What's New? – Recent Updates & Additions

June 24, 2022

PSB News

The Pet Shop Boys' official website has posted a link to a recording of Zoe Ball's BBC 2 Radio show today, which includes a brief interview with Neil and Chris. Among the things they discussed were hat they wrote "a ton of new songs" during the pandemic lockdown—at least two albums' worth, as Neil observed—and a new musical titled Naked based on the famous Hans Christian Andersen tale "The Emperor's New Clothes." They had originally envisioned it as a ballet like their previous Andersen adaptation The Most Incredible Thing, but it evolved into a full-fledged musical with lyrics and singing. It's still very much in the preliminary planning stages, however, one of its challenges (according to Neil, though perhaps facetiously) being to find singing actors who are willing to appear naked onstage. Chris also shared an amusing anecdote involving Paul McCartney that I've decided to add to my list of "PSB-Beatles connections" on my page devoted to my other favorite artists. Thanks, incidentally, to Simon from Newcastle for sharing with me some information about this interview even before I heard it for myself.

June 23, 2022

Mixes / Versions

Thanks to Adris for letting me know that the "solo" version of "Purple Zone," featuring Soft Cell but not the Pet Shop Boys, is officially available on the vinyl edition of Soft Cell's album Happiness Not Included. (By contrast, the CD edition of the album does include the version featuring PSB.) I've made the appropriate updates on my page devoted to that song.

June 22, 2022

PSB Tours

Thanks so much to Tas (whom I've just now added to my Thank You page) for catching a couple of errors on my Pet Shop Boys Tours page, which arose from my having confused a couple of their concerts performed in February and March of 2002. This includes my having overlooked their show at the Astoria in London on February 14 of that year and misdated their concert at London's BBC Radio Theatre in March. I've now made the necessary corrections.

June 20, 2022

PSB News

In case you've mised it, the official Pet Shop Boys online shop is now allowing you to pre-order Dreamworld Tour merchandise. Since I won't be able to see them on tour this time around, I've just now placed my own order for the official tour program.

June 13, 2022

A World of PSB Fans

The Flag Counter routine on my home page has just recorded my first-ever page-hit from the island nation of Madagascar. So I've made note of this fact on my "A World of Pet Shop Boys Fans" page. And I extend a hearty welcome to my first Malagasy site visitor!

June 9, 2022

PSB Tours

Apparently the Pet Shop Boys' upcoming Dreamworld Tour show in Tallinn, Estonia, previously scheduled for June 13, has been cancelled on account of circumstances beyond their control, with no other details currently available. Hence, I've deleted that date from my PSB Tours page.

My PSB Dreams

Well, it happened again last night: I had another of my dreams about the Pet Shop Boys, this one obviously inspired by the fact that they're currently on tour. If you're interested in that sort of thing, I invite you to read about it on my page devoted to these products of my subconscious imagination.

June 6, 2022

Thanks

Having received his permission to do so, I've added Geoff T. to my Thank You page in recognition of his citation reminder to me yesterday (see below). Thanks again!

June 5, 2022

PSB Lists

Thanks to Mark Müller (whose name I've just added to my Thank You page) for pointing out that I had the year of release incorrect for Limahl's "The NeverEnding Story," which appears at #3 in my list of songs by other artists that have been mistakenly attributed to the Pet Shop Boys on Napster, YouTube, and elsewhere. I've now corrected it from 1985 to 1984, the correct year.

A remarkable update – In one of those truly weird bits of, I don't know, synchronicity, I happened to hear "The NeverEnding Story" on my car radio, playing as an "oldie," only about two hours after I posted the correction noted just above. It was the first time I had heard that song anywhere in well over a decade! Now, what are the odds of that happening?

I've Been Cited!

Thanks to Geoff T. for reminding me of something of which I was already aware but hadn't bothered mentioning here, when I suppose I should: that the Wikipedia article on the album Actually cites me in its very first paragraph. I've now made note of it on my "I've Been Cited!" page.

June 3, 2022

PSB Set Lists

I've learned that the Pet Shop Boys dropped several songs from their Dreamworld Tour setlist for their festival performance yesterday in Denmark. Perhaps this reflects an ongoing abbreviated "festival version" of the tour's setlist. That remains to be seen. Whatever the case, I've made the appropriate adjustments on my page devoted to songs that the Boys have performed live.

May 27, 2022

PSB Tours

The Pet Shop Boys' official website has just announced that, due to circumstances beyond their control, their Dreamworld Tour shows for Sofia, Bulgaria and Bucharest, Romania have been cancelled. I've therefore modified my PSB Tours page accordingly.

