- 29 Jun 18
The Hot Press contributing editor on PSB’s phenomenal output and why Neil Tennant is his favourite ever interviewee.
An act who flown the flag for gay pride over the years, the Pet Shop Boys are one of my all-time favourite groups. Oddly, during Brandon Flowers’ introduction to their Lifetime Achievement Award at the Brits in 2009, the story of his introduction to the band mirrored my own: as a boy, he received a cassette copy of their 1991 greatest hits compilation, Discography, as an Xmas gift from his mum.
In my case, I’d asked for it after hearing ‘West End Girls’ on a TV ad for the album. All these years later, I consider it to be one of the greatest songs of the 20th century. A stunning portrait of modern urban life taking inspiration from TS Eliot’s ‘The Wasteland’, it’s a monumental piece of synth-pop brilliance that even alludes to Lenin’s journey back to Moscow for the Russian revolution: “In every city in every nation / From Lake Geneva to the Finland Station”.
Incredibly, Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe are also responsible for two more of the greatest songs I’ve heard: their sublime Dusty Springfield collaboration, ‘What Have I Done To Deserve This?’, and the phenonemal electro stomper, ‘I Want A Dog’, from Introspective (my favourite PSB album).