What's New? – Recent Updates & Additions

July 17, 2024

Breaking News!

Thanks to leesmapman for letting me know that Neil Tennant will appear as a guest vocalist on an upcoming new Superchumbo remix of the classic Bronski Beat track "Why?" Information about the associated reissue, scheduled for October release, is available online.

July 16, 2024

Updates/Corrections

Thanks to Andrew Shaw for pointing out some unintentionally sexist language—strictly masculine pronouns for the narrator—in my entry for "Bullet for Narcissus." Yes, there are indeed female Secret Service agents, as evidenced on the news this past Saturday. I've now made the appropriate adjustments.

July 15, 2024

The Rating Project

I've terminated my poll this past week on rating the tracks from Nonetheless and its associated singles, and I've posted the final results. I've also updated my overall Rating Project page so that you can see how these recent songs rank alongside all the other Pet Shop Boys tracks. Thanks so much to everyone who voted in this survey! I really appreciate it!

Song Annotations

Thanks to Steve N. for sharing his observation that there appear to be a number of intriguing parallels between the PSB song "Sense of Time" and George Orwell's dystopian novel 1984. I've outlined a few of the best examples in a new final bullet-point annotation to my commentary on that song.

Also, several people have asked whether I plan to make any updates to my page devoted to "Bullet for Narcissus" in the wake of the attempted assassination of Donald Trump over the weekend. I did precisely that via a new first annotation to that song shortly after this even occurred; I just didn't feel right "calling it out" right away. I don't wish to go into any further detail about it.

Updates/Corrections

Thanks to Lucia Rodriguez Agusti (whose name I've added to my Thank You page) for letting me know that there appears to have been a change in the color pattern configuration for Super in Apple Music. So I've modified my footnote on that subject to document the apparent fact that at least some of those patterns are subject to change.

July 12, 2024

Updates/Corrections

Thanks to Nigel Brand for reporting a couple of typos, now corrected, on this page.

July 10, 2024

Personal Observations

Happy birthday to Neil Tennant, who turns the big seven-o today! Hey, Neil, I'm not far behind!

What It's About: Neil's Succinct Statements on What a Song Is "About"

Thanks to Jens Boldt for pointing out something Neil said on television recently about "Dancing Star" that inspires me (at Jens's suggestion) to change what I had already written about that song in my "What it's about" list. In short, I'm changing a more obvious "about" statement by Neil about that song to a more interesting one. And if you would like to see this television segment yourself, it's available on YouTube. (The pertinent statement is at about the 2:58 mark.)

July 8, 2024

Real People Mentioned by Name or Title in PSB Songs

Thanks to Steve N. for suggesting that I add Mona Lisa to my list of real people mentioned by name or title in Pet Shop Boys songs. Although the reference in "The Secret of Happiness" is to the famous Leonardo da Vinci painting and not to the portrait-sitter herself, it's good enough for me.

July 7, 2024

The Rating Project

I think I've waited long enough to run a new "Rating Project" poll on Nonetheless and its singles. (If there are any additional single bonus tracks, I'll just another poll down the road for them.) So please take a minute or two to make your choices on my home page, assigning a rating of 0 to 10 to each Nonetheless track and its single bonus tracks as they compare to all other Pet Shop Boys songs. I'm looking forward to seeing and posting the final results about a week or so from now!

PSB/Doctor Who Connections

Thanks to David B for sharing some information that enables me to update #18 in my list of PSB/Doctor Who connections. It's a somewhat questionable matter to begin with, but the info David provided offers at least a little more certainty about it.

July 6, 2024

Tracks That Mention "Pet Shop Boys"

Thanks to David Wong for telling me about the 1989 song "Manchester" by the U.K. indie band The Times, which doesn't actually mention the Pet Shop Boys by name but comes teasingly close to doing so, clearly alluding to them several times. I've therefore noted it in the concluding "honorable mentions" section of my list of tracks that mention "Pet Shop Boys."

July 4, 2024

PSB Songs That Have Been Used in Films and "Non-musical" TV Shows

Happy Independence Day to my fellow Americans!

Thanks to Zazou2 (Laura C.A. Moloney-Kenny) for letting me know that the title line of "What Have I Done to Deserve This?"—not the Pet Shop Boys' original, but a sung-spoken "quotation" by a couple of characters—can be heard in a 2019 episode of the short-lived U.S. animated series Bless the Harts. I've now noted this in the entry for that song at #30 in my list of PSB songs that have been used in films and "non-musical" TV shows.

