"Documented" officially unreleased songs written by the Pet Shop Boys

The following titles have been mentioned in various places (most notably at the official PSB website and in their fan club publication Literally, the two main sources of the information that follows) as songs that Chris and Neil have written but haven't yet completed and/or formally released. In some cases they're early titles for songs eventually released under a different title, included here just to "cover the bases" since such titles are sometimes cited as unreleased tracks. I don't, however, include songs written by others that the Boys have recorded in unreleased cover versions, such as "Homosexuality" and "So Long, Farewell."

If I've heard the song and am familiar enough with it to offer detailed commentary, a link is provided to its entry in the "Unreleased Tracks" section of this website. Otherwise, I offer just a few lines of what little I know about it from what I have read or have learned from others.

An early and "quite funny" song ("totally camp nonsense" according to Neil) that hasn't yet been completed. The Boys wrote it around the same time they recorded "Love Comes Quickly." It includes the line "Then you caught me there within your snare, you beautiful beast." Their former manager Tom Watkins even mentions it in his 2016 memoir Let's Make Lots of Money (we all know, of course, where he got that title), where he cites an incident circa 1984-85 in which "Neil and Chris were driving around in Dave Ambrose's car, playing him a couple of new songs they'd written. Dave liked 'Beautiful Beast', a campy travesty the world was never to hear." (Ambrose was an A&R man for EMI who signed the Boys to Parlophone in early 1985.)

Almost nothing is known about this track aside from the fact that Neil and Chris wrote it in April 1998 and that, in Neil's words, it "was meant to sound like Air" (a somewhat arty French synth duo). A supposed demo instrumental version has been floating around on the Internet for years, but from all indications that track is not by the Pet Shop Boys. Another alleged demo identified as "Before My Time" surfaced in late 2009, but it turned out actually to be the instrumental track for the 1986 release "Innocent Love" by the German singer Sandra.*

*I'm both fascinated and repulsed by the fact that somebody at some point must have made the conscious decision to take a recording that they knew full well wasn't by the Pet Shop Boys, attach the documented name of an unreleased Tennant-Lowe song, and then foist it off on others as an unreleased PSB demo. If they did it in an attempt to make money, it's certainly contemptible but at least understandable. But if they did it with no profit motive in mind but simply to derive some sort of perverse pleasure over having deceived other people, then that seems almost incomprehensible. In fact, it makes sense to me only if I think of it as an expression of pure, naked evil, albeit of a remarkably petty nature—sort of a mosquito Hitler.

Little is known about this track except that it apparently stems from the Nightlife period and, according to Neil, "starts off with something like Elgar and was intended by Chris to sound like Divine."

This track eventually became "Love Life."

Virtually nothing is known about this reported track, although it seems extremely likely that it's an early version of the song that became "Casanova in Hell."

This song was reportedly "written around the time [the Boys] were still trying to rip-off the group Air's sound."

A lyric that Neil had written around 2007, possibly never set to music—that is, not until he and Chris decided to use at least part of it as new lyrics for their "Possibly More Mix" of "Did You See Me Coming?"

Virtually no information has been released about this track aside from its simple yet cryptic title and the fact that the Boys apparently wrote it in the late 1990s.

The original title of the song that appeared on the album Release as "Here." It was written for their musical Closer to Heaven but dropped. "Home" actually seems like a better title than "Here," but Neil and Chris probably made the change on account of the inclusion of the song "Home and Dry" on Release as well.

Probably written solely by Chris, this was to have been another recording with Ian Wright, a follow-up to "Do the Right Thing." But it was never completed.

The Boys started work on this song in the mid- or late eighties, around the same time as "It's a Sin," but apparently haven't yet finished it. But they like it well enough (it's "a funny, catchy one") that they haven't given up on the prospect of finalizing and recording it. By his own admission, Neil is especially keen on completing and releasing it at some point, often suggesting that they do so.

Chris and Neil worked on this song in December 2000. Neil has described it as "really good track but it's only half-finished."

A track dating back to the eighties, described as "elegiac but danceable" with "a really gorgeous tune." It was at one time a serious candidate for inclusion on Behaviour. The Boys decided against finishing it in its original form, however, because it employed a "list of famous names" device, but Madonna then beat them to the punch with "Vogue." Neil has stated that it subsequently "turned into" "A Red Letter Day."

The "placeholder title" for an early version of "KDX 125," recorded as a demo in 1992.

First recorded in Glasgow as a demo while the Boys were writing songs in 1989-90 for Behaviour. Chris and Neil worked some more on it several years later during the Bilingual sessions, but as of November 2003 (when Neil answered a fan question about it on the official website) they still hadn't finished it. "But," Neil added, "we probably will one day." On another occasion he described it as "a rock song" and said that he has always imagined Canadian rocker Bryan Adams singing it. Included among the lyrics are the lines "Now you know the score / That all is fair in love and war / And this is a war.” They've thought well enough of its prospects to go ahead and register it with BMI.

Co-written and recorded with David Morales in 1998 during the Nightlife sessions, using the same backup singers as "New York City Boy," a song with this title is registered with BMI.

Reportedly somewhat in the style of Massive Attack, this track has been described by the Boys as having "really nice string bit and such a loose feel that you don't want to do anything with it to spoil it." Their first attempt to record it was in April 1995, but it apparently remains unfinished to this day.

