Writers - Bernstein/Sondheim
First released - 1997
Original album - Bilingual 2001 reissue Further Listening 1995-1997 bonus disc
Producer - Pet Shop Boys, Trouser Enthusiasts
Subsequent albums - PopArt, Smash
Other releases - single (UK #9, US #125, US Dance Sales #19)

This classic song, written by Leonard Bernstein (music) and Stephen Sondheim (lyrics) for the musical West Side Story, had been more or less adopted by the gay rights movement even before the Pet Shop Boys got their hands on it. (It has long been a staple of gay chorus repertoires.) One need only consider the gist of the lyrics, reflective of the musical's Romeo and Juliet plot of forbidden love, to understand why: "There's a place for us, somewhere a place for us."

In their 1997 version (the "single" as opposed to its various mixes and remixes), Neil and Chris give it the real everything-but-the-kitchen-sink treatment, combining a full orchestral score (arranged and conducted by Richard Niles) with a synth-heavy techno track and a host of samples from the film version of West Side Story as well as the much later movie Menace II Society. In fact, it comes dangerously close to being over-produced. Was it because the implicit subject matter was so close to the Boys' hearts, or because they simply allowed themselves to get caught up in the spirit of the original musical-theater setting—or both? Neil called it "the definitive version, I'm afraid," but he was almost certainly speaking tongue-in-cheek.

Two other songs from the same musical make "guest appearances," so to speak: near the end Neil sings a bit of "I Feel Pretty"—its inclusion a decidedly camp touch—and the Extended Mix also features Chris reciting lyrics from "One Hand, One Heart."



Officially released

List cross-references