Thanks to Dave F for letting me know that "Dancing Star" has been used during television coverage of the Tour de France cycling race. I've therefore updated the song's entry at #106 in my list of PSB songs used in non-musical films and TV shows.

And thanks to Nigel Brand for catching a typing error right here on this page, now corrected!

June 27, 2024

Breaking News

The SkyNews broadcast of the Pet Shop Boys' recent performance at the Isle of Wight Festival can now be viewed in its entirety on YouTube. Thanks so much to Donovan James Ellem for telling me about this! (I just hope my posting of this news doesn't result in the YouTube video being taken down. Fingers crossed.)

June 25, 2024

PSB Songs That Have Been Used in TV Commercials

Thanks to Jarek Staszkowian for informing me that "Domino Dancing" is being used in new Lexus commercials on Polish television and radio. I've therefore created a new entry for this song at #13 in my list of Pet Shop Boys songs that have been used in TV commercials. And if you would like to see this commercial for yourself, it's available on YouTube.

June 24, 2024

Closer to Heaven

Thanks to John McFadden for telling me about a new Instagram post by Frances Ruffelle, who portrays Billie Trix in the current revival of Closer to Heaven. It's a live performance by cast members of a medley of excerpts from several songs of the show. Good to see and hear!

June 21, 2024

Celebrity Fans of the Pet Shop Boys Outside the Field of Music

Thanks to Andrew Shaw for letting me know that the new radio documentary Pet Shop Boys- A Celebration with Matt Lucas reveals that the famed human rights activist Peter Tatchell is a Pet Shop Boys fan. So I've added him to my list of celebrity PSB fans outside the field of music.

June 18, 2024

Thank You

Having received her permission to do so, I've added Milane F to my Thank You page in recongition of her suggestion the other day (June 14) that I add "Being Boring" to my list of PSB songs with "extra lyrics."

June 17, 2024

PSB/Doctor Who Connections

Thanks to Marc R for pointing out that actor Russell Tovey, who has a cameo role in the Pet Shop Boys' "A New Bohemia" music video, also merits a new spot at #36 (as well as a mention at #22) in my list of PSB/Doctor Who connections.

June 16, 2024

Strange But True Incidents Involving the Pet Shop Boys

Thanks to Andrew Shaw for providing updated information (along with online evidence) about one of my strange but true incidents involving the Pet Shop Boys, namely "Pet Shop Boys made me do it!" I've now made the appropriate update.

Celebrity Fans of the Pet Shop Boys Outside the Field of Music

And thanks again to Andrew Shaw for tipping me off (with the requisite evidence) that Jamaican novelist Marlon James is a Pet Shop Boys fan. So I've added him to the pertinent list.

June 15, 2024

PSB Songs That Have Been Used in TV Commercials

Thanks to Dave F. for telling me that snippets of "It's a Sin" can be heard ("stereotypically," as he rightly put it) toward the end of recent commercials promoting the upcoming documentary Adam Lambert: Out, Loud & Proud, set to debut June 19 on ITV1 in the U.K. I've noted this in the entry for that song at #11 in my list of Pet Shop Boys songs that have been used in television commercials.

PSB Songs Used in Non-musical Films and TV Shows

Thanks again to Dave F for letting me know that "Dancing Star" has just earned a new spot at #106 in my list of PSB songs used in non-musical films and TV shows.

Updates/Corrections

Thanks to Erik H. for pointing out a spelling error, now corrected, on my page for "A New Bohemia" as well as for noting further evidence about the "intentionality," so to speak, of the Tracey Emin connection to the song, which I've used to expand the final bullet-point annotation a bit.

June 14, 2024

PSB U.S. and U.K. Gold and Platinum Records

Thanks to Michael Fick for letting me know that "Always on My Mind" has just been upgraded from gold to platinum status in the U.K. I've updated my page devoted to the Pet Shop Boys' U.S. and U.K. gold and platinum records accordingly.

PSB Songs with "Extra Lyrics"

Thanks to Milane F for suggesting that I add "Being Boring" to my list of PSB songs with "extra lyrics" by virtue of its "New Version" on the Furthermore bonus disc. Actually, Milane wasn't the first to propose this—Nigel Brand had done so a few weeks ago—but I was extremely busy and distracted at the time and set his recommendation aside, only to forget it. So thanks as well plus an apology to Nigel!

