Hell

Writers - Tennant/Lowe
First released - 2012
Original album - Elysium 2017 reissue bonus disc
Producer - Pet Shop Boys
Subsequent albums - (none)
Other releases - bonus track with single "Leaving"

The Boys wrote this song during the sessions for Elysium. Neil described it in a 2012 interview with the German magazine Der Spiegel as being about dictators talking to each other in Hell, set to a "Balkan beat." Neil thought it funny but Chris didn't, so the latter's veto ensured that it wouldn't appear on the album. Neil said that it would probably be relegated to a "b-side" (a more or less archaic term these days, but we know what he meant)–and, sure enough, that's precisely what happened.

Chris's reservations notwithstanding, it does have a bouncy, rather comic sound, at least judging by a brief excerpt provided in advance of its release. The chorus (in one of its variations) goes:

Hell, hello, it's Hell in here
Evil is a bore with a big idea
Hell, hello, what's not to fear?
Evil is bore, which makes it Hell in here

These lines shrewdly suggest that much of the awfulness of Hell stems more from its inhabitants than from the environment itself. In other words, maybe Heaven itself would be hellish if such people could also be found there.

In the January 2013 issue of Literally, Neil revealed that this song has other, unused verses, including these lines that he admits are "too rude": "Of Adolf Eichmann there's barely a trace/But Colonel Gadaffi still farts in his face." An admirably tasteful exclusion, that.

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