What's New? – Recent Updates & Additions

May 22, 2018

Thanks so much to leesmapman for letting me know about some music from the late 1980s that earns a spot at #26 (though the number actually has little if any significance) in my list of performance parodies of the Pet Shop Boys. It's a couple of songs by a group of German musicians who called themselves the "Sex Shop Boys." If you would like to hear these tracks of, as I've put it, dubious taste—"Big Tits" and "69"—you may do so on YouTube here and here, respectively.

I extend thanks as well to Raymond for alerting me to a typo—a missing decimal, now properly inserted—in the results I posted yesterday for last week's poll.

Further thanks to Charmaine C, who hails from the same part of England as Neil Tennant and who shared an interesting bit of information that provides a marvelous illustration of how people's own backgrounds and experiences color their individual interpretations of a song—the specific song in this case being "West End Girls." I've now noted this delightful anecdote in a new final bullet-point annotation to my commentary on the song. Thanks again, Charmaine!

And one final round of thanks for today to Steve N. for informing me that during Saturday's "royal wedding" of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the music that was playing as the bride walked up the aisle was Handel's Ode for the Birthday of Queen Anne—which just happens to be the classical composition that served as the musical basis for the Pet Shop Boys' song "Hold On." As Steve observed, this would suggest that, at least to some extent, Harry and Meghan share the musical tastes of Chris and Neil. wink

May 21, 2018

I've posted the final results of my survey of the past week (technically, eight days), in which I asked my site visitors to pick their favorite Pet Shop Boys song whose title includes the word "You." This week's poll is rather timely considering the recent conclusion of the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest. In short, I'm asking whether you believe the Pet Shop Boys ought ever to participate in the Eurovision Contest. Thanks so much to Frode Dahl for suggesting this question!

May 18, 2018

Just a quick reminder that, because of my full schedule this weekend, this week's poll will run one day longer than usual, until Monday, May 21. For this same reason, I will almost certainly be much slower than usual responding to any emails you may send me. I promise to get back to you as soon as I'm once again more available. Thanks for your patience and understanding!

May 15, 2018

Although there are a few exceptions, I generally don't include "shared" remixers among the "PSB connections" with my other favorite artists. That sort of thing could really get out of hand and become a major headache. But Martijn was kind enough to point out the special case of The KLF, who very rarely remixed other artists' work but who made exceptions for both Depeche Mode and the Pet Shop Boys. So I've now noted that fact. Thanks, Martijn!

Having found more than one bit of corroborating online evidence, I've added Australian chef, restauranteur, cookbook author, and television presenter John Torode to my list of celebrity fans of the Pet Shop Boys outside of the music field.

May 13, 2018

I've posted the final results of last week's poll, in which I asked my site visitors to choose which of several statements comes closest to describing their current "musical diet" as it relates to the Pet Shop Boys and other artists. As for my new survey for the week ahead, I've decided to run another of my occasional questions—which generally seem to prove surprisingly popular—in which I offer a short list of songs that share some random, even somewhat frivolous thing in common and then ask you to pick your favorite. For instance, in the past I've asked about your favorite PSB song whose title begins with the word "I" and your favorite with the word "Love" in its title. This time I've listed every officially released PSB-composed song the title of which includes the word "You." Which one of them is your personal favorite?

By the way, please note that this poll will run one day longer than usual, until Monday, May 21. The reason is that next weekend is going to be extremely busy for me outside of the "Pet Shop Boys world," so much so that I doubt I'll have time to do any website work at all. So giving us all an extra day with this survey—as well as asking a relatively simple question like this—will help me tremendously. Of course, this means that the next poll after that will run one day shorter than usual, but we'll cross that aphoristic bridge when we get to it.

May 9, 2018

Terrific news! During a telephone interview this morning on BBC Radio 6, Neil revealed that he and Chris are currently in Berlin recording material for their next album. No word yet on a release date, title, or anything like that—it's far too early, I'm sure—but it's great to know that new music is actively in the works!

May 8, 2018

OK, this has more to do with me than with the Pet Shop Boys, but I thought you might get as much of a kick out of it as I did. Someone posted a cute "PSB-related" photo of himself on Facebook today and subsequently added in the comments, "God, I'm such a Studer." In other words, I think my name may have just become a synonym for "PSB geek." Either that or it's been that way for a long time now and I just didn't know it. wink

May 6, 2018

I've posted the final results of my survey of the past week, in which I asked my site visitors to choose what they consider to be the Pet Shop Boys' funniest (that is, most amusing) music video. This week's poll asks you to pick the statement that most closely describes your general "musical diet" of late with regard to both the Pet Shop Boys and other artists. If that seems a little vague, I'm confident it will make more sense once you see the choices. Thanks so much to porkchopkid for suggesting this question—although, to be fair to him, I did modify it somewhat, especially the choices. But the core idea is indeed his.