Strange But True Incidents Involving the Pet Shop Boys

Thanks to Sebastian J.C. for raising a good point that has inspired me to slightly modify what I say in one of my strange but true incidents involving the Pet Shop Boys, specifically the one in which "Pet Shop Boys" is used as an insult on a TV show. Sebastian pointed out that since the television show in question is executive-produced by an openly gay man, any anti-gay slur would reflect more on the character than on the show's writers and creators.

June 11, 2024

The Pet Shop Boys' Studio Albums in Descending Order of How Much I Love Them

Having had roughly six weeks to fully "absorb" it, I'm now prepared to assign Nonetheless its place in my list of the Pet Shop Boys' studio albums in descending order of how much I love them. Just a reminder—a low ranking doesn't mean I dislike the album; it only means I don't like or love it as much as the ones ranked above it. And one other thing: this list is not carved in stone. My opinions change over time, so Nonetheless may move up or down in the list. (To take a couple of specific examples, I now rank both Bilingual and Actually higher than I did when I first posted this list twenty-odd years ago.)

Updates/Corrections

Thanks to Nigel Brand for reminding me that I'm incredibly overdue making necessary updates to my page devoted to "Jack and Jill Party" to reflect the death of Pete Burns in 2016. Although I've long been aware of his passing, the fact that what I had written about that song needed a few related adjustments slipped by me. That oversight is now rectified.

June 10, 2024

Notable guest appearances in PSB videos

Thanks to Paul Lefrere for reminding me that I should add Russell Tovey and Tracey Emin to my list of notable guest appearances in PSB videos by virtue of their cameos in the "A New Bohemia" vid. I've now done precisely that.

The Early Tracks That the Pet Shop Boys Recorded with Ray Roberts and Bobby 'O'

Thanks to Matteo for pointing out that, based on the fact that they appeared on early pre-fame demo tapes, "It's Not a Crime" and "I've Got Plans (Involving You)" should be added to my list of the early tracks that the Pet Shop Boys recorded with Ray Roberts and Bobby 'O.'

PSB Songs That Have Been Used in TV Commercials

Thanks to Chris B. for letting me know that the Pet Shop Boys' "Thursday" is currently being used on the Fox Footy channel in Australia in commercials to promote its Thursday-night lineup of programming. I've now noted this fact in my list of PSB songs that have been used in TV commercials.

June 9, 2024

Updates/Corrections

Thanks to Antti Jaatinen (whose name I've now added to my Thank You page) for pointing out a couple of spelling errors and a broken link, now fixed, in my list of real places mentioned by name in Pet Shop Boys songs. And thanks as well to C.M. for catching a couple of other careless errors, also now fixed, in that same list.

PSB Songs That Have Been Used in Films and "Non-musical" TV Shows

Thanks to Matthew Greenfield for letting me know that "Suburbia" could be heard in the U.K. retrospective Keeping Up Appearances: 30 Years of Laughter, which first aired last year. I've noted this fact in the entry for that song at #17 in my list of PSB songs used in PSB songs that have been used in films and "non-musical" TV shows.

Closer to Heaven

Thanks again to John McFadden for clarifying that "For Every Moment" has replaced "Vocal" as the final songs in new London revival of Closer to Heaven, although "Vocal" still appears earlier in the show. I've made that point a little clearer on the affected pages.

The Early Tracks That the Pet Shop Boys Recorded with Ray Roberts and Bobby 'O'

Thanks to Paul Mann for sharing some information that has raised some uncertainties about whether certain early pre-fame tracks were recorded with both Ray Roberts and Bobby 'O' or with just one of them. I've made the necessary adjustments to my list of the early tracks that the Pet Shop Boys recorded with Ray Roberts and Bobby 'O,' putting "Maybe" in a few spots where previously I had said "No."

June 8, 2024

Updates/Corrections
PSB Songs with "Extra Lyrics"

Thanks to Matteo for reminding me that I needed to revise a now outdated sentence in my entry for "A New Bohemia" and that I should include that song (at #16) in my list of Pet Shop Boys songs with "extra lyrics" by virtue of the additional verse in the newly released demo version.

Mixes/Versions

Thanks to Charles Mills (whom I've just added to my Thank You page) for sharing the durations of the live versions of "Love Comes Quickly," "Paninaro," and "Always on My Mind" recently available on a bonus vinyl disc with the latest issue of Electronic Sound magazine. I've now added these new releases to the "Mixes/Versions" section for each of those songs.

