The Pet Shop Boys' first twenty singles...

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...are the greatest run of singles in the whole history of pop music.

“West End Girls” – I really hated this when it got to number one, ha ha stupid me because in a few months it was obvious that this was the finest pop group of my lifetime. The ‘girls’ are completely irrelevant to the action of the song. Best existentialist pop song EVER MADE!

“Love Comes Quickly” – Ultra-ominous intro and opening lines, kind of a thematic sequel to ABBA’s “Day Before You Came”. Gorgeous thundercloud synths. Neil Tennant making a real virtue of his posh tremulous weediness (W.Young is an ironed-out version of Tennant theory). Profound, for what it’s worth.

“Opportunities” – Another diamond intro, diamond beats too – PSB singles showing off everything that was great about shuddery 80s production before house came along. “My car is parked outside / I’m afraid it doesn’t work”! Fantastically well-designed single too – would have been a banker as a novelty single but also a terrific career-starter (ended up as neither haha).

“Suburbia” – first slight mis-step but the pattery beats and barking dogs are great and so it the tune, and most of the lyrics are fine it’s just that felt-pen graffiti is hardly “running with the dogs” and the chorus is somewhat too soaring for the subject matter. On the other hand the middle-eight is terrific so fuck it.

“It’s A Sin” – Hi-NRG Catholic guilt trip invents the London Boys sound! Complete disco juggernaut, also the best Erasure single EVER MADE and still one of the weaker PSB number ones.

“What Have I Done To Deserve This?” – successful incorporation of divas into the PSB sound. Pristine designer regret and the possibility of glorious redemption. Hook after hook after hook. Tennant’s “at night the people…” verse is sublime. Best duet EVER MADE!

“Rent” – this single IS 80s London – the synths are plate glass and the beats are steel, listening to it is like walking up Victoria Street or Kingsway. Actually is the great Thatcherism LP and this is its sad and frightened heart.

“Always On My Mind” – the best cover version EVER MADE. Would have been even better with Elvis’ vocals – someone bootleg it! Actually no, I am wrong, this is one of Tennant’s finest vocal hours because in his slight diffidence you can hear exactly how and why he neglected his lover, and in the unstoppable synthesized beat you can hear exactly how he’s going to get him back. I want this played at my wedding.

“Heart” – pretty much pure disco, the PSBs demonstrating that they don’t need any of that clever lyrical malarkey to make terrific pop. Surely a sitter for an S Club/Atomic Kitten cover version. Almost the last of their full-on Hi-NRG tracks and hence their last Number 1 but the greatness only continues.

“Domino Dancing” – well except for this which is another mis-step but hey points for trying, no other British group was going to cop ideas off freestyle. Alas Neil T on the beach isn’t a dapper wit, he’s just another pasty Brit but the tune is still a winner and the Spanglish guitars are nice too. Still good! (And is that a lick of house piano in the background?)

“Left To My Own Devices” – The 12” of this is transcendental – even on 7” its an odd and powerful piece of pop, a self-reflexive (life) story-so-far that’s also an ultra-danceable manifesto for free will in the face of love – BLIMEY! The echoey, back-of-mix string arrangement is lovely. (Progressive NRG, anyone?)

“It’s Alright” – The PSBs jump fully into house with a Sterling Void cover. I didn’t get it at the time, now I do, mostly because it’s a lovely song. House was in part the undoing of the Pets because while Tennant’s voice curdled Hi-NRG in interesting ways it never really got to grips with the deeper and more rigorous beats of house, and also remix culture meant the PSB’s mastery of the 12” format ebbed. But the sweetness of “It’s Alright” endures.

“So Hard” – Where detailed, non-abstract, adult relationship pop is shown to be something the Pet Shop Boys do extremely well. A riff, a pulsebeat, and Tennant’s tender, conciliatory delivery. I get the feeling this is underrated a bit.

“Being Boring” – The mildly smug chorus sentiment stains an otherwise entirely successful shift into ballad territory. You can see the seeds of their downfall – they never wrote a ballad as great again and the production touches are just starting to become clumsy (picking out the melody in the intro, icky ‘stardust’ keyboard trills) but all is redeemed by the payoff which – even if you can see it coming – turns the single into the most bittersweet EVER MADE!

“Where The Streets Have No Name / I Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You” – Hi-NRG as pastiche, not living genre, but still the Boys discern the angel in the block-headed U2 marble and give it fabulous pop wings. It lit up a miserable winter and it pissed off Bono – what more can you ask? The Andy Williams bits are 4/4 hugs.

