PSB songs for which the Boys have acknowledged the influence of specific tracks by other pop artists

"Genius doesn't lie in not being derivative, but in making right choices instead of wrong ones."

– Ned Rorem, U.S. composer (1923-2022), writing about the Beatles in The New York Review in 1968

Before we get to the list itself, I need to provide a goodly set of explanatory notes; otherwise I'd be letting myself in for all manner of questioning emails. Please note that I'm counting only specific pop-song influences on particular tracks that have been acknowledged by Neil and/or Chris. What this list doesn't include are:

There are a number of borderline cases, some of which I include here and some I do not. Some of these are instances where the Boys decided to interpolate a portion of another artist's song into their own, such as when they incorporated portions of Marvin Gaye's "I Want You" into "Between Two Islands," and of KC and the Sunshine Band's "That's the Way (I Like It)" into "Party Song." Are these "influences" or merely "musical quotations" that are more akin to the aforementioned occasional lyrical quoting of lines from Beatles songs? As the proprietor of this website, I hereby assume the role of judge. If I deem such a musical quotation as a pronounced influence on the track overall, I include it here. But if I deem that it's merely "inserted" without otherwise influencing the track overall—which I believe is the case for the two examples noted above—I don't include it.

Please keep in mind that the question of "influence" can be quite broad, ranging from cases where an entire song was greatly influenced by another artists' recording to situations where just one relatively small, hardly noticeable aspect of a track bears the other song's influence. To help clarify the respective degrees of these influences, I've provided pertinent quotations by Neil and Chris (taken from a large assortment of different publications, both online and print) in the following list, which is presented in alphabetical order by the PSB songs in question.

PSB Track
Avowedly influenced by…
All Over the World "Que Calor" (2003) by Super Mer Ka 2 and
"Loving the Alien" (1984) by David Bowie
  Neil: "What we were trying to do was to do this rhythm from this record we'd heard in Mexico."

Chris: "We'd become obsessed by this record, 'Que Calor' by Super Mer Ka 2, while touring South America in 2006 or 2007."

Neil: "I came up with the Bowie-like verse melody…. It’s kind of 'Loving the Alien'-era Bowie."

Axis "Erotica" (1992) by Madonna
  Neil: "My inspiration for the spoken bits was sounding a bit like Madonna saying 'Erotica… romance….'"

Beautiful People "California Dreamin'" (1965) by The Mamas and the Papas
  Chris: "We said that we'd like it to sound like Mamas and the Papas—sound like California in the sun."

Neil: "'California Dreamin'.'"

Chris: "Yeah, all that sort of thing."

Being Boring "Theme from Shaft" (1971) by Isaac Hayes and
"Better the Devil You Know " (1990) by Kylie Minogue

Neil: "I've always loved the guitar's wah-wah effect made famous on Isaac Hayes's "Theme from Shaft." At Sarm, Julian [Mendelsohn, audio engineer] brought in J.J. Belle to play guitar. His 'wakka-wakka' sound made ['Being Boring'] sort of funky."

Neil: "We were particularly obsessed by 'Better the Devil You Know' by Kylie."

Chris: "And what they [producers/songwriters Stock, Aitken, Waterman] used to do was… suddenly go up a semitone into the chorus. We thought, 'Oh, that's good.' So ['Being Boring'] was the first song where we did that."

Neil: "'Being Boring' goes up a semitone from the verse into the chorus."

Bet She's Not Your Girlfriend "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'" (1983) by Michael Jackson
  Neil: "It's got a Michael Jackson rhythm track.…It's got a 'Wanna Be Startin' Something.'…"

Betrayed "Walking Wounded" (1996) by Everything But the Girl
Neil: "The template for this track was definitely 'Walking Wounded' by Everything But The Girl."

Breathing Space "If You Leave Me Now" (1976) by Chicago
Neil: "We worked on it in Berlin and Chris thought it sounded a bit like 'If You Leave Me Now' by Chicago."

