What's New? – Recent Updates & Additions

January 14, 2019

Thanks so much to Stuart R for sharing a both delightful and remarkable observation he made while watching the classic music video for the Pet Shop Boys' 1988 hit "Domino Dancing." It's so delightful and remarkable, in fact, that I've now noted it as the latest entry on my page devoted to "Strange But True Incidents Involving the Pet Shop Boys." Thanks again, Stuart!

January 13, 2019

I've posted the final results of my survey of the past week, in which I asked my site visitors which Pet Shop Boys single they consier to be the most "Erasuresque"—that is, the most like Erasure.

I've gotten some complaints lately on the quality of my recent polls, which haven't been popular with everybody. I've apparently "lost" one formerly regular site visitor, and another has suggested (quite politely) that I ought to give up weekly polling altogether. As I replied to him, I've actually been giving serious thought to doing precisely that, though largely on account of certain personal challenges that I'm facing. Among them is my growing problem with arthritis, which makes it increasingly difficult for me to do a lot of typing. So I'll be mulling that matter over in the weeks ahead. But, in the meantime, the surveys continue with my new poll for the week ahead. I've very conscientiously picked a topic that I hope will prove much more popular than my other questions of late. I'm wondering which of my own ten favorite PSB b-sides are among your own personal favorites.

January 10, 2019

Inspired by a recent posting in the Pet Shop Boys Community Forum (thanks, DavePSB!), I've added to my PSB Links page a link to the official Farrow Design website. As you probably know, Mark Farrow and his company have been designing album and single packaging—plus so very much more—for the Boys almost from the start, with very few breaks along the way.

January 6, 2019

I've posted the final results of last week's poll, in which I asked my site visitors whether they agree with the opinion, expressed recently by one my site visitors, that "it's all about money" for the Pet Shop Boys nowadays. That question proved somewhat controversial, and the same may be true of my new survey for the week ahead. It's based on the concept that there are a good many similarities between PSB and another famed hitmaking synthpop duo of the 1980s and the decades since, Erasure—who, incidentally, happen to be among my other favorite artists. One of my site visitors suggested that I ask you to pick the Pet Shop Boys single that is most "Erasuresque"—that is, the most like Erasure. Even if you honestly don't think any PSB singles are "Erasuresque," it's only a matter of logic that, despite any and all differences, some must be more "like" Erasure than others. So we're just asking you to pick the one that you think is most like them. Thanks to Chico Dorito for proposing this question!

January 5, 2019

Thanks to Rob Bainbridge for letting me know that the Pet Shop Boys' rendition of "Go West" was played briefly on last night's episode of the U.K. TV game show The Big Fat Quiz of Everything. I've made note of this fact in the entry for that song at #47 in my list of PSB tracks used in non-musical films and television shows.

Thanks as well to Alan D. for catching two more typos in my commentary on "Single." Considering the other typo discovered there only two days ago (see just below), I must've been singularly error-prone when I first created that entry.

January 3, 2019

My first site update of the new year is only a small one. But I'm nonetheless grateful to Lasse Sarauw for noticing and reporting a typo, now corrected, on my page devoted to the Pet Shop Boys' song "Single." Thanks, Lasse!

December 31, 2018

Thanks to Paul Clements (whose name I've just added to my Thank You page) for letting me know about an article titled "The New Medicis" in the current issue of the famed U.K. magazine The Economist that has nothing whatsoever to do with the Pet Shop Boys except that whoever was in charge of creating subheads for various sections of the article decided to use lines from the lyrics of "Opportunities (Let's Make Lots of Money)"—specifically "I've got the brains, you've got the looks," "Let's make lots of money," and "Do you want to be rich?" Delightful!

I'm frankly amazed that some of my site visitors are criticizing me for my poll question this week. I'm not saying that I agree with the premise of the question. On the contrary, I disagree. But I thought it would be a good idea to let all of you folks weigh in on it, too. Therefore I don't see any harm in simply asking the question and giving you all a chance to express your own feelings about it. Not surprisingly, the vast majority of you also disagree. So have I somehow been disloyal or disrespectful to the Pet Shop Boys or, as one person has suggested, "spineless"? I honestly don't think so. But, as they say, to each his (or her) own.

