Writers - Tennant/Lowe
First released - 1987
Original album - Actually
Subsequent albums - (none)
Other releases - (none)
Perhaps somewhat cryptically, Neil has noted that this number is about "what happens when you take the sex out of the disco." Another one of the Boys' early songs that seem superficial and trivial upon first hearing yet subsequently reveals deeper, richer layers of meaning, it's a frequently overlooked part of the PSB repertoire, despite the fact that Neil says it was among the first lyrics that he wrote in response to the AIDS epidemic. In retrospect, this fact becomes perfectly clear with such lines as these:
It's all about love and it's about forgetting
Choose a song when the night's too long
We all need love and we want protection
In short, we can take some solace in "hit music," which helps us get through the "long night." Note the punning reference to "protection," which became and remains a bywordnot to mention a survival tacticin the wake of AIDS.
- This track's underlying bass-synth riff is clearly inspired by the famed riff from Henry Mancini's oft-covered 1959 classic "Peter Gunn" (the theme from the TV series of the same name). It might have been in the fore of the Boys' consciousness in that "Peter Gunn" had been remade into a new hit version by Art of Noise as recently as 1986. Although the "Hit Music" riff is similar enough for the debt to be obvious, it's different enough to avoid any risk of copyright infringement.
- "In Kensington or Spanish Harlem" – Kensington is an affluent district of London. By contrast, Spanish Harlem is a not-at-all affluent section of New York City. In fact, in popular culture it has become something of a "shorthand archetype" for poverty—albeit of a somewhat romanticized variety—as in the classic Ben E. King song "Spanish Harlem" and Elton John's "Mona Lisa's and Mad Hatters" (to take just two of many examples). The juxtaposition of these two very different locales in a single line suggests they were chosen precisely for the tremendous contrast they offer, signifying places very distantly removed from each other geographically, culturally, and economically.
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