One Hit Wonder

Writers - Tennant/Lowe
First released - 2016 (but first heard online in 2015)
Original album - (none)
Producer - Pet Shop Boys
Subsequent albums - (none)
Other releases - bonus track with the single "The Pop Kids"

The Pet Shop Boys composed and performed this opening and closing theme music for the German web-TV music show The One-Hit Parade. It made its debut during the first episode of the show's second season in early 2015. Just over 30 seconds long in this original usage, a full-length version was later released as a bonus track with the single "The Pop Kids." The Boys have stated that they recorded it in late 2014 but that it's actually based on one of their first compositions together, an instrumental they wrote way back in 1981.

"One Hit Wonder" is a fairly simple, upbeat synthpop piece—in essence an instrumental, although Neil sings the melody line using "Ta-da-da" syllables. It comes across as blatantly and almost self-consciously lightweight in nature. Clearly the Boys felt that lyrics weren't really necessary and that they might even get in the way of its euphoric simplicity. Referring to its 1981 origins, Neil has said that "it's contemporary with early Depeche Mode. And in choosing the sounds we tried to keep that quality."

In short, it's a slice of pure pop that neither aspires nor pretends to be anything else. And isn't that precisely what one-hit wonders very often are?

List cross-references