What's New? – Recent Updates & Additions

November 19, 2017

I've posted the final results of this past week's survey, in which I asked my site visitors to pick, from songs that the Pet Shop Boys released during the period 1996–2001 but have never performed live, the ones (up to five of them) they would most like them to perform live.

I'm intrigued by the fact that last week's poll had more than a hundred fewer voters than the week before, which asked that same question about the period 1985–1995. Is it because more people are interested in those earlier songs than more recent ones, or because potential voters are turned off by two similar questions in a row? I certainly hope not the latter since I'm doing it one more time. This week's poll is the third—and probably the last—in this series. I'd like for you to make that same choice of up to five songs that the Boys haven't yet performed live in concert, only this time from those released 2002–2007.

As for what's coming after that, I don't plan on asking this same question about songs released after 2007 because I think it's too soon to do so. Instead I have something special in mind. But we'll cross that particular bridge when we get to it.

Meanwhile, thanks to dedicated Russian PSB fan Dmitry M. for letting me know about his own fansite "Unofficial Pet Shop Boys Partnership." It has apparently been around for nearly 20 years, but I've only now learned about it. I've posted a link to it on my PSB Links page.

November 18, 2017

From time to time I find myself wishing there were a single webpage where I could see, all in one spot, a list of every Pet Shop Boys song arranged chronologically by when it was released. Failing to find such a thing, I've decided to create and post it myself. Therefore I introduce to you a brand new page in my "Extras" section: "PSB Song Chronology." Now, considering its objective and scope, I have no illusions about it being absolutely flawless in this, its first go-round. At least at this early juncture, it almost certainly has some mistakes and, even more likely, oversights. So I welcome any input you may offer for corrections. (For instance, I've already made one correction on the month and year of the first release of "Sail Away"—thanks, Martijn!) But please note certain caveats:

I hope you find this new page interesting and perhaps even useful.

November 17, 2017

As I've noted before, one of my great regrets is that, although I had bought tickets to the Pet Shop Boys' local date on their 2002 Release Tour, serious personal circumstances prevented me from attending the show. And since that show has never been released on video, I figured I was simply flat out of luck at ever being able to see it. So I'm pleased to have discovered on YouTube a professionally produced video of a substantial chunk (nearly an hour's worth) of the Boys' Release Tour show in Madrid. The quality is far from ideal—probably because it's a third- or fourth-generation copy of a performance that appears to have been originally broadcast on Spanish television—but it's better than nothing. So if, like me, you didn't attend one of those shows, this may be the next best thing. I hope you like it!

November 15, 2017

Thanks to Neil of Delaware for reminding me that the shouts of "¡Bacalao!" heard in the "New Version" mix of "Discoteca," which I've long noted in my main entry for that song, should also be cited in my list of Pet Shop Boys lyrics that include non-English words and phrases. I've now taken care of that.

November 13, 2017

Thanks to Agent Doris of the Pet Shop Boys Community Forum for reminding me that the PSB remixes of The Killers' "Read My Mind" should be added to my list of other tracks in which Chris's voice can be heard (that is, "other" than those in which he sings lead). I was already aware of Chris's voice being audible (just barely) in those remixes, but I had neglected to include them in the relevant list. It's now done. Thanks again!

November 12, 2017

I've posted the final results of my poll last week, in which I asked my site visitors to pick, from songs that the Pet Shop Boys released during the period 1985–1995 but have never performed live, the ones (up to five of them) they would most like them to perform live at some point in the not-too-distant future. My new survey for the week ahead is a direct sequel, asking the exact same question, only this time drawing from the period 1996–2001 (plus two earlier songs I had overlooked from the previous week's batch).

Incidentally, thanks to Alan D. for catching a typo, now corrected, in this week's poll. And in case you're wondering why this poll covers a shorter span of time (1996–2001) than the previous one (1985–1995), that's simple. When I first started setting up this survey with an equally long period of time, I found a much larger number of "qualifying" songs. I figured it would be preferable for the two polls to have roughly the same number of songs (not exactly the same, but close) than to cover the same number of years. Hence, the shorter time span.