Chris: "I like that record, so it's a good thing."

Building a Wall "'Heroes'" (1977) by David Bowie
Neil: "Johnny Marr played weird guitar—we told him to play like Robert Fripp on 'Heroes'."

Decadence "I Say a Little Prayer" (1968) by Aretha Franklin
Neil: "Musically, the song was based on a sample from the beginning of Aretha Franklin's 'I Say A Little Prayer'. That was the whole starting point."

Neil: "What it did was, it gave the rhythm.…"

Disco Potential "Firestarter" (1996) by The Prodigy and
"Discothèque" (1997) by U2
Neil: "The music is Chris being The Chemical Brothers."

Chris: "It's more The Prodigy than The Chemical Brothers. It's more 'Firestarter.'"

Neil: "There's also something in this that's a kind of reference to 'Discothèque' by U2 which was out at the time. I think it's supposed to sound a bit like Bono really doing disco."

(specifically the "New Version")
"I'm So Hot for You" (1982) by Bobby "O" and
"I'm Alive" (1996) by Stretch and Vern
Chris: "We used a Bobby 'O' type riff. It's like his 'I'm So Hot For You,'…."

Neil: "I did this rap, and I took the rhythm from Stretch And Vern's 'I'm Alive' which had just been a hit. Chris ordered me to write a rap in the same rhythm as that, and I dutifully complied."

DJ Culture "Absolute Beginners" (1986) by David Bowie
Neil: "We took the idea of Tessa Niles singing behind me in the chorus from 'Absolute Beginners' by David Bowie; there's a girl singing with David Bowie all the way through that and I've always liked that."

Domino Dancing "La Isla Bonita" (1987) by Madonna and
"Point of No Return" (1987) by Exposé

Neil: "We thought it was a bit like 'La Isla Bonita' by Madonna."

Chris: "We'd actually done a demo of 'Domino Dancing'… and then we heard this record ['Point of No Return']."

Neil: "I think Exposé were the biggest-selling or the most-played artists this year…. And they're produced by a guy called Lewis A. Martineé.… so we flew over to Miami to work with him on 'Domino Dancing.'"

Don Juan "Flashdance… What a Feeling" (1983) by Irene Cara
Chris: "…[I]t goes into a bit which is like 'Flashdance (What a Feeling).''"

Electricity "California Love" (1995) by 2Pac
Chris: "It's a bit influenced by the 2Pac record 'California Love.'"

E-mail "Stan" (2000) by Eminem
Chris: "I think the drum programming on this was influenced by Eminem's 'Stan.'"

The End of the World "Enjoy the Silence" (1990) by Depeche Mode
  Neil: "You can hear the influence of Violator on the guitar on this. Hello, 'Enjoy The Silence.'"

Euroboy "Trans-Europe Express " (1977) by Kraftwerk
  Chris: "A 'Trans-Europe Express' kind of thing: meant to sound Teutonic.'"

Fluorescent "Fade to Grey" (1980) by Visage
  Chris: “Stuart [Price] added this really great line which to me sounds like it was inspired by Visage.”
Note: Although Chris didn't specifically cite "Fade to Grey," he hardly had to. "Fade to Grey" was by far Visage's best-known and most commercially successful song. Its influence on "Fluorescent" is unmistakable and has been noted as such from the get-go by numerous other critics and commentators.
The Ghost of Myself "… Baby One More Time" (1998) by Britney Spears

Neil: "Inspired by Britney Spears' '…Baby One More Time.'"

: "Do you know 'Hit Me Baby One More Time' by Britney Spears? Shall we pause and play it?"

Give Stupidity a Chance "Give Peace a Chance" (1969) by the Plastic Ono Band
Neil: "I was thinking of 'Give Peace a Chance' by John and Yoko, and what an idealistic slogan that was, and how nowadays it's more like 'Give stupidity a chance.'"

