What's New? – Recent Updates & Additions

July 21, 2019

I've noted a new remake of "Rent" by the London synthpop-vocal duo Vaughty featuring Cherry Ballard on my page devoted to covers of Tennant-Lowe songs. With its strong "dark wave" vibe, it's pretty darn good if you ask me. If you would like to hear it, check it out on YouTube and elsewhere online.

Thanks to David dB for providing a number of corrections to my partial list of synths/samplers and other electronic gear used by the Pet Shop Boys. These corrections essentially necessitate the addition of "and other electronic gear" to the title of that list.

Thanks also to John M. for catching and reporting a typo, now corrected, in my list of the key signatures of selected PSB songs.

Well, it happened again: I had another of my dreams about the Pet Shop Boys last night. Actually, in this case, it was about just one of them, Chris, though it also featured some other pop stars as "guests." If you're interested in that sort of thing, I invite you to read about it.

July 19, 2019

On my page devoted to cover versions of Tennant-Lowe songs I've just listed a new remake of "Heart" by the Romanian power metal band Magica. As much as I appreciate covers of Pet Shop Boys songs in general, I'm especially heartened by a metal rendition of any song other than the overdone "It's a Sin." If you would like to hear it for yourself, it's available on YouTube.

July 18, 2019

Thanks so much to leesmapman for pointing out that Neil once stated that "I Get Excited (You Get Excited Too)" was at one time planned as a Pet Shop Boys single. Hence it earns a spot in my chronological list of PSB "singles" that weren't.

July 17, 2019

Thanks once more to David dB for providing additional corrections for the keys I had listed for several "Elysium era" songs in my list of the key signatures of selected Pet Shop Boys songs: namely "Ego Music," "Everything Means Something," "Give It a Go," "Memory of the Future," and "Requiem in Denim and Leopardskin." He also provided the key for one song that previously wasn't listed there at all, "A Certain 'Je Ne Sais Quoi.'"

From the category "A Blast from the Past," porkshopkid was kind enough to share with me a cute video posted to Facebook of the time Neil forgot the title of the Pet Shop Boys' newly recorded album Behaviour (that's how far back in the past it was!) while speaking to an interviewer in Japan. I thought you might get a kick out of it, too. Thanks!

July 16, 2019

Thanks to Matt Addison for providing evidence that his fellow Matt A, English TV presenter and journalist Matt Allwright, is also a fellow fan of the Pet Shop Boys. So I've now added him to my list of celebrity fans outside the field of music.

July 15, 2019

Thanks to David dB for providing corrections for several of the keys I had listed in my list of the key signatures of selected Pet Shop Boys songs—specifically "Axis," "Bolshy," "Inside a Dream," and "Love Is a Bourgeois Construct."

Thanks as well to Chiara (whom I've just added to my Thank You page) for noticing a broken link on my "I've Been Cited" page that, through her input, has now been fixed.

Several of you have written to me about the news that Alan Turing will soon be appearing on the U.K. £50 note. It really has no bearing on my website, A Man from the Future notwithstanding, but it's marvelous news nonetheless!

July 14, 2019

I've posted the final results of my survey of the past two weeks, in which I asked my site visitors to pick their three favorite Pet Shop Boys songs of the "Behaviour era." My new poll for the two weeks ahead is the third in this series, this time focusing on the album Bilingual and other tracks released around the same time. Personally, I think this was, together with the "Very era," a real golden age for PSB b-sides, so I'm especially eager to see how this one shapes up. What are your favorites of this period?

July 13, 2019

I've now set up a new "placeholder" page for My Beautiful Laundrette in anticipation of the (hopefully) eventual release of the music that Chris and Neil have composed for it, as described just below. Thanks in particular to Erik H. for pointing out info about its eventual release on the Pet Shop Boys' own x2 label, which I had overlooked.

July 12, 2019

It has just been announced that the Pet Shop Boys have composed music for a new stage adaptation of the popular 1985 film My Beautiful Laundrette scheduled to tour the U.K. this autumn. In a press release, Neil and Chris have stated, "It's wonderful to be part of the team bringing My Beautiful Laundrette from the screen to the stage and we've enjoyed writing mainly instrumental music to be presented within a British Asian context."

I find the most tantalizing phrase in that announcement to be "mainly instrumental music" [my emphasis]. In other words, it sounds as though the Boys' contribution will consist primarily of background and/or incidental music, but it also suggests there may be at least one song (and maybe more) with lyrics/vocals as well. Additional information that I've since read online appear to substantiate this, describing the PSB contribution as "four pieces of incidental music and a couple of songs." (Woo-hoo!) Whatever the case, we'll undoubtedly hear more on this subject in the weeks and months ahead.