Thanks also to Paul Atkin for letting me know about a terrific new cover of "Love Comes Quickly" by the indie act Lúlla, which features Icelandic actress/singer Heiðrún Anna Björnsdóttir. It's available for your listening pleasure on several websites, including Soundcloud and Traxsource. Naturally, I've now noted it on my page that lists remakes of Tennant-Lowe songs.

November 11, 2017

I'm very grateful to Claudio Sánchez (whose name I've just added to my Thank You page) for motivating me to shift the emphasis of my translation of the line "¿Cuanto tiempo tengo que esperar?" in "Discoteca" from the concept of hoping to that of waiting. While I still believe both translations are acceptable, Claudio is correct that "How long must I wait?" is probably more apt in the context of the song than "How long must I hope?" So I've made the corresponding adjustments both in my annotations to my commentary on that song and in my list of non-English words and phrases used in Pet Shop Boys lyrics. Claudio similarly encouraged me to note that Neil once cited Actually as the album he and Chris would most likely choose to perform "live" in its entirety (assuming they were ever to perform any of their albums live in its entirety). This in turn inspired me to add a whole new second paragraph to my brief—what I took to be too brief—introduction to the album itself, where I've now expanded a bit upon the significance of Actually both to the Boys and to certain music critics. Thanks for those nudges, Claudio! Although Actually is by no means my own favorite PSB album, there's no denying its overall importance.

November 9, 2017

Thanks to Andrew Shaw for catching an error I had made on today's "On This Day in Pet Shop Boys History" page, in which I had stated that the Pet Shop Boys had written "The Performance of My Life" for Dame Shirley Bassey. (Rather, they had already written it, not with her specifically in mind, but submitted it to her upon request.) I knew this, and I had already stated as much elsewhere on this site, but that outdated "legacy info" had escaped my detection. It's now corrected.

Thanks as well to Henrik Guldberg for reporting another error, also now corrected (just an outdated numerical reference to a footnote), on my page that lists what I understand to be the current ten most collectible PSB releases based on value.

November 8, 2017

Thanks to Felicity for informing me of something that really can't claim a permanent place on this website, but which I think bears noting here for the short term. It's the fact that the Pet Shop Boys were specifically mentioned in the U.K. Parliament this past Friday, November 3, by Tracey Crouch, the Under-Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. The bold type is my own emphasis in the following pertinent excerpt:

The U.K. music sector is a tremendous ambassador for the wealth of creativity that exists on these islands. Wherever we look, we see great British musical and creative talent. With household names known around the world—from Glastonbury and Glyndebourne, Elgar and Elbow, Pet Shop Boys and Paloma Faith, to Abbey Road and AIR Studios, Wembley and Womanby Street—the U.K. is a world leader in music. Those names are a big part of why the U.K. is currently ranked second in the world for soft power and why people from around the world want to come here. The Government are committed to continuing to support the U.K. music industry at home and abroad. We want our music industry to continue to be the envy of the world, promoting and showcasing the very best of our unique brand of creativity.

It's not nearly as "strange" as a previous occasion a few years back when the Boys were name-dropped in Parliament, but I still think it's very well worth a mention! Thanks again, Felicity!

November 7, 2017

A few days ago the Pet Shop Boys noted on their website that World in My Eyes, the newly published autobiography by the legendary deejay Richard Blade—familiar to PSB fans, if for no other reason, by virtue of his having been (like yours truly) among the onscreen commentators in the 2006 documentary Pet Shop Boys: A Life In Pop—includes a chapter devoted to them. Well, my copy of the book is on order—and that's not the only reason for my ordering it, either. In the meantime, I'd heard (from Blade himself on his radio show) that each chapter takes its title from a song, so I figured there must be at least one PSB song title in there. Sure enough, I've found a copy of the table of contents online, and it includes, within a chapter titled "Friends of Mine," a sub-section titled "Being Boring." Given its placement within "Friends of Mine," I think it most likely that's the section focusing on the Boys. To be sure, Chris and/or Neil almost certainly make other appearances as well, but that's probably where Blade zeroes in on them, so to speak. At any rate, as I said, my copy of the book has yet to arrive (and, according to Amazon, may not arrive for another couple of weeks—no idea why), but I'll be sure to summarize any interesting new details here once I learn of them. Stay tuned!