Go West "There Is Nothing Like a Dame" (1949 stage; 1958 film) from South Pacific (Rodgers & Hammerstein)
Neil: "I liked the idea of doing vocals like 'There Is Nothing Like a Dame' from South Pacific on a pop record, a big choir of butch men, so we got a group of Broadway singers in New York arranged by Richard Niles to perform it in that style."

Happiness Is an Option "Everything's Gonna Be Alright" (1997) by Sweetbox
Neil: "Actually, it's based on a piece of music by Rachmaninoff and I was thinking about the record 'Everything's Going To Be Alright' [sic], which was the hip-hop record from last year based on a piece of music by Bach."

Heart "I Like You" (1985) by Phyllis Nelson
Neil: "The inspiration for 'Heart,' which was originally called 'Heartbeat,' was Phyllis Nelson's minor American hit 'I Like You.' It was produced by Shep Pettibone, whom I'd always wanted to work with."

Here "The Only Living Boy in New York" (1970) by Simon & Garfunkel
Neil: "I put loads of backing vocals on. I've always loved Simon & Garfunkel's 'The Only Living Boy in New York' and it has backing vocals a bit like this, all these tracked 'aaah's and 'oooh's."

Hit Music "Peter Gunn" (1986) by The Art of Noise with Duane Eddy,
"Money Money Money" (1976) by ABBA, and
"Careless Whisper" (1984) by Wham! (featuring George Michael)
Neil: "We were in a New York club, The Pyramid, and they were playing The Art Of Noise version of 'Peter Gunn' and I found myself singing 'hit music—on the radio' to it in the taxi on the way home.… And the 'I've been working hard all day to pay the bills I have to pay' line is a complete nick from the ABBA song, 'Money Money Money.'"

Neil: "The half-tempo portion at the end was intended to be similar to 'Careless Whisper' by Wham!"

Hold On "Up, Up, and Away" (1967) by The Fifth Dimension and
"We Are the World" (1985) by USA for Africa
Neil: "Some of the backing vocals on [Elysium] were influenced by [Jimmy Webb's] 'Up, Up, and Away.' That's a direct LA influence.… On 'Hold On,' we got all the singers on the album to appear on it together."

Neil: "We love 'We Are the World' in a way that we don't love 'Do They Know It's Chrismas?'…."

Chris: "In the end we sent Andrew [Dawson] the note: 'It should sound like 'We Are the World.'"

How Can You Expect to Be Taken Seriously? "Every Little Step" (1989) by Bobby Brown
Neil: "In 1990 Bobby Brown was very popular, particularly the song 'Every Little Step'.… So we decided to do a swingbeat song."

I Didn't Get Where I Am Today "Father's Name Is Dad" (1968) by Fire and
"(Theme from) The Monkees" (1966) by The Monkees

Neil: "We… then started working on 'I Didn't Get Where I Am Today,' adding a sample from an old sixties song called 'Father's Name Was Dad' [sic] off a psychedelic compilation I had. We discovered it was in the same key, so we started to rework the song with that in it."

Chris: "'Hey hey hey'! Are we the Monkees?"

Neil: "That's totally the Monkees. Nobody's denying that."

I Don't Know What You Want But I Can't Give It Any More "Barbie Girl" (1997) by Aqua
Neil: "Chris said, 'Right, if Barbie's a hit, why don't we write one about Action Man?' Instead, I sang the 'don't know what you want' bit in the middle and near the end."

I Don't Wanna "Dancefloor" (2018) by Tracey Thorn

Chris: "I really liked that song by Tracey Thorn, 'Dancefloor.' I went home inspired by that piece of music and wrote a piece of music called 'Rewind' [which evolved into 'I Don't Wanna']."

Neil: "The funny thing about that Tracey Thorn song is that 'Dancefloor' was inspired by our song 'Vocal.'"

Chris: "So there you go—it just goes round in circles."