May 26, 2022

My Other Favorite Artists

It's been a "double whammy" learning a few minutes ago that members of two of my favorite bands have just passed away: Andy Fletcher of Depeche Mode and Alan White of Yes. Details are somewhat sketchy at this time. But I've accordingly updated my page devoted to my favorite artists other than the Pet Shop Boys, where I employ a star symbol to indicate deceased artists. Neil and Chris have posted on their website their condolences regarding Fletcher's passing.

May 23, 2022

Updates / Corrections

Thanks to Matteo for reminding me of something that I was aware of but which I have long neglected to mention here on my website: that "King of Rome," like "It Always Comes as a Surprise" before it, was released as a promo single in Brazil. I've updated my entry for the former song accordingly, including a low-resolution image of the rather generic promo single packaging.

Thanks also to Jeff Schapira for catching a typo, now corrected, in my new text for the Dreamworld tour program on my Pet Shop Boys Tour Programs page.

May 22, 2022

PSB Tour Programs

I've added an entry for the Dreamworld tour program to the bottom of my PSB Tour Programs page. And thanks to Simon from Newcastle for confirming for me the total number of pages, which I had been uncertain about.

PSB Lists

Based on a statement he makes about being a fan in the aforementioned Dreamworld tour program, I've added English theatrical designer Tom Scutt to my list of celebrity fans of the Pet Shop Boys outside of the field of music.

May 21, 2022

I've Been Cited!

Thanks so much to Julián Villella for letting me know that a review in today's online edition of The Guardian of last night's Pet Shop Boys concert in Manchester includes (without actually mentioning me or my website) a direct link to my list of my all-time favorite "sartorial statements" by Chris Lowe. I've now embedded this fact among the many other examples on my "I've Been Cited!" page.

Speaking of that particular page, thanks also to Raymond Merkh for catching and reporting two typos there that I've now corrected.

May 20, 2022

Guest Appearances

Wolfgang Tillman's single "Insanely Alive," featuring two Pet Shop Boys remixes, has just been released. In addition to being available on iTunes, Spotify, and Phonica, it's also available for your listening (and viewing) pleasure on YouTube. (The linked video offers the PSB Radio Edit. Their Maxi Mix is available on YouTube as well.)

May 19, 2022

PSB Lists

I've added "Ich bin Musik" to my list of Pet Shop Boys "singles" that weren't, although in this case it might be more accurate to call it a "Tennant-Lowe 'single' that wasn't."

Song Annotations

Thanks to Enrico Faggiano from Bologna, Italy (whom I've just added to my Thank You page) for offering yet another possible reason for Chris saying "Cinque" in "Paninaro" and "Paninaro '95"—that it may be a reference to the Italian television station Canale 5, which was especially popular among young people at the time. I've noted this possibility in an expansion on my pre-existing bullet-point annotation to "Paninaro" on this subject.

Updates / Corrections

Thanks to Andrea Grasso for alerting me to a couple of recent typos that I've now corrected: one in the aforementioned annotation to "Paninaro" and the other in my new "What Is Their 'Signature Song'?" page.

May 18, 2022

Thanks

Having received his permission to do so, I've now added David B to my Thank You page in recognition of his contribution of information yesterday (see just below). Thanks again, David!

May 17, 2022

Song Annotations

Thanks so much to David B for telling me about an anecdote from director Ken Russell's 1989 autobiography that may well have inspired a line in the Pet Shop Boys' song "I Wouldn't Normally Do This Kind of Thing." I've noted this in an expansion on the pre-existing first bullet-point annotation to my commentary on that song.

May 12, 2022

PSB Extras

In the mood for a little fun, I've created a brand new page in my "Extras" section titled "What Is Their 'Signature Song'?" While the question is a real one, I also don't take it very seriously, which is reflected in the somewhat playful tone that I've adopted there. I hope you enjoy reading it as much I did writing it.

Song Annotations

Following up on my update yesterday with regard to the occurrence of the word "Cinque" in "Paninaro" and "Paninaro '95," another of my regular Italian site visitors, Matteo, takes issue with Stefano's interpretation and has provided me with his rationale. I won't go into the details. Suffice it to say that there appears to me to be room for reasonable disagreement. So I've noted this difference of opinion in my annotation on this subject. As I note there, all we can do is speculate about it unless Chris were to state clearly at some point precisely what he meant in saying "Cinque" in those tracks.