November 6, 2017

While listening earlier today to the songs that the Pet Shop Boys wrote for My Dad's a Birdman, it occurred to me that "The Dumpling Song" is very much a particular type of song—namely, a "patter song." I won't go into detail defining what a patter song is (especially since Wikipedia has already done it so much better than I could), but I have devoted a new paragraph in my brief commentary on that song to this subject.

November 5, 2017

I've posted the final results of last week's survey, in which I asked my site visitors to identify their favorite synthpop duos aside from the Pet Shop Boys. That proved to be a popular, "crowd-pleasing" question, as I hope this week's new poll will be as well. I've listed what I believe to be all of the songs recorded and released by the Pet Shop Boys during what was roughly their first decade of massive worldwide success—up through 1995—that, as far as I know, they have never performed live in concert. From this batch of songs I'm asking you to pick the five that you would most like to hear them perform live, perhaps on their next tour.

By the way, maybe you would like an opportunity to respond to the same question regarding later PSB songs, released after 1995. If this proves to be a popular question this week (and the early turnout indicates that it probably will be), I plan on running the same sort of poll for the subsequent "PSB decades"—1996-2005 and 2006-2015—during either the immediately following weeks or, if not then, certainly very soon after.

And I've just now realized that I omitted at least two songs—"Decadence" and "Don Juan"—that I should have included among the choices in this week's poll. I'll be sure to include them and any other such omissions that come to my attention in the next poll of this type that I run, which will likely be next week. (What really annoys me is that I went through the list of PSB songs at least three or four times in an effort to make sure I didn't leave any out. Yet, sure enough, at least those two escaped me. Damn, damn, damn, damn, damn.)

November 4, 2017

As a follow-up on my November 2 update (see below) regarding the use of the Pet Shop Boys' rendition of "Always on My Mind" in the new Burberry campaign, I immediately recognized at the time that it constituted another possible addition to my list of PSB/Doctor Who connections by virtue of the appearance in the ad of Matt Smith (the Eleventh Doctor). But I was hesitant actually to add it to the list because it does strike me as a bit of a stretch (PSB is related to X; Y is related to X; Y is related to Doctor Who; therefore PSB is related to Doctor Who on account of X and Y). So I resolved to hold off on it until I got the nudge—which, to be honest, I figured was inevitable. I suppose in one of my occasional bouts of sheer contrariness, I was curious to see how long it would take. Of course, it didn't take long. Thanks so much to Andrew Shaw for providing the nudge! I've now made this addition to the list at #34.

Thanks once again to Steve N, this time for suggesting several additions to my new list of Pet Shop Boys songs that contain biblical allusions. I've added two of the tracks he suggested, both of them from The Most Incredible Thing: "The Clock 10/11/12" in the main body of the list, and "The Clock 1/2/3" as a more questionable item appended to the end. But I decided against adding several others he recommended because I felt that, while most indeed made religious references, they weren't biblical in nature. As I explained to him, although I allowed "It's a Sin" to wiggle in despite similar reservations, that one earns its pass on account of its iconic ubiquity: there's no escaping the thing. So it's the exception that proves the rule. Another of Steve's suggestions, "It Doesn't Often Snow at Christmas," again has virtually nothing "biblical" about it aside from its being about Christmas, a holiday that has (for good or ill depending on your perspective) all but lost its religious overtones for vast segments of the public. Just as the mere mention of God doesn't make a track "biblical" (re: "God Willing"), neither does the mere mention of Christmas—especially nowadays.

On another subject altogether: it really has nothing to do with the Pet Shop Boys, but when I saw this remarkable video I couldn't help but think of the contrast it offers to "Sad Robot World." Or does it?

November 3, 2017

Thanks to Steve N. for sharing an interesting bit of "theoretical speculation," if you will, about "The Calm Before the Storm," specifically with regard to that town's sole recording studio, "The Doghouse." I had noted this in a new annotation to my main commentary on the song. But I was quickly alerted by my reliable contact within the PSB organization that there's no connection whatsoever, as attested to by Neil and Chris. So I've now modified that annotation accordingly.

