Disappointed
by Electronic

Writers - Sumner/Marr/Tennant
First released - 1992
Original album - Cool World (soundtrack - various artists)
Producer - Bernard Sumner, Johnny Marr, Neil Tennant, Stephen Hague
Subsequent albums - Get the Message: The Best of Electronic
Other releases - single (UK #6)

Neil sings lead on this remarkable song, which he co-wrote with Sumner and Marr of the "superduo" Electronic. (They composed the backing instrumental track, while Neil wrote the lyrics and melody line of the vocal.) Released in 1992, it was available only as a single and on the soundtrack album for the movie Cool World until late 2006, when it appeared on the collection Get the Message: The Best of Electronic.

This propulsive, harmonically gorgeous track is highlighted by a lush backdrop of synth strings, piano, rhythm guitar, and Neil's own falsetto background vocals. Its lyrics concern the tentative feelings of falling in love with someone whom you've slowly come to believe won't ultimately leave you feeling disappointed or disillusioned. (You get the distinct impression that the narrator has been badly hurt in love before.) By the same token, our protagonist is confident that he himself won't disappoint his propective lover.

Neil once told interviewer Randee Dawn that this track was strongly influenced by "Désenchantée," a song by French-Canadian songstress Mylène Farmer. "I met someone and fell in love with him, and we were touring in Europe and kept hearing this record.… [I]t includes the line 'disappointed once again, disenchanted, encore.'" As a result, "Disappointed" is, in Neil's own words, "My little tribute to Mylène Farmer."

Perhaps the most intriguing lines appear in the second verse, when Neil sings, "Listen as you call my name—just one syllable said, then spoken once again." As was pointed out several years ago by someone in a PSB online discussion group, if you take the narrator as Neil himself, this could be interpreted either as Neil hearing someone repeat his name twice or as someone saying to him, "Neil—kneel." I'll leave it to you to consider the possible implications.

Mixes

Officially released

List cross-references