PSB Songs Performed by Other Artists

By 1989—only three years after they made their initial splash with "West End Girls"—the songwriting team of Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe began to be widely recognized by other musicians for the quality of their work. The following songs written by the Pet Shop Boys have been recorded and released by other artists or, if they haven't actually been recorded, at least meet certain other strict criteria (as noted below). This includes both artists responsible for the song's original release and those who simply covered material originally released by PSB. These songs are listed in alphabetical order followed by the names of the artists who have recorded them, which are then presented pretty much in the order in which I first learned of the cover (which doesn't necessarily coincide with the order in which they were recorded).

Please note that I do not include the following:

One more important point: I've now declared a semi-moratorium on new remakes of "It's a Sin." I say semi-moratorium because if someone I've actually heard of outside the context of recording PSB covers decides to cover it—someone along the lines of, say, Paul McCartney, Beyoncé, Coldplay, or the Foo Fighters—then, great, I'll list it here. (That will be true retroactively as well; if an unknown artist covers it and only later becomes famous, then I'll go ahead and list it.) But it's now been covered so often by obscure, essentially unknown artists that it has become a tiresome cliché. I'll certainly retain the ones I've already listed, but I just won't bother listing any more of them here.

Here are the covers:


"Favourite Pet Shop" – A four-and-a-half minute PSB medley by the British quasi-novelty vocal act 4 Poofs and a Piano, appearing on their 2005 debut album Screamin' Party Anthems. The songs that constitute this medley are "West End Girls," "Left to My Own Devices," "I Can't Take My Eyes Off You," "Always on My Mind," and (naturally) "It's a Sin." If you visit the HMV website you can even listen to an audio sample. At least based on that brief snippet, it's not nearly as awful as the album reviews I'd read led me to believe.

"The Hit Mix, Actually" - A 12-inch single released in 1988 and produced in Germany by a studio assemblage called the Suburban Boys. The A-side is a medley of PSB covers, including "Suburbia," "Love Comes Quickly," "Always on My Mind," "Opportunities," "West End Girls," "Paninaro," "It's a Sin," and "What Have I Done to Deserve This?" It even reached #90 on the official U.K. singles chart.

To summarize, there's obviously no shortage of cover versions of Tennant-Lowe songs. But if you want a succinct breakdown of the "Top Ten" that, according to my reckoning, have so far been covered most often, here you go, with the first three—and especially the first—leading the pack by a wide margin:

  1. It's a Sin
  2. West End Girls
  3. Rent
  4. Love Comes Quickly
  5. Suburbia
  6. Domino Dancing
  7. Being Boring
  8. Heart
  9. What Have I Done to Deserve This?
  10. I’m Not Scared