I Get Along "I Get Along Without You Very Well" (1939) by Hoagy Carmichael* and "Most of the Time" (1989) by Bob Dylan
  Neil: "It's actually exactly like the famous song 'I Get Along Without You Very Well,' Hoagy Carmichael, or like the Bob Dylan song 'Most Of The Time.'"
*Carmichael was the composer of "I Get Along Without You Very Well," which has been recorded so many times by so many artists that it's virtually impossible to single out a specific rendition as having influenced "I Get Along" without the Boys themselves having done so. But since Carmichael often performed his own songs, it's not unreasonable to list him here as the performer.
I Want to Wake Up "Temptation" (1982) by New Order
  Neil: "The 'oooo-oooo-ooo-ooo-ooo's are a complete New Order rip-off, from 'Everything's Gone Green,' I think."
Note: Neil's expression of uncertainty was well-founded. There aren't any "oooo-oooo's" in "Everything's Gone Green," but they're very prominent in the follow-up New Order single, "Temptation." So "Temptation" is almost certainly the song that actually provided the influence.
I'm Not Scared "Voyage Voyage" (1986) by Desireless and
"Irresistible" (1986) by Stéphanie (Princess Stéphanie of Monaco)
Neil: "We kept hearing this record ['Voyage Voyage'] in Europe and we didn't know what it was for ages.… When we made 'I'm Not Scared' with Patsy Kensit we wanted to make the same sort of record."

Neil: "Chris and I were obsessed at the time by this record Princess Stéphanie had made, 'Irresistible.' We liked that kind of French pop music and we liked the idea of making Patsy a European pop star."

In His Imagination "I Started a Joke" (1968) by the Bee Gees
Neil: "Not wanting to waste anything, we had Chris's original programming for 'I Started a Joke' and we wrote this song over it."

Chris: "The idea had been to take 'I Started a Joke' and do it Italo but sadly it didn't work."

Neil: "But it gave us this, which is a lovely song."

In the Night "Goo Goo Barabajagal (Love Is Hot)" (1969) by Donovan
Neil: "When I sang it, I tried to sound like Donovan, because I was thinking of a Donovan song, 'Goo Goo Barabajagal.' Although he was a hippie he had a rather cool way of singing."

In Private "I Don't Want to Hear It Anymore" (1969) by Dusty Springfield
Neil: "Dusty knew that we loved the track on Dusty in Memphis 'I Don't Want to Hear It Anymore,' which is monumentally brilliant.… You get the gossiping whispered by the backing singers.… And Dusty said, 'If you like that, why don't we do it on 'In Private'?"

Inside "Beautiful" (2002) by Christina Aguilera
Neil: "If one was brutally honest, it's pretty much a rewrite of that Christina Aguilera song."

Inside a Dream "What's Going On" (1971) by Marvin Gaye
Neil: "I sang this tune with William Blake's words, and then we did our Marvin Gaye thing—as in 'What's Going On'—where you sing a countermelody to the main melody."

Integral "Amerika" (2004) by Rammstein
Neil: "It actually has an influence from Rammstein…. It reminds me a bit of Rammstein’s song, 'Amerika'."

Invisible "Say You Will" (2008) by Kanye West and
"Win" (1975) by David Bowie
Neil: "I really liked Kanye West’s album 808s & Heartbreak, particularly the first track ['Say You Will']. When we were writing the song 'Invisible' it somehow made [us] think of that album."

Neil: "And in putting the lyrics over the music I was also personally thinking a bit of the Young Americans album by David Bowie, particularly those songs like 'Win' where the backing vocalists answer the lead vocals."

It Always Comes as a Surprise "Corcovado (Quiet Nights Of Quiet Stars)" (1964) by Astrud Gilberto and Stan Getz
Neil: "It starts off with a sample from Astrud Gilberto's 'Corcovado'…. After the middle bit, which goes down chromatically, you get a cool sax solo. It's so like Stan Getz."

