their Greatest Hits tour is likely to visit Australia early 2021.

“People have been trying to lure us back there for a few years, we’ve never quite understood our career in Australia,” Tennant says. “There is an offer, I think a tour will probably happen, it’s vaguely pencilled in for the end of your summer. It is about time, though.”

What’s going to be in the Greatest Hits tour?

There’s a desire to show songs from different eras next to each other and that will stand up pretty equally. In a normal tour we ration the greatest hits. For instance a record we made years ago I’ve always quite liked is our cover of U2’s Where the Streets Have No Name going into Can’t Take My Eyes Off You. It makes me smile just talking about it. That’s coming out of mothballs for the tour. We haven’t done Rent for a while. Love Comes Quickly. Jealousy. Hits we did with other people – What Have I Done to Deserve This, Losing My Mind we did for Liza (Minnelli), Hello Spaceboy we did with David Bowie …

This year is the 35th anniversary of West End Girls. Next year is 40 years since you met Chris. Do you think you’ll do anything to mark these milestones?

We probably won’t do anything. We’re not anniversary types. One day we could release our cassette demos from the 80s. I thought the cassette was the worst format for music but when you’ve got your demos recorded on them they still work, they still play. Our first two albums are recorded on some digital format that was tres modern at the time and now there’s only two players in London that can play it. But the cassettes still play. If I dig those out, just like now, we were very prolific over a period of time. We’ve been very prolific over the last two years.

What’s on those early cassettes? Things we’ve never heard or different versions of songs we know?

Both. Something no one has ever heard is the first version of West End Girls with different music. it’s more punky, at the end I start shouting ‘Sometimes you’re better off dead’. It’s probably too embarrassing to release. One or two years ago I was listening to the cassette demos and I’ve always liked this song we wrote on at the time we wrote Rent. It’s called New Boy. I was at Smash Hits at the time. It’s about two girls on the phone in some suburban area, they see a new boy in town and are talking about him. It’s got a very strong melody, I’ve always remembered it. Anyway Chris and I finally finished it off after however many years and it’s the b-side of the next single. It was actually written the same day as Rent.

You played Glastonbury with Brandon Flowers from the Killers last year.

He phoned up last year and said he specifically wanted us to do Always On My Mind with him, as well as their song Human. Then he asked Johnny Marr to do (The Smiths’) This Charming Man. Brandon has this thing for 80s pop songs. Because of his age the first Pet Shop Boys album he knew was Release, which is an album not so beloved by PSB fans because it’s got guitars on it, although the guitars are played by Johnny Marr, Brandon loves that album. He’s come backstage to our concerts and asked why we didn’t play Birthday Boy, he think ‘That’s a no-brainer’.

Musicians making films are a thing now, but you released one, It Couldn’t Happen Here …

When we made a film in 1987 it didn’t start off as a film, it started off as a video album. Then it gained a narrative. When we started shooting it they said it was going to be released in a cinema so we had to shoot half an hour more. It became a 90 minute film. Chris and I just went along with it, it was a sort of disaster, but an interesting disaster. People have always asked us about it. Now the BFI, the British Film Institute have paid for a restoration and they’re releasing it because they find it a fascinating curiosity. It’s coming out on DVD and BluRay in June. It’ll probably get slammed all over again, it’s a very strange film.

piscesx, Saturday, 8 February 2020 05:07 (one week ago) link

Fabulous. Thanks!

Nag! Nag! Nag!, Saturday, 8 February 2020 07:09 (one week ago) link

Brilliant.

Being cheap is expensive (snoball), Saturday, 8 February 2020 09:52 (one week ago) link

(and other adjectives that could be PSB album titles)

Being cheap is expensive (snoball), Saturday, 8 February 2020 10:06 (one week ago) link

I’d love to see ICHH in HD! Such a weird dreamlike pile of glorious nonsense.

DJI, Saturday, 8 February 2020 17:58 (one week ago) link

I walked out of It Can’t Happen Here at an arthouse theater. All I remember is a driver who spoke only in (cribbed) Steven Wright one-liners.

... (Eazy), Sunday, 9 February 2020 00:48 (one week ago) link


You must be logged in to post. Please either login here, or if you are not registered, you may register here.