This Must Be the Place I Waited Years to Leave

Writers - Tennant/Lowe
First released - 1990
Original album - Behaviour
Producer - Harold Faltermeyer, Pet Shop Boys
Subsequent albums - (none)
Other releases - (none)

Lyrically, this song is a recollection of Neil's Catholic school days and the sense of isolation and intense dissatisfaction he felt there. It's a "dream narrative"—as revealed in the last verse, "I dreamt I was back in uniform"—in which he apparently at first doesn't realize where he is; hence the title line at the end of each rendition of the chorus, signaling that ultimate realization. (It's worth noting that after this song was released, the masters at Neil's old school went so far as to express publicly their dismay at their former pupil's stated sentiments.)

One email correspondent has also pointed out a possible connection between the great Irish author James Joyce's semi-autobiographical 1916 novella A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man—particularly its opening scene of its protagonist watching a school football match from the sidelines while trying to keep his hands warm—and the lyric "… we shiver in the rain by the touchline," and perhaps with other parts of the song as well. It's a fascinating possibility, though I'm not aware of any commentary by Neil or Chris along these lines.

Musically, the backing track was originally recorded as part of the Pet Shop Boys' aborted bid to score the James Bond film The Living Daylights in 1987. Contrary to common belief—at least among those who know anything about it at all—their music wasn't "rejected" by the Bond franchise. Rather, the Boys pulled out of the project after "creative differences" with the movie's producers. Reportedly one of the key sticking points was that Neil and Chris wished to score the entire film, whereas the producers wanted little if anything more from them than its title song and a recurring instrumental theme derived from it. The task of providing the title song then fell to the Norwegian band A-ha, best known for their huge 1985 international hit "Take On Me."

That's Chris, his voice distorted via vocoder, intoning the repeated line, "Everybody jump to attention"—a device that according to the Boys bears the influence of Steve "Silk" Hurley's 1986 house music hit "Jack Your Body."



Officially released

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