It Couldn't Happen Here "Forecast" (1983/99*) by Ennio Morricone (vocals by Blizzard)
Neil: "… Ennio Morricone… said he'd write a song with us. They sent over this song in Italian which sounded like David Bowie in about 1970. It was a funny song about a man building an ark. We liked the tune of the chorus, so we took the tune of the chorus and wrote a new verse, and that was what became 'It Couldn't Happen Here.'"
*Note: There's actually some uncertainty about the precise history of this song. It—or at least some Morricone-composed music that eventually evolved into "Forecast"—was apparently composed for the 1983 film Le Marginal, but wasn't used in the final cut. It remained unreleased (and possibly, as Neil has suggested, "unfinished") until 1999, when it finally appeared as the song "Forecast" by Blizzard on a Morricone compilation CD. Just as Neil described it, it's quite Bowie-esque and has lyrics that involve building an ark. So it would seem that "It Couldn't Happen Here" was indeed partly influenced by "Forecast," despite the fact that "Forecast" wasn't officially released until after "It Couldn't Happen Here."
Jack the Lad "E=MC²" (1985) by Big Audio Dynamite
Neil: "The idea of calling a song 'Jack the lad' came from Big Audio Dynamite, whose song 'E=MC²' had a very similar chord change to 'West End girls.' On 'E=MC²' there's a sample from the film Performance which says, 'Who do you think you are–Jack the lad?'"

Jealousy "You're a Lady" (1972) by Peter Skellern
Chris: "… I sat down at the piano and this just came out. It was probably meant to be a bit like that big ballad in the seventies, 'You're a Lady' by Peter Skellern—'You're a lady, I'm a man'—which was very popular with the Lowe family."

Left to My Own Devices "A Day in the Life" (1967) by the Beatles
Neil: "I've always liked big orchestral pop music. I've always liked Phil Spector's records, and the big Beatles records like 'A Day in the Life' and 'I Am the Walrus',…. ['Left to My Own Devices'] is a day in the life of someone…."

Legacy "Bitter-Sweet" (1974) by Roxy Music
Neil: "I was thinking Roxy Music would have had a waltz. There's a Roxy Music track ['Bitter-Sweet'] on their fourth album. I just thought it was a fantastically pretentious thing to do—go into a waltz and then sing it in French."

A Little Black Dress "Get It On" (1971) by T.Rex
Neil: "We wrote a new song using a sample from T.Rex's 'Get It On.' It's called 'Little Black Dress.'"

Love etc. "Can't Buy Me Love" (1964) and
"All You Need Is Love" (1967), both by the Beatles
Neil: "It's actually saying all you need is love and money can't buy me love. It's a return to the Beatles, and I think that's an appropriate sentiment for where the world is at the moment."

Losing My Mind "Physical" (1981) by Olivia Newton-John
Neil: "Chris came up with the riff that sounds a little bit like 'Physical.'"

Love Is a Catastrophe "Everybody Hurts" (1992) by R.E.M.
Chris: "I wanted to write a song in 6/8 time, something like an R.E.M. 'Everybody Hurts' kind of thing. So it's in 6/8…. "

Luna Park "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" (1967) by the Beatles
Chris: "The reason it sounds like a fairground ride is because I thought it could sound like 'Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.'"

My October Symphony "What's Going On" (1971) by Marvin Gaye (again)
Neil: "We had a copy of Marvin Gaye's 'What's Going On?' in the studio—we always have a point in the album where we say, 'Let's make it like Marvin Gaye,' We realised there was something really good about having two voices doing different things at the same time…."

Nightlife "Night Fever" (1978) by the Bee Gees
Chris: "It's 'Night Fever'! I can tell you, there's 'Night Fever' in there."

Neil: "…it's definitely got something of 'Night Fever' about it."

One More Chance "Love Can't Turn Around " (1986) by Farley "Jackmaster" Funk & Jesse Saunders featuring Darryl Pandy
Neil: "House music had a hit, I think the first hit, 'Love Can't Turn Around'…. And in 1987, our album Actually, the first track 'One More Chance' has got a kind of house piano thing—it starts with that."

