In the Night
Writers - Tennant/Lowe
First released - 1985
Original album - Disco
Subsequent albums - Alternative, Format, Please 2001 reissue Further Listening 1984-1986 bonus disc, Bilingual 2001 reissue Further Listening 1995-1997 bonus disc
Other releases - b-side of 1985 single "Opportunities"; bonus track with single "Before"
Neil has stated that this song (the 7" version of which was the b-side of the Boys' first single, "Opportunities") was inspired by his reading of a book by David Pryce-Jones about Paris during the German occupation of World War II. In it, Pryce-Jones wrote of les Zazous, long-haired proto-beatnik dissidents who conscientiously chose not to take sides with either the Nazis or the Resistance, but instead "opted out." As a result, they were distrusted and hated by both sides. The Nazis disdained them as depraved and decadent, while the French Resistance regarded them as collaborators. Obviously Neil was intrigued by the dramatic possibilities of being in such an ambiguous and precarious position.
Stylistically the song betrays the influence of American producer "Bobby O" Orlando, with whom Neil and Chris were working at the time. (In particular, note the strong musical similarity to the cult classic "Passion" by the Flirts, written and produced by Bobby O.) A British TV program devoted to fashion, The Clothes Show, used part of "In the Night" as its theme song, which prompted the Boys to record a new version in 1995. The newer rendition, an instrumental, replaced the old one as the TV theme music and was released as a bonus track on the "Before" single.
- The lyrics were inspired by the 1981 book Paris in the Third Reich: A History of the German Occupation, 1940-1944 by historian David Pryce-Jones.
- "Zazou, what you gonna do?" – As noted above, the narrator is addressing one of "les Zazous," dissident French youth who tried to stay aloof from politics during the Nazi occupation of the Second World War. The Zazous were enthusiasts of jazz music, and in fact probably got their name from scat-style nonsense syllables sung by American jazz vocalist and bandleader Cab Calloway—particularly his 1933 hit "Zaz Zuh Zaz." They were generally distrusted by both the Nazis and the French Resistance, and hence led a somewhat tenuous "borderline" existence.
- "Comment allez-vous?" - French, literally meaning "How do you go?" but used idiomatically to mean "How is it going for you?" or "How are you?"
- "Down to Select or Le Colisée" - Select and Le Colisée, popular hangouts for the Zazous, were nightclubs in Paris during World War II.
- "… there's a thin line between love and crime and collaboration" – A takeoff on the familiar English-language aphorism "There's a thin line between love and hate." The implication here, of course, is that in occupied Paris (not to mention other places) acts of love could be viewed not only as criminal but also as evidence of collaboration with the enemy, which could certainly earn you the hatred of others.
Pet Shop Boys and Phil Harding
- Available on Alternative and the Further Listening bonus disc with the Please reissue
- 7" version (4:51)
Baker Remix (4:26)
- Available on certain versions of the "Paninaro '95" single
- Arthur Baker Remix Edit (aka Promo Edit, aka 7" Edit) (3:39)
- Available on Disco and Essential
- Arthur Baker Remix (4:26)
- Available on the Further Listening bonus disc with the Bilingual reissue and on Format
- "1995 Version" (4:18)
Official but unreleased
- Mixer: Arthur Baker
- Arthur Baker Dub 1 (6:05)
- Arthur Baker Dub 2 (5:55)
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