“Jealousy” – Oh, sorry, they did write a ballad as great again. End-of-the-first act torch song: why didn’t they write their musical ten years earlier? “And anyone who wanted to could – contact me”. If I’d had a glass or two of wine I’d be getting the keyboard wet listening to this.

“DJ Culture” – After more than ten years I am still not exactly sure what is going on in this song. The Gulf War, hedonism, individuality, dance music, Oscar Wilde…what I do know is that Neil Tennant by his meticulous delivery, and Chris Lowe by his restrained, ominous programming make you think they’re saying something very serious and that in their heads all these things are linked up. So they might start linking up in your head too. Even if it’s all completely bogus the overall effect remains deceitfully thrilling.

“Was It Worth It?” – Sandwiched between their two most ambitious singles, a great pop song, because they could.

“Can You Forgive Her?” – A quick reminder, then: the song is about a gay man, closeted even to himself, whose female lover has guessed the truth about him. The song’s invisible narrator is dragging him back through his past, forcing him to confront his feelings – and his loathing for her and himself – for the first time. Now I know it is incredibly cheesy to talk about ‘adult subjects’ getting into the Top 10 but unlike shitty ooh-its-about-heroin songs like “Perfect Day” this actually is groundbreaking, adult, and brilliantly done: a conflicted psychodrama on a par with the greatest soul music. And the music is magnificent. Lyrical intelligence isn’t a prerequisite for great pop, duh, but that doesn’t mean we should ignore it when it turns up, and nothing like this turned up in the charts again until “Ms Jackson”.

“Go West” – fuck the video and the extra levels, on the levels (foot, hip and heart) that hit you first this is the best hi-NRG track EVER MADE.

After that they made “Liberation” which was the first single I really disliked and kept disliking by them, and after that they made a few other good singles but hardly anything that could muscle its way into this line-up. Forget all that though because these songs are some of pop’s absolute pinnacles. Bloody marvelous!

Tom (Groke), Friday, 4 October 2002 14:35 (seventeen years ago) link

That's damn right. The Pet Shop Boys rule. Best synth-pop band ever !?

Panagiotis Pileidis (Panagiotis Pileidis), Friday, 4 October 2002 14:40 (seventeen years ago) link

You could lose the 'synth-pop' and I wouldnt mind.

This was written while listening to Sarah's copy of Discography - ta Sarah.

Tom (Groke), Friday, 4 October 2002 14:43 (seventeen years ago) link

Tom: "Yesterday When I Was Mad", "I Wouldn't Normally Do This Kind Of Thing", "Se A Vida E" and "Home And Dry" are all worthy of inclusion on this list, ESPECIALLY if you're going to say kind things about "Go West" and "Domino Dancing".

"Rent" is one of the greatest songs ever written.

Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Friday, 4 October 2002 14:43 (seventeen years ago) link

well, i'm sold - but then i pretty much already was - does this also means 'Discography' is the best greatest hits compilation evah?

i didnt rate 'Was It Worth It' tho

do people remember 'I Dont Know What You Want But I Can't Give ANymore' much - its probably their best post 'Go West' single, followed by 'Before' - 'Se A Vide E' is just too dam cheesy for me

blueski, Friday, 4 October 2002 14:46 (seventeen years ago) link

this is related to the 'singles artists' thread, isn't it? you're right, psb were my first love (not like that) and remain one of the grebtest bands ever. (their latest stuff is a bit ropey, though).

blueski, i have 'idkwywbicgia' on douuble gatefold 12" with felix da housecat remixes. it's ace.

michael wells (michael w.), Friday, 4 October 2002 14:49 (seventeen years ago) link

YWIWM and IWNDTKOT are a bit jokey for my taste, Se A Vida E is lovely but well outside the chronological run, Home And Dry is RUB! "I Don't Know What You Want..." is the best single not included here and even its not as good as the best of these.

"Go West" is tremendous!

Blueski - I think it might be. It has stiff competition from ABBA Gold obv.

Tom (Groke), Friday, 4 October 2002 14:49 (seventeen years ago) link

Michael - no not really I was just playing it and had the URGE to write stuff down cos I was loving it so much.

Tom (Groke), Friday, 4 October 2002 14:51 (seventeen years ago) link

Is there a Felix remix of West End Girls, I heard him live from Pacha and he played this cool house remix of it.