The Only One "Born Slippy" (1995) by Underworld
Chris: "Well, the chords for it, were nicked. From, um… 'Born Slippy.'"

Neil: "Underworld."

Chris: "In fact, originally they were just sampled. Then they've eventually got replaced, you can't tell now. Hopefully. They're only three chords, bloody good ones though."

Opportunities (Let's Make Lots of Money) "Shoot Your Shot" (1983) by Divine and
"Lonely Days" (1970) by the Bee Gees
Neil: "[Chris] was playing the three chords—C minor, E flat, B flat, which was like Bobby O's 'Shoot Your Shot' for Divine."

A "second-hand acknowledgment" by PSB as reported by author/musician Bob Stanley in his 2023 book Bee Gees: Children of the World (p. 314):
"A chance meeting with the Pet Shop Boys found the duo happy to admit to the Gibbs that their 1985 single 'Opportunities (Let's Make Lots of Money)' had owed a strong debt to 'Lonely Days (Where Would I Be Without My Woman?)'."

Paninaro "Tarzan Boy" (1985) by Baltimora
Neil: "We wrote it because you could go 'woh, woh, woh.' We were obsessed with songs that had 'woh, woh, woh' in them. Remember 'Tarzan Boy' by Baltimora?"

Party Song "Smells Like Teen Spirit" (1991) by Nirvana
Neil: "'Party Song' was based, on its inception, on Nirvana's 'Smells Like Teen Spirit.'"

The Performance of My Life "I'm Still Here" (1971) by Stephen Sondheim / Yvonne De Carlo
Neil: "There's the famous Stephen Sondheim song, 'I'm Still Here,' and this is the same kind of concept: she's looking back through her life."

Positive Role Model "You're My First, My Last, My Everything" (1974) by Barry White
Chris: "The demo we'd done in England started off with a Barry White sample from 'You're My First, My Last, My Everything,' which I took off the Barry White Greatest Hits CD. The idea was that it was like punk electro disco."

Rent "I Like Chopin" (1983) by Gazebo
Neil: "We were very into Italian disco—there was this record I'd been sent at Smash Hits called 'I Love Chopin' [sic] by Gazebo and it was meant to sound a bit like that, though it never did."

Say It to Me "Our Love" and "Can't Do Without You" (both 2014) by Caribou
Neil: "We really liked the last album by Caribou. Chris liked 'Our Love' and I liked 'Can't Do Without You,' and we were talking about it, and Chris said, 'Can't you just come up witha phrase that you can repeat like Caribou do? And I came up with 'Say it to me.'"

Se A Vida É (That's the Way Life Is) "Estrada Da Paixão" (1994) by Olodum
Neil: "I bought an album by the group Olodum in São Paulo in December 1994 when we were on tour, and I was flicking through the tracks in the studio, listening through to drum sounds for samples, and I liked the bit of this song, 'Estrada Da Paixão' where it went 'Se a vida é,' so I started to do my own version of it."

Shopping "Word Up" (1986) by Cameo and
"Passion" (1982) by The Flirts (produced by Bobby 'O')
Neil: "Chris and I loved 'Word Up' by Cameo, so we decided to write something in the style of Cameo."

Chris: "It was like 'P-A-S-S-I-O-N'; 'Passion' by Bobby 'O'."

Shouting in the Evening "Dancing on the Ceiling" (1986) by Lionel Richie
Neil: "The lyric is actually really taken from Lionel Richie ‘Dancing on the Ceiling’—'Oh, what a feeling/shouting in the evening.' No really, it’s 'Oh, what a feeling/When you’re dancing on the ceiling.'"

Single "The Look of Love" (1981) by ABC and
"Love Action (I Believe in Love)" (1981) by The Human League
Neil: "I've always wanted to mention my name in a song, ever since Martin Fry did, in 'The Look Of Love': 'and then my friends just might ask me, they say, "Martin, maybe one day you'll find true love…"' In this you get 'Perdóneme, me llamo Neil.'"