Closer to Heaven

Regular correspondent John McFadden has attended a performance of the new London revival of Closer to Heaven and reports that the Musik song "For Every Moment" has been added at the very end. I've made a brief update about this to both pertinent entries here on my website. Thanks, John!

June 7, 2024

Breaking News!

The Pet Shop Boys' official website has just announced that Neil has contributed lyrics and vocals to a new song, "Zero Hour" on composer Michael Berkeley's upcoming album Collaborations. This track also features Pink Floyd's David Gilmour on guitar and background vocals. Thanks to both porkchopkid and Danny Edmunds for bringing this to my attention so quickly. I'm sure I would've seen it on the PSB website in short order, but sooner is better than later.

Nods to PSB History in the "A New Bohemia" video

Thanks to Paul Lefrere for pointing out that the "showgirl" in the "A New Bohemia" video harkens back to the "What Have I Done to Deserve This?" video as well as to "Where the Streets Have No Name (I Can't Take My Eyes Off You)." And thanks as well to Daniel B. for suggesting that Neil and Chris standing amidst a large group of dancers is reminiscent of several of their past videos. We both agree that that latter one is a bit of a stretch, but since I've already included one such stretch, what the heck. So I've made these updates to my new list of nods to Pet Shop Boys history in that video.

Song Analyses and Annotations

Thanks so much to Sarah and Francisco (whom I've just added to my Thank You page) for sharing some marvelous collaborative observations about "Feel" and "The Secret of Happiness." For "Feel" I've made a few slight adjustments and added a new concluding annotation, the latter regarding certain parallels with the COVID lockdown that is known to have greatly influenced Nonetheless. And for "Secret" I've inserted a new third paragraph that details some very sound speculation about the bossa nova stylings of the song.

June 6, 2024

PSB Lists

Thanks first to Nigel Brand and then to Kfos for writing about the many visual references to Pet Shop Boys history in the new music video for "A New Bohemia." Nigel also suggested that I make this the subject of a new addition to my PSB lists, which I've now done.

Updates/Corrections

Thanks to Simon from Newcastle for letting me know that the roller disco scenes in the new video were actually shot in the Dreamland amusement park, which necessitates an adjustment to what I say about it both immediately below (yesterday's entry) and in an annotation for "Dreamland."

It has also just occurred to me to add "It's Not a Crime" and "I've Got Plans (Involving You)" to my PSB song chronology and to my list of tracks for a prospective third b-sides album.

Personal Observations

I'm now very, very tempted to run (finally) my "Rating Project" poll for Nonetheless and its associated singles. But I'm going to hold off just a little bit longer—at least three or four more weeks—for two reasons: (1) to give everybody a chance to hear the two newly released songs mentioned above and to "let them sink in," and (2) to see whether there's any word of a possible fourth single from the album. For instance, I strongly suspect the Boys will soon make "Clean Air Hybrid Electric Bus" more widely available than on just a Japanese import, and a fourth single's b-sides will be the perfect vehicle for it (bad pun intended). But I really don't want to wait too much longer. If need be, I can always run a second poll afterward.

June 5, 2024

Updates/Corrections

Thanks to both Nigel Brand and Steve N for calling attention to the fact that the superb new video for "A New Bohemia" was shot in and near the Dreamland amusement park in Margate, which had served as the inspiration for the Pet Shop Boys/Years & Years collaboration "Dreamland." I've noted this in an expansion on an existing annotation about Margate on my page devoted to "Dreamland."

June 4, 2024

PSB Music Videos

As announced this morning on the Pet Shop Boys' official website, the new music video for "A New Bohemia" (the next single from Nonetheless) has debuted on the Nowness website. And, as porkchopkid has pointed out to me (thanks!), artist Tracey Emin appears among the "bohemians" in the video, which makes her influence on the "unmade bed" line in the song a virtual certainty. I've made the appropriate adjustment to my annotation about that line and I've added a new capsule description to my page devoted to the Boys' music videos. As I note there, I personally believe this is the finest PSB music video in quite a long time.

Meanwhile, the digital single of "A New Bohemia" has just been released, featuring its demo version and a remix as well as two previously unreleased songs, both of which date back to their early days. I've therefore made the following updates:

June 3, 2024

PSB Concert Tours

It's been announced that the Pet Shop Boys will headline BBC Radio 2 in the Park in Preston on September 8. I've updated my Pet Shop Boys Concert Tours page accordingly.

June 1, 2024

Updates / Corrections

Thanks to Nigel Brand for catching a typo, now corrected, right here on this page.