Ronan (Ronan), Friday, 4 October 2002 14:52 (seventeen years ago) link

sasha did a piss-poor one, i don't know about felix.

michael wells (michael w.), Friday, 4 October 2002 14:54 (seventeen years ago) link

Best synth-pop band ever !?

No way! New Order!

Manny Parsons (Rahul Kamath), Friday, 4 October 2002 14:57 (seventeen years ago) link

"Home and Dry" is absolutely lovely. It's probably the warmest sounding thing that PSB have ever done. The acid-madness of YWIWM makes it an absolute winner in my eyes (when I finally heard the album version a couple of years ago, I berated Ned for not telling me how absolutely bonkers it is) and IWNDTKOT triggers all of the giddy euphoria buttons that "Two Months Off" hits.

The best PSB album is _Alternative_; their b-sides are AWE-INSPIRING. And they are way better than New Order, sorry.

Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Friday, 4 October 2002 14:58 (seventeen years ago) link

New Order manage 7 or 8 great singles without a duffer but then comes "State Of The Nation". They are a fantastic band of course.

Tom (Groke), Friday, 4 October 2002 15:00 (seventeen years ago) link

I was lucky enough to pick up Chris Heath's books on PSB last month in NZ, and both made me remember again just how glorious and wonderful a band they were -- and how they were both honest pop fans and never hid it. Rah for Tom! FT article this sucker and expand further if you like, please. :-)

I berated Ned for not telling me how absolutely bonkers it is

Listen, you, I can't know what you have or haven't heard yet. You are right, of course. :-)

The expanded and rereleased versions of the first six albums are slices of heaven from on high. They are to be worshipped (and the liner notes rule).

Ned Raggett (Ned), Friday, 4 October 2002 15:34 (seventeen years ago) link

i reckon madness could give them a run for their money, but even thinking about this list of songs brings me out in a tingle. also 'literally' (i'm not sure if this is the same book ned's talking about)is a definite candidate for best pop book evah.

but bloody hell, what was going on when they were on totp the other week? guitars, hollow anthemicism, crappy lyrics. i almost cried.

adam b (adam b), Friday, 4 October 2002 15:52 (seventeen years ago) link

"Home And Dry is RUB!"

No it isn't, ^Tom. And, er, I love "Domino Dancing"!!

You're right about everything else, mind.

Venga, Friday, 4 October 2002 17:14 (seventeen years ago) link

i wish there was the equivalent of the 80s Pet Shop Boys in the Top Ten there? but maybe its best if there isnt cos we gotta move on...i just feel they possessed something thats lacking in today's hit parade...maybe its just that 'adult pop' thing - who makes what you could class as 'adult pop' now? (this doesnt mean the PSBs music couldnt appeal to children - cos i loved it as a child but only for the music, didnt pay much attention to the lyrics, but i'd say lyrically and conceptually and even technically their music was more sophisticated than much of today's pop)

but Tom's right, 'Home And Dry' sucks - its just a pointless Johnny Marr advert

blueski, Friday, 4 October 2002 17:17 (seventeen years ago) link

the last post is my recurring gripe about the lack of 'daftness' in the charts - image-wise, musically/lyrically (e.g. ludicrously long song titles are fun) etc. now and my liking of bands who do something different/weird/edgy with a degree of elegance/subtlety but remain distinctly pop

blueski, Friday, 4 October 2002 17:20 (seventeen years ago) link

I think their run extended even past that (I think it stopped at "Red Letter Day", but there may be something before that I'm forgetting). 20 is a nice number though. I should say I've never understood hate for "Domino Dancing" either - one of my favorites.

Vinnie (vprabhu), Friday, 4 October 2002 17:25 (seventeen years ago) link

Other Reasons Why The Pet Shop Boys were great

1) The definitive image of them is with Neil in a suit and Chris in the background somewhere with a townie/b-boy wardrobe and a computer (first time i'd ever seen someone use an actual computer in their performance)...tho you may also consider the pointy hats phase

2) They never toured

3) The fact that Tenant used to be a hack but also went and showed people how to really do it - a remarkable achievement

4) They never seemed camp at all (avoiding stereotypes is cool)

5) Good album artwork

blueski, Friday, 4 October 2002 17:26 (seventeen years ago) link

2) They never toured

? They've done tours on and off since 1989.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Friday, 4 October 2002 17:27 (seventeen years ago) link

Yes, but they never played yer average hoary rawk venues, Ned.