Neil: "The Human League had one at the same time, 'Love Action'—'this is Phil calling.' I wanted to have one where I said 'this is Neil talking.'"

The Sodom and Gomorrah Show "Mr. Brightside (Thin White Duke Remix)" (2004) by The Killers
Neil: "We very much liked [Stuart Price's] Thin White Duke mix of 'Mr. Brightside' by The Killers. In fact, when we were working on 'The Sodom and Gomorrah Show' with Trevor Horn, we kept playing it to Trevor—it actually had some influence on that track."

Somebody Else's Business "Behind a Painted Smile" (1969) by the Isley Brothers
Chris: "I remember writing it, taking the Isley Brothers sample, just the first two chords of 'Behind a Painted Smile.' I would always leave them in but Neil would always rather take them out."

Neil: "…we ended up taking the sample out."

Suburbia "Into the Groove" (1985) by Madonna and
"Axel F" (1985) by Harold Faltermeyer
Chris: "The inspiration was 'Into the Groove,' the bassline. It's virtually the same.…"

Neil: ".…and the high keyboard sound is influenced by 'Axel F,' which was a hit at the same time."

This Must Be the Place I Waited Years to Leave "Jack Your Body" (1986) by Steve "Silk" Hurley and
"Wonderful Land" (1962) by The Shadows
Chris: "The rhythm [of the vocoder part] was from 'Jack Your Body.'"

Neil: "At the time it had been intimated to us that we might be asked to write the theme song for the James Bond film, The Living Daylights, so as a musical exercise we decided to write something that sounded, in our opinion, like a James Bond theme. That's why you have the guitar at the start, which is a Stratocaster sample I'm playing. It has my trademark pitch-bend at the end. I love twang. I've always liked twang. Since I was a child and we used to go to the Royalty cinema in Gosforth for children's matinees and they used to play 'Wonderful Land' by the The Shadows, a track that can still bring tears to my eyes. I've always loved twang guitar."

Thursday "Ladies Night" (1979) by Kool & the Gang
Chris: "We also thought about what Kool & the Gang might do at one point. That led to, 'It's Thursday night/Let's get it right.' Like 'Ladies Night.'" Because once we realized it was a party record, it was 'What would Kool & the Gang do in this situation?"

Together "As Sete Mulheres Do Minho" (1979) by José Afonso*

Neil : "There was one bloke with a guitar singing [in a bar in Porto, Portugal], and then there were a whole group of people around him and they all joined in the chorus. There was nothing exceptional about it except that they played one song and it was really good.… The song was called 'As Sete Mulheres Do Minho.'… [In addition to influencing the bass line of 'Together'] It was also a lyrical inspiration… in that the Portuguese song was originally written a long time ago—I think over a hundred years ago—as a revolutionary song.… It had a heroic feel to it, and so the idea of 'together we'll go all the way' was partly thinking of a revolutionary kind of thing."

*It's not absolutely certain that the Boys were influenced by Afonso's rendition in particular of this Portuguese folk song. But Neil noted that he purchased a recording of the song on iTunes, and Afonso's version is the best-known, most popular folk/pop recording. It is available on iTunes, so it's quite likely that this was indeed the recording that partly influenced "Together" as described by Neil. An audio comparison of the tracks does reveal a similarity in the bass lines as well as in rhythm and 3/4 time-signature.

The Truck-Driver and His Mate "Some Might Say" (1995) by Oasis
  Chris: "The music was a complete rip-off of Oasis. 'Some Might Say,' possibly. That's where it started, anyway."

Neil: "The chord change comes from 'Some Might Say.'… That guitar break where they go, 'uh uh uh uh.'"

Twenty-something "Panamiur" (2010) by Arcángel feat. Daddy Yankee
  Chris: My favorite Reggaeton record is this one ['Panamiur']…. And so we had a sort of little go into Reggaeton, bandwagon-jumping in a way."