I've also cited a new cover of "Rent" on my page devoted to remakes of Tennant-Lowe songs, namely a version by Jonteknik & Friends (the friend in this specific case being Swedish synthpop artist Martin Philip) from their 2018 album Alternative Arrangements. I haven't yet been able to find a complete recording of it online, but a 38-second snippet can be heard on the Bandcamp website. And thanks to Alan D. for digging deeper into this subject and discovering a 2014 rendition of "Young Offender" by Martin Philip, which has been posted on SoundCloud. I've now noted this as well on my PSB covers page. (Intriguingly, I think his synth arrangement for the song is highly reminiscent of Vince Clarke's work with Erasure. And you might also want to check out his absolutely marvelous synthpop remake of David Bowie's "The Man Who Sold the World.") If you're interested in what Mr. Philip himself has to say about "Young Offender," you can find it on his own website, where he states the following about our musical heroes: "The immaculate Pet Shop Boys. The biggest and most influential electronic pop band ever?" Nice—though I probably wouldn't have employed the question mark. wink

May 4, 2018

Thanks to Steve N. for pointing out something that I'm frankly amazed had eluded me until now: that "The End of the World" belongs in my alphabetical list of Pet Shop Boys songs that contain biblical allusions. I've belatedly added it there at #3.

Further thanks to Rob Bainbridge for noticing that the Canadian artist Perpetual Emotion Machine, whose remake of "Love Is a Catastrophe" I noted here just yesterday (see below), has covered another PSB song as well, "Always." I've now also cited that one on my page that lists cover versions of Tennant-Lowe compositions. If you would like to listen to this quite evocative rendition for yourself, it, too, can be heard on SoundCloud.

May 3, 2018

Thanks to Frank Müller for tellling me about a previously unknown (at least by me) cover of "Love Is a Catastrophe" by the Canadian trance/electronica artist Perpetual Emotion Machine. I've now added it to my list of remakes of Tennant-Lowe songs. If you would like to hear it for yourself, it's available for your listening pleasure on SoundCloud.

Thanks as well to Ziggy for letting me know about a flaw on my page devoted to the song "In Slow Motion." In some browsers—though not the ones I use, which is why the problem had eluded me this long—"She Pops" was appearing as the page title. I believe I've now corrected that anomaly, but it's hard for me to be sure since, again, I can't see the problem on my computer. I've eliminated the cause, however, so I trust in the fix.

May 2, 2018

Thanks so much to long-time site visitor Steve N. for suggesting possible allusions to T.S. Eliot's great 1922 poem The Wasteland in the Pet Shop Boys song "Always." I'm not completely convinced of it myself, but I can definitely see where Steve is coming from, and his observations are by no means without merit. So I've added "Always" as a tentative "possibility" at #56 near the end of my list of PSB songs that contain literary references.

May 1, 2018

It's not a holiday here in the States, but I know it is for many of you, my site-visitors, so I do wish you all a Happy May Day!

I've now made a few scattered minor updates based on information gleaned from the new Annually 2018, including:

Annually 2018April 30, 2018

My copy of Annually 2018 arrived in the mail today, waiting for me when I got home from work! The proof is provided in the photo on the right. So we just have to be patient, that's all.

I haven't had a chance yet to read it, of course, nor make any other related site updates. But it's not hard to figure out what I'll be preoccupied with this evening. wink

April 29, 2018

I've posted the final results of last week's poll, in which I asked my site visitors to indicate which of my favorite songs from the Pet Shop Boys' albums happened to be their own least favorite tracks from those albums. My new survey for the week ahead is something of a sequel to one I ran about a month ago, in which I asked you to choose what you consider to be the three sexiest PSB music videos. One of the voters and regular site visitors, leesmapman, suggested that I run a similar poll on what you all regard as the Boys' funniest video—that is, the one that you find most amusing. And, yes, I'm limiting you to picking just one this time, not three. Wicked of me, I know. wink Thanks for a great suggestion, leesmapman!

April 28, 2018

As my regular site visitors surely know by now—most of whom are probably sick to death of hearing me bitch about it—I'm frustrated by the fact that "It's a Sin" is by far the most-covered Pet Shop Boys song when there are so many other wonderful Tennant-Lowe tracks to choose from. (Heavy-metal remakes have grown particularly tiresome.) But when somebody else does cover "Sin" yet again, I'm at least heartened somewhat when they put an original, unusual, highly imaginative spin on its arrangement. Such is the case with a new remake by the Philadelphia-based model, artist, and musician Ray Deca, who describes his rendition as a "glamfunk mix." It's also noteworthy in that it's a comparatively rare PSB cover by an African-American artist. So, naturally, I've now noted it on my page that lists remakes of Tennant-Lowe songs. And if you would like to hear it for yourself, you may do so on YouTube.

I'll probably be a little later than usual switching over to a new poll for the week ahead and posting the results of my current survey, but I expect it won't be by much more than a half-hour—an hour at the most. I hope this doesn't pose any inconvenience.

April 25, 2018

Thanks to long-time site visitor Donvan James Ellem for alerting me to a "Version Latina - Edit" of "Opportunities (Let's Make Lots of Money)" that was apparently officially released in 1985 on a rare Australian 7-inch promo single. Just to be sure, I've corroborated its existence on the generally extremely reliable Pet Shop Boys Catalogue website. Having done that, I've now updated my "Mixes" list for that track to include it.