Venga, Friday, 4 October 2002 17:40 (seventeen years ago) link

Also Search (if you can find it): The Pet Shop Boys Hardcover Annual that they brought out one year (most of it also written by C. Heath). It's a great read, packed full of triv, that works as fan club rave-up and ironic pastiche(they shld write a song called 'Having My Cake'!)

Have we had any hatas on this thread yet? Are the PSB another one of those rare ILM groups that everyone likes (at least a bit)?

Andrew L (Andrew L), Friday, 4 October 2002 17:46 (seventeen years ago) link

how is that recent PSB album? Release? or something?

g (graysonlane), Friday, 4 October 2002 18:43 (seventeen years ago) link

Yes, but they never played yer average hoary rawk venues, Ned.

The Universal Ampitheatre and Irvine Meadows, to name two venues they've played around here over the moons, are very very hoary indeed.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Friday, 4 October 2002 18:43 (seventeen years ago) link

I think you're right, Tom. There are other groups that started with a great run of singles (Buzzcocks and Undertones, for instance), but none that I can think of with a run of this length and standard. Well, maybe the Rolling Stones.

Martin Skidmore (Martin Skidmore), Friday, 4 October 2002 19:31 (seventeen years ago) link

_Release_ is a decent enough album. "Home and Dry" is fantastic, but I can't remember any of the other songs on the album beyond thinking they were gentle and nice.

Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Friday, 4 October 2002 19:35 (seventeen years ago) link

Actually Martin I think the other groups named on this thread - New Order and especially Madness - are contenders. None of Madness 21 Top 40 hits are bad, its just few of them scale the heights the PSB did. I could imagine doing a similar thread on them, though, no doubt.

Tom (Groke), Friday, 4 October 2002 22:15 (seventeen years ago) link

Tom, you is MAD - the chorus is suburbia - it HAS to soar, its all about dreams and hopes, self-delusion, self-myffologyzing an shit.

i bought psb, kate bush + madness compos on the same day - their albums SUCK

a-33, Saturday, 5 October 2002 12:32 (seventeen years ago) link

Well, I can't say I hate them, but the PSB have always left me a bit cold. My semi-irrational fear of Neil Tennant's teeth might be coming into play here as well.

Kim (Kim), Saturday, 5 October 2002 13:09 (seventeen years ago) link

(The album version of "Suburbia" is about 8 million times better than the single version.)

("State Of The Nation" is a fantastic song; better than "Ruined In A Day", anyway.)

Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Saturday, 5 October 2002 14:51 (seventeen years ago) link

pet shop boys are incredibly boring to me but tom's write-up is nice enough.

Julio Desouza (jdesouza), Saturday, 5 October 2002 16:04 (seventeen years ago) link

a-33 OTM on Suburbia.

**Go West” – fuck the video and the extra levels, on the levels (foot, hip and heart) that hit you first this is the best hi-NRG track EVER MADE**

Tom - I salute you!

Dr. C (Dr. C), Saturday, 5 October 2002 18:56 (seventeen years ago) link

Cheers Tom, you've outdone yourself this time. Who could argue with the above? A friend just lent me the videography--I'd love to hear your thoughts on the development of the PSB visual canon... My humble opinion is that it's all downhill after the epic West End Boys, well the first four videos are all directed by the same person, and they seem so Japanese in a way--so clean and sterile in their depiction of London... (PSB London = Tokyo?), then later come the name directors (Jarman/Weber) but I don't notice the same icy stylization of the former... there was a rather charming one with shirtless male nymphs, an Abercrombie & Fitch inspiration waiting to happen, but what's up with all of the babies that later surface?

Mary (Mary), Sunday, 6 October 2002 02:00 (seventeen years ago) link

The Discography video comp is the ONLY VIDEO I OWN! (I think - actually I may have a Glass Spider Tour Bowie one I got given as a present, eek). The only think I can remember about it now is that the wanton sensual indulgence in "It's A Sin" was a turn on and the perfect Weber flesh in "Being Boring" was a turn off. The babies are rub yes.

Tom (Groke), Monday, 7 October 2002 08:23 (seventeen years ago) link

Of course I wuvved the PSBs but...

a) I'm not sure how well they ever worked as perfect Hi-NRG, or proper go-mental-on-the-dance-floor disco, cos of NT's weedy vocals - the closest they got was probably 'Was it worth it?' - but it would have been better with Taylor Dane/Hazel Dean/Pete Burns/Divine/Marc Almond singing. The PSBs could never do abandon .

b) There has never been such a dismal fall from grace as the PSB's 'Absolutely Fabulous' single. This, coupled with NT's godawful pretentious pronouncements on the state of pop on every comeback promo tour of the last ten years, make me wonder how fondly I will look back on them. They've kind of ruined the spell, a bit, for me. That said, the first record I put on when I moved house last week was 'Behavior'.

