Monday, March 05, 2012

Pet Shop Boys Singles 15-1

Hope this isn't too controversial! :-D

15) I Wouldn’t Normally Do This Kind Of Thing (UK Singles Chart Peak – 13) 
The album version is very good, if a little simpler than this single version which just about shades it in the IWNDTKOF stakes.  This is what John Shuttleworth would call a “fun track” with it’s catchy tune and funny lyrics.

14) Heart (UK Singles Chart Peak – 1) 
Historically this wasn’t one of my absolute favourites but it’s prominence as the opening track of the Pandemonium tour really got me hooked on it and at the moment I absolutely love it. Which goes to show that whilst this list might be my “of the moment” rankings, if I tried this again in six months time the list might show some very distinct changes.

13) Se A Vida E (That’s The Way Life Is) (UK Singles Chart Peak – 8)
More great drumming and a lovely summer vibe make this a winning track. Lovely sentiment behind the lyrics too.

12) Always On My Mind (UK Singles Chart Peak – 1)
One of the greatest cover versions of all time in my opinion.  I particularly like how this turns Elvis’ rather pathetic version (in terms of the characterization, NOT the song itself) on its head.  Elvis is sincere, if loathsome whereas Neil Tenant’s cad is altogether a lot more impish.

11) Love Etc. (UK Singles Chart Peak – 14) 
Definitely my favourite single since the Very era, this saw them working with the geniuses at Xenomania to produce a cracker.  The call and response chorus is cool and it has the characteristically wry look at love from Mr. Tenant.  You don’t have to be beautiful, but it helps indeed.

10) It’s A Sin (UK Singles Chart Peak – 1) 
Bombastic, intelligent, tuneful, over-the-top pop.  You don’t get many like this.  The atmosphere simply oozes out of this one, from the irrelevant (in that it has nothing to do with the lyrical theme of the song) spaceship countdown opening to the Latin verse that Neil ends with this is a proper foot stomper.

9) Domino Dancing (UK Singles Chart Peak – 7)
Lovely Latino-tinged vibe here (my favourite Madonna song is La Isla Bonita, by the way).  The song is great and it really does speak to me. Of course, I’m not entirely sure what I get from the meaning of the lyrics is what was intended, but isn’t that the great thing about Pet Shop Boys.

8) Love Comes Quickly (UK Singles Chart Peak – 19)
Absolutely gorgeous song.  “It may be romantic, but that’s no defence” is a completely ambiguous line in many ways but it speaks volumes to me.  But lets face it, you didn’t start reading this to listen to me prattle on about my life so I’ll stop there.

7) West End Girls (UK Singles Chart Peak – 1) 
The song, as Chris (?) says, that is responsible for PSB being a “priority international act”  simply doesn’t age at all.  It’s as vital today as it was over 25 years ago.

6) Can You Forgive Her (UK Singles Chart Peak – 7) 
You’ll notice that I tend to gravitate towards the ambiguously sexual Pet Shop Boys songs.  I say ambiguously, but what I probably mean are the sneaky sexual tales.  Like this one, the tale of a woman taunting a man because she knows his first sexual experience was a homosexual one.  Of course all this intrigue passed me by at the time…

5) Rent (UK Singles Chart Peak – 8) 
I just think there there is an untold beauty in this song.  Ambiguous and intriguing lyrically this is just the sort of song you quite simply don't get by anyone else.

4) What Have I Done To Deserve This (UK Singles Chart Peak – 2) 
Dusty Springfield is a bona fide legend, and this is a bona fide classic.  It's got so many good bits in it that it's difficult to know where to begin in describing how great it is. But the call and response style verses, the spoken bits by Neil (I bought you drinks, I bought you flowers) and Dusty's main bit are all awesome.

3) So Hard (UK Singles Chart Peak – 4) 
I'm not sure where this stands in other fan's eyes but I, naturally, love it.  Again it's one of those sneaky ones with a sexually intriguing lyric and lots of wonderfully biting lines.  "We've both given up smoking, 'cause it's fatal.  So whose matches are those?" is quite simply brilliant.

2) Being Boring (UK Singles Chart Peak – 20) 
Ok, so it might be a cliche to pick this one so high given it's status as a much loved track by the fan-base but it is a really beautiful song that deserved far more attention at the time than it's barely sneaking into the top 20 warranted.

1) Left To My Own Devices (UK Singles Chart Peak – 4)
Swirling strings, booming beat and wonderfully catchy chorus.  It's little wonder that this came from their "imperial phase".  Right from the first time I really listened to it on Discography back on cassette in 1992 this has been a firm favourite of mine. There's a lot going on in this one but not one little bit of it is in any way extraneous.  (I prefer this single edit to the Introspective version, which does go on a bit!)

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