I wish you all a very happy and safe New Year's Eve and New Year!

December 30, 2018

I've posted the final results of my survey of the past week, in which I asked my site visitors to name what they consider to be the "Pet Shop Boys highlight" of 2018. This week's poll stems from a comment made by one of the participants in the preceding survey, to the effect that the Pet Shop Boys are only in it for the money these days. I'm asking you all to weigh in on this, indicating whether you agree or disagree—with, not surprisingly, a few other options falling somewhere between completely agreeing and completely disagreeing. Thanks so much to the site visitor, identified as Rupert J. Pembleton (The Forth) [sic], who inspired this question!

December 29, 2018

It has just occurred to me that, with merely three days to go, 2018 will almost certainly prove to be only the second calendar year since the start of their career (2015 was the first*) in which the Pet Shop Boys didn't officially release any new music. They haven't come close yet to the roughly 22-month "drought" they spanned from March 2014 to January 2016,* but if you don't count the anticipated Spring 2019 release of the live Royal Opera House show on DVD, whether they break that previous record depends on precisely when their next studio album appears, along with any advance singles or "teasers." It's apparently slated for Fall 2019, so it may be close.

*One of my site visitors wrote to say that he thought 1992 was the first year without any new PSB music. Almost, but not quite. As documented in my "PSB song chronology," December 1992 saw the release, quickly withdrawn, of a promo featuring early versions of "Go West" and "Forever in Love." It was an official release, however, so it prevents 1992 from being considered a year without any new music from the Pet Shop Boys.

**It would be highly remiss of me not to observe that this "drought" was punctuated by the debut in late July 2014 of A Man from the Future, but the recording of that live performance has never been officially released, so it doesn't "count"—and, besides, it doesn't change the fact that no new PSB music appeared in 2015.

December 24, 2018

Thanks to Max Kroger for catching a typo, which I've now corrected, on my Disco 4 page.

I'll be out pretty much all day tomorrow celebrating Christmas with family, so please allow me to take this opportunity to extend very Merry Christmas wishes to all of you who observe the holiday!

December 23, 2018

I've posted the final results of last week's poll, in which I asked my site visitors to pick their favorite original (non-cover) Christmas song of the 1990s. Not surprisingly, the Pet Shop Boys entry, "It Doesn't Often Snow at Christmas," came out on top. My new poll for the week ahead is my usual seasonal question asking you to select what you consider to be the "PSB highlight" of the year now coming to a close.

Thanks so much to a new correspondent, Guilherme Willian (whose name I've just added to my Thank You page), for writing to point out that "The Resurrectionist" deserves a spot in my list of Pet Shop Boys songs the lyrics of which do not contain the title. As he rightly noted, the lyrics repeatedly refer to "a resurrectionist," but never "the resurrectionist." So I've now made that addition to the list, also taking the opportunity to restore its entries to alphabetical order, which had been "lost" through the years on account of haphazard adjustments. Thanks again, Guilherme!

December 22, 2018

Just a quick heads-up that, on account of a personal commitment, I'm going to be somewhat later than usual—at least an hour, and probably more like two—switching to my next weekly survey tomorrow. I apologize for any inconvenience.

December 21, 2018

Terrific news today from the Pet Shop Boys' official website, which confirmed that 2019 will see not only (as previously announced) the release of a new studio album later in the year but also, in the spring, the release on DVD of their Inner Sanctum show filmed this past summer at London's Royal Opera House.

