The Man on the Television
by Neil Tennant

Writers - Neil Tennant
Unreleased (1979)

Another pre-PSB song by Neil, which he wrote and played on his acoustic guitar in 1980. Its first public airing—albeit only a small part of it—was on the 2006 documentary Pet Shop Boys - A Life in Pop. But the full track has been made available for listening on the Boys' official website.

Somewhat reminiscent of some of David Bowie's early acoustic numbers, it expresses utter disdain for the titular "man on the television," who seems so out of touch that he generates equal disdain for the medium on which he appears: "I don't want a television." In fact, when Neil sings "The memory man has lost his marbles," it distinctly recalls a famous line from the Bowie/Mott the Hoople classic "All the Young Dudes": "The television man is crazy…." As for the melody, the Bowie influence is most pronounced in the lilting and frankly lovely middle-eight section: the best part of the song, at least in this commentator's opinion.

Speaking of "middle eights," it seems that a portion of the song near the end in which one-word questions are called out in response to statements ("What?" "Who?") was repurposed by the Boys, in an altered form, more than a decade later in the middle-eight bridge of "Was It Worth It?"

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