What's New? – Recent Updates & Additions

March 24, 2019

I've posted the final results of my previous survey, the latest installment of my ongoing "Rating Project," in which I asked my site visitors to rate the songs on the Pet Shop Boys' recent Agenda EP on a scale of 0 to 10 as the compare to all other PSB songs. And if you would like to see these results in the context of all the other PSB songs, please visit my "Rating Project" page. (To make it easier for you to find them, these four latest additions are highlighted in pink.)

When I run polls focusing on the Pet Shop Boys' albums, I usually deal strictly with their studio albums. But what about all their other albums—their compilations, their live albums, their Disco albums, their "special projects"? So my new poll for the following two weeks zooms in on those other oft-neglected albums. Which three official PSB "non-studio" albums are your personal favorites?

March 23, 2019

I'd like to share with you a delightful online account by Brazilian site visitor Javier Battilana of what he describes as "the best and happiest moment of my PSB fan life," which involves an unexpected encounter with Neil while the Pet Shop Boys were in Rio de Janeiro in 2017. The Boys themselves linked to it from their Facebook page more than a year ago, but I had never read it before. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Thanks so much, Javier!

Speaking of good things to read, you might also like a really great article from today's edition of the South China Morning Post, "How the Pet Shop Boys' story links to Hong Kong, from Tiananmen protest to 'umbrella movement.'" (The Boys are scheduled to perform in Hong Kong this coming Thursday.)

As a quick heads-up, on account of an "outside" commitment, I may be a little later than usual switching over from my current poll to the next one. But if I am late, I don't expect it to be by much more than an hour or so. I hope this doesn't pose any serious inconvenience.

March 22, 2019

The Pet Shop Boys' official website has just announced that, unfortunately, their April 4 concert in Bangkok has been cancelled due to "circumstances beyond our control." I've modified my PSB tour-dates page accordingly.

I'm very grateful to Stefan Burk (whom I've just added to my Thank You page) for telling me about a brand new book about the Pet Shop Boys, which I've now noted at the end of my page devoted to such publications, listed in chronological order. This new book is in German, however—a language in which I'm totally illiterate—so I can't read it myself. But I imagine that at least some of my German site visitors (not to mention other fans proficient in the language) will find it of interest. Its cover, by the way, also qualifies it for a spot on my page that lists takeoffs on the cover of Actually. Thanks, Stefan!

March 21, 2019

Thanks so much to a longtime correspondent, Jeff Schapira, for pointing out a typographical error on my FAQ page about knowing and meeting the Pet Shop Boys—an error that, though typographical in nature, actually resulted in an unwitting factual flaw, now corrected. (It has to do with when my photo with Neil was taken.) And I was quite surprised to see that Jeff wasn't already listed on my Thank You page, to which I've now added his name. Thanks again, Jeff!

March 19, 2019

Thanks to Timur Dzhafarov for providing convincing digital evidence that what I had previously believed was a "re-creation" of the famous bass riff from "West End Girls" used in the 2011 track "5D" by Death Grips is actually a heavily processed sample from the PSB track itself. So I've made a few appropriate adjustments to what I say about this recording in its entries in both my list of tracks by other artists that sample the Pet Shop Boys (where it appears at #30) and on my page devoted to covers of Tennant-Lowe songs. Yes, it surely belongs more in the former list than in the latter, and I'll likely delete from the latter before long. But for now I'll let it be.

March 10, 2019

I've posted the final results of my poll of the past two weeks, in which I asked my site visitors to choose what they consider to be the Pet Shop Boys' most underrated and overrated studio albums. I have to confess that I'm a bit personally disappointed that the top vote-getter as "overrated" is my own absolute favorite PSB album, Very. Then again, I wonder whether my own outspokenly high opinion of that album may have contributed to it being regarded as overrated by so many voters. To put it another way, perhaps I contributed to my own disappointment.

My new survey for the next two weeks is the latest edition of my ongoing "Rating Project," in which I ask you to rate recent Pet Shop Boys songs on a scale of 0 to 10 as they compare to all other PSB tracks. Naturally, the four songs of the EP Agenda are the subject of this round of ratings.

As a follow-up to my posting day before yesterday (see just below), I've noted Lion Babe's new song "Western World" among the "unlikely" addenda at the end of my list of tracks that sample the Pet Shop Boys. I know that it doesn't sample PSB, but I'm not sure where else to note it at this time. I do want to assign it some long-term slot, so this will do for now. My early research suggests that it does not give Chris and Neil a co-writing credit, in which case I won't give it its own page-entry here on my site. If I later learn that they do receive such credit, then I'll make the appropriate adjustments.

March 8, 2019

Thanks so much to Pepe Ruiz for telling me about the brand new single by the U.S. R&B duo Lion Babe, "Western World" (featuring guest rapper Raekwon), which both lyrically and musically interpolates—but doesn't actually sample—"West End Girls." If you would like to listen to it, you may do so on Spotify and elsewhere online. You can also read more about it on the Rolling Stone website. I haven't yet been able to locate its official songwriting credits, but if the Pet Shop Boys are indeed given such credit (as I suspect they are, but who knows?), this new track will earn its own entry here on my site. I'll continue looking into that and see what I can turn up. In the meantime, thanks again, Pepe!

March 6, 2019

I was watching Jeopardy! just a few minutes ago when, much to my delight, the Pet Shop Boys once again turned up in a clue. So I've made a brand new addition to my list of PSB "appearances" on the U.S. TV game show Jeopardy! By utter (and extremely unfortunate) coincidence, today longtime host Alex Trebek—who has helmed the show for no less than 35 years—announced that he has been diagnosed with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer.* He vowed to do his utmost to beat this statistically deadliest form of cancer (for which, with his typical good-natured humor, he said he had no choice because he still has three years left on his contract), and I'm far from alone in very much hoping that he does.

*Another horrible coincidence: in 1995, the same illness, pancreatic cancer, claimed the life of Art Fleming, the original host of Jeopardy! (from its inception in 1964 to 1979).

March 3, 2019

Thanks to Alex Brien for sharing an observation about Behaviour that has inspired me to modify my overall commentary on that album a bit. He noted that the theory previously noted there about how the album might express the well-known five stages of grief could also be applied to the collapse of a romantic relationship. I agree, so I've made note of this observation as well. Thanks again, Alex.

Since it's now been more than a month since, thanks to valuable input from one of my site visitors, we found the solution to one of the enduring "musical mysteries" of the Pet Shop Boys world—namely, the source of those notorious samples of dialogue heard in the track "Electricity"—I've finally removed that item from my short "mysteries list." My entry for the song "Electricity" itself documents the solution.

I feel I should note that, if I seem somewhat less "attentive" than usual to this website and to input from site visitors, it's for personal reasons that have nothing to do with the Pet Shop Boys and this website itself. It's on account of several major personal issues in my life that I'm dealing with right now. I'd prefer not to go into the details at this time, but I hope you'll understand and will bear with me as I try to work my way through these personal challenges.

February 25, 2019

Thanks to Steve N. for sharing a fascinating alternate interpretation of "The Forgotten Child," which I've now noted in a new annotation to my main entry for the song. He notes that a number of lines in the song could be readily interpreted as referring to Eve (as in "Adam and…"). I can't say that I agree with this interpretation, but the evidence he cites demonstrates that it cannot be dismissed out of hand. Thanks again, Steve!