What's New? – Recent Updates & Additions

August 13, 2018

Thanks to Vlad P. for writing to ask me about a couple of allegedly different mixes—at least I had identified them as such—of "Opportunities (Let's Make Lots of Money)." He had compared the "Matrix Mix" and the supposedly unique mix that appeared on the U.K. Now That's What I Can Music 7 and couldn't discern any difference, so he asked me to do the same. I did and, sure enough, as best I can tell, the two are absolutely identical. So I've revised my list of the mixes for that song, removing the separate entry for the Now version, instead "demoting" it to an indented bullet-note attached to the "Matrix Mix." Thanks again, Vlad!

August 12, 2018

I've posted the final results of my previous survey, in which I asked my site visitors whether they were planning to buy (or had already bought via pre-order) Neil's upcoming book, One Hundred Lyrics and a Poem. My new poll is of a type that has "historically" proven quite popular: asking you to choose songs from a list based on a specific criterion. In this case I've listed the PSB single b-sides—an admittedly archaic term, but you know what I mean—of the present decade. I'd like for you to choose from them the twelve that, in your opinion, would have made the best studio album.

August 9, 2018

Thanks to DaveF63 for catching an error in my description of the availability of the 2001 remake of "It's a Sin" by the Irish band JJ72, as related on my page devoted to cover versions of Pet Shop Boys songs. I've now made the appropriate correction.

Thanks as well to Rory Simpson for letting me know that Dusty Springfield's original version of "In Private" was used in a 1991 episode of the U.K. crime docudrama series Crimewatch File, which I've now noted in a new entry at #84 in my list of PSB songs used in non-musical films and TV shows.

August 7, 2018

I've stumbled upon acoustic remakes of both "It's a Sin" and "Rent" by New York artist Soft News (real name Erik Laroi) from his 2014 covers album Used Melodies. Naturally, I've now noted these on my page that lists cover versions of Pet Shop Boys songs. If you would like to hear them for yourself, they're available on YouTube here and here, respectively. As for Soft News/Erik Laroi himself, he has devoted himself for roughly the past decade to performing, almost exclusively, soothing acoustic renditions of music from the 1980s—a most interesting instance of extreme specialization—including entire albums of songs originally by New Order, Everything But the Girl, and Sade. Perhaps most idiosyncratic of all is his 2011 six-track collection consisting entirely of variations on a single song, Lionel Richie's "Hello," titled (appropriately enough) The Hello Variations. At any rate, he branches out more on Used Melodies with songs by a number of artists, PSB among them.

Today the Flag Counter routine on my home page detected my first-ever site visitor from the African nation of Rwanda. So I've updated my "A World of Pet Shop Boys Fans" page to include that country. And I extend a hearty welcome to my Rwandan site visitor!

August 4, 2018

Well, I've just set a new personal record in my dreams about the Pet Shop Boys: last night I had no fewer than three (!) dreams in a row involving them in one way or another, although they actually appeared in only the first. I have no idea why they were so much on my mind last night, but obviously they were. Whatever the cause, if you're interested in such workings of my subconscious, I invite you to read about these latest dreams.

Meanwhile, thanks to two of my site visitors, John and Jane, for separately alerting me to a new online article that talks about the "confluence," so to speak, of three major figures of modern pop culture: Neil Tennant, Marc Bolan, and Stan Lee. I figure it's certainly worth noting here.

Thanks as well to David Frisch (whose name I've just added to my Thank You page) for reporting several oversights and inconsistencies, which I believe I've now addressed. For one thing, he observed that I had somehow neglected to include "More Than a Dream" and "The Miracle - The Ressurection" in my "PSB Song Chronology." And I was wildly inconsistent throughout my site in whether I listed the song "The Patience of a Saint" with or without its proper initial article "The." I think I've caught and fixed them all! Thanks again, David!

August 3, 2018

Thanks to Toaster in the Bath for calling my attention to some outdated references in my entry for "The Sodom and Gomorrah Show" at #11 in my list of Pet Shop Boys songs that contain samples from other artists' recordings. I've now made the appropriate adjustments.

August 2, 2018

I've just now added Jonathan Cooper's name to my Thank You page in recognition of his contribution of info yesterday (see below). Actually, this wasn't Jonathan's first such contribution to my site, but somehow he never received that recognition until now. Belatedly remedied! Thanks again, Jonathan!

August 1, 2018

Thanks so much to Juan Amézaga for catching a typo in my entry for the song "Disappointed"—a typo, by the way, that had been there for ten years or more without anyone else noticing or at least reporting it! Needless to say, it's now corrected. Thanks again, Juan!

In a follow-up to my recent posting (see just below) about the live "Suburbia" from the Pandemonium Tour, I've updated my entry for that track in my list of Pet Shop Boys recordings that contain samples of other artists' music to note that "Maracana Madness" was remixed by (among others) "Les Rythmes Digitales," which was a pseudonym for Stuart Price, who created the live mixes/arrangements for the tour, "Suburbia" included. Thanks to both Ryan Connell and Jonathan Cooper for providing the pertinent information.

July 30, 2018

Thanks to Ryan Connell for alerting me to the fact that the live version of "Suburbia" on the Pandemonium CD opens with a sample borrowed apparently from the 1994 dance track "Maracana Madness" by E-Klektik—although I strongly suspect E-Klektik may have lifted from another even earlier source, though that remains to be seen. Whatever the case, I've made note of this in a new entry for "Suburbia" at #13 in my list of Pet Shop Boys recordings that contain samples of other artists' music.

I have a few further prospective irons in the fire, so to speak, based on input from other site visitors, but I'm still conducting research and trying to obtain additional information before I make any related site updates.