December 20, 2018

Thanks so much to Renny S for letting me know that, on last night's episode of The Tonight Show, host Jimmy Fallon intoned a very brief snippet of "What Have I Done to Deserve This?" during a comic "Beat Battle" (an improvised medley of pop songs set to a specific beat) with guest Hailee Steinfeld—whom, I must confess, I'd never even heard of before now. But turnabout is fair play since she said she wasn't at all familiar with that song, to which Jimmy replied, "You're too young." If you would like to see the pertinent segment, it's available online. I'm not at all sure if and where this merits a permanent place on my webiste; it's not really a "cover" (too brief an excerpt, and not even sung), and I really don't consider it a "PSB song used in a non-musical TV show" (again, much too fragmentary, while also being part of a musical segment, even if it was essentially comic in nature). I'll have to mull it over. This is also at least the second (and something tells me the third) time I'm aware of in which Fallon has specifically referenced the Pet Shop Boys on television—not even counting the time they performed on his previous show, Late Night, back in 2009—which suggests he may end up earning a spot on my non-musical celebrity fan page. This calls for further investigation. In the menatime, thanks again, Renny!

December 19, 2018

Thanks to Rainer aka PetShopBoyBerlin for informing me that the film of the Pet Shop Boys' Inner Sanctum show from this past July at the Royal Opera House in London will have its world television premiere shortly after midnight (0:25 a.m.) New Year's Day (January 1) on Germany's 3Sat network. Of course, fans are still awaiting news if and when it will be released on DVD/Blu-ray. Let's hope we'll be hearing soon!

December 16, 2018

I've posted the final results of my survey of the past week, in which I asked my site visitors (in an unusual question that really didn't have anything to do with the Pet Shop Boys) about their degree of interest in "new" music. This week's survey has a seasonal theme, focusing on Christmas songs—specifically original (non-cover) pop Christmas songs of the 1990s. That of course includes the Pet Shop Boys' own 1997 Christmas song "It Doesn't Often Snow at Christmas." I've drawn upon a list published two years ago by Us Weekly of what they considered the twelve best original Christmas songs of that decade. Since the PSB song isn't included in that list, I've added it for a total of thirteen. From this list I'd like for you to pick the one that you consider the best, or at least your own favorite.

To be sure, since this is a PSB fansite frequented by PSB fans, I fully acknowledge the bias. It's very likely that "It Doesn't Often Snow at Christmas" will receive the most votes. But that may not prove true. And even if it does, I'm most interested in seeing how many of you don't vote for it, and which other songs receive the largest number of votes. In fact, I'm coming right out and admitting that, as much as I love "It Doesn't Often Snow at Christmas," it's not my absolute favorite in this list and I'm not voting for it. Now, please don't "humor" me by choosing some song other than "It Doesn't Often Snow at Christmas" regardless of your true feelings. If the PSB song really is your favorite original Christmas song of the 1990s, then by all means please be honest and choose it! But if it's not your favorite, please choose the one that is instead. Of course, I provide a couple of other options for those of you who feel unable to choose any of the songs listed.

Meanwhile, thanks to much to Eddie Xaviar for letting me know that "West End Girls" is used in the 2018 biographical film Gotti starring John Travolta as the famed New York mobster John Gotti. The song appears just over an hour into the film, appropriately enough in a scene set in the 1980s involving a mob assassination by means of a bomb detonated in a car—doubly apropos (as Eddie pointed out) considering the first line of the song, "Sometimes you're better off dead." I've now noted this in the entry for this song at #1 in my list of Pet Shop Boys songs used in non-musical films and television shows.

I know that a number of my site visitors were able to attend this past Friday evening's special showing of the Boys' 1987 film It Couldn't Happen Here at London's Regent Street Cinema. One of them, Steve N, wrote to inform me that director Jack Bond, who took part in a Q&A with the audience following the film, said that Chris and Neil had wanted to attend but were preoccupied recording new music—presumably their next album—in Berlin. Thanks, Steve, for sharing that very welcome tidbit!

December 15, 2018

I've now decided to "promote" my December 11 observation about the gratuitous use of "Pet Shop Boys" as an insult on a recent TV show to a more permanent place here on my website by placing it on my page devoted to "Strange But True Incidents Involving the Pet Shop Boys." Since the anecdotes there are listed in chronological order, it appears at the very bottom of that page. As it turns out, I've also added another new "strange but true" entry, this time dating back to 1983, on Neil and Chris's one-time tenure as t-shirt models for Smash Hits magazine—complete with photos, no less!