Tracks that mention "Pet Shop Boys"

This list doesn't include assorted live recordings in which Neil and/or Chris introduce themselves as the Pet Shop Boys.

1. "Pet Shop Boys" by the Pet Shop Boys

This early (1984), relatively obscure "Bobby O-era" b-side served as something of a formal introduction.

2. "Theme for the Pet Shop Boys" (aka "To the Pet Shop Boys") by the Hurricanes

Presented as if it were a PSB track by sundry Bobby O collections, but not really. The man behind this 1984 recording is German producer Manfred Alois Segieth, aka Elvine, aka Tess.

3. "West End Girls" (Remix '86) by the Pet Shop Boys

Another early Bobby O track. He mixed in the "Pet Shop Boys" shout from "Theme for the Pet Shop Boys."

4. The Tyree mix of "It's Alright " by the Pet Shop Boys

Kicks off with "Pet Shop Boys get busy one time!"

5. Pet Shop Boys 1991 Megamix

This official promotional single was released in Sweden, containing snippets of a number of PSB songs. Both Boys introduce themselves by name, concluding, "We're the Pet Shop Boys."

6. "Liberation" (E Smoove 12" Mix) by the Pet Shop Boys

The rapper exhorts, "Pet Shop Boys, feel liberation!" (In the case of this particular remix, in which barely a trace of the original track remains, I use the credit "by the Pet Shop Boys" guardedly.)

7. "Absolutely Fabulous" by Absolutely Fabulous (Pet Shop Boys with Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley)

"It's the bloody Pet Shop Boys, sweetie!"

8. "Generic Jingle" by the Pet Shop Boys

All of 14 seconds, primarily consisting of the distorted text "This is a generic jingle for Radio 1 FM, Pet Shop Boys, Pet Shop Boys."

9. "We're the Pet Shop Boys" by My Robot Friend (later covered by the Pet Shop Boys themselves and by Robbie Williams)

"In my heart we're the Pet Shop Boys," sings the narrator in this sad, nostalgic tale of lost love. That the Boys decided to cover what amounts to an homage to themselves is remarkable in both the literal and general sense of the word.

10. "Wonderboy" by Alphaville

The popular German synthpop band opens this song (from their 2003 Crazy Show box set) with the following lines:

I haven't been very good for some time
But now I listen to the music once again
To Bowie and the Pet Shop Boys

Listening to this music seems to be an important part of the narrator's process of "getting better" from a failed relationship. He's finally starting to feel like "wonderboy again."

11. "Sinatra" by Alain Chamfort

The career of French singer-songwriter Alain Chamfort spans more than thirty years and counting. His 2003 album Le Plaisir includes this song, something of a tribute to Frank Sinatra that also mentions in passing a number of more contemporary artists: David Bowie, Björk, Lou Reed, Nirvana, Air, Daft Punk, Madonna, and, sure enough, the Pet Shop Boys. More precisely, it's a "breakup song" in which the narrator is going through his and his erstwhile girlfriend's CD collection, determining who gets what as they prepare to part ways. As it turns out, pretty much all the narrator wants are the Sinatra CDs. All the rest—including the Pet Shop Boys—his ex-lover can take. The specific line in question is "Les Pet Shop Boys sont à toi"; that is, "The Pet Shop Boys are yours." If you ask me, she's getting the much better end of the deal!

12. "Canibitch" by Eminem

This track reportedly appears on Straight Out the Lab (aka Straight from the Lab), an "underground EP" of otherwise unreleased raps by Eminem, parts of which have been circulating online. The primary target here of Eminem's bile is rival rapper Canibus—the two have a running feud—but Mr. Mathers can't resist insulting assorted others along the way. At one point during the narrative he and his mentor/cohort Dr. Dre are driving at top speed to Canada, casually running over a few people en route. Among those disposed of in this manner are the Pet Shop Boys, mentioned very briefly in passing (literally). Eminem offers no further comment on our heroes. This of course was inspired by "The Night I Fell in Love"; the Boys probably wouldn't have appeared on Eminem's radar screen otherwise. Neil and Chris surely knew that their song would earn them some sort of recognition, so to speak, in an Eminem rap. They just as surely relished the prospect.

13. "Another Kind of Judy" by Billy Bragg

This song, from British punk-urban-folkie-protest-singer Billy Bragg's 2002 album England, Half English, sounds like a rather unflattering portrait of a former lover, or at least of an former love affair. It includes the thoroughly uncomplimentary couplet—

She filled my head with the awful noise
Of her disappointment and the Pet Shop Boys

—which surely won't earn Billy an invitation to any upcoming parties Chris or Neil may decide to throw. Not, I suspect, that Billy would be terribly interested.

14. "Colección de Favoritas" by Los Sencillos

This Spanish-language song—which appears on a 1999 album of the same name (it translates as "Collection of Favorites")—includes the following lines:

Coleccionabas coches de Scalextric
Coleccionabas discos de Elvis y los Pet Shop Boys

Translation:
You collected Scalextric cars
You collected records by Elvis and the Pet Shop Boys

Los Sencillos' lead singer, Miqui Puig, is now a solo performer who has repeatedly professed PSB fandom.

15. "Sometimes with the Pet Shop Boys" and "Sometimes without the Pet Shop Boys" by blaknoisewhitesoul

I'm counting these two very closely related tracks as one. I discuss the unfortunate saga surrounding them elsewhere on this website. The first uses the lyrics of "West End Girls," whereas the lyrics of the other are so difficult to make out that I'm not at all sure whether "Pet Shop Boys" is mentioned anywhere other than in the title. But, by virtue of those titles, I figure they merit inclusion in this list.

16. "Back to Yazoo" by Royal Visionaires

The title track of a 2004 album by this Swedish-American duo—that is, one of them is Swedish and the other American—cleverly mentions a number of synth-pop bands by name, though usually in a context other than the bands' names per se. For instance, one line goes "My friends are joined in a human league." PSB gets name-checked with "Why don't we stop at the pet shop, boys?" Other groups that receive similar treatment include Sparks, New Order, Alphaville, Culture Club, OMD, and, of course, Yazoo, among others.

17. "El Jevito" by Toque Profundo

Toque Profundo (which translates as "Deep Touch") is a Dominican rock band whose 1996 album La Moneda contains this song, the title of which is Dominican Spanish slang for a young man who's a slave to fashion—"the little fashionplate," as it were. The lyrics focus on one such young man, mentioning several artists as a means of describing his tastes. The lines that most interest us are:

Con su Pet Shop Boys no hay cuento que valga
Y maldice al Disc Jokey si pone a Sergio Vargas

Idomiatically translated: "With his Pet Shop Boys he doesn't joke around, and he gets angry if the disc jockey instead plays Sergio Vargas [a popular Dominican singer]." The lyrics go on to say how the central character loves New Wave music, but that Michael Jackson reigns supreme in his tastes.

18. "The Sodom and Gomorrah Show" (demo version) by the Pet Shop Boys

Released officially as a "bonus" via U.K. iTunes, this demo features the words "Pet Shop Boys" spoken hastily—twice, I believe—during a bit of cacophony at the end of the middle eight (aka the bridge).

19. "How Cool… Pet Shop Boys" by The Garland Cult

Self-styled as "Ireland's most glamorous electro dance act," The Garland Cult (the duo of Aidan Casserly and Lar Kiernan) had originally planned to include a song titled "How Cool … Pet Shop Boys" on their 2008 album Glitterazzi. But when the album appeared, this song was nowhere to be found. At this time it seems to be in limbo, although snippets of it—which indeed mention the Pet Shop Boys by name—were at one time posted in various places online. I'm not sure if they are any longer.

20. "Fanatic Boy" by KoolTURE

This song, written and recorded as part of the PSB fan charity project Philanthropy, was inspired by a sad but true story: the sudden death of a young fan, suffering from cancer, only a few days before he was scheduled to attend his first PSB concert. The Pet Shop Boys are mentioned in the first verse.

21. "New York" by Montt Mardié

From this Swedish singer's 2005 debut full-length album Drama, the second verse of this song includes a line referring to his girlfriend talking about "Pet Shop Boys and modern art."

22. "People Who Like…" by Kit and the Widow

This comic British cabaret duo refer to the Boys—and not at all in a complimentary fashion—in this song from their 2001 double-album Les Enfants du Parody (although they had been performing it live at least nine years beforehand). It's primarily a satirical look at Stephen Sondheim and the fans of his musicals, but it levels a glancing blow at PSB as well: "You start off with art and end up with (God help us!) the Pet Shop Boys!"