Jerry the Nipper (Jerrynipper), Monday, 7 October 2002 09:04 (seventeen years ago) link

Yes OK they were indie-NRG, curses rumbled. ;) But actually no - Hi-NRG like all dance music has never been just an 'abandon' thing and the lack of it was surely what enabled the PSBs to take the sound to the top of the charts?

You are so right about "Absolutely Fabulous", and it did actually 'infect' their surrounding stuff - one reason why the other upbeat singles off Very didn't do it for me any more is that they suddenly sounded like cousins of AbFab.

Tom (Groke), Monday, 7 October 2002 09:11 (seventeen years ago) link

From the final verse of "Being Boring":

"I never dreamed that I would get to be the creature I always meant to be - but I thought, in spite of dreams, you'd be sitting somewhere here with me."

My life, as of October 2002, in a nutshell.

The PSBs - I can't really talk about them right now. They belonged to both of us, not just to me, like Northern Soul, Joy Division, Dexy's, Cocteau Twins, etc. It was OUR music.

Marcello Carlin, Monday, 7 October 2002 12:58 (seventeen years ago) link

one reason why the other upbeat singles off Very didn't do it for me any more is that they suddenly sounded like cousins of AbFab.

????? I don't think I've ever heard the original mix of "Absolutely Fabulous" then, because none of the _Very_ singles remind me of it at all. I'd go so far as saying "I Wouldn't Normally Do This Kind Of Thing" is one of their best singles, particularly when remixed.

Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Monday, 7 October 2002 13:07 (seventeen years ago) link

Yeah, I don't get the AbFab comparison either. Probably because there was so little Neil on it that therefore it could just be anonymous (or, say, one weird Electronic remix ;-)).

And for all my talk about lyrics and what they generally don't mean to me, Marcello's comment reminds me about how that line in particular always was suffused with...I don't want to call it a 'perfect' grief, but the combination of delivery and words speaks to my heart more than a thousand screams at an empty universe.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Monday, 7 October 2002 14:32 (seventeen years ago) link

John Peel - PSB in Session !

Big surprise: John Peel show:

Thursday 10 October - Pet Shop Boys ! Is this the most mainstream pop artist ever to record a Peel Session?

The boys have been having a quiet one since the end of their massive 'Release 2002 Tour'. The next single they are set to release from their album Release is 'London'.

The Pet Shop Boys have adopted a 'back to basics' approach towards tonights set with fully live guitars, bass and drums on stage. They recorded two songs which they wrote back in 1983 but never got down to recording and they also recorded an old Bobby O song from the early 80's. Their next single is 'London' which has also been recorded for tonight's session.

The lads have tried to approach this Peel session with a view to doing something different and they hope that's what comes across.

I only have listened to "Please" and "Disco", taped "Actually" off my sister years ago back in the 80s. After that not listened to any PSB (albums) apart from a few chart singles on the radio that have not interested me.

The production on Disco - is superb.

DJ Martian (djmartian), Monday, 7 October 2002 18:00 (seventeen years ago) link

I hadn't considered "Being Boring" to be about grief, I'd always thought it was wistful regret over a relationship turned sour, but, listening to it again, you're absolutely right.

I still don't like the descent into balladry, though, for me Behaviour was when they turned from the coolest band on the planet into a decent duo turning out one or two good singles per album. Those singles could still be astonishing, Tom says everything that needs to be said about "Can You Forgive Her?" far more eloquently than I ever could, but "So Hard" was their perfect single. The KLF remixed it while they were at their glorious best and the result is a pop Field Of The Cloth Of Gold, two titans in their pomp competing in splendour.

Random thoughts: Chris Lowe should release a hi-nrg spoken word album (cf "Paninaro", "One Of The Crowd") and promote it standing motionless on Top Of The Pops. I saw them play from the back of Wembley Arena, hoary rawk venue par excellence, and it was great, especially the baroque freakshow accompanying "It's A Sin". Introspective is perfect. Can you get the dance album that came with initial copies of Very anywhere?

I could go on.

Mike (mratford), Monday, 7 October 2002 18:28 (seventeen years ago) link

PSB were the soundtrack to my early teens. Bit of a generalisation but a great 80s single band became a half decent albums band in the 90s. As albums Behaviour, Very and Bilingual probably top Actually, Please and Disco without having any of the killer singles. Discography has to be one of the great singles comps.
What have I done to deserve this - I can't think a better song involving a '60s' artist in the last 30 years.

