What's New? – Recent Updates & Additions

December 4, 2021

My Other Favorite Artists

Thanks so much to Alexey from Russia for telling me about Dave Gahan's new remake, with the band Soulsavers, of "Always on My Mind," which of course was previously (and very successfully) covered by the Pet Shop Boys. I make note of this in a new next-to-last item in my list of "PSB-Depeche Mode connections" on the page devoted to my other favorite artists.

November 26, 2021

Personal Observations

It's a terribly sad day in the world of musical theater, and one with a distinct "PSB connection." Stephen Sondheim, one of the true giants of musical theater and among the greatest theatrical composer/lyricists of the past century, died this morning at the age of 91. The Pet Shop Boys recorded two of his songs: "Losing My Mind," for which Sondheim wrote both words and music, and "Somewhere," for which he wrote the lyrics (to Leonard Bernstein's music). If I remember correctly, Neil has noted on more than one occasion his own admiration for Sondheim's artistry and the influence he has had on him. As a great Sondheim fan myself (his Sweeney Todd and A Little Night Music being two of my all-time favorite musicals), I'm personally grieving this evening.

November 20, 2021

PSB Lists

In an effort to address an issue raised by one of my site visitors—an endeavor that proved unsuccessful, so I won't go into the details, at least at this time—I found myself scouring a BMI database for songs written by the Pet Shop Boys. And, lo and behold, I found the titles of several still-unreleased Tennant-Lowe songs that I hadn't already cited here on my website. So I've now added these titles to my list of documented officially unreleased songs written by the Pet Shop Boys: "Holding Back," "Imagine," "Room with a View," "When Will I See Your Face Again?" and "Zazoom." I also found several other songs that I had already listed tentatively but for which hadn't obtained any confirmation until now, including "Faster" and "What Does It Feel Like?"

If that weren't enough, that same research led me to something of a mystery related to the "Chris solo" number "Blockhead," which I raise in a new annotation to my commentary on that track.

November 19, 2021

Song Annotations

Thanks to Simon Glästad (whose name I've just added to my Thank You page) for clueing me in on a possible inspiration for the line "Why face the facts when you can just feel the feelings?" in "Give Stupidity a Chance." I've made note of it in a new first bullet-point annotation to my commentary on that song. Simon also pointed out a quotation by Donald Trump that has inspired me to expand a bit on the already-existing annotation to that same song regarding its reference to the phrase "piece of ass."

November 18, 2021

Song Annotations

Thanks to Steve N. for sharing his observation that the website for the Tate Art Galleries offers some highly pertinent information regarding certain words and phrases used in the Pet Shop Boys song "Decadence," which I discuss in a new final bullet-point annotation to my commentary on that song.

November 15, 2021

PSB Lists

Thanks so much to Steve N. for suggesting that I add "Were You There?" to my list of Pet Shop Boys songs that contain biblical allusions, which I've now done. It's not really a "PSB song," but it merits a "questionable" spot toward the end of the list, just like the already-included "Joseph, Better You Than Me," by virtue of Neil's active involvement.

November 13, 2021

Corrections/Updates

Thanks to Mika Hagman for catching and reporting a broken link, now fixed, on my page devoted to the song "Radiophonic."

November 12, 2021

PSB Tours

I've updated my Tours page to reflect the finalization of the date (July 9, 2022) of the Pet Shop Boys' appearance at the Bilbao Live Festival, as announced today on the official PSB website.

November 4, 2021

Personal Observations

As noted on my "On This Day in Pet Shop Boys History" page, it was 30 years ago today that the Boys released Discography, their first singles collection. That's important to me personally because Discography was the very first PSB album I ever owned. I didn't buy it, however, until nearly a full year after its release. Although it certainly started me on the road to big-time PSB fandom, it didn't seal the deal, so to speak. That took the release of their subsequent studio album, Very, in 1993. That's what made me a true fan. But if I hadn't first bought Discography, I might not have bought Very, shortly after which I got ahold of everything else by them I could find. So, in a manner of speaking, Discography primed the pump. And for that I'm very grateful.

November 3, 2021

Annotations

Thanks to Marco Lucht for calling to my attention a melodic similarity (either intentional or accidental) between brief segments of the songs "Night Song" and "Your Early Stuff." I discuss this briefly in a new bullet-point annotation to my commentary on the latter track.

October 30, 2021

Annotations
Corrections/Updates

Thanks to Ariel Alarcón for letting me know about a glaring typo on the label of a U.K. 12-inch vinyl single edition of "How Can You Expect to Be Taken Seriously?" I've added this interesting fact in a new final bullet-point annotation to my commentary on that song.

Personal Observations

Thanks also to John Hunt for telling me that a U.K. radio station's current Halloween-themed "Top 100 Creepy Classics" countdown includes Eighth Wonder's "I'm Not Scared" (penned of course by the Pet Shop Boys) at #76. It would never even occur to me to regard that song a "creepy classic," but undoubtedly its prominent use of the word "scared" does trick for the countdown's compilers.

October 29, 2021

Personal Observations

I've just finished watching the recent documentary The Sparks Brothers—which, by the way, is excellent—and was amused by a brief anecdote related by one of its onscreen commentators. He tells of happening upon the Pet Shop Boys following some concert or other public event (I don't recall the details). He said that he asked Neil and Chris why they've never "acknowledged" Sparks for their presumed influence. To this, Neil, with "a scornful look," allegedly replied, "You're very naughty," and then walked away without further comment. This anecdote is, like many others in the documentary, illustrated in a cartoon, a snapshot of which I share here. (You can't see it in this particular snippet, but Chris is shown holding a small keyboard, just like Ron Mael in the poster behind them.) For the benefit of those of you who weren't aware of this story, I thought you might get as much of a kick out of it—especially this cartoon depiction of Neil and Chris—as I did.

Incidentally, Sparks is a band for which I have a great deal of respect and admiration, and I appreciate them as artists, but I don't personally care very much for their music. They're among the many artists of whom I can say that. I can appreciate someone as a talented, influential, even visionary artist without actually liking their work.

October 28, 2021

Annotations
Corrections / Updates

Thanks to Rory Simpson for noticing a long-standing oversight in the annotations for "Music for Boys." What had been the first and third annotations there seemed somewhat to contradict each other. I've corrected this problem—at least I hope I have—by combining those annotations, which also involves the Haçienda Version of "Violence," into one and resolving the conflicts. There's still room for uncertainty, however. Whatever the case, thanks again, Rory!

October 26, 2021

Books about the Pet Shop Boys

Thanks so much to Hans-Marten for letting me know about a brand new German-language book about the Pet Shop Boys. I've now noted this new publication at the bottom of my page devoted to books about the Pet Shop Boys.

October 25, 2021

Annotations
Corrections / Updates

Thanks to Andy P for pointing out a couple of passages from Jad Adams's 1993 biography of U.K. politician Tony Benn that shed some additional light on the line that mentions him in the Pet Shop Boys' song "Love Is a Bourgeois Construct." I've now made note of this in a brief expansion on the pre-existing bullet-point annotation about Benn in my commentary on that song.

October 19, 2021

PSB Tours

The Pet Shop Boys' official website has just announced several new dates (in Milan, Zurich, Tallinn, Budapest, and Bucharest) on their European Dreamworld Tour next year. So I've added these new shows to my PSB Tours page.

October 8, 2021

On This Day…

Thanks to Andrew Shaw for suggesting a slight correction in the text describing one of the events noted in today's entries in "On This Day in Pet Shop Boys History."