July 29, 2018

I've posted the final results of my previous poll, in which I asked my site visitors whether they would like for the Pet Shop Boys to record and release at some point a new album of collaborations with other artists. My new survey for the next two weeks is obviously inspired by the news announced three days ago that a new book by Neil Tennant, One Hundred Lyrics and a Poem, would be published later this year. I'm simply wondering whether you're planning to buy it—perhaps even having already pre-ordered it—and, if so, which edition?

It's worth noting (if, for no other reason, because it forced a last-minute redesign of the choices that I'm offering in this survey) that, according to the Boys' official website, the special signed limited edition of Neil's book has already sold out via online pre-order. In other words, if you haven't already pre-ordered a copy but would like to, it appears you'll now have to settle for the "standard" edition.

Meanwhile, thanks to David B. for pointing out a very suble difference between the original Yes album version of "Love etc." and the recording that appears on the 2017 remaster of the album. If you compare the two versions of the song, you'll hear at about the 2:23 point, when Neil sings "You need more than the Gerhard Richter hanging on your wall," the background music of the original version very briefly "drops down" in volume—not really a full "drop out"—for a couple beats, whereas in the 2017 remaster, this "drop down" doesn't occur. Fascinating! I've made note of this in the "Mixes" section of my entry for that song. Thanks again for observing and reporting this, David!

July 28, 2018

As promised day before yesterday (see below), I've added to my page that lists books about the Pet Shop Boys a new, very preliminary entry for Neil's upcoming book One Hundred Lyrics and a Poem. I'll of course flesh it out as we learn more about it.

July 27, 2018

Thanks to Simon from Newcastle for letting me know that "Winner" has been dropped from the setlist for the "Inner Sanctum" shows that the Pet Shop Boys are in the midst of at London's Royal Opera House. This difference from the 2016 shows there triggers just a minor change in wording on my PSB live setlists page.

July 26, 2018

Very exciting news today from the Pet Shop Boys' official webiste! A new book by none other than Neil Tennant, titled One Hundred Lyrics and a Poem, will be published on November 1. As the PSB site states, "The book is Neil’s choice of one hundred of his song lyrics plus a short poem and also has an introduction written by Neil detailing his personal history as a songwriter and his creative processes." In addition, "Neil will be in conversation with Michael Bracewell at a special event to mark the publication of the book." Links are provided there for "full details of the book, the event and a special signed limited edition." Speaking only for myself (of course), I've decided against ordering the special signed limited edition, but I have already placed my advance order for the "standard edition" at Amazon.co.uk. I chose not to order it from U.S. Amazon because, based on info on the Amazon site, it seems that it won't be published in the States until December. So an "import" copy strikes me as the better option, despite the added costs for shipping and the longer delivery time, which should nevertheless ensure that I get it sooner than I would if I were to wait for its U.S. publication.

Incidentally, I certainly plan on noting this new publication on my page devoted to books about PSB, but I don't have time to do so right now. I expect to get around to it sometime within the next 24-48 hours, however.

July 23, 2018

No big deal – I've simply updated my Pet Shop Boys tours page to reflect the news announced today on their official website that the venue for their August 2 concert has changed from Helsinki's Kaisaniemi Park to the Helsinki Ice Hall.

July 21, 2018

Thanks to porkchopkid for letting me know about a recently videotaped re-creation (minus the vocals) using "period instruments" of a classic very early performance on television by the Pet Shop Boys of "Opportunities (Let's Make Lots of Money)." (Please be patient—it takes about 20 seconds for the music to kick in.) In case you're not familiar with the original performance (on the U.K. TV show Whistle Test), here it is on YouTube.

July 19, 2018

Thanks to Simon from Newcastle for telling me about "Man Down," a recent single by U.K. soul/hip-hop artist Shakka (with guest vocalist AlunaGeorge), which includes a brief lyrical nod to a certain Pet Shop Boys classic in the form of the following line from the start of its third verse: "It was all good for the East End girl, West End boy." I don't believe this actually qualifies for any of my lists, but at least I can make temporary note of it here. If you would like to hear this track for yourself, it's available on YouTube and elsewhere.

July 18, 2018

Thanks to porkchopkid for sharing with me a fascinating BBC Music News article about the remarkable Now That's What I Call Music album series. Buried amidst its assorted "records" and "trivia" is a list of the top ten artists with the longest span of years of inclusion in the series (posthumous entries excluded). I'm delighted to see that the Pet Shop Boys make the list, their 23-year span (1986-2009) earning them a tie for sixth place with Paul McCartney (1984-2007). Surprisingly, at least according to the Now That's What I Call Music website, the very first PSB song included in the series was not "West End Girls," but rather "Opportunities (Let's Make Lots of Money)"; the last was "Love etc." To be sure, "West End Girls" has indeed appeared on certain special Now albums outside of the main series, but those are "retrospective" appearances that occurred after 1986 and "Opportunities." As I said, fascinating! Thanks again, porkchopkid!

By the way, in case you're wondering, I did actually once attempt, about a year ago, to put together a new page for my "Lists" section of all Pet Shop Boys appearances in the Now series. But it simply became too confusing and convoluted for my peace of mind, what with all the different versions for different countries and all those "special" releases. No, some lists are better left alone. wink

July 15, 2018

I've posted the final results of my survey of the past two weeks, in which I asked my site visitors to pick their favorite Pet Shop Boys studio album "side" or "half." My new poll for the following two weeks asks whether you would like for the Boys to record and release at some point an album of collaborations with other artists and, if so, what sort of tracks it should consist of. Thanks to porkchopkid for suggesting this question!