Paul Cunningham, Tuesday, 8 October 2002 19:27 (seventeen years ago) link

I always hated the PSB. Whether I still do, I'm not sure.

In that sense, if no other, I am the inverse of the Nipper.

the pinefox, Tuesday, 8 October 2002 19:35 (seventeen years ago) link

Why did you hate the PSB, Pinefox?

Arthur (Arthur), Tuesday, 8 October 2002 19:43 (seventeen years ago) link

Can we do a PSB albums S/D please - I have Discography already but want to investigate further - especially with the recent release of reissues of all PSB albums with extra tracks, b-sides etc.


Charlie (Charlie), Wednesday, 9 October 2002 01:50 (seventeen years ago) link

Search: everything.

Vaguely more seriously...well, this might be a dumb question, but what songs on Discography do you especially like? That'll help in determining a good starting point. :-)

Ned Raggett (Ned), Wednesday, 9 October 2002 02:11 (seventeen years ago) link

I'd personally vote for anything up to and including Behaviour.

electric sound of jim (electricsound), Wednesday, 9 October 2002 03:07 (seventeen years ago) link

Discography was the first PSB I owned as well, and I was still blown away by Very when I got it afterward (which says a lot!). So I'd say Very, or if you're into their less energetic stuff, Behaviour. Alternative is a VERY strong compilation, but I think most of the tracks on there have been added to the albums, so don't bother with it.

Vinnie (vprabhu), Wednesday, 9 October 2002 03:38 (seventeen years ago) link

I recongnized the first half of the list with something akin to pleasure, which suprises me. I hate them is my official statement, but it comes down to that voice, and that unapologetically disco stance... I guess they do have some good tunes, and their lyrics tackle weightier topics than most disco. What am I so afraid of?? I'm listening to Madonna right now for crissakes! Maybe this best-of might be a worthwhile purchase... but please don't tell anyone!

Sean (Sean), Wednesday, 9 October 2002 04:47 (seventeen years ago) link

We really, really need to love "Was It Worth It." The "then he smiled/and I was lost" part -- woof.

the little prince of inane false binary hype (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 16 November 2012 02:38 (seven years ago) link

no other British group was going to cop ideas off freestyle.

While "Domino Dancing" is actual freestyle with PSB verses, New Order were obviously into it as well - I'm thinking especially "Sub-Culture (remix)" and "Shellshock".

Spencer Chow, Friday, 16 November 2012 02:50 (seven years ago) link

Both of those New Order songs are amazing and "Domino Dancing" is a dick

I loves you, PORGI (DJP), Friday, 16 November 2012 03:26 (seven years ago) link

must explain why I love it

the little prince of inane false binary hype (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 16 November 2012 12:08 (seven years ago) link

one month passes...

you know what is a totally underrated PSB song, is "Heart"

Jesus, the Total Douchebag (DJP), Monday, 17 December 2012 18:06 (seven years ago) link

Not in my home.

Sometimes I'll watch the video just to hear Chris Lowe on the commentary track collapse into hysterics watching Neil stare longingly at his bride ("Unintentionally hilarious").

the little prince of inane false binary hype (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 17 December 2012 18:11 (seven years ago) link

^^highlight of that commentary track iirc

Gukbe, Monday, 17 December 2012 18:12 (seven years ago) link

Neil: "As ever."

the little prince of inane false binary hype (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 17 December 2012 18:13 (seven years ago) link

personal fave moment from the commentary is Chris's exhausted "..urgh God" when the shot of him at the start of What Have I Done To Deserve This comes on.

piscesx, Monday, 17 December 2012 18:44 (seven years ago) link

STUPID haircut. DICKIE bow.

the little prince of inane false binary hype (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 17 December 2012 18:54 (seven years ago) link


the little prince of inane false binary hype (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 17 December 2012 18:55 (seven years ago) link

eleven months pass...

[you know what is a totally underrated PSB song, is "Heart"

Yeah, top 5 imo.

ewar woowar (or something), Thursday, 21 November 2013 17:53 (six years ago) link

four months pass...

I may have said this before, even on this thread, but on what planet is Suburbia even a slight misstep?

Matt DC, Thursday, 10 April 2014 21:45 (six years ago) link

fuck stopping this at “Liberation”

g simmel, Thursday, 10 April 2014 22:26 (six years ago) link

Ha everytime I see this thread I think the same thing. I love "Liberation".

