What's New? – Recent Updates & Additions

September 24, 2022

PSB Lists

Thanks so much to Hans-Marten for letting me know that "The Pop Kids" can be heard early in the 2016 German comedy movie Männertag, a fact that I've now noted in the entry for that song at #76 in my list of Pet Shop Boys songs used in non-musical television shows and films.

September 21, 2022

Personal Observations

Thanks to a tip-off by site visitor, I've just learned of a 2020 podcast that reruns a 1994 segment on Irish radio in which two guys talk about my book Rock on the Wild Side. One of them, Joe Jackson (not he of "Is She Really Going Out with Him?" and "Steppin' Out" fame) had recently written a positive review of my book. During their conversation, they somewhat misrepresent what I had to say about Frank Sinatra's "Strangers in the Night" – I never said that it was "gay," only that (and I quote myself) "Pre-Stonewall gay audiences eagerly adopted [it]" – and one seems quite put out by much of what I had to say about his beloved music. (How dare I suggest that U2's "One" is gay-related? Fortunately, Mr. Jackson quickly sets him, ahem, straight.) But, nevertheless, I'm pleased to learn of this interview. No, I'm not at all sure that the old saying "No publicity is bad publicity" is actually true. But it was Oscar Wilde himself who once said, "There is only one thing in life worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about." So I'm pleased to have been talked about.

September 19, 2022

Updates / Corrections

To follow up on yesterday's "Personal Observations" (see below), thanks so much to both Rob Bainbridge and Kevin Crossman for separately letting me know why Real Time with Bill Maher used "Petco" (as in "Petco Shop Boys") in reference to the San Diego Padres: because the Padres play in Petco Park, sponsored by the pet-supply store chain of that name. I should've known it wasn't totally nonsensical.

September 18, 2022

Songs That the Pet Shop Boys Have Performed Live

Early reports are that the setlist for the Pet Shop Boys' first Unity Tour show last night in Toronto is precisely what I had expected it would be: a shorter, "edited" version of the setlist for their recent Dreamworld Tour in Europe. I've thus made a couple of very minor updates to my page devoted to the songs the Boys have performed live.

Personal Observations

Thanks to Eddie Xavier for pointing out that the most recent edition (September 16, 2022) of HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher makes a mildly queerbaiting allusion to our musical heroes—via a borderline nonsensical ("Petco"? What does the name of a pet-supply chain have to do with it?) onscreen text-header rather than actual speech—in a joking reference to the San Diego Padres baseball team's new uniforms. This really doesn't fit permanently anywhere on my website, but I feel it's well worth mentioning here temporarily, if only to demonstrate once again how, at least to many here in the States, "Pet Shop Boys" can serve as winking and vaguely demeaning shorthand for "gay." If you would like to see it for yourself, here it is on YouTube.

September 17, 2002

Mixes/Versions

Following up on my September 8 update below, I've since learned—thanks to a heads-up from Steve Pafford—that the version of "Hallo Spaceboy" that appears early in the new David Bowie biopic Moonage Daydream is a new, unique edit of the Pet Shop Boys' remix of that track. It can also be found on the two-CD soundtrack of the film. I've now noted it in the "Mixes/Versions" section of my page devoted to this song. And if you would like to hear this new edit for yourself, it's available on YouTube.

Updates / Corrections

Thanks to Raymond Merkh for noticing and reporting a typo, now corrected, in my final annotation for "Ich bin Musik."

September 15, 2022

Updates / Corrections

Thanks to Tas for pointing out a typo, now corrected, on my Pet Shop Boys Tours page.

Thanks as well to Nenad P for telling me about an upcoming special Record Store Day release: an exclusive 12-inch transparent vinyl release of Claptone's "Queen of Ice," which will apparently feature an additional previously unreleased PSB remix. I'll hold off on updating my page devoted to that song until the actual November 25 release date, but it's something I'll very much keep in mind when the time comes.

