Writers - Tennant/Lowe
First released - 1993
Original album - Alternative
Subsequent albums - Very 2001 reissue Further Listening 1992-1994 bonus disc (PSB), Closer to Heaven (performed by the original cast)
Other releases - b-side of single "Go West"
One of the Pet Shop Boys most popular b-sides, this song shows Neil and Chris at their most outrageous and uninhibited—five minutes of sheer, unadulterated fun. Yet, as fun as it is, it's not without a serious point.
There's no denying the implicit criticism of modern-day shock-value "celebrity for celebrity's sake" as voiced in the chorus: "We're shamelesswe will do anything to get our fifteen minutes of fame! We have no integrity…." To their credit, Tennant and Lowe satirically cast themselves among this shameless lot, writing in the first person (as they did in the equally farcical "Opportunities") and thus inviting all manner of harsh rejoinder. Fortunately, little or none came, either because this track was merely the b-side to "Go West," rather than a high-profile a-side, or because by now everyone who might have cared got the joke.
In the Alternative booklet, Chris expresses some mild regret that this track, recorded during the Very sessions, wasn't included on that album and released as a single. It's obvious theatrical potential, however, ensured its eventually receiving a somewhat higher-profile release. A new treatment of "Shameless" would find its way into the Boys' 2001 stage musical, Closer to Heaven.
- "We will do anything to get our fifteen minutes of fame" – In a 1968 art-exhibition catalog, American artist and filmmaker Andy Warhol predicted that "In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes." Ever since, "fifteen minutes of fame" has been used as a familiar catch-phrase to describe the fleeting nature of widespread renown in contemporary popular culture.
- "When the going gets rough, the tough get their pictures in the press" – A takeoff on the familiar modern-day English-language aphorism "When the going gets tough, the tough get going." The origins of the original statement are uncertain, having been attributed to various persons, including businessman/diplomat Joseph Kennedy (father of President John F. Kennedy) and famed U.S. footbal coach Knute Rockne.
- Mixers: Stephen Hague and Mike "Spike" Drake
- Original b-side version
- Available on Alternative (5:03)
- Original b-side version
Closer to Heaven cast album rendition
- Mixer: Bob Kraushaar
- Closer to Heaven cast album version (3:15)
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