God Willing

Writers - Tennant/Lowe
First released - 2006
Original album - Fundamental
Producer - Trevor Horn
Subsequent albums - (none)
Other releases - (none)

Early reports stated that Fundamental would consist of eleven songs plus an instrumental introduction. "God Willing" was originally intended as that first track. The revised final track listing, however, moved it more toward the middle of the album, where it serves as a prelude to the next song, "Luna Park." At least it serves that function on the album's CD release. Curiously (and almost inexplicably, at least in the mind of this writer), on the rare 2006 vinyl release, "God Willing" appears as the final track on Side 1 of the album, while "Luna Park" is the first track on Side 2. But that changed with the 2017 reissue of the album, the vinyl edition of which places "God Willing" at the start of Side 2. It would seem that the original 2006 placement was an out-and-out mistake, which the Boys made sure to rectify with the 2017 reissue. In fact, on the promo interview disc released in conjunction with the original album, Chris comes right out and says that if it were on vinyl, this would be the first track on Side 2.

Originally titled "The Day Before Tomorrow," this piece began with Chris and Neil experimenting with "non-Western" music scales. They were aiming for a somewhat "Arabic-sounding" track, though they concede that they may not have been successful in that respect. But the title was inspired by the Arabic word "Insha'Allah" (which indeed translates as "God willing" or "If it is God's will"), commonly used by Arab Muslims when they speak of future plans.

Although this is an instrumental in the sense that it has no lyrics, Neil does sing a wordless multi-tracked choral line, his voice processed through an autotune program. The Boys made several attempts to add spoken-word vocals—some by just Neil, others by both Neil and Chris—but they were never pleased with the results, generally judging them pretentious. Eventually they gave up and left it without words.

More than a year after Fundamental was released, the Pet Shop Boys made an earlier, much longer "rough mix" of "God Willing" available for listening as an "exclusive track" on their official website. Intriguingly, this alternate version—which would perhaps have been better suited than the Fundamental track for its original purpose as album intro—includes at its beginning and end the sounds of birds chirping and squawking. It apparently also embeds in the mix some backwards-masked audio of Chris, Neil, and producer Trevor Horn reading excerpts from emails they had recently received. Somewhat odd, to say the least.



Officially released

Official but unreleased

List cross-references