Falling

Writers - Tennant/Lowe
First released - 1994 (Kylie Minogue); 2001 (PSB)
Original album - Very 2001 reissue Further Listening 1992-1994 bonus disc
Producer - Pet Shop Boys
Subsequent albums - (none)
Other releases - (none)

This 1994 track originated with one of Chris's efforts to create a new remix of "Go West." He gave up on that, and instead he and Neil decided to use the instrumental track as the basis for a new song altogether. As it so happened, at about the same time Kylie Minogue asked the Boys to provide her with a new song, so the erstwhile "Go West" remix became the Kylie track "Falling."

Unfortunately, the whole situation was marred by bad timing, and it would seem that both Kylie and the Boys were somewhat dissatisfied with the final results. Chris and Neil had written and produced "Falling" very much in the soaring Stock-Aitken-Waterman style that Kylie had adhered to up to that point in her career. Kylie, however, wanted a very different style for her 1994 eponymous first post-SAW album. Kylie accepted the song but eschewed the original SAW-style backing track, choosing instead to re-record it altogether. In the new arrangement (produced by Pete Heller and Terry Farley), she sang/spoke/whispered the lyrics à la Madonna circa "Justify My Love," all but abandoning the original melody. Chris and Neil were deeply disappointed by this since they felt that the original melody was actually quite good. The two versions do in fact come across as completely different songs, the shared lyrics notwithstanding.

The original PSB demo version finally saw the light of day with the 2001 reissue of Very. It's interesting to note the recurring melodic motif played on the french horn—or, more likely, a digital keyboard using french horn samples—that the Boys would later reuse for the concluding phrase in the chorus of "To Step Aside." The lyrics (which Neil frankly considers among his worst) are simple and straightforward, with the narrator revealing mixed feelings about "falling in love again" with someone who had previously been unfaithful. Since these lyrics were originally written to be sung by Kylie, Neil's rendition takes on bisexual overtones: "Tell me now you regret her."

In summary, we can be very glad indeed that the Pet Shop Boys finally decided to release their version. We love Kylie, but, to be blunt, the PSB version is vastly superior—in fact, at least when judged by its "revelatory" value, it's perhaps the single greatest highlight of the entire reissue series.

Annotations

Mixes

Kylie Minogue rendition:

PSB rendition:

List cross-references