What's New? – Recent Updates & Additions

July 25, 2021

Polling

I've posted the final results of my "Rating Project" poll for "Cricket Wife" both in my general survey results and on the Rating Project page itself. To summarize, I'm afraid it didn't do very well, earning an average rating of only 4.902, placing it at #356 among 381 Pet Shop Boys songs. It's interesting to note, however, that the most common rating for the song was 7, with 16.9% of voters assigning it that rating. But that frequent high rating was counterbalanced by the much larger overall number of voters, roughly 57%, who assigned it a rating of 5 or less. At any rate, thanks so much to everyone who took part in this poll!

Lists

This morning I finally got around to creating a new addition to my "Lists" section that I've long contemplated. It's a very short list—just four entries—but I believe it's fairly significant with regard to PSB history. It's "4 PSB songs inspired by Neil's friend Chris Dowell." In case that name doesn't ring a bell, I'm confident that the list itself will.

Covers of PSB

The online rock music press—especially that corner of it that focuses more on metal—is all abuzz over Korn frontman Jonathan Davis's new cover of "It's a Sin," which I first mentioned here yesterday (see just below). They seem genuinely surprised, which I myself happen to find rather surprising given that "It's a Sin" has been, for a good twenty years now, a downright cliché cover in the realms of metal. Then again, rarely has a metal artist of Davis's stature taken on the Boys. My favorite comment and headline so far: "There was a time when someone like Jonathan Davis would never, ever touch something like a Pet Shop Boys song except in the most ironic or derisive sort of way. But times have changed," from "Jonathan Davis of Korn covers… The Pet Shop Boys?" on the A Journal Musical Things website.

July 24, 2021

Covers of PSB / Lists

Thanks to Alexandre C. for an unusual "twofer": letting me know that there's a new remake of "It's a Sin" by Korn lead singer Jonathan Davis, which of course deserves mention on my page devoted to cover versions of Tennant-Lowe songs, and that it appears on the soundtrack album for the new Amazon Prime streaming series Paradise City, thereby earning notice in the entry for that song at #21 in my list of Pet Shop Boys songs used in non-musical films and TV shows. (I'm assuming that this sountrack appearance means the song can be heard in the series itself, although I can't yet state that as an absolute fact.)

July 23, 2021

New Releases

The newly released "Pet Shop Boys Triad Mix" of Paul Weller's "Cosmic Fringes" is now available for your listening pleasure on YouTube.

Lists

Thanks so much to Tobias Gadau for telling me about a 1995 episode of the popular, long-running German police procedural drama Tatort in which the Pet Shop Boys' "Young Offender" is briefly featured in a particularly meaningful manner. This the first and only time that I'm aware of in which that song has been used in a non-musical film or TV show, so I've now added it to that rather lengthy list at #101.

July 17, 2021

Polling

I believe I've waited long enough to run a new Rating Project poll for the most recently released Pet Shop Boys song, "Cricket Wife." I realize that not everyone who ordered Annually 2021, accompanied by the "Cricket Wife" CD single, may have received it by now. But after all this time, I figure that anyone who's really interested who may not have received the CD will have heard the song by now via YouTube, digital download, and/or some other means. So I'm going to proceed with this one-song rating poll, allowing it to run for at least a full week, through Saturday, July 24 (and perhaps two weeks depending on how many votes come in during the week ahead). Please remember to rate "Cricket Wife" as it compares, in your own personal estimation, to the rest of the Pet Shop Boys' catalog of songs—not how it compares to the entire universe of songs by other artists—with 0 meaning "one of their all-time worst songs," 5 meaning "an average PSB song," and 10 meaning "one of their all-time best songs." Of course, if you haven't heard it yet or simply wish to register participation in the poll without actually making a choice, you can submit your vote with the default "abstain" selection. I'll announce the outcome and add it to my overall Rating Project page at the end of this survey. Thanks, everybody!