September 8, 2022

PSB Lists

Thanks to Bill Bahlman for telling me that the David Bowie/Pet Shop Boys collaboration "Hallo Spaceboy" can be heard during the first few minutes of the new Bowie biopic Moonage Daydream. This fact earns that song a spot at #103 in my list of PSB songs used in non-musical films and TV shows. And, yes, even though this film indeed focuses on a musician and is full of music, I would nevertheless consider such a documentary a "non-musical" film.

September 7, 2022

Celebrity PSB Fans

Thanks so much to both Adrian Williams and Stacy M for letting me know that University Challenge question setter (writer/verifier) Janet Crompton is a self-described huge Pet Shop Boys fan, as revealed in a recent BBC2 documentary about the history of the long-running U.K. television program (the U.K. spinoff from the legendary but now defunct U.S. show College Bowl). She's quite well known and respected within her profession, having served in a similar capacity for a number of other TV quiz shows. I've therefore added her name to my list of celebrity fans of the Boys outside of the field of music.

September 2, 2022

Updates / Corrections

Thanks to Andrea Grasso for pointing out something that called for a bit of clarification—the availability of the original version of the song as opposed to the "unplugged" version—on my page for "Decadence." I've now made the necessary adjustment to eliminate this potential source of confusion.

September 1, 2022

Celebrity PSB Fans

I've learned (through his own personal testimony) that psychotherapist, health advocate, vlogger, and internet personality Damon L. Jacobs is a dedicated Pet Shop Boys fan! So I've added his name to my list of celebrity fans of the Boys outside of the field of music.

August 31, 2022

PSB Covers

While running errands in my car today, I happened to hear on a local radio station a remake of "Suburbia" that I'd never heard before, a 2013 rendition by (as I've since learned) an Italian artist known as Trancemission, not to be confused with similarly named German and U.S. bands. I've now noted this recording in my list of cover versions of Tennant-Lowe songs. And if you would like to hear it for yourself, it's available for your listening pleasure on YouTube.

Updates / Corrections

Thanks to Raymond Merkh for reporting a couple of transposed words (and, as I happened to notice, some awkward phrasing) in my entry for the song "On Social Media." I've now made the necessary corrections.

August 29, 2022

Song Annotations

Here's something that I mentioned here on this page once before, years ago, but I didn't bother to document for posterity elsewhere on this website. I'll take care of that oversight, however, right now. Thanks to Alex Buleyshvili for reminding me that "West End Girls" can be heard in the hugely successful 2013 video game Grand Theft Auto V. I've added a new final bullet-point annotation to my commentary on that song to make permanent note of this fact.

August 27, 2022

Updates / Corrections

Thanks to Brad Jacobsen for informing me that Robbie Williams has re-recorded "No Regrets"—a song that originally included backup vocals by Neil—for his new career retrospective XXV. As one might expect, this new rendition does not feature our Mr. Tennant. I've noted this fact on my page devoted to that song.

August 24, 2022

PSB Lists

Thanks to Jules Chance for letting me know that the episode dated August 25, 2022 of the long-running U.K. soap opera EastEnders (released in advance of that date on BBC iPlayer) played a portion of "Opportunities (Let's Make Lots of Money)" for the sendoff of the characters Rainie and Stuart Highway. I've accordingly updated my entry for that song #6 in my list of Pet Shop Boys songs used in non-musical films and television shows.

August 21, 2022

Odds and Ends

There's really no logical permanent spot for it on my website, but it's certainly worth noting here in "What's New?" Thanks so much to Dirk (from Belgium) for pointing out a recent online article in which Sting—Neil's fellow alumnus of St. Cuthbert's Catholic School in Newcastle—names "West End Girls" among his ten favorite songs of all time. Cool!

Thank You

Having received his permission to do so, I've added Thomas Schulz to my Thank You page in recognition of his assistance day before yesterday (see just below).