Chris and Neil wrote this for their musical Closer to Heaven but decided against using it. It was meant primarily to help the audience get to know the character Vic a little better.

An instrumental written by Chris in January 2008. He titled it "Moronic" because, in his own words, "it is." It eventually evolved into "The Grind," an early segment of The Most Incredible Thing. As Chris said in the July 2009 issue of Literally, "It worked because it's during the daily grind of everyone's existence in this town [the setting of the ballet's storyline], so the moronic quality fitted the daily drudge."

An instrumental composed by Chris in his Munich hotel room (hence the title) during the Boys' 2011 tour with Take That. A few years later, he and Neil decided to use it as the musical foundation for the song that became "The Pop Kids."

Party written in 2007 as a possible submission to Madonna. The Boys worked on it some more in April 2008, but as late as 2017 it has remained unfinished. They seem to think quite highly of it, however, so chances are good that they'll complete it at some point. It includes a reference to "sex [sic] o'clock in America" as well as the lines:

I used to have a boyfriend
He used to have a girlfriend
Nobody ever understood
My side of the story

Primarily a "Chris track" in a swingbeat style—apparently Chris sings lead in the verses, though Neil sings the chorus—this was recorded during the Nightlife sessions. Originally titled "Get Up On It," it took George Michael's "Fastlove" phrase "Gotta get up to get down" and reversed it, stating "You've got to get down to get up." But the Boys never got around to finishing it. Although they had considered releasing it as a bonus track with the 2017 reissue of Nightlife, Chris vetoed its inclusion. But he decided that he liked the chorus enough to repurpose it for their Super track "Burn."

Apparently also from the Nightlife sessions, little is known about this track aside from its wonderfully salacious title.

"A quick dance track" that Chris worked on in November 2000, during the Release sessions. (It's possible, however, that this is not a PSB original but rather a cover of an old Gamble-Huff song recorded by Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes back in 1973.)

A still incomplete track, with only this working title derived from the fact that it's written in 7/4 time. Not much else is known about it, but it's almost certainly not a "dance track." (Have you ever tried to dance to music in 7/4 time?) Could this, however, be an ancestor of one of the tracks in their Battleship Potemkin film score ("Comrades!" and "Odessa") written in seven-time?

An early version of "To Step Aside."

This rather scandalous track written by Neil and Chris in the late 1990s allegedly concerns "telegram deliverers supplementing income as rent boys." It's unknown whether it has anything to do (except perhaps as an initial inspiration) with the infamous 1889 Cleveland Street scandal that rocked Victorian London, in which male prostitutes, working as telegraph messengers, were discovered to be providing "illicit services" to aristocratic clients, some of them with government connections. Given Neil's penchant for history, however, it wouldn't be all that surprising.

Apparently an early title for the brief track on Please that ultimately was released as "Opportunities (Reprise)."

Though sharing a title with the classic Lambert, Hendricks, & Ross jazz-vocal song from the 1950s (later famously covered by Joni Mitchell), this is instead a PSB original composed by Chris in late January 2015. It sounds as though it's still an instrumental for which Neil hasn't yet supplied any lyrics.

The Boys reportedly wrote this in 1998 with a view toward offering it to Robbie Williams, but never finished it. They resurrected it in January 2005, at which time it began to evolve into "Fugitive."

An early title for the song that became "Building a Wall."

PSB apparently worked on this song with co-producer Andrew Dawson during the sessions for Elysium, but either they didn't finish it or they simply decided against including it on the album. Neil described it on two separate occasions as "a folk song about being gay in the 'eighties" and "a folk song about Clause 28." (Clause 28 was an extremely controversial law enacted in Britain in 1988, repealed in 2000, that outlawed the "promotion" of homosexuality in schools.)

BMI records list a song by this title composed by Neil and Chris, but no other information is available about it at this time.

Neil considers this "the worst song he's ever written." As such, it may never come to light, although the Boys felt enough about it to have it copyrighted, perhaps because Neil conceded that "it's got a good middle bit."

BMI records list a song by this title as a songwriting collaboration between Tennant, Lowe, Chris Zippel, and Clarence Bouse. Zippel of course is a German producer/mixer who has worked with the Boys on several tracks, including "London" and "Positive Role Model," among a few others. Meanwhile, the only likely Clarence Bouse I've been able to locate is a U.S.-born but Russia-based singer-songwriter who has a few minor releases to his credit.

Written in January 2008 from the point of view of their late friend and associate Dainton Connell about his wife Mandy. Neil writes in his diary that he "can imagine Suggs [the vocalist for Madness] singing it."

This track apparently sounds, as Neil once described it, "a bit like Madness and a bit like The Walker Brothers." He and Chris worked on it in 1994 but apparently haven't gotten around to finishing it.

Plus a set of five brief unreleased "radio jingles" that Chris and Neil specially recorded on November 30, 2021 for their Boxing Day (December 26) evening "takeover" of BBC Radio 2 (which was actually pre-recorded on December 13):

In addition, here are the titles of a few other unreleased tracks that have been reported by various other fansites (most notably Euphoric, So Pet Shop Boys, and the now seemingly defunct "Pet Shop Boys Reality") but about which I have no information whatsoever. If anyone can provide any details regarding these songs,

There's also an unusual "special case" that I would be remiss to ignore –

Finally, here are the titles of several songs written solely by Neil before he met Chris: