Vampires

Writers - Tennant/Lowe
First released - 1999
Original album - Nightlife
Producer - Pet Shop Boys
Subsequent albums - Closer to Heaven (performed by the original cast)
Other releases - (none)

Neil has reportedly stated in an interview that this song's lyrics were partly inspired by seeing a friend doing ketamine in a club. (Ketamine is a potentially dangerous anaesthetic, used in both human and veterinary medicine, that clubbers have been known to use because of the dreamy "out-of-body" high it can induce.) Stylistically a bit of a shuffle, the lyrics seem straightforward enough: the narrator and the person(s) to whom he's speaking are metaphorical "vampires," presumably because they live their lives primarily at night (remember, the album is titled Nightlife). "I'm a vampire, you're a vampire, too."

But, appropriately enough, there's an even darker edge. What if they're "vampires" also in the sense that they derive their sustenance from others—"sucking their blood," so to speak? If so, the narrator recognizes this fact and, though perhaps with a twinge of regret, embraces it: "It's a reflex, like fear or sex." In other words, it's just the way he is, and there's nothing he can do about it.

Incidentally, the phrase "New Orleans pretty" is probably inspired by Anne Rice's vampire novels, starting with Interview with the Vampire, which are largely set in New Orleans. This song eventually would up in the Boys' musical Closer to Heaven, where it received a notably different treatment.

Annotations

Mixes

Officially released

PSB renditions

Closer to Heaven cast album rendition

List cross-references