LeRooLeRoo, Friday, 11 April 2014 00:05 (six years ago) link

'Liberation' is such an incredibly beautiful song. One of my favourites!

Toni Braxton-Hicks (Turrican), Friday, 11 April 2014 06:25 (six years ago) link

I may have said this before, even on this thread, but on what planet is Suburbia even a slight misstep?

It's only in the past few months that I've begun to enjoy the single mix, which always felt tacky and overblown when compared to the album version to me. That's where I feel the misstep is.

Wahaca Flocka Flame (DJP), Friday, 11 April 2014 15:29 (six years ago) link

one year passes...

I love the breakdown in the middle of the Introspective version of 'Domino Dancing' ... "ALL DAY ALL D-D-DAY D-D-DAY DDDAY" - great use of stereo panning. Sublime.

two years pass...

Here are my twenty-five tracks.

morning wood truancy (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 8 August 2018 11:34 (one year ago) link

My list would look very different, but great to see 'Burn' and 'Thursday' on there!

Le Baton Rose (Turrican), Wednesday, 8 August 2018 16:00 (one year ago) link

typical quality list

Dreadnought of chicanery (Ross), Wednesday, 8 August 2018 16:06 (one year ago) link

The only thing that sucks about these lists is that Soto seems to spend more time compiling 'em than posting here!

Le Baton Rose (Turrican), Wednesday, 8 August 2018 16:12 (one year ago) link

good mourning Alfred!

Dreadnought of chicanery (Ross), Wednesday, 8 August 2018 16:15 (one year ago) link

The only thing that sucks about these lists is that Soto seems to spend more time compiling 'em than posting here!

― Le Baton Rose (Turrican),

Maybe! I'm all over the political, book, film, and poll threads.

morning wood truancy (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 8 August 2018 16:16 (one year ago) link

five months pass...

Was out doing some quick grocery shopping this afternoon when I heard a familiar voice and keyboard lick playing faintly over the speakers, and after listening intently for a while to figure out what it was, it turned out to be...

...'DJ Culture'

Le Baton Rose (Turrican), Saturday, 19 January 2019 15:27 (one year ago) link

dance with me

Your sweetie-pie-coo-coo I love ya (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 19 January 2019 15:40 (one year ago) link

I always find myself forgetting about 'DJ Culture' for some reason. I think it's because I very rarely put Discography on, but then I don't have a similar issue with 'Was It Worth It?' ... it's not a song I ever hear out "in the wild" anyway, so it was a real surprise.

Le Baton Rose (Turrican), Saturday, 19 January 2019 21:29 (one year ago) link

"Was It Worth It" is by far the best song and one of their least heralded great songs -- Tennant's unofficial coming out record.

Your sweetie-pie-coo-coo I love ya (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 19 January 2019 22:45 (one year ago) link

It's very cleverly done because it's only apparent if you're really paying attention. Like the second verse in which he acknowledges that he's in love with a guy and it's changed his life and he regrets it not happening much sooner, or later on in the song with "I reserve the right to live my life this way and I don't give a damn when I hear people say I'll pay the price that others pay" ...

Le Baton Rose (Turrican), Saturday, 19 January 2019 23:10 (one year ago) link

It sure sounds to me like "then he smiled and I was lost" instead of you, too.

Le Baton Rose (Turrican), Saturday, 19 January 2019 23:13 (one year ago) link

that's how I heard it for years

Your sweetie-pie-coo-coo I love ya (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 19 January 2019 23:13 (one year ago) link

I think it's a better lyric/song than the later and similarly themed 'Metamorphosis', which is really on the nose. I dunno, Tennant must have thought he needed to address the subject as directly as possible after many missed it on 'Was It Worth It?' ... although there was a lot that went over people's heads as far back as Please, really.

Le Baton Rose (Turrican), Saturday, 19 January 2019 23:19 (one year ago) link

"Later Tonight" is explicit as he was before 1991, and no straight man would have written "Why Don't We Live Together"

Your sweetie-pie-coo-coo I love ya (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 19 January 2019 23:20 (one year ago) link

Yeah, 'Later Tonight' is so blatant!

Le Baton Rose (Turrican), Sunday, 20 January 2019 00:01 (one year ago) link

or later on in the song with "I reserve the right to live my life this way and I don't give a damn when I hear people say I'll pay the price that others pay" ...

