What's New? – Recent Updates & Additions

January 31, 2023

PSB Songs Used In Non-Musical Films and TV Shows

Thanks to Jules Chance for letting me know that "Go West" could be heard once again in this evening's episode of the U.K. soap EastEnders. I've noted this fact in the already-existing entry for EastEnders toward the end of that song's appearance at #47 in my list of Pet Shop Boys songs used in non-musical films and television shows.

Personal Observations

You're probably already aware of the following fact; I certainly was, though I neglected to mention it until now. But several people have written to me about how Chris forgot the chords of "Being Boring" right at the end of the Boys' appearance at the Edinburgh Hogmanay festivities this past New Year's, causing Neil to crack up mid-vocal. I never doubted it myself, but it does go to show that Chris does indeed play live. If you would like to see this amusing occurrence for yourself, it's been documented in several posts in YouTube. Here, for your convenience, is one of them.

January 25, 2023

"Pet Shop Boys" That Aren't Our Pet Shop Boys

Thanks so much to Dan Newton for alerting me of a remarkable article that appeared yesterday in the entertainment industry trade magazine Variety about a new feature film in the works with the announced title Pet Shop Boys. No, it's not a film biography of our musical heroes. In fact, it appears to have nothing at all to do with them aside from the shared moniker. I've gleaned some information from this article for a new entry at #15 in my list of "Pet Shop Boys" that aren't our Pet Shop Boys. It will be interesting to see what, if anything, Neil and/or Chris ever have to say about this fascinating news.

January 24, 2023

Mixes / Versions

Thanks to Matteo for calling my attention to several additional mixes of "Close My Eyes"—the Sander van Doorn remix of the Robbie Williams/PSB collaborative rendition of "We're the Pet Shop Boys"—of which I'd been unaware. There's some confusion, however, about precisely which of these van Doorn remixes are "official" or "authorized," so I've inserted a note acknowledging this fact at the start of the newly expanded list.

PSB Songs Avowedly Influenced by Specific Tracks by Other Artists

Today I happened upon a quote by Neil in which he indicated that "Being Boring" was influenced by, of all things, Isaac Hayes's 1971 classic "Theme from Shaft"—which, come to think of it, does make sense. I've therefore added it to the pre-existing entry for "Being Boring" in my list of Pet Shop Boys songs for which the Boys have acknowledged the influence of specific tracks by other artists.

January 23, 2023

New Releases

The Pet Shop Boys have just shared a little additional information about their upcoming special EP Lost, available in April as a bonus with Annually 2023. I've used this new info to expand a bit on what I've written about Lost on my page devoted to selected special releases.

January 21, 2023

PSB Remixes for Other Artists

The Pet Shop Boys have announced that, in addition to their Magic Eye 12-inch Remix of Noel Gallagher's "Think of a Number," scheduled for release in June, they've also done three other remixes of the track, although if and when they'll be released is yet to be determined. Hence I've cited these additional remixes as "official but unreleased" on my page for that song. Of course, I'll make any appropriate updates as more information becomes available.

January 19, 2023

PSB Remixes for Other Artists

Thanks again Stuart J, this time for clueing me in on the length, as reported by Apple Music, of the upcoming Pet Shop Boys' remix of "Think of a Number" by Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds. I've added this data to my new page dedicated to that track.

January 17, 2023

PSB Remixes for Other Artists

Thanks so much to two of my site visitors, Rory Simpson and Stuart J, for informing me this morning that Council Skies, the upcoming new album (scheduled for June release) by Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds, will have a "deluxe edition" that will include a remix by the Pet Shop Boys of the song "Think of a Number." It will reportedly be titled the "Pet Shop Boys Magic Eye 12" Remix." I've now set up a fragmentary placeholder page for this track, and will of course expand upon it as additional information becomes available in the weeks and months ahead.

PSB Songs in Videogames

Thanks to DonJuanSW for telling me that "Paninaro" is used in Stage 6 of the videogame Need for Madness (1). At first I thought for sure that it was a cover of the song by some unnamed artist, but the Need for Madness website identifies it as a "remix," and the vocals, which appear only toward the end, do sound somewhat like Neil. So perhaps it is indeed a unique remix of the PSB original. At any rate, I've now added "Paninaro" to my list of PSB tracks that appear in videogames. If you would like to hear it in the context of the game, a video of it is available on YouTube.

