Casting a Shadow

Writers - Tennant/Lowe
First released - 1999
Original album - Format
Producer - Pet Shop Boys
Subsequent albums - (none)
Other releases - bonus track with single "New York City Boy"; bonus disc with the U.S. "special edition" of Nightlife

A bonus track on the "New York City Boy" single, this alternatingly rollicking and atmospheric instrumental was originally provided by Messrs. Lowe and Tennant as the pre-recorded soundtrack, played for a live audience and over the radio airwaves, for the total eclipse of the sun that occurred on August 11, 1999. Hence the title: a total eclipse of the sun is caused by the moon casting its shadow directly on the earth. The more upbeat segments are stylistically reminiscent of the pioneering Donna Summer/Giorgio Moroder synthpop classic "I Feel Love."

Incidentally, during the live BBC radio broadcast, commentators talked throughout nearly the entire original eclipse performance, relegating the Boys to mere background music and crediting them only in passing—though I suppose we should be grateful that they were indeed credited!

One of my online correspondents has reminded me of the fact that, as they asserted during a contemporary interview, the Boys ingeniously timed the "beatless" portion in the middle of the track to coincide precisely with the brief interval during which the sun's direct rays are totally blocked by the moon.

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