May 31, 2024

Updates / Corrections

Thanks to David Gauntlett for nudging me toward making an update to my entry for "A New Bohemia" to note comments made by Neil and Chris about the origins of that song in the latest edition of Annually.

Song Annotations

Thanks to Nick Lewis of Johnstown (whom I've just added to my Thank You page) for alerting me to the fact that the line "It's not enough to succeed, others must fail" in "Through You" has a much longer history than I had previously thought. I've now greatly expanded my annotation about that line to reflect my new understanding about it.

May 27, 2024

Song Annotations

Thanks to Nigel Brand for sharing some additional information about the pubs mentioned in "The Resurrectionist," which I've used to embellish what I say about them in my annotations for that song. But his info has also made me realize that the whole question of whether those pubs are still open (perhaps under different names) or now demolished is a matter of some debate and speculation that has no actual bearing on our understanding of the song itself. So I'm no longer interested in that particular subject—that is, whether they still exist.

Songs That the Pet Shop Boys Have Performed Live

Thanks to Eke Webb for letting me know that during their gig at KOKO last night, Neil and Chris performed three songs from Nonetheless: the already-singles "Loneliness" and "Dancing Star" as well as the upcoming single "A New Bohemia." I've updated my page devoted to songs that the Pet Shop Boys have performed live accordingly.

Mixes/Versions

Thanks to Matteo for clarifying a few points about some of the remixes of "Heart," most notably that Andy Richards and PSB rather than Julian Mendelsohn are the remixers of the 7-inch single version. I've made the appropriate adjustments.

Wayne's "PSB Dreams"

Last night I had one of my sporadic dreams involving the Pet Shop Boys, my first of 2024. If you're interested in that sort of thing, I invite you to read about it.

May 25, 2024

Song Annotations
Real Places Mentioned by Name in PSB Songs

Thanks to C.M. for alerting me to some outdated information and a spelling error related to "The Resurrectionist." He informed me that the King of Denmark pub closed in 2011 (which also affected what I had said about it in my list of real places mentioned by name in PSB songs) and that I had (embarrassingly) misspelled the song's title on my special page showing places mentioned in the song on a simplified map of that part of London—all now corrected.

May 23, 2024

"Documented" Officially Unreleased Songs Written by the Pet Shop Boys

Thanks to Marko Rost for sharing some additional information about the unreleased song "Putin's Underpants" that Neil and Chris revealed in a recent interview with the German magazine Musikexpress. I've accordingly updated its brief entry in my list of documented officially unreleased songs written by the Pet Shop Boys.

May 21, 2024

Updates / Corrections

Having received my copy of Annually 2024 in the mail today, I've made lots of updates. Here's a summary of what I've done so far:

There may be a few other updates that I've neglected to mention, but that's the bulk of them. And I'm confident there will be more to come.

Meanwhile, thanks to Nigel Brand for pointing out several outdated statements, now appropriately revised, on my page for Nonetheless. And thanks as well to both porkchopkid and Jeff Schapira for tellling me about a delightful new Quietus interview with Neil and Chris.

May 19, 2024

Song Annotations

Thanks to Richard Firth for sharing some of his observations about "This Must Be the Place I Waited Years to Leave." He went into somewhat more detail than I'm willing to delve into here, but I've summarized a his most salient points in a new fourth bullet-point annotation to my commentary on that song.

May 18, 2024

Celebrity Fans of the Pet Shop Boys Outside the Field of Music

Thanks to Raúl Suay for letting me know (along with the necessary evidence) that Spanish film director Isabel Coixet is a long-time Pet Shop Boys fan. I've therefore added her name to my list of celebrity PSB fans outside of the field of music.

Updates/Corrections

Two items related to yesterday's updates:

  1. Thanks to Matteo for pointing out aspects of the video mix of "Flamboyant" that strongly suggest it had the same mixers as the single version, not the album version as I had previously suspected. I've made the appropriate adjustment.
  2. Having received his permission to do so, I've added John Topley's name to my Thank You page in recognition of his input regarding "A New Bohemia."

Song Annotations

Thanks to Nigel Brand for informing me that Neil has conceded a "factual error" in the lyrics of "Dancing Star," which I've noted in an update to the existing fourth bullet-point annotation to my commentary on that song. I still maintain, however, that it was a totally understandable error given the sometimes conflicting information on the subject of precisely where Nureyev's defection took place.

 


 

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