PSB "Collectibles"

An article published today on the Mixmag website cites a rare PSB promo, 5 Songs from Our History - PopArt The Hits, as one of the most expensive releases ever sold on Discogs. Hence I've updated that particular promo's price in my list of the current ten most collectible PSB releases based on value, which results in it moving up from #3 to #2. Speaking only for myself, I simply can't fathom spending that kind of money (over $2,000) for a promo that contains just five songs all very readily (and inexpensively) available elsewhere. But, then again, I'm not really a "collector."

January 16, 2023

Updates / Corrections

Thanks to John McFadden for catching a dating error, now corrected, in today's "On This Day in Pet Shop Boys History."

PSB Remixers

Thanks to Matteo for pointing out that the "Dusan Goes to Hell" remix of "Home and Dry," which I had previously listed as "unreleased," was indeed officially released on a rare promo published by the Greek branch of EMI/Universal Music Group. So I've made the appropriate adjustment in my "Mixes/Versions" section for that song, and I've also added the corresponding remixers, Fotonovela, to my page devoted to the "official" remixers of PSB tracks.

PSB Songs in Videogames

I'm grateful to Adam Meltzer (whose name I've added to my Thank You page) for suggesting that I add "New York City Boy" to my list of PSB tracks that appear in videogames, despite the fact that it's a cover version (by Guy Thomas) rather than the original by the Boys. Interestingly, I've long documented this fact in my list of remakes of Tennant-Lowe songs by other artists, but had neglected to include it in my videogame list. But thanks to Adam, that oversight is now rectified.

January 14, 2023

PSB Performance Parodies

Thanks to tonipsb for telling me about a PSB parody (well, sort of, as I'll explain) from a 2004 episode of the British sketch comedy The Karen Dunbar Show. As I note in a new entry at #52 in my list of performance parodies of the Pet Shop Boys, it's not so much a parody of our musical heroes themselves as it is of marginally talented people trying to pay tribute to them. At any rate, if you would like to see it for yourself, it's available for your viewing pleasure on YouTube.

January 10, 2023

Updates / Corrections

Thanks to Matteo for pointing out a careless oversight, now corrected, on my Pet Shop Boys live setlist page. While I had correctly cited in that page's table that they performed "Jealousy" on their 1991 Performance Tour, I had neglected to include it in the list of songs on that tour toward the bottom of the page.

Thanks as well to Rob Bainbridge for calling my attention to another couple of oversights, this time on my page that lists remixes by the Pet Shop Boys of their own and other artists' tracks. I had failed to include the PSB "Moody Mix" of Claptone's "Queen of Ice," and I had forgotten to cite the actual title of the song by MGMT ("Kids") that the Boys had remixed. (That is, I had listed the titles of the remixes, but hadn't listed there the song title itself.) These flaws are now also rectified. Rob also noted that at least some 12-inch vinyl releases of "Always on My Mind" credit the Pet Shop Boys as co-remixers with Phil Harding of the 5:55 "Phil Harding Remix." Yet other releases on which this mix has appeared do not credit PSB as co-remiers. I've noted this discrepancy both on the aforementioned PSB remixes page and in the Mixes/Versions list for that song.

Personal Observations

I appreciate inquiries that many of you have made regarding my health in the wake of my recent COVID diagnosis. The good news is that I'm now completely over it and I'm feeling as good as new. Thank goodness for the vaccines!

January 5, 2023

Novels That Mention the Pet Shop Boys

Thanks to Jon O. (whom I've just added to my Thank You page) for telling me about Gay Giant: A Memoir by the Chilean author and artist Gabriel Ebensperger, published just this past year. Although it inhabits a gray area between an autobiography and a novel—let's call it an autobiographical novel, even though it likely leans more heavily toward the former than the latter—I've decided to err on the side of inclusivity because of its unusual nature as a graphic autobiographical novel. And because it mentions our musical heroes (plus one of their songs in particular), I've added the brief relevant excerpt in textual form to my page that chronologically lists novels that mention the Pet Shop Boys by name.

January 3, 2023

Tracks by Other Artists That Sample PSB

Technically it's not a "sample," at least not one that officially survived, but I'm not sure where else to put it. Let's call it an "interpolation"—what Chumbawamba did back in 1992 with a couple of tracks titled "Big Mouth Strikes Again" (not the song by The Smiths, by the way, in which "Big Mouth" is rendered as a single word) and "Shhh." The former reportedly started life indeed including a PSB sample, but it ultimately surfaced without it. But then the latter track ended up "interpolating" the spelling refrain from "Shopping," only with a different word spelled out. You can read about it at #52 among the "maybe" items toward the bottom of my list of tracks by other artists that sample the Pet Shop Boys.