Vocal "Promised Land" (1987) by Joe Smooth and
"Music Sounds Better with You" (1998) by Stardust
  Neil: "I was thinking of that period of music like ‘Promised Land,' which Chris is particularly fond of."

Neil: "…[W]e were somewhere during the era when ‘Music Sounds Better with You’ was out…. you couldn’t get enough of that record at the time. I remember looking around and everyone was just so happy. Also with ‘Vocal,' while I didn’t do the rave thing in 1988 and 1989, Chris saw the light then and I was thinking of that from his perspective."

Vulnerable "Voyage Voyage" (1986) by Desireless (again)
Neil: "I liked this song because I always felt it sounded very French, a bit like 'Voyage Voyage' or something."

Was It Worth It? "Ride on Time" (1989) by Black Box
Neil: "Steve Anderson of Brothers Of [sic] Rhythm put down the piano part, which is pretty much like 'Ride On Time,' on it. I said, 'Isn't that a bit too much like 'Ride On Time'? but then realised that's what DJ culture is all about. It's just a rhythm part, anyway."

West End Girls "The Message" (1982) by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five and
"Billie Jean" (1982) by Michael Jackson
Neil: "'West End Girls' started off as a rap I'd written which was completely inspired by 'The Message' by Grandmaster Flash, which was released in 1982."

Neil: "We arrived in the studio and Bobby O had programmed Michael Jackson's 'Billie Jean' drum pattern. Chris started to play along and I started playing chords. In terms of the lyrics, the inspiration for 'West End Girls' came from 'The Message' by Grandmaster Flash."

What Are We Going to Do About the Rich? "All You Need Is Love" (1967) by the Beatles
Chris: "I thought the phrasing of 'What are we going to do about the rich?' was sort of John Lennon's phrasing."

Neil: "It is. It's 'There's nothing you can do that can't be done'—'All You Need Is Love.'"

Where the Streets Have No Name
(I Can't Take My Eyes Off You)
"Legs" and "Sharp Dressed Man" (both 1983) by ZZ Top
Neil: "The extended mix really sounds like ZZ Top, I think. When I went to America to work for the American version of Smash Hits I heard ZZ Top for the first time, and there were two of their songs I particularly liked, 'Sharp Dressed Man' and 'Legs.' I loved the combination of electric guitars and drum machines.… And I think this sounds a little bit like that."

Winner "The Greatest Day" (2008) by Take That and
"We Are the Champions" (1977) by Queen
Neil: "We were inspired by Take That's 'Greatest Day' during our tour together and thought we should write a mid-tempo anthem."

Neil: "We were talking about anthems in our hotel in Manchester. We were discussing 'We Are the Champions' by Queen—and I’ve always hated the line 'No time for losers.'"

Why Don't We Live Together? "Into the Groove " (1985) by Madonna
  Neil: "We were being a bit like 'Into the Groove' again."*
*It should be noted that the Boys wrote and first recorded "Why Don't We Live Together?" before the release of the Madonna track, but given the timing of the release of "Into the Groove" (July 1985) and the release of Please (March 1986), for which PSB rerecorded the song, it's possible that the Madonna song influenced its final arrangement and production. In the same interview in which Neil made the above statement, Chris immediately countered what Neil had said, suggesting that "Into the Groove" had not been a "specific" influence on "Why Don't We Live Together?" adding, "We were being New York." So in light of these facts, we might take this particular acknowledgment of influence with the proverbial grain of salt.

I should also note that Neil has said that his "Disappointed" collaboration with Electronic, though not really a "Pet Shop Boys song" (only Neil was involved), was influenced by "Désenchantée" by Mylène Farmer. Another "quasi-PSB" track, the Closer to Heaven number "Out of My System," was influenced by "Try Again" by Aaliyah.

I'm especially indebted to the Pet Shop Boys Discography website as the source for many (though not all) of the verifying quotations used on this page.