23. "If I Was a Pet Shop Boy" by Eden

Technically, this—the first single from this Irish synthpop band's 2009 second album Electric! (not to be confused with the 2013 PSB album of the same name, minus the exclamation point)—may truly not qualify because "Pet Shop Boys" aren't mentioned: only the singular "Boy." But with the recurring refrain "If I was a Pet Shop Boy, would you love me?" I could hardly ignore it, the nontraditional grammar notwithstanding. Toward the end they even include a "musical quotation," playing a very slightly altered version of the primary instrumental theme from "So Hard" in the background during the coda. Delightful.

redflag24. "Nevermind HTTP" by Red Flag

This Liverpool synth duo, consisting of brothers Chris and Mark Reynolds, name-dropped the Pet Shop Boys (as well as Depeche Mode and Erasure's Vince and Andy) in this terrific song from their 1998 album Caveat Emptor. The second verse begins, "PSB, 'cuz they're never boring." OK, so the words "Pet Shop Boys" aren't used per se, but it's close enough for me. By the way, is it my imagination, or do they also seem to have a bit of a "PSB look" goin' on with their photo (right) on the album's cover?

25. "Überdosis Pet Shop Boys" by Dirty Dishes

This brief, simple, and (in my opinion) slightly sloppy keyboard instrumental, only 1:19 in length, appears on this German lo-fi band's 2007 album Tea Is Not My Cup of Coffee. Dirty Dishes appears to have extremely comic sensibilities, but I can't say that for sure since I know only about ten words of German, and I've been unable to find much of anything about them online. The song's title translates to "Overdose Pet Shop Boys," and since it doesn't have lyrics, the title will suffice to justify its being listed here for mentioning the Pet Shop Boys by name. It doesn't strike me as a PSB parody, either, so I'm not adding it to my list of performance parodies of the Boys. To be honest, I'm not sure what to make of it.

26. "Ghettofabulous" by Baxendale

From this U.K. synthpop trio's 2003 album The Revenge Has Just Begun, we get this intriguing couplet with a slightly flawed rhyme:

Does anyone really want a new Pet Shop Boys?
I certainly wouldn't given the choice.

Subsequent lines then note how they would have to start performing "West End Girls" and give one of their members the boot so that they'd just be a duo. Were they feeling a bit chafed by the fact that a number of critics had compared them to PSB and had sometimes cited the Boys as an influence? Or maybe it's just a bit of gentle ribbing. It may also be worth noting, however, that a few years later (2007) Baxendale put out a song titled "Music for Girls," the lyrics of which celebrate said "poppy" music and refer specifically to the year 1991. As it just so happens, the Pet Shop Boys released their track "Music for Boys" in 1991. Coincidence?

27. "I Am You" by We & Lisa

This Swedish electro-pop band's 2009 album Dreams within a Dream includes this song, which mentions PSB in the line "You and some other guy screaming to the Pet Shop Boys." What's more, this track also betrays the Boys' strong stylistic influence. The lead vocalist even sounds a good deal like Neil himself.

28. "Tribute to the Pet Shop Boys" by Wes's Mepron

It's an instrumental, so the only PSB mention is in the title. From the 2005 album A Cup Full of Banana Flavored Toxic Waste, this strange uptempo track doesn't even sound vaguely like our musical heroes. It is synth-dominated, however, and I believe that's a drum machine handling the percussion. Is it a genuine nod to PSB, an attempt at irony, or both? I suspect the latter since the entire album—a one-man show as far as I can tell—betrays propensities for both skewed humor and electronic music.

29. "Pet Shop Boy" by Joachim Witt

This German pop star released his song with the singular "Pet Shop Boy" title on his 1988 album 10 Millionen Partys. It also became a 12-inch single. The lyrics take the form of a dialogue between a young couple in which the girl sings "You are my Pet Shop Boy" to her boyfriend. The relationship sounds as though it may be set amidst a jet-set lifestyle, complete with references to the Cannes Film Festival. Singular PSB or not, I'm counting it.

30. "The Eiffel Tower & the BT Tower" by The Voluntary Butler Scheme

The Voluntary Butler Scheme is a one-man U.K. band with the rather ordinary name Rob Jones (no wonder he chose an alternative moniker). His 2009 debut album At Breakfast, Dinner, Tea features this track, which includes the line "You said that you love the songs of the Pet Shop Boys but hate the way they sound" (after which the narrator says that he played them for the person to whom he's singing on his guitar and kazoo). Delightful.

31. "Poseído por los Pet Shop Boys" by Kassidy

The title is Spanish for "Possessed by the Pet Shop Boys." Kassidy is a duo from Seville who included this track on their 2007 debut album Electrocardiopop. It also begins by sampling the opening of the Boys' own "It's a Sin."

32. "West End Girls" by Tammi, featuring Luvva J

At the start of this 2006 PSB cover somebody simply speaks the words "Pet Shop Boys."

33. "The Pet Shop Boys Blocked Me on Twitter" by Nathan Jay

This amusing 2010 track not only sounds quite a bit like the Boys but also name-drops numerous PSB song titles and references.

34. "The Exhilaration Of Spontaneous Ascension" by The Society Of Poor Academics

A name-check by this Norwegian band in the line "When you're shaking your cute little tush to the new Pet Shop Boys song."

35. "(I'm in Love with the Singer from) The Pet Shop Boys" by The Niallist

This delightful track posted online in 2010 is, at least from a lyrical perspective, pretty much summed up by its title, describing in detail the singer/songwriter's romantic fascination (or at least that of his lyrical persona) with Neil Tennant. Musically, this strongly synth-based track also contains elements of mild parody—most notably the repeated "thunderclaps" reminiscent of "It's a Sin"—though certainly not to the extent that I would consider it a "PSB performance parody."

36. "Pet Shop Boys" by Trio VD

Seeing as how it's an instrumental, the Boys are mentioned only in the title of this original piece that dates back at least to 2009, which has been performed live on various occasions (including a live broadcast on BBC Radio 3) by this U.K. jazz band. Reviewer Stuart Morrison has commented that "Anything less reminiscent of Chris and Neil would be difficult to imagine." So why the title? As explained to another reviewer, Tim Owen, the title was inspired by "an insult the group drew from a passing stranger"; Owen also felt, however, that the music "came close to aping, albeit obliquely, the repetitive beats of club music," thereby perhaps making the moniker more apt.

37. "New York City Boy" by Randy Jones (Marcos Carnaval and Max 2 Remix)

This particular remix of former Village Person (the original cowboy) Randy Jones's cover of "New York City Boy" includes a couple occurrences of the words "Pet Shop Boy" (singular), although they sound more the result of adept digital manipulation than any actual utterance of the words themselves. I've counted other "singular cases," so I'll count this one as well—constructed through technical artifice or otherwise.

38. "Lying on a Deathbed" by Jape

One side of a 2012 double-A-sided single by this Irish band (released in advance of its associated album, Ocean of Frequency), this somber narrative starts in "1984, maybe '85" with the protagonist, aged 6, watching MTV while "the Pet Shop Boys were at the height of their fame." One might debate the precise timing—a stronger argument can be made for, say 1987, being the year of the Boys' greatest fame—but that would be a quibble. Regardless, it's musical name-dropping at its most effective.

39. "The New Pet Shop Boys Single's Metro" by Eleven (aka Oscar Salguero)

This lovely late 2012 track—the eleventh and final song on the album, also titled Eleven—by Spanish songwriter and producer Oscar Salguero (but with vocals by "Professor Steem"), not only mentions the Pet Shop Boys in the title and chorus but also, in the second verse, refers by name (in chronological order) to their first five studio albums. (Incidentally, the same album also includes a track titled "The Way It Used to Be," but it's not a cover of the identically titled PSB song.)

40. "Petshop Boys Saved My Life" by Portrait of a Lifetime

No, that's not a typo; it is spelled "Petshop Boys" in the title, but I'm counting it anyway. The self-described "electronica/hardcore/hiphop" (though elsewhere described as "post-rock/experimental") Welsh duo Portrait of a Lifetime includes this raucous track on their 2009 EP From the Lung of a Harbour Town. I've heard only excerpts and haven't yet heard mention of PSB in the lyrics (difficult as they are to make out), so until I can learn more I'm afraid I don't have much to say about it.

41. "What Goes on the Road" by the National Lampoon Comedians

In 2003, National Lampoon released the album Rules of the Road, subtitled "The Greatest Truckin' Songs of All Time." Of course, being a National Lampoon production, it consists entirely of satirical parodies of truckin' songs, the dominant recurring joke of which is how lonely and oversexed truckers are. The opening number, "What Goes on the Road" (as in "What goes on the road stays on the road") is a primary case in point, the gist of which is how the married, ostensibly heterosexual narrator has no qualms about indulging in homosexual liaisons out on the road, mainly at highway rest-stops. And when he pulls in, what's the first thing he does to signal his interests? Why, all he has to do is "put in the Pet Shop Boys and let the music blare." It doesn't take long for similarly interested guys to get the message loud and clear (PSB = GAY), and the fun begins. There was a time when this sort of thing might have either impressed me greatly or offended me deeply, but now I just find it mildly amusing. It's not because it's particularly funny, but rather because it's such a cliché—what might at one time have been subversive now just seems tired—that I can't help but be amused that anyone might indeed consider it funny. Maybe I'm just too close to the butts of the joke, so to speak. It does make me wonder, however, whether the creators of this track may have been familiar with the Boys' own 1996 truckin' song, "The Truck-Driver and His Mate," the subject matter of which isn't entirely dissimilar.

42. "Pet Shop Boys (instrumental)" by Karma

As with some of the other tracks listed here, the PSB mention is only in the title of this opening number on the 2014 album Silence Is Golden by hip-hop artist Karma. Even though the title says "(instrumental)," it's really doesn't strike me as an instrumental because throughout a heavily processed voice (think chipmunk Alvin) repeatedly intones excerpted lyrics and snatches of melody from "Home and Dry." In fact, I believe this ultimately boils down to a hugely reworked cover of that song.

43. "My Dream of a Magical Washing Machine" by Laura Imbruglia

Laura Imbruglia—the younger sister of pop singer Natalie Imbruglia—is an Australian indie rock singer-songwriter with several albums to her credit. In 2005 she released this single (which reappeared the following year on her eponymous debut album) that whimsically tells of her titular dream device that played music as it washed her clothes: "Instead of swishy noises I could listen to the Pet Shop Boys and the whites they just got whiter in the musical enlightener." Delightfully, in order to rhyme with "noises," she mispronounces "Pet Shop Boys" as "Pet Shop Boyses."

44. "Mr. Average" by Andy Bell

Erasure's Andy Bell debuted his solo song-cycle Torsten the Bareback Saint live in 2014; shortly afterward it was released on CD. Among its individual songs is "Mr. Average," which includes the lines "I remember when the Pet Shop Boys were new / It was the first summer that I met you."

45. "Pet Shop Boys" by Yoo-Yoo

Released in June 2016, this Swedish recording strives, in the words of one of the band members, "to grasp those early, whimsy feelings" of the Boys' late-eighties hits. The heavily processed vocals of the chorus repeat "Boys—Pet Shop Boys."

46. "The Eighties Never Died" by Spray

The 2016 album Enforced Fun by the British synthpop duo Spray (consisting of Jenny McLaren and Ricardo Autobahn) includes this rollicking track, which name-checks the Pet Shop Boys along with 19 other popular 1980s bands during a spoken interlude—doing so in a manner that itself is rather PSB-ish. In fact, unlike most of those other bands, our particular musical heroes receive a second mention when the speaker mentions them again in the background just a little later in the song.

47. "Thank You" by Rusty Egan

This track from this Britsh musician/DJ/producer's 2016 album Welcome to the Dance Floor lists a number of artists and bands that have influenced him: his "musical heroes," as one reviewer has put it. Among those musical heroes are the Pet Shop Boys.

48. "Child of the 80s" by LorD and Master

A marvelous 2017 synthpop original by a longtime PSB fan that, appropriately enough, name-checks the Pet Shop Boys as well as Duran Duran, the Eurythmics song "Sexcrime," and other influences and icons of the 1980s.

Honorable Mentions

The words "Pet Shop Boys" don't appear at all in this meditation on what it might be like to love a gay celebrity by the Swedish band Le Sport, appearing on their 2006 album Euro Deluxe Dance Party. But, not surprisingly, Neil's name is sung repeatedly. My favorite line: "Would he be my man and stand up and fight for me?"

As you can see, the Pet Shop Boys aren't themselves "mentioned," but since it's about them and sung from their perspective, it surely deserves "honorary" inclusion here.