Sunday, March 04, 2012

Pet Shop Boys Singles 30-16

30) Liberation (UK Singles Chart Peak – 14) 
A disarmingly sweet little song and one of the more up-beat, in terms of lyrics, on the list.

29) Suburbia (UK Singles Chart Peak – 8) 
Perhaps a surprisingly low position for one of their “signature” tunes but I’ve never been THAT keen on it myself.  I don’t really know why.  It’s just one of those things.

28) I’m With Stupid (UK Singles Chart Peak – 8) 
When this was released I might well have stuck it higher.  It’s got a lovely “1980s” vibe and yet isn’t stuck in a bygone age at all.  Those not paying attention might have missed the Tony Blair/George Bush subtext, but it’s none the worse for that.

27) Panninaro ‘95 (UK Singles Chart Peak – 15) 
I couldn’t really understand the logic of releasing this at the time (why does a b-sides compilation need a single to promote it?) but I’m glad they did.  Chris deserves his moment in the spotlight after all doesn’t he?  The original is a classic and this is pretty close to matching it for my money.

26) Before (UK Singles Chart Peak – 7)
This could be a case made that this is a slight song where little much (musically) happens.  Even Chris himself has noted that you’ve pretty much “heard” everything in this less than a minute in.  But with the soulful backing singers and a some slightly ambiguous lyrics (I wouldn’t know half of what Neil’s going on about to be fair if I hadn’t read their thoughts on the song in the Bilingual Further Listening booklet) I have a real love for this song.

25) Jealousy  (UK Singles Chart Peak – 12)
The closest thing in their oeuvre to an out and out "classic ballad", there is a wonderful filmic quality about this one.  And I love the way that it’s this gorgeous and romantic sounding song musically but is very unromantic in its subject matter, or at least is about a romance that is going very, very wrong.

24) How Can You Expect To Be Taken Seriously (UK Singles Chart Peak – 4)
Largely forgotten double-A side to Where The Streets… which isn’t that surprising as the U2 cover was conceived precisely because they “needed” a big hit and didn’t think this would deliver.  I think the single version of this is brilliant though.  I waited for years to have this on CD (an official release I mean) it quite literally took my breath away when I walked into a random music shop in New Orleans to see the CD single of it sitting there.

23) Did You See Me Coming (UK Singles Chart Peak – 21) 
One of many standout “Yes” tracks, this is one of my mother’s favourites (she’s seen the Pandemonium tour with me three times and this was one track she kept banging on about afterwards) which might influence it’s chart position here.

22) Opportunities (Let’s Make Lots Of Money) (UK Singles Chart Peak – 11)
Although I was a bit too young to be able to buy it when it was first released (the first PSB record my parents bought me was It’s A Sin – Discography was the first PSB album I bought with “my own money”) it was on one of the Now That’s What I Call Music compilations (or something similar) that I was bought and I was obsessed with it quite a lot. It’s perhaps the single from Please that has dated the least well but it’s still a cracker.

21) All Over The World (UK Singles Chart Peak – 40)
I think the single version of this (taken from the Christmas EP) adds a little too much superfluous trickery onto the album version but it’s still a firm favourite of mine.

20) Where The Streets Have No Name (I Can’t Take My Eyes Off You) (UK Singles Chart Peak – 4) 
Now this is how to do “camp”. Take a solemn U2 rock song, make it sound like a long lost disco-driven classic AND then add the famous riff from I Can’t Take My Eyes Off You…no wonder it ruffled so many feathers.

19) Flamboyant (UK Singles Chart Peak – 12) 
At the time I was hoping that this, the second new single on the Pop Art package, was going to be a portent to the sound on their next album (which turned out to be Fundamental), such was my delight with it.  Of course it didn’t (although this sounds very “Disco 3” if you ask me) but that doesn’t change how great this track is.

18) Go West (UK Singles Chart Peak – 2)
In some ways this is my “favourite” Pet Shop Boys single in the fact that it was the one time in my life of being a dedicated fan of the Boys that it seemed like they might get a number one hit.  (That’s not as daft as it sounds.  Although I had been bought some of their singles when I was young – It’s a Sin, Always On My Mind - it was only really in 1992 when I got Discography on cassette that I really began to get into PSB.  I bought all the albums up to that point and then Very was the first album I was “waiting” for being released).  Indeed I listened to the charts “live” hoping it would be number 1…but it didn’t quite make it.  In some ways I find it a bit sad that this was track 1 on the Pop Art compilation as I’d hate to think that this was the song most “representative” of their career…although I suspect for a lot of people it is. Still as daft a cover version it is, you can’t help singing and dancing along to it can you?

17) Minimal (UK Singles Chart Peak – 19) 
Some fans were a bit critical of the lack of lyrical depth in this one, and I can see their point to a certain degree.  Still, it’s a song called “Minimal” isn’t it.  This is definitely one of their “New Order” sounding ones.

16) I Don’t Know What You Want But I Can’t Give It Anymore (UK Singles Chart Peak – 15) 
Ah I love the PSB songs with a little bit of sexual intrigue kicking about.  I was quite upset at the time that this didn’t crash into the top 10 upon release.

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