Up and Down

Writers - Tennant/Lowe
First released - 2009
Original album - Format
Producer - Pet Shop Boys
Subsequent albums - Yes 2017 reissue Further Listening 2008-2010 bonus disc
Other releases - bonus track with single "Did You See Me Coming?"

The Boys wrote this song (or at least an early version of it) in 2003 with the original title "No Excuse." They recorded it in April 2009—retitling it in the process—and released it as a bonus track on the "Did You See Me Coming?" single. Tom Stephan, aka Superchumbo, has done a remix of it.

This fairly simple but appealing song expresses the narrator's wild swings of mood depending on the presence or absence of his lover. Despite his conscientious efforts to stay healthy and focused, leading what appears to all outside observers to be a well-balanced life, he finds himself a victim of his feelings. He says he has "a secret agenda" that rules his private life: "I miss you so much, I'm a mess." As the chorus goes,

I go up, I go down
I go crazy when you're not around

It's obvious that this lover isn't around nearly as much as the narrator would like. As so often is the case in PSB songs, we're left with the distinct impression that this relationship doesn't have a very bright future. It's quite indicative, in fact, that the narrator describes his mental state by referring to himself as "a cloud in trousers." That also happens to be the title of a 1915 poem by the Russian poet Vladimir Mayakovsky, the narrator of which is also a rejected, frustrated lover.

As a final, interesting sidenote, the "Tom Stephan Vocal Mix" of "Up and Down" includes percussion samples that sound very much as though they've been lifted from the Boys' own classic "Opportunities (Let's Make Lots of Money)."



Officially released

List cross-references