I Get Along

Writers - Tennant/Lowe
First released - 2002
Original album - Release
Producer - Pet Shop Boys
Subsequent albums - PopArt, Smash
Other releases - single (UK #18)

From its opening notes on the piano, this song sounds like nothing else the Boys have released. (Then again, you can say that about most of the tracks on this album, can't you?) Somewhat Beatlesque in flavor (note the french horns, fade-out strings, and occasional "preverb" effect—a marvelously rich production), "I Get Along" might as well have been written and recorded in the late 1960s or early '70s. Other writers have pointed out the likely influence of Oasis, although how much of that simply reflects Oasis's own stylistic debt to the Beatles is open to speculation. Its midtempo soft rock beat—often wildly syncopated, the emphasis shifting from measure to measure—gains a harder edge during the chorus, backed by "power chords" on electric guitar. (It practically begs for a live audience singalong.)

Thematically this is a not-quite-bitter post-breakup song in which the narrator affirms, "I get along without you very well." He confesses that he was as much to blame for the breakup as his erstwhile partner, and he tries hard not to hold a grudge. But it's there nonetheless. That's why he so strongly insists that he's getting along "very well" despite his admitted difficulty sometimes holding back the tears. He's whistling in the darkness of failed love, and he's doing his damnedest to make sure that his former lover feels every bit as much regret as he himself does.

As a fascinating sidenote, Neil told journalist Alexis Petridis of the Guardian that this lyric was inspired by British Prime Minister Tony Blair's firing of cabinet member and close friend Peter Mandelson over questionable activities, effectively turning that incident into a real-life metaphor for "regretful love." And one other thing: an email corresondent has suggested that this song could be interpreted as commentary by the Boys regarding their comparative lack of success in the United States—a kiss-off to a former lover (they did enjoy early U.S. success, after all) without whom they can "get along very well," thank you very much. I can't say that I agree with that interpretation, but you can't deny that it works. As it turned out, "I Get Along" was the second single from Release and quickly became a fan favorite. But, unique among all PSB singles, it has no officially released remixes whatsoever.



Officially released

List cross-references