May 11, 2022

Song Annotations

Thanks to Stefano D. (whom I've added to my Thank You page) for sharing his input with regard to Chris's use of the word "Cinque" in "Paninaro" and "Paninaro '95." He makes an excellent case for it not referring to the German fashion brand by that name but rather it being "slangish" shorthand for "Dammi il cinque" ("Gimme five") or "Batti il cinque" ("High five"), which were apparently popular expressions in Italy in the late 1980s. I've noted this observation in the pre-existing bullet-point annotation for "Cinque" in my commentary on "Paninaro."

May 10, 2022

Songs That the Pet Shop Boys Have Performed Live

The Pet Shop Boys have now completed their first date (in Milan) on their oft-delayed Dreamworld "Greatest Hits" Tour. So, based on information coming in on their Milan setlist, I've updated my page devoted to (SPOILER ALERT!) songs that the Boys have performed live. Don't click on that link or visit that page anytime soon if you're among those fans who are planning to go to an upcoming show and would prefer for the setlist to remain a surprise! Please keep in mind, however, that the information I've provided there is tentative and will remain so for as long as the tour continues. Songs may be added or subtracted, which would result in changes to the information I've already posted. I'll be sure to make any necessary adjustments as I learn about future performances.

Personal Observations

Thanks to Stuart R for telling me about a brief but fascinating video on YouTube about the concepts underlying the highly innovative (and still, after all these years, unique) design of the original CD jewel case for the PSB album Very.

May 9, 2022

PSB Lists

Thanks to Javier Richarte for letting me know that a very brief snippet of "Domino Dancing" can be heard in a 2002 episode of the Argentinian television series Los Simuladores (The Pretenders). I've now added this occurrence to the entry for that song at #35 in my list of Pet Shop Boys songs used in non-musical TV shows and films.

May 8, 2022

PSB Lists

Sometimes all it takes is a nudge. When several days ago I created and posted my new list of the least likely subjects for pop songs that the Pet Shop Boys nevertheless turned into pop songs, I had very seriously considered including "Fugitive." I thought about it long and hard. But I decided against it because I figured that it being essentially a direct respone to the 9/11 attacks made it not so much an "unlikely" subect. I mean, it was quite timely, and its timeliness made it perhaps "likely." But I was definitely sitting on the proverbial fence about it. Well, earlier today regular site visitor Matteo wrote to me about it, wondering why I hadn't indeed included "Fugitive." That set me to rethinking my decision, and I ultimately decided to go ahead and include that song after all. So I've now added "Fugitive" to that list along with a brief elaborative note. Thanks so much for the nudge, Matteo!

Song Annotations

Thanks so much to Alan O. for sharing with me his superb observations, arising mainly from his own research, about the song "Suburbia." His email has inspired me to expand greatly on my annotations for this song, drawing upon Alan's research as well as Neil's own comments about the lyrics as recorded in the booklet that accompanied the 2001 reissue of the album Please. In addition to the pre-existing first three bulleet-point annotations, I've now added five new bullet points that will help elaborate upon the real-life inspirations for the lyrics. Alan summarized his observations quite effectively: "In conclusion, 'Suburbia' narrates a tale of racialized police violence and its resulting backlash, and the ineffectual responses made by police and mass media to the subsequent riots. Knowing the 1981 Brixton riot inspired the song contextualizes its central characters as Black, and Neil's role in the song as just a sympathetic narrator."

Updates/Corrections

Thanks to Raymond Merkh for catching a typo, now corrected, on my page devoted to the song "No Excuse."

May 6, 2022

PSB Lists

Thanks to Stella for letting me know that the 1989 release "Rock This Place (U.K. Club Mix)" by U.S. rapper Mr. Lee contains a sample from "Opportunities (Let's Make Lots of Money)." I've now added it at #35 in my list of tracks by other artists that sample the Pet Shop Boys. If you would like to hear Mr. Lee's track for yourself, it's available on YouTube. The PSB sample appears right at the start (and may possibly continue throughout in abbreviated form as part of the underlying percussion).

May 4, 2022

A World of Pet Shop Boys Fans

I'm very pleased to see that a new country has just been added to my home page's "Flag Counter" routine, indicating that sometime over the past 12 hours or so I've had my first-ever site visitor from French Guiana (Guyane) in South America. So I've now added French Guiana to my "A World of Pet Shop Boys Fans" page and I've updated its map appropriately. I extend a very hearty welcome to my French Guianan visitor!