...all of these lines rhyming with (a very implicit) “gay”

breastcrawl, Sunday, 20 January 2019 00:04 (one year ago) link

since nobody ever got around to it back in 2003, a poke through Discogs suggests these were Chic's first 32 US commercial A-sides:

1977 Dance, Dance, Dance (Yowsah, Yowsah, Yowsah)
1977 Everybody Dance
1978 NORMA JEAN - Saturday
1978 NORMA JEAN - Having A Party [Cooke] b/w So I Get Hurt Again [Nile/Bernard]
1978 NORMA JEAN - Sorceror
1978 Le Freak
1978 I Want Your Love
1979 SISTER SLEDGE - He's The Greatest Dancer
1979 SISTER SLEDGE - We Are Family
1979 SISTER SLEDGE - Lost In Music
1979 NORMA JEAN - High Society
1979 Good Times
1979 My Forbidden Lover
1979 My Feet Keep Dancing
1979 SISTER SLEDGE - Got To Love Somebody
1979 SHEILA & B. DEVOTION - Spacer
1980 SISTER SLEDGE - Reach Your Peak
1980 SISTER SLEDGE - Let's Go On Vacation
1980 SISTER SLEDGE - Easy Street
1980 SHEILA & B. DEVOTION - Your Love Is Good
1980 SHEILA & B. DEVOTION - King Of The World
1980 DIANA ROSS - I'm Coming Out
1980 DIANA ROSS - Upside Down
1980 DIANA ROSS - My Old Piano
1980 Rebels Are We
1980 Real People
1981 Stage Fright
1981 DEBBIE HARRY - Backfired
1981 DEBBIE HARRY - The Jam Was Moving
1982 Soup For One
1982 CARLY SIMON - Why b/w CHIC - Why
1982 Hangin'

sans lep (sic), Sunday, 20 January 2019 20:51 (one year ago) link

I can hear what Tennant is on about when he says it's PSB doing SAW, because the verses of 'Was It Worth It?' remind me of late '80s Kylie stuff melodically, although not so much the chorus. I could totally imagine '80s Kylie doing a rendition of it.

Le Baton Rose (Turrican), Monday, 21 January 2019 00:53 (one year ago) link

three months pass...

Conspicuously, no Hague! (But yes Stephen Hague!) Knowing that none of those songs are necessarily bad, I can totally get with your grouping.

Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 24 April 2019 00:35 (one year ago) link

Not one is less than meh, and only after a certain year. What a run.

recriminations from the nitpicking woke (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 24 April 2019 00:58 (one year ago) link

four months pass...

Just about to be live on BBC2 for their headline show at Hyde Park.

piscesx, Sunday, 15 September 2019 19:20 (nine months ago) link

Chris's hat makes him look like odious pickup artist Mystery.

just another country (snoball), Sunday, 15 September 2019 19:26 (nine months ago) link

relistening to Bilingual and it's pretty much as i remember it - that is, not remembering much of it other than the stand out tracks. but rediscovered the closer, Saturday Night Forever and i think it didn't get the attention it really deserves.

that includes treatment from the boys themselves - it could be a proper disco anthem instead of what feels like an afterthought. Love To Infinity remix gets a bit closer - i wonder why it was never officially released:

scanner darkly, Thursday, 19 September 2019 17:19 (nine months ago) link

nine months pass...

So many old videos look like they’re viewed through ground glass, nice to be able to view them properly. Hopefully others will be remastered.

Five Pet Shop Boys music videos that have been updated with improved high definition audio and video tracks are now available to watch in a new YouTube playlist at the link below.

— Pet Shop Boys (@petshopboys) June 26, 2020

Dan Worsley, Saturday, 27 June 2020 09:02 (two weeks ago) link

I don't know exactly when or why this started happening, but whenever I hear the synthy intro to Bon Jovi's "Living On a Prayer," at exactly where you would expect it to be I hear a British voice intoning, "Sooner or later, this happens to everyone ..."

Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 1 July 2020 17:22 (one week ago) link


TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 1 July 2020 17:24 (one week ago) link

Taking Sides on songs with short spoken intros: "Love Comes Quickly" vs "Livin' on a Prayer" vs "Caribbean Queen"

Vinnie, Thursday, 2 July 2020 08:34 (one week ago) link

vs Modern Love.

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 2 July 2020 16:00 (one week ago) link

Now imagine Neil Tennant starting "Love Comes Quickly" with "She's so awesome."

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 2 July 2020 16:11 (one week ago) link

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