I've long contemplated creating a new list of Pet Shop Boys songs that contain biblical allusions, splitting those items away from the PSB literary references list where most of them had previously resided. I've now finally gotten around to doing that.

A fan's dilemma – My fondness for the song "Give It a Go," which has always been one of my favorites from Elysium, just keeps growing with time. So today I thought seriously about adding it to my 25 favorite PSB songs. Only trouble is that, when I tried to determine which song I'd delete from that list in order to make room for "Give It a Go," I couldn't. "Give It a Go" would have to be #26. My sense of—I don't know—balance just wouldn't let me expand the list to "my 26 favorites." And I didn't want to increase the list to the more "balanced" number of 30. So "Give It a Go" will remain, at least for the time being, off the list—at least until my fondness for it grows still further to the point where I can say that, yes, I love it even more than one of those 25.

November 2, 2017

It's another one of those days when I had literally dozens (no exaggeration!) of site-related emails waiting for me when I got home from work. I can only address a few of them right now. But thanks to porkchopkid for letting me know that the U.K. fashion house Burberry is using the PSB rendition of "Always on My Mind" in its Christmas campaign this year, which leads me to add that song to my list of Pet Shop Boys tracks that have been used in TV commercials.

I'll try to get to the others either later this evening or sometime tomorrow.

October 31, 2017

Happy Halloween! And thanks to Andrew Shaw for alerting me to the fact that both Tim (see yesterday's entry below) and I may have unwittingly fallen victim to a confusion that I've long documented—but had completely forgotten about—in my list of mixes for "Music for Boys." It turns out, however, that the confusion actually lay not in what we said yesterday but in my mixes list. So thanks also to Jeff Durst for helping to clarify this mystery. In short, the "Ambient Mix" and the "Part 2" mix are one and the same—just different titles for the same thing. I've now made the necessary adjustments to my mixes list for that track. And speaking of yesterday's updates, I've now received Tim's permission to add his full name (Timur Dzhafarov) to my Thank You page. Thanks very much to you all!

October 30, 2017

One of the things I love about Pet Shop Boys lyrics and music is that they're rich enough for me to "hear new things" that I had never heard before, sometimes even in songs that I've known and loved for a quarter-century or more. Such was the case today while listening to "DJ Culture" on my headphones at work. I don't know if it was my particular work-oriented frame of mind or what, but I suddenly realized that the recurring line "Dance with me" has very special significance that ties directly to the underlying themes of that song. It struck me as so obvious that I marvel it had never occurred to me before. I've made note of this observation in a new second-bullet point annotation to my commentary on that song.

Thanks to Timur Dzhafarov (Tim for short) for alerting me to the recurring use of a humble little synth riff in the "Ambient Mix" of "Music for Boys" that creates a noteworthy connection between that track and the much later Pet Shop Boys song "Here" via a certain Bobby O classic famed for having been a major early influence on our musical heroes. I've updated my entries for both PSB songs accordingly.

October 29, 2017

I've posted the final results of my poll of this past week, in which I asked my site visitors to choose their favorite of the four released songs written by Chris and Neil the titles of which begin with the words "I Want." My new survey for the week ahead is very different and, unusually, has to do with the Pet Shop Boys only by their "absent association," so to speak. Taking it for granted that PSB is a "synthpop duo" and that they are one of your favorite recording acts—if not your absolute #1 favorite of all—I'm wondering which other synthpop duos (yes, just duos) you also count among your own personal favorites. I leave it to you to determine for yourself what constitutes someone being a "favorite." Thanks so much to "Toaster in the Bath" for suggesting this question as well as for supplying me with the lion's share of the artists I've listed, though I did include a few additions of my own. (I also deleted a few whom I considered a tad too obscure. But as usual in a poll of this sort, I offer the familiar final "someone/something not listed here" catch-all option.)

