Heart

Writers - Tennant/Lowe
First released - 1987
Original album - Actually
Producer - Andy Richards, Pet Shop Boys
Subsequent albums - Discography, PopArt, Pandemonium, Ultimate
Other releases - 1988 single (UK #1)

Neil and Chris were aiming for a seventies-style "mega-disco sound" with this track (dig those syndrums!), and many would say they succeeded admirably. Although they had originally considered offering it to British dance diva Hazell Dean, they changed their minds and instead developed it with Madonna in mind. But they decided against submitting it to her as well. (They themselves have suggested that they lacked the nerve to do so.) One can definitely imagine Madonna doing this; it's very much in her late '80s style, which itself often harkened back to the heyday of disco. Neil has also reportedly cited Phyllis Nelson's "I Like You"—a 1985 Shep Pettibone production that hit #1 hit on the U.S. dance charts—as an influence, although the strongest overt connection would seem to be the earlier track's prominent use of syndrums during its instrumental break.

Thematically, "Heart" is simply a confession, "quite sweet and sincere" according to Neil, of how deeply in love the narrator is—his "heart starts missing a beat" every time he sees the object of his affections. Neil has also described it as "a very warm song," and Chris has noted that it's "not ironic at all."

To promote the single (the fourth and final one released from Actually), the Pet Shop Boys starred in what is perhaps their most cinematic short-form video, featuring Ian McKellen as a rather creepy vampire closely modeled on Dracula. The plot of the video is very loosely based on the 1926 silent film classic Nosferatu, itself based on Dracula. Neil appears as a wealthy groom arriving at his castle with his new bride—who, contrary to rumor and occasional report, is not portrayed by the eighties hit singer Tiffany, though the resemblance is striking; the actress's name is Daniella Colić. Chris functions as Neil's chauffeur/valet, playing a rather ambiguous role in the plot. The vampire seduces Neil's young bride and absconds with her, leaving Neil, as he has put it, "bitter and twisted"—an excellent example of that genre of elaborate videos that have only a tenuous connection to the song itself.

As it turned out, "Heart" hit #1 in the U.K. but, curiously, it wasn't even released as a single in the States.

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