January 1, 2023

Updates / Corrections

Happy New Year! I'm now feeling well enough to do a little website work, just in time to reflect some unexpected but welcome news from the Pet Shop Boys' headlining appearance last night for Hogmanay in Edinburgh. As it turns out, they added "Paninaro" to their live set, despite Chris's assertion back in 2017 that he had grown to dislike the song and would never again perform it live. Obviously he had changed his mind—at artist's prerogative, to be sure. I've made note of this turn of events to my page detailing their tour setlists as well as to that song's entry in my list of their songs that the Boys themselves apparently dislike.

December 29, 2022

Updates / Corrections

Thanks to Raymond Merkh for catching a typo, now corrected, in my update regarding "It Doesn't Often Snow at Christmas" at #48 in my list of Pet Shop Boys tracks used in non-musical films and TV shows.

Personal Observations

Unfortunately, aftter nearly three years of avoiding the disease, I've finally contracted COVID-19. Since I'm fully vaccinated and boosted, I don't expect it to be a long, severe case, and I've already started taking the prescribed Paxlovid antiviral medication. But, in short, I feel like crap right now: fatiqued, headachy, and congested. Because of this, I may not be as quick as I normally would in responding to any emails you may send me over the next few days. I ask your patience and indulgence.

December 27, 2022

PSB Songs Used in Non-Musical Films and TV Shows

Thanks to Jules Chance for letting me know "It Doesn't Often Snow at Christmas" could be heard in this evening's episode of EastEnders. This marks at least the fourth time that popular, long-running U.K. soap opera has used the song. I've noted this fact in its entry at #48 in my list of PSB tracks used in non-musical films and TV shows.

Updates / Corrections

Thanks to James Hardie, whose name I've just added to my Thank You page, for clueing me in on the fact that the Pet Shop Boys' website makes it quite clear that "Axis" should indeed be considered a bona fide, full-fledged PSB single—something I had previously expressed some doubt about. I've therefore modified what I have to say about this matter in the final paragraph in the main body of my page devoted to that song.

December 26, 2022

Song Annotations

Thanks to Andrew Shaw for letting me know that the words "You were the captain, I was the crew" from "Between Two Islands" echo a line from the great 1959 film comedy Some Like It Hot. I provide the delightful details in a new annotation to my commentary on that song.

Updates / Corrections

Thanks as well to George "Jammer" Dashevsky for clarifying the etymology of the word that serves as the title of the soon-to-be-released song "Kaputnik." I've thus modified what I say about it in my still quite fragmentary main entry for that song as well as in its appearance at #31 in my list of Pet Shop Boys songs with Russian connections.

December 24, 2022

Updates / Corrections

Thanks so much to Rafael Moretti for providing some very helpful information as well as a good, strong nudge. First, he clued me in on the fact that the oversized chairs in which Neil and Chris are sitting in one of the photos of their new Christmas card are the famed Singing Beach Chairs in Santa Monica, California. I've therefore updated what I've written about the card accordingly. Rafael also wondered why I hadn't included the card's backing music in my Pet Shop Boys song chronology. I explained that, since I wasn't yet sure of this brief song's title or whether it was even composed by Neil and Chris (although I strongly suspect it was), I was holding off on doing so. But, in the wake of that nudge, I've now decided both to add it to the chronology and to post a new page devoted to it using the tentative title "Christmas Night." Thanks again, Rafael!

Incidentally, in case I don't get a chance to make any further updates before tomorrow, I wish a very Merry Christmas to all of you who observe the holiday!

December 23, 2022

Updates / Corrections

Having received his permission to do so, I've added Dominik's name to my Thank You page in recognition of his contribution of information yesterday (see the second item below). Thanks again, Dominik!

December 22, 2022

New Releases

Although I had independently learned about it myself several hours beforehand, I'm grateful to Michael from Kassel, Germany for contacting me about the fact that the sleeve artwork for the upcoming release Lost is inspired by imagery from a 1966 German film based on the novel on which the song "The Lost Room" is itself based. I've modified what I've written about the Lost sleeve accordingly.

