What's New? – Recent Updates & Additions

January 15, 2021

Thanks to Paul Atkin for letting me know that the U.K. indie artist Vicki Watson, who goes professionally by the name Stickipop (aka Sticki), and whose past work has revealed a great fondness for our musical heroes, has several additional covers of Pet Shop Boys songs to her credit: "Miracles," "Rent," and "You Only Tell Me You Love Me When You're Drunk."

January 10, 2021

Thanks to Andrew Shaw for providing an update to one of my "PSB-Beatles connections" on the page here devoted to my other favorite artists. It concerns a sleeve of the re-issued single of John Lennon's "Imagine" that had been "personalized" by Neil and Chris. It was originally auctioned in 1999 to the highest bidder, but was recently purchased by Andrew when its previous owner put it up for sale.

You might find the latest edition of Edward Russell's Inside the Hits podcast of great interest, focusing as it does on the Pet Shop Boys classic "It's a Sin." Only a little more than 20 minutes in length, the first half of it or so is, to be honest, relatively pedestrian, dealing with basic background information about PSB history. But once it zeroes in on the song itself, it becomes quite fascinating, particularly in the way it peels back the layers and reveals various sounds and effects underlying the more obvious elements of the recording. I highly recommend it!

January 9, 2021

Billboard magazine is reporting that New Order frontman Bernard Sumner has contracted COVID-19 but, fortunately, is "recovering." As most of you know, the Pet Shop Boys' planned 2020 North American tour with New Order was postponed on account of the global pandemic. Tour dates have been rescheduled for late 2021, but whether they will need to be postponed once again remains to be seen; so much depends on the success of the vaccination program now underway. Whatever the case, we certainly wish Sumner a speedy recovery.

January 6, 2021

Thanks so much to Matteo for catching and reporting an error—I'm not sure at this point if it was a mere typo or an outright chronological mistake—in the year I had listed for my #1 favorite live peformance by the Pet Shop Boys. I've now corrected this flaw, replacing the original 2005 with the accurate 2004.

January 4, 2021

Thanks to Andrew Shaw for pointing out a new PSB/Doctor Who connection via scriptwriter/producer Russell T. Davies, which I've added to the pertinent list at #37. On a closely related note, I'm still waiting to learn how "It's a Sin" will be used in Davies's new series named for that song, although I've already noted that it can be heard in its commercials.

Thanks as well to Paul Atkin for bringing to my attention LorD and Master's latest Pet Shop Boys covers collection, Platform, available on SoudCloud. I've noted most of these new remakes on my page devoted to renditions of Tennant-Lowe songs by other artists. As it turns out, three of these songs—"Was It Worth It?" "Delusions of Grandeur," and "One Thing Leads to Another"—are "first-time" covers, not having previously been recorded professionally by anyone else (at least as far as I know). Please note, however, that I haven't added the Platform opening track, "We're the Pet Shop Boys," because, after all, it wasn't written by Neil and Chris.

Incidentally, there's been a proliferation of amateur covers of PSB songs online recently, especially in the wake of the pandemic and its associated lockdowns. As I've previously noted, I generally make it a point not to include these amateur efforts my PSB covers page. I have made, however, and do continue to make occasional exceptions if I personally consider such recordings to be of sufficiently high, "professional-grade" quality to warrant inclusion. But these are precisely that—occasional exceptions—and therefore few and far between.

January 2, 2021

Thanks to Matteo for making me aware of the second official edition of the Brazilian release Party, which corrected several errors on its original release. I've now noted this second edition on my page that lists selected assorted "special" Pet Shop Boys releases. It's worth noting that, in order to make these corrections yet still fit all of the desired songs onto a single CD, early fades had to be implemented on five of the Party songs, thereby resulting in unique versions of those tracks: "West End Girls," "Love Comes Quickly," "What Have I Done to Deserve This?" "Go West," and "Love etc." So I've now also noted these "early-fade versions" in the Mixes/Versions sections of the individual pages devoted to those songs.

January 1, 2021

I wish you all a very happy and healthy New Year! I'm sure we're all looking forward to what the Pet Shop Boys have in store for us in 2021!

December 27, 2020

Thanks to Marco Lucht for letting me know that Elton John has recently cited the Pet Shop Boys (or at least come very close to doing so) as a stylistic influence on his 1992 track "Understanding Women." I've now noted this fact in my chronological list of specific songs by well-known artists that are avowedly influenced by the Pet Shop Boys.