July 16, 2021

New Releases

The Pet Shop Boys' official website has announced that a remix single of Paul Weller's "Cosmic Fringes," featuring the "Pet Shop Boys Triad Remix," will be released on July 23, available on vinyl and digital formats. I've updated my entry for that song using the newly available information.

July 15, 2021

Updates/Corrections

Thanks to Shayne for catching another oversight in my list of celebrity fans of the Pet Shop Boys outside of the field of music in that I had failed to note that the actor John Mahoney has also passed away. I've now made this update.

July 12, 2021

Updates/Corrections

Thanks to Andrew Shaw for pointing out that I hadn't yet noted that actress Barbara Windsor was deceased, as I had following the names of other celebrity fans of the Pet Shop Boys who are no longer with us. That oversight is now corrected.

July 10, 2021

News

Today is Neil Tennant's birthday! Happy birthday, Neil!

July 7, 2021

Personal Observations

I have my very own personal PSB "strange but true" story. This afternoon, like most Wednesday afternoons of late, I went bowling with friends. (Full disclosure: I'm not a good bowler. I'm lucky to break 100, which I don't often do. I bowl only because I enjoy going out and having fun with our friends.) At one point I bowled a spare. While waiting for my next turn to bowl, the bowling alley's audio system started playing "West End Girls," which was the first time I'd ever heard the Boys played there. It was still playing when it was my turn to bowl again. I took it as a good omen. Unfortunately, maybe I was trying too hard, because I threw a gutter ball, thereby failing to capitalize on my previous spare. Then, about 30 minutes later, during our next game, I again bowled a spare—and again, by an amazing coincidence, a second PSB song, "New York City Boy," began playing shortly before I was up to bowl again. And again I hurled the ball into the gutter! Arghh! And to top it all off, a third PSB track, "Suburbia," came on the radio while I was driving home from the bowling alley. I don't recall the last time I heard three PSB "unplanned" songs in such rapid succession and not at my own instigation!

July 6, 2021

News

As she has done for quite a few years now, Sherry Gahan has set up an online page where our fellow fans can offer birthday greetings to Neil. (His birthday is coming up quickly on July 10!) Thanks, Sherry!

Lists

Thanks to Andrew Shaw for informing me that "Being Boring" could be heard in the 2017 television documentary Damien Hirst by Harry Hill. I've now made note of this fact in the entry for that song at #22 in my list of Pet Shop Boys songs used in non-musical films and TV shows.

July 5, 2021

Lists

Thanks to Donovan James Ellem for letting me know that I can add Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison to my list of celebrity fans of the Pet Shop Boys, with the online evidence kindly provided.

July 3, 2021

News

Several people have written to me (and I've also read some things online) about the new album Una Corda by the German synth artist Nico Wieditz, which includes a track titled "Eternity" that appears to be compositionally credited to Wieditz and Neil Tennant. In some online references the title "Eternity" is also followed by the parenthetical statement "(with special thanks to Neil Tennant)." Wieditz has previously been associated with the bands And One and Condition Icon, both of which have recorded cover versions of Pet Shop Boys songs. At this time I have no other information about "Eternity" or the precise nature of Neil's involvement; I'm hoping for some announcement from the PSB organization or a clarifying press release at some point soon. In the meantime, I'll hold off on attempting to say anything more about this new track or creating a new entry for it here on my website. I prefer to err on the side of caution. But once I do hear anything more about it, I'll be sure to write about it here!

June 30, 2021

Lists

Having heard the pertinent quotation in one of the archival BBC Radio recordings that the Pet Shop Boys referred to on their website yesterday, I've added "Being Boring" to my list of PSB songs avowedly influenced by specific tracks by other artists.

Thanks to John McFadden for informing me that both "Always on My Mind" and "It's a Sin" were playing in the background during scenes at an LGBT Pride event on today's episode of the long-running U.K. soap Emmerdale. I've noted this in the entries for those two tracks at #16 and #21 respectively in my list of PSB songs heard in non-musical films and TV shows.