August 19, 2022

Updates / Corrections

Thanks to Thomas Schulz for reporting a typo, now corrected, on my page devoted to the song "So Hard."

Incidentally, in case you haven't noticed, today is the 41st anniversary of when Chris and Neil first met in that London hi-fi shop!

August 18, 2022

Updates / Corrections

Only today I noticed that I had neglected to add, upon its release, "Purple Zone" to my list of how Pet Shop Boys singles differ (if at all) from the album versions. I've now rectified this oversight.

August 12, 2022

Covers of PSB Songs

Thanks to Andrew Shaw for letting me know that Marc Almond has posted a recording of his live cover of "Rent" on his Instagram account, which thereby qualifies it for inclusion on my page that lists remakes of Tennant-Lowe songs. As a reminder, I have drastically cut back on additions to this page on account of the overwhelming surge in recent years of essentially "amateur" cover versions posted online. I no longer make note of "non-physical" remakes by obvious amateurs or even professionals who are more or less unknown and/or aren't recording on a major (or at least "established") record label. I do reserve the right to make occasional exceptions, but they have to strike me as, well, exceptional for me to list them in spite of that general restriction. Almond, of course, is neither an amateur nor "unknown."

August 11, 2022

Updates / Corrections

Following up on yesterday's post (see the second paragaph below), thanks to Georgiy for noticing that the Pet Shop Boys' official website very quickly removed the lyrics for the Soft Cell cover of "The Day the World Turned Day-Glo" from its lyrics section. I've therefore removed the now-broken link, and I've also appropriately updated the corresponding entry in my list of songs mistakenly attributed online to PSB.

August 10, 2022

PSB Lists

Thanks to Daniel B. for pointing out (with evidence) that the German politician and government official Sven Lehmann is a Pet Shop Boys fan, which of course qualifies him for inclusion in my list of non-musical celebrity fans.

And Andrew Shaw (when it rains, it pours!) clued me in on a most unusual fact: that "The Day the World Turned Day-Glo" currently appears in the lyrics section of Pet Shop Boys' own website, which would suggest that this song—originally released in 1978 by X-Ray Spex and written by then-lead singer Poly Styrene, but covered by Soft Cell and included as the "b-side" of the Soft Cell/PSB collaborative single "Purple Zone"—is a "PSB song." But since the Soft Cell rendition is strictly a Soft Cell recording that the Pet Shop Boys really had nothing whatsoever to do with, Andrew suggested that I add it to my list of songs mistakenly attributed online to the Boys. Well, that's just too remarkable to ignore! So I've added it to that list at #25, although only time will tell how long it will be before this anomaly is noticed and removed from the PSB website. In the meantime, thanks again, Andrew!

August 9, 2022

Updates / Corrections

Thanks once again to Andrew Shaw, this time for informing me of the death several days ago (August 5) of Japanese fashion designer Issey Miyake, who's noteworthy in the "Pet Shop Boys world" by virtue of Chris Lowe's fondness for his creations. His passing called for an update to one of my annotations for the song "Flamboyant," which I've now addressed. I also refer to him in a number of other places here on my website, but none of these other references require corresponding updates.

August 8, 2022

PSB Lists

Thanks to Andrew Shaw for letting me know (and for providing the necessary supporting evidence) that Robin Bextor—English film/television producer and director, political candidate, and father of singer Sophie Ellis-Bextor—is a fan of the Pet Shop Boys. Hence I've added his name to my list of celebrity PSB fans outside the field of music.

August 5, 2022

Song Annotations

Thanks so much to Steve N. for sharing his very interesting observation that the meaning of the title line of "So Sorry, I Said" can change depending on where one might place that line's "missing" quotation marks. I now discuss this matter in a new final bullet-point annotation to my commentary on that song.

July 26, 2022

Updates / Corrections

Thanks to longtime site visitor Jules Chance for finding and reporting a couple of typos, now corrected, on my page for the song "Did You See Me Coming?"