Update – Speaking of that "Some other synthpop duo not listed here" option, I've been alerted to the fact that I inexplicably neglected to include Electronic and Daft Punk among the choices. Arghh! I can excuse myself for overlooking far more obscure artists, but not those two. Such an oversight on my part is one of the reasons I often hesitate to run polls of this nature. It's too late for me to ad them to the poll itself, but I'll certainly note them among the "some other" choices when I post the final results one week from now.

Meanwhile, thanks to John Hunt for alerting me to two very interesting points. First, he observed that Neil's spoken-word bit about two-thirds of the way through "Night Song" is a bit different—not in the words but in their delivery—between the original online download several years ago and the version newly released with the reissue of Yes. And he pointed out that the 2005 Rolling Stones song "She Saw Me Coming" employs the same expression that Neil had drawn upon (inspired by his mother's usage of the phrase) as inspiration for the song "Did You See Me Coming?" I've noted both of these facts in new annotations to the respective songs. Thanks again, John!

October 28, 2017

I've added a new page to my "Extras" section. It's basically a "sister" to my page that details the performance of the Pet Shop Boys' singles and albums on the U.K. and U.S. pop music charts. This new page provides the same sort of data for select international (non-U.K/U.S.) pop music charts. It was triggered by site visitor Rodolfo Ovalle, who suggested that I provide PSB chart data from the Eurochart Hot 100, very kindly supplying the pertinent figures. But I felt that I shouldn't stop there; I should offer similar data for assorted other countries where the Boys are quite popular. So I've now posted "Pet Shop Boys' International (non-U.K./U.S.) Pop Chart History." And thanks again, Rodolfo!

That being said, this new page comes with a couple of important caveats. First of all, as I say, I'm listing chart data for only some nations. I'm not going to make any attempt to be truly comprehensive about it, listing every PSB showing on any chart anywhere around the world. If, however, you are willing and able to provide reliable, comprehensive, and verifiable corresponding chart data for another country where the Pet Shop Boys have charted at least ten singles on the main pop chart (as opposed to, say, the dance chart), I will seriously consider adding that data to this new page. (For instance, I would very much like to include the figures for Brazil, Denmark, and Mexico, three countrties where the Boys are particularly popular, but so far I've been unable to find such data, at least for more than a very few songs.) Secondly, I have little doubt that I'm missing chart figures for some listed countries for certain singles in my current table, so if you notice any such "absentees" and can provide verifiable data to fill in those blanks, I welcome your input. For instance, thanks already to Martijn for helping to fill in a few blanks for the Netherlands!

Meanwhile, a couple of my regular site visitors (thanks, porkchopkid and Chris Horst!) have informed me that "It's a Sin" was used as the opening number of the most recent edition (a "Halloween Special" that aired this evening) of the popular U.K. television show Strictly Come Dancing. Since I regard that very much a musical program, I won't note it in my list of occurrences of PSB songs in non-musical films and TV shows. But I do think it's worth mentioning here, especially since it may be (though I'm not sure about this) the first time a Tennant-Lowe song has ever been used on Strictly Come Dancing.

October 27, 2017Mr. Belvedere

Filed under "It really doesn't fit anywhere else on my website, but it's way too cool to ignore" – Veteran site visitor and contributor Jeff Durst has shared a shot, here on the right, from the old American TV sitcom Mr. Belvedere, which originally aired from 1985 to 1990 (the specific episode is titled "The Thief" and was originally broadcast on September 26, 1986), showing a scene from inside a record shop where one of the main characters had a job. Look whose poster is displayed proudly and prominently up front at the checkout desk! Ah, just a little reminder of how big the Pet Shop Boys were here in the States back in 1986. Thanks so much, Jeff!

This reminds me, by the way, of a discussion I heard on the radio just yesterday about why the 1980s seem to hold an especially fond place in the "musical memories," so to speak, of such a wide range of people, both old and young. Among the many reasons cited was one that I found especially intriguing: that the 1980s is the musical "overlap decade" for the large majority of people today, at least here in the western world. The Baby Boomer generation was still young enough at the time (mostly in their late twenties to late thirties) to still be "into" popular music—and for the world of pop music to still be "into them" as well. Members of the next generation, so-called "Generation X," were in their late teens to mid-twenties, the prime period for them to be thoroughly obsessed with that decade's popular music. And most of the generation that came after, the "Millennials" (or "Gen Y"), were children in the 1980s and still generally retain fond memories of those years. Even so-called "Generation Z," born after the 1980s, seems to have a fascination with that decade as the period that, in a manner of speaking, gave birth to their own cultural norms and expectations. In short, the 1980s is the current crossover period for the large majority of westerners, most of whom appear to find some rare "common cultural ground" in its music. An intriguing theory, don't you think?