PSB Lists

Surprising myself, I've been in a mood lately to create a few new lists. First there was "Early titles for PSB songs." Now, today, I've posted a list that I've been contemplating for quite some time but never got around to until now: "The least likely subjects for pop songs that the Pet Shop Boys nevertheless turned into pop songs." It's meant to be a fun one, so I hope you enjoy it!

And thanks to Alan O. (whom I've added to my Thank You page) for letting me know about a new item to add to my list of PSB tracks that contain samples of other artists' music. Now appearing at #7 in that alphabetical list is "The Man Who Has Everything," which takes a vocal sample from the 1977 song "Let No Man Put Asunder" by First Choice—most likely from a 1983 remix by Shep Pettibone. (If you would like to hear this sampled line, "Come on and get you some more," in its original context by First Choice, it's available on YouTube; you can hear it at about 3:47 in that recording.)

May 3, 2022

Updates/Corrections

I received my copy of Annually 2022 in the mail yesterday afternoon, so I spent much of the rest of the day reading it and making assorted updates here on my website based on information therein. Among these additions:

I believe I've also made a few other scattered minor adjustments, but those are the only "major" things that I remember doing.

Incidentally, I'm very pleased to point out that my 2022 copy of Annually arrived quite a bit more quickly than in past years. It took only about two weeks to reach me, whereas in past years it has, more often than not, taken a month or more. And, unlike last year, I didn't even choose the more costly "expedited" delivery option this time! From what I've heard from several of my site visitors, that more-prompt-than-usual delivery is proving typical this year. I wonder whether Neil and Chris, in response to past delivery issues, made a change in who was in charge of distribution. Whatever the case, it's a most welcome change for the better, isn't it?

Meanwhile, thanks to Steve N. for suggesting that I mention in my brief notes about the song "Can You Hear the Dawn Break?" (where it appears in my list of unreleased songs) that a brief excerpt of it, recorded back in the early 1970s, could be heard during Neil's recent appearance on the BBC Radio 4 program This Cultural Life. I've followed his advice.

PSB Covers

Thanks to Francisco B. for telling me about a new remake of "It's a Sin" by U.S. pop singer Thom Parrish. I've now noted this on my page that lists covers of Tennant-Lowe songs, and if you would like to hear it for yourself, it's currently available on the ReverbNation website and elsewhere online. I think it's quite good, but (as you probably know) I sure wish artists would reach more often deeper into the Pet Shop Boys catalog.

May 2, 2022

PSB Lists

I've managed to add just a few more entries to my list of early titles for Pet Shop Boys songs. And while doing so, I decided to add, at the bottom of the list, a pair of little bonuses: early (or at least prosective) titles for PSB albums and early titles for other "PSB works."

April 29, 2022

PSB Lists

While continuing to conduct research aimed at expanding my list of early titles for Pet Shop Boys songs—and, yes, I've added a few more songs since yesterday—I've stumbled upon a few other facts that have moved me to make some other additions. For one thing, I've added "Motoring" to my list of PSB songs that the Boys themselves apparently dislike and, for another, I've added "Euroboy" to my list of their songs for which the Boys have acknowledged the influence of specific tracks by other pop artists.

April 28, 2022

Updates/Corrections

I determined that my new list of early titles for Pet Shop Boys songs would probably be more user-friendly if it were organized alphabetically by the final released song titles rather than by the preliminary titles, as it I had originally organized it. I've also been able to find a number of additional songs (more than a dozen) to add to the list since I first posted it. I've now made those adjustments.

April 26, 2022

PSB Lists

I've spent several hours today working on a brand new list, which I've now posted in my lists section. It's "Early titles for Pet Shop Boys songs." Please note that I have no doubt whatsoever that this list is not yet comprehensive and complete. Surely some additional early/working titles that I've overlooked for released PSB songs will come to light in the days and weeks ahead. In fact, I wouldn't be one bit surprised if some of you, my site visitors, are able to point out some such oversights. So I'll be pleased to add to this list as I become aware of any other "missing" early song titles, whether I discover them on my own or do so through your valuable input. But if you do contact me about any possible additions, I would greatly appreciate your sharing with me the source of your information (for instance, a PSB-related publication, such as an interview with them or something that they themselves have written about their songs) so that I can double-check on it for myself. Thanks!

April 25, 2022

PSB Lists

Thanks to Richard Firth for letting me know about a brief parody of the Pet Shop Boys song "Shopping" by the British professional competitive eater known as Beard Meats Food. I've listed it at #51 in my list of PSB performance parodies. If you would like to see it for yourself, it's available on YouTube, right at the start of the linked video.