Liberation

Writers - Tennant/Lowe
First released - 1993
Original album - Very
Producer - Pet Shop Boys, Stephen Hague
Subsequent albums - Disco 2, PopArt
Other releases - single (UK #14)

Continuing on the apparent theme of newly discovered love established by the preceding song, "Liberation" finds Neil adopting the role of an ex-cynic who suddenly discovers the joy of love after a lifetime of dismissing it. Though he had always feared that falling in love would be constricting, he has found, on the contrary, that love has given him a sense of freedom he's never felt before. In short, the lover who has fallen asleep on his shoulder, far from weighing him down, has instead liberated him.

This track—the fourth single from Very—is essentially an extended pun in which the word "liberation" refers both to this individual sense of freedom and to "gay liberation," in which feelings and acts of love are themselves revolutionary statements of personal and social liberty. All that, plus one of the most beautiful melodies and arrangements in the PSB canon, results in one of the great moments in the Boys' career. In a September 1996 interview with Andrew Sullivan, Neil stated that the part about someone falling asleep on his shoulder during a long, late car ride is true. More recently he has denied this, though he has always conceded that this song is based on a relationship he was in when he wrote it.

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