October 26, 2017

I offer much-delayed thanks to "Toaster in the Bath" for alerting me to an outdated reference in my entry for Battleship Potemkin at "#29+" in my list of Pet Shop Boys songs with Russian connections. I didn't notice the correction sent to me several weeks ago until just now. Very careless of me—but now corrected!

My email inbox was loaded with messages today, offering all sorts of information and questions from site visitors. Only one has resulted in a site update at this time, however. Thanks to Phil S aka "Leeds City Boy" for letting me know about an excerpt from the 2016 memoir by the Boys' former manager Tom Watkins in which he mentions the song "Beautiful Beast" in passing. I've noted this fact in my mini-entry for "Beautiful Beast" in my alphabetical list of unreleased Tennant-Lowe songs.

One other person kindly wrote to tell me about a new French-language version of "Leaving." Before listening to it, I was prepared to add it to my list of remakes of Pet Shop Boys songs. It turns out, however, to be someone singing—admittedly, quite nicely—French lyrics over the original, unmodified PSB instrumental track. That really doesn't strike me so much as a "cover" as, in essence, a "karaoke" rendition, the difference in language notwithstanding. And I've long elected, as a matter of course, not to include karaoke renditions in that list. Regardless, thanks for informing me of this! Even if I don't "use" it here on my website, it's good to know.

On a separate note, thanks also to Rodolfo Ovalle from Colombia, newly added to my Thank You page, for providing a good deal of information over the past few days that I plan on using to post an altogether new page, probably sometime this coming weekend. Stay tuned for that.

October 25, 2017

I think I'm pretty much done with scattered updates that come from reading the booklets that accompany the new reissues of Yes and Elysium. There have been too many to enumerate them all here, but I believe the "highlights" are:

I've made assorted other adjustments as well, but those are the most significant ones.

Incidentally, one of my site visitors asked me whether I thought a certain exchange between Chris and Neil in the Yes booklet, with regard to the song "The Way It Used to Be"—

Neil: The fans had a poll of their favorite Pet Shop Boys songs and this came number two.

Chris: What was number one?

Neil: "Being Boring," I think.

—was in reference to this website, specifically in light of the outcome of my "Rating Project" polls. It's distinctly possible, although there are probably other such polls online as well.

October 24, 2017

Thanks so much to Richard Firth for telling me about a really marvelous new remake of "What Have I Done to Deserve This?" by Shyboy featuring none other than the Pet Shop Boys' co-writer on the song, Allee Willis. What I like most about it (and I do like it a lot!) aside from its overall rather "playful" mood, is that producer/DJ/instrumentalist/singer Shyboy (whose given name is Jason Arnold) creates a humble little melody to sing those lines that Neil spoke in the original. If you would like to hear it for yourself, it's available on YouTube as well as elsewhere online. And, of course, I've noted it on my page that lists cover versions of Tennant-Lowe songs. Thanks again, Richard!

What a difference a question makes! After less than three days, my poll this week has already attracted (as of this writing) nearly a hundred more voters than my previous survey question had for its entire week.

October 23, 2017

As I noted yesterday (see below), I'm in the process of going through the bookets accompanying the new reissues of Yes and Elysium, making scattered minor adjustments and updates here on my website along the way. I'll say more about that once I'm all done. But something that Neil says in the Elysium booklet really has me perplexed. In the discussion of "Leaving," he says of one of the PSB remixes of that song:

I realized afterward that had nicked the "I believe in love" part from the Tom Stephan track "Believe" that I wrote the words for years ago.