Incidentally, thanks so much to those of you (no fewer than five) who sent me emails letting me know about this. By the time I was able actually to read those emails, I had already discovered this news online and had written about it here. But I truly appreciate you all contacting me about it nonetheless!

July 11, 2019

Thanks to leesmapman for telling me about the lyric video for the terrific Parralox song "Sharper Than a Knife," which includes an obvious visual homage to the album Introspective (starting about 30 seconds in and then lasting for about 15 seconds). Considering that Parralox has covered several Pet Shop Boys songs (as documented on my covers page), it's not a particularly surprising tribute, but it's nonetheless delightful!

Thanks as well to Daniel B for letting me know about a new PSB covers project hosted by Martin Hossbach on bandcamp. So far three indie artists have responded to his request for submissions. The songs covered thus far are "Girls Don't Cry," "Jealousy," and "Your Funny Uncle." I've already listed these remakes on my aforementioned covers page, and of course I'm planning to add others as they appear and I learn of them.

July 10, 2019

Happy birthday to Neil Tennant!

Thanks to both John McFadden and Jonathan Cooper for letting me know that the Pet Shop Boys' former protégé Cicero has performed "Later Tonight" live, which has been further documented onlinme. I've made note of this in the entry for that number in my list of PSB songs that have been covered by other artists.

July 8, 2019

To my list of Pet Shop Boys songs used in non-musical films and TV shows I've just added an entry for the new movie Blinded by the Light, scheduled for release next month. Set in 1987 London, it concerns the teen son of Pakistani immigrants who becomes enamored of the music of Bruce Springsteen. The film's soundtrack is understandably dominated by Springsteen's music—with the bonus of a previously unreleased song by The Boss—but other songs of the period are also included. Apparently "It's a Sin" will be among them.

Thanks to Eke Webb for noticing that the only difference between the two known PSB demos of "Run Girl Run!" may be that one of them has about 12-13 seconds of silence after the music fades out. I've now noted this in my info about versions/mixes of that song following its entry here on my website.

July 7, 2019

Neil's birthday is coming up in just three days, so our fellow fan Sherry Gahan has set up an online guestbook where you may post your birthday greetings to him if you wish. I have!

July 5, 2019

Thanks to Martijn for pointing out that Depeche Mode's Dave Gahan once offered a brief review of the Pet Shop Boys' "Love Comes Quickly" in the pages of Smash Hits, just as Neil Tennant had, a little more than a year earlier, reviewed Depeche Mode's "Blasphemous Rumors" in Smash Hits before PSB hit it big. I've noted this in an expansion on my first "PSB/Depeche Mode connection" on my page devoted to my other favorite artists.

Thanks also to Steve N for suggesting that Neil may have intentionally written the lyrics of "Run Girl Run!" in such a way as to show that Billie Trix, its fictive songwriter in the context of Closer to Heaven, isn't exactly a top-notch lyricist. I believe there may be some merit to this observation, so I've mentioned it in a new second bullet-point annotation to my commentary on that song.

July 4, 2019

Happy Independence Day to my fellow Americans!

Thanks to Nigel Brand for sharing with me his observation that the first part of the melody of "A Man Could Get Arrested" is extremely similar (albeit in a different key) to that of the early unreleased Pet Shop Boys track "Oh, Dear." As Nigel pointed out, this is likely a case of Neil and Chris simply not wanting to let a perfectly good melody go to waste.

July 3, 2019

Thanks to Jeff Durst for pointing out that "It Always Comes as a Surprise" also has a place in my list of "Pet Shop Boys 'singles' that weren't," for which I've found support in Neil's own words. He also suggested several other songs that might qualify—one somewhat more strongly than the others—but so far we've been unable to locate any definite evidence. I'll continue to search as time permits and, if I find anything, make the appropriate update(s).

July 2, 2019

Thanks to Gavin Kagan for letting me know (and providing solid evidence) that English/Australian actress Katy Manning, best known for her role on Doctor Who as one of the companions of the third Doctor, is a Pet Shop Boys fan. Hence, she earns a spot in my list of celebrity fans of PSB outside of the field of music. Gavin suggested that I might also include her fandom in my list of "PSB/Doctor Who connections," but I have so many already that mere fandom but nothing else somehow seems inadequate for inclusion in that particular list.

July 1, 2019

Happy Canada Day to my many Canadian site visitors!

