Absolutely Fabulous

Writers - Tennant/Lowe/Saunders/Lumley
First released - 1994
Original album - Disco 2
Subsequent albums - Very 2001 reissue Further Listening 1992-1994 bonus disc
Producer - Pet Shop Boys
Other releases - single (UK #6, US Dance #7)

Neil and Chris were big fans of the 1990s British TV comedy Absolutely Fabulous. According to the duo (who may or may not have been speaking tongue-in-cheek), they came up with the idea for this track merely as an excuse to meet and have lunch with the show's two stars, Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley. To clinch it, they pitched the idea to the two women as a one-off to benefit the Comic Relief charity. Saunders and Lumley agreed, so the Boys recorded a high-energy techno dance track (bearing some resemblance in form to "Paninaro" and even more so to the soon-to-be-released "Paninaro '95") and mixed it with humorous samples from the TV show and Neil singing "Absolutely Fabulous" over and over again. In addition, Saunders and Lumley recorded a few brief new bits, such as "It's the bloody Pet Shop Boys, sweetie," which are also tossed into the mix.

The resulting track was released not as a Pet Shop Boys single but rather as "Absolutely Fabulous" with no artist listed (though the Boys were cited as the producers). It was accompanied by an amusing video in which Saunders and Lumley cavorted with Tennant and Lowe, the latter pair looking appropriately silly in pure white costumes that made them look like a cross between pastry chefs and Turkish dervishes. (Best moment: Jennifer unexpectedly lifting Chris's hat, causing him to crack his "cool" persona and break out laughing.)

In response to fans who were shocked that they should ever make a charity record (since early in their career they had suggested they would never do such a thing), Neil shrugs it off, saying, "We've always been inconsistent anyway." Note that, disappointingly, Disco 2 doesn't include the original single version of "Ab Fab," but one of the remixes instead. The single version is, however, available as a bonus track on one of the "Yesterday, When I Was Mad" CD single discs.

Incidentally, in case you're wondering why "Absolutely Fabulous," a genuine hit, wasn't included on the subsequent PopArt CD or DVD compilations, it's because—or at least partly because—the Pet Shop Boys don't own the rights to it. Rather, the Comic Relief organization holds the license. Apparently the Boys would have had to pay to use their own recording.



Officially released

List cross-references