Mixes/Versions

Thanks to Dominik for telling me about (and providing supporting evidence of) a heretofore unknown instrumental mix of "Betrayed" that was released on an extremely rare 1996 Parlophone promo for "Se A Vida É." I've therefore noted this instrumental in a new "Mixes/Versions" section for "Betrayed."

December 21, 2022

Updates / Corrections

Thanks to Raymond Merkh for catching and reporting several typos, now corrected, that I made during my frenzy of updates yesterday morning for the new Pet Shop Boys songs from the upcoming EP Lost.

Personal Observations

Yesterday, when I pre-ordered my copy of Annually 2023, I was surprised to find that I wasn't able to draw upon my existing account to order this upcoming release. No problem—I simply re-registered. It was easy, and I was able to place my new order without any further difficulty. As it turns out, the Pet Shop Boys organization has just sent out a notice stating, "Due to a recent switch of the official PSB store provider to Warner Music, previous account holders will need to create a new account. This has only just been brought to our attention…." So it wasn't just me; it was everybody! But, as I said, re-registering was easy and trouble-free. So don't let that stop you—as if it actually would stop a true fan.

December 20, 2022

Breaking News!

The Pet Shop Boys have just announced the Spring 2023 release of Annually 2023 along with a special bonus CD titled Lost, which will include four new songs. It's now available for pre-order. In response to this news, I'm gone through a frenzy of website updating this morning. Among other necessary adjustments, I've posted new albeit highly tentative (very much works-in-progress) for these songs soon to be released: "The Lost Room," "I Will Fall," "Skeletons in the Closet," and "Kaputnik." And thanks to Nigel Brand for correcting a misunderstanding I had about this upcoming release, now corrected.

Books About PSB

In addition to the aforementioned Annually 2023, I've added to my PSB books page an entry for the new German publication Ein Tribut an die Pet Shop Boys: Eine Biografie in Bildern ("A Tribute to the Pet Shop Boys: A Biography in Pictures"). Thanks so much to Chris B. (whom I've just added to my Thank You page) for telling me about it!

December 17, 2022

Updates / Corrections

Thanks to DonJuanSW, whom I've just added to my Thank You page, for making what I thought was an excellent suggestion: to replace my old image of the album Relentless, which displayed the orange cardboard sleeve for Very through the Very Relentless textured translucent plastic gatefold, with a new image that instead shows the magenta Relentless cardboard sleeve through the same plastic gatefold. I've now gone ahead and done that. (Please note that you may need to clear your computer's image cache in order to see this replacement image, especially if you happened to have viewed my Relentless page recently.)

December 16, 2022

Updates / Corrections

Thanks to John M. for calling my attention to my repeated misspelling of the surname of Angelo Badalamenti here on my website. (How embarrassing!) I've now made the necessary corrections!

PSB Christmas Cards

Spoiler alert! – I've updated my page dedicated to the Pet Shop Boys' official Christmas cards to include the 2022 edition. But don't go there if you would prefer first to see it for yourself, either as a paper copy or as the much more common e-card version.

December 15, 2022

Updates / Corrections

Thanks so much to Michael from Kassel, Germany, for bringing to my attention a careless error, now corrected, in my new entry for Angelo Badalamenti on my "In Memoriam" page. I've also expanded that entry a bit with information Rob Bainbridge shared with me about the Pet Shop Boys' use of Badalamenti arrangements during their 2017 charity show with the Royal Philharmonic. Thanks, Rob!

December 14, 2022

Website Design

As you've probably already noticed, I've made a change to my home page after deciding that I should have not one but two photos of our musical heroes: one from very early in their career and another that's much more recent.

In Memoriam

In the wake of the Pet Shop Boys paying tribute to him on their website, I've added the recently deceased composer/arranger Angelo Badalamenti to my "In Memoriam" page.

December 13, 2022

PSB Tours

The Pet Shop Boys have just announced that they've added a Dreamworld Tour date on June 9, 2023 in the Portuguese city of Porto. I've updated my PSB Tours page accordingly.

PSB Christmas Cards

A couple of site visitors have written to me about an alleged "leak" of this year's Pet Shop Boys Christmas card. But I'm holding off on making any updates to my page devoted to their holiday greeting cards until this year's card is indeed officially "released" and I can be sure that the one floating around online is genuine. Patience is a virtue, you know.

December 7, 2022

PSB Mixes

Thanks to Pete13, whom I've just added to my Thank You page, and the Pet Shop Boys Community Forum, I've been able to cite the length of the recently released PSB "Moody Mix" of Claptone's "Queen of Ice."