Thanks to Marco Lucht for encouraging me to add "Miserablism" to my list of "Pet Shop Boys 'singles' that weren't." At first I was somewhat skeptical. But after researching the matter further, I determined that, while its claim to almost-single status isn't quite as strong as for most of the other songs listed there, it's not wholly undeserving, either. So I've gone ahead and added it. Thanks again, Marco!

On their official website today the Pet Shop Boys posted that producer Stuart Price is in the process of mixing their next album, which they now expect to be released in January. That's of course later than the Autumn 2019 target previously announced, but it's good to know better now rather than to maintain our expectations otherwise. No word yet as to its title.

June 30, 2019

I've posted the end results of my poll of the past two weeks, in which I asked my site visitors to pick their three favorite Pet Shop Boys songs of the "Very era." My new survey for the next two weeks is the second in this series, only this time focusing on the immediately preceding period, that of the album Behaviour—which is, if past polls are any indication, the single favorite PSB studio album of a plurality of dedicated fans. So what are your three favorite songs of the "Behaviour era," which includes the tracks subsequently released on Discography and its associated singles?

June 29, 2019

BREAKING NEWS! – In a huge surprise, headliners The Killers during their performance this evening at the Glastonbury 2019 festival brought out at one point none other than the Pet Shop Boys as previously unannounced special guests to duet with them on two songs: "Always on My Mind" and The Killers' own "Human." Chris even wore one of his more outlandish hats for the performance. Fantastic!

Thanks to Marc R for providing solid evidence that Neil's recollection about "Tonight Is Forever" nearly having been the follow-up single to "West End Girls" may be at least partly flawed. This has inspired me to adjust what I have to say about it in my entry for that song in my list of "Pet Shop Boys 'singles' that weren't."

Thanks also to Andrew Shaw for calling my attention to the 1942 Kern/Mercer standard "I'm Old Fashioned," the final line of which is echoed (either intentionally or accidentally) by the final line of Tennant/Lowe's "Call Me Old-Fashioned." I've now added a new second bullet-point annotation to my commentary on that song to point out this fact.

Having listened online (here you go, starting about four-fifths of the way through) to the portion of Graham Norton's radio show today featuring Neil Tennant, Jonathan Harvey, and Frances Barber, I've made a few updates to my "placeholder" page for MUSIK as well as a few scattered bits and pieces related to Closer to Heaven. The biggest news, at least in my opinion, is that (1) they're seriously considering soon releasing the demos recorded with Ms. Barber of the new songs written for the show and, on an unrelated note, that (2) A Man from the Future may "live again" before long in a new orchestral production. Let's hope both indeed materialize!

June 28, 2019

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

Thanks as well to Nigel Brand for letting me know that Versace is mentioned in only one version of "Paninaro" (not all versions as I had obliquely suggested by omission, now rectified) and that Trevor Horn did indeed eventually manage to put Debussy to a disco beat, which I've noted in an expansion to an already-existing bullet-point annotation to my commentary on "Left to My Own Devices."

June 27, 2019

Thanks so much to Byron C for pointing out—once again, with that all-important supporting evidence—that "Tonight Is Forever" is yet another track that merits a spot in my new list of "Pet Shop Boys 'singles' that weren't."

June 24, 2019

Thanks to John M. for noticing and reporting a longstanding typo in my drop-down "Click here to go to…" menu in my top navigation bar: I had neglected to include the indefinite article "a" in the title "Love Is a Bourgeois Construct." I've now made the appropriate correction, although it may not appear right away for everybody depending on how recently you have cleared your browser cache.

June 23, 2019

Thanks so much to Robert Goldstone for providing evidence that yet another song, "Discoteca," belongs in my new list of Pet Shop Boys "'singles' that weren't." It's there now!

June 22, 2019

Thanks to Alk for alerting me to a statement by Neil in Issue 25 of the Pet Shop Boys Fan Club publication Literally in which he refers to Hoagy Carmichael's classic song "I Get Along Without You Very Well" as well as Bob Dylan's "Most of the Time" in discussing "I Get Along." This leads me to modify slightly what I've written in one of my annotations to that song as well as to add it to my list of PSB songs for which the Boys have acknowledged the influence of specific tracks by other artists.

It's been quite some time since I've called attention here to any of JCRZ's many unauthorized but high-quality remixes of Pet Shop Boys tracks. But I like his latest so much I can hardly resist. I invite you to listen on YouTube to his excellent new remix of "The Forgotten Child." With his long track record (so to speak) of such superb remixes of their songs, I believe it would be truly marvelous if the Boys could at some point tap him to do one or more official remixes of their work.