December 24, 2020

It's unlikely I'll be making any further updates until after Christmas Day, so I'll take this opportunity to wish a very Merry Christmas to all of you who celebrate the holiday! And if you observe alternate holidays instead, I wish you very Happy Holidays as well!

December 23, 2020

Thanks to Matteo for telling me about the opening theme music for the 1988-89 Japanese anime TV show Ronin Warriors, which deserves special explanatory mention at the bottom of my page devoted to tracks by other artists that sample the music of the Pet Shop Boys. No, it doesn't actually "sample" PSB, but one listen to that theme music on YouTube reveals the very pronounced influence of "It's a Sin," which I believe is well worth noting here.

December 22, 2020

Thanks to Stella for informing me that the Belgian DJ Lost Frequencies (Felix De Laet) released a cover of "Paninaro" last year on his album Alive and Feeling Fine. So I've noted this fact in the entry for that song on my page that lists remakes of Tennant-Lowe songs. If you would like to hear it for yourself, you may do so on YouTube.

December 21, 2020

Thanks so much to Michael Fick for letting me know that the Pet Shop Boys' original hits collection, Discography, was very recently (this past Friday, to be precise) certified double-platinum in the U.K., nearly three decades after it achieved platinum status within its first week of release back in 1991. To put it another way, it took 29 years for it to sell as many additional copies in the U.K. as it sold—or at least that shipped, anticipating high sales—in that very first week. I've updated my page devoted to the Boys' U.S. and U.K. gold and platinum awards accordingly. And thanks to both Michael Fick (again) and to Michael from Kassel, Germany, for catching a couple of errors in my previous statements here on this subject, now corrected.

December 20, 2020

Thanks to Jens Boldt for letting me know that "Two Divided by Zero" is among the 'eighties songs that can be heard in the 2017 horror film Sleep No More. This fact earns that song a new spot at #98 in my list of Pet Shop Boys tracks used in non-musical films and TV shows.

Yes, it's that time of year again when memories of how "Always on My Mind" beat out the Pogues' "Fairytale of New York" as a Christmas #1 in the U.K. are evoked. So I'm indebted to Lewis (whom I've added to my Thank You page) for raising a few questions and providing some additional information about an infamous alleged Shane MacGowan quotation, which leads me to make a few adjustments to what I say about it as a "negative example" (including footnotes!) at the end of my list of my favorite one-line descriptions of the Pet Shop Boys. Thanks, Lewis!

December 19, 2020

A number of people have written to me about the appearance of "It's a Sin" in promo spots for the upcoming British television miniseries of the same name, scheduled to begin airing in January. I've therefore noted this in the pre-existing entry for that song at #11 in my list of Pet Shop Boys songs that have been used in commercials. It remains to be seen if and precisely how it will be featured in the series itself, so I'm holding off on mentioning it in its entry among PSB songs used in non-musical films and TV shows—although, of course, it's quite likely I'll be doing so soon. At any rate, thanks to those of you who have contacted me about this already.

Like the rest of the world in general, the world of music has lost and continues to lose many luminaries to the global COVID-19 pandemic. Garnering the most news over the past week has been the passing of trailblazing country music star Charlie Pride, and the Pet Shop Boys' own website has just noted the death of composer Harold Budd. I was personally saddened to learn only today of the COVID-related death on September 21 of Tommy DeVito, a founding member of one of my other favorite groups, the Four Seasons. Thank goodness vaccines are now rolling out. I'm not alone in saying that this modern-day plague can't end soon enough.

December 18, 2020

Thanks to Matteo for pointing out an oversight and an apparent error in my list of mixes/versions of "No Time for Tears." He noted that a version of the Battleship Potemkin album track with a fade-in and fade-out was released on an official EMI promo, while providing evidence that the "Sit Down & Dance" mix that I had previously listed was "unauthorized" and therefore ought to be deleted. I've now made the requisite adjustments.

December 17, 2020

In a delightful bit of news, the most recent edition (December 16) of Bruce Springsteen's From My Home to Yours DJ series on SiriusXM satellite radio was based around the simple theme of songs that he likes and has been listening to lately. Among the many records he played on this show were not one but two by the Pet Shop Boys. First he played "It's a Sin," after which he said, "I love the Pet Shop Boys! They did a beautiful cover of 'Last to Die.' Let's go for two. I'm dancin'!" He then played the Boys' rendition of "Go West." (I'm indebted to an article by Jay Lustig on the NJArts website and a Facebook posting about it by Gordon Gray for this information.)