Huh? A Tennant lyric that had escaped my notice until now? Excitedly, I did a quick online search to learn more. As it turns out, Tom Stephan, in collaboration with singer Theo Gerideau, indeed released a song titled "Believe in Love" back in 2000. But the track's songwriting credits are Larry Mizell/Tom Stephan. No Tennant anywhere in sight. And it's not merely an "internet mistake"; the actual record label states "Mizell/Stephan" as the songwriters as well. So what's going on? Has Neil been unwittingly deprived of a songwriting credit due him? Or did he for some reason willingly decide in this case to forgo credit for his lyrics? (In case you're wondering, "Larry Mizell" is not a pseudonym; he's an authentic musician and songwriter from New Jersey.) Surely Neil isn't simply "mistaken"; one doesn't "mistakenly" claim credit for writing song lyrics. So I'm eager to learn more. If any of you can help shed light on this very unusual and confusing situation, I'd love to hear from you!

Update: I've since learned much more. Here's the scoop –

"Believe in Love" started life in 1994 as a Tom Stephan remix for a Tom Jones track titled "Love Is on Our Side." Neil heard the instrumental backing track that Tom (Stephan, that is) had created and suggested that he turn it into an entirely new song, for which Neil offered to provide the melody and lyrics. Tom agreed. But the track then underwent assorted permutations, its release delayed until 2000. Neil asked not to be credited. The credit for Larry Mizell, however, is for a loop sampled from a Mizell composition used in the final version.

With that mystery solved, I've added a new entry for "Believe in Love" to my section on tracks in which only one of the Boys was deeply involved.

If you would like to hear this track for yourself, it's available on YouTube.

Finally, thanks so much to long-time site visitor and contributor Jeff Durst both for catching an error (now corrected) in the drop-down menu of my top navigation bar and for scattered other corrections. I really appreciate it!

October 22, 2017

I've posted the final results of this past week's poll, the second part of my question about whether each of the Pet Shop Boys' music videos for their singles enhanced, detracted from, or had no effect on my site visitors' appreciation of the corresponding single. Now, this week's survey may strike many of you as trivial, or even somewhat silly. But its motivation are the complaints I get from time to time about how so many of my weekly polls offer too many choices and demand too much of your time. I'm sensitive to these concerns, so I want, at least from time to time, to run surveys with only a few choices. This is one of them. I remember reading a comment, quite some time ago, by a record reviewer who seemed to attach undue significance to the fact that the first three studio albums by the Pet Shop Boys—Please, Actually, and Introspective—as well as the album they then produced for Liza Minnelli, Results, each include a song written by them that begins with the words "I Want." He believed it suggested something about the Boys being selfish and acquisitive. But seeing as how these four songs were once singled out in this (in my opinion) ludicrous way, I figured it might nevertheless be fun to ask you to pick the one that's your own personal favorite. I hope you don't mind.

My orders of the Yes and Elysium reissues arrived today, but I've been so busy—and continue to be so busy—with other demands on my time that I haven't even had a chance to open them up, much less read their booklets. I hope to be able to do so either later this evening or tomorrow evening at the latest. I may of course have some updates at that time. Stay tuned!

October 21, 2017

Inspired by an email from a fellow fan (thanks, Alan!), I've finally gotten off my duff and done something I've seriously considered for quite a long time but just never got around to: namely, adding Led Zeppelin to my list of "second-tier" artists on my page devoted to my other favorites. A world of difference, I know, from the Pet Shop Boys, but quality comes in all flavors.

Just a heads-up – Chances are very good that I'll be a little later than usual (perhaps by a half-hour or more) making the switch from my current poll to the next one. I hope this doesn't cause you any inconvenience.

October 20, 2017

I've posted my preliminary commentary on the previously unreleased Pet Shop Boys song "She Pops," which appears as a bonus track with the new re-release of Elysium.

On a subject unrelated to PSB, I'm both surprised and delighted to find posted online—in fact, on the official website of one of my other favorite artists, Joni Mitchella concert review written by me more than 40 years ago. (Damn, I'm gettin' old!) My writing style has, if I may be so bold to say, improved considerably over the intervening years. But, still, it's awfully nice to see, and it just goes to show how, in this day and age, anything and everything you have ever done—or at least have committed to media—may well resurface at any time.