No sooner had Go West taken its leave of the singles charts was another single readied from Very.


I Wouldn’t Normally Do This Kind Of Thing was reckoned to be one of the standout tracks from the album.   It had hit single written all over it from the outset, but Neil and Chris decided to do something quite radical in that a three minute song was extended by the best part of an additional two minutes, while the really catchy piano opening in the house music style piano opening was replaced by something rather grand, orchestral and epic.  The opening refrain was put to much use throughout the new version, particularly within each chorus as the words ‘I Wouldn’t Normally Do This Kind Of Thing’ were followed with an uplifting flourish of noise.

The remix was the work of Beatmasters, a four-piece electronic/dance group who had enjoyed some chart hits in the late 80s but had really found fame and fortune as producers and remixers, and were riding high at the time from their work with The Shamen.

I wasn’t initially all that fussed about the remix as I really loved the album version, but it has grown on me over the years.    Looking back, it was the right sort of big and bouncy remix needed to complement the success of Go West, but I still feel it goes on for maybe 30-45 seconds too long.


mp3: Pet Shop Boys – I Wouldn’t Normally Do This Kind Of Thing
mp3: Pet Shop Boys – Too Many People

The b-side is another excellent listen.  There’s so much going on over its four minutes.  It opens up as something akin to a house tune (and like something off the Electronic album) before settling into something which harks back to the music of the first two albums, but the next thing you know there’s all sort of production tricks thrown in, but that proves to be short-lived, and soon we are back to classic early days PSB with a sing-along chorus. 

Worth mentioning that this single was released across a range of formats, with ‘I Wouldn’t Normally….’ getting at least five different remixes/dub versions, while West End Girls was given the remix treatment of the 12″ and CD versions.  No wonder, for the sake of my sanity, I’m sticking to the 7″ releases (while I can!!).


The next single was released on 4 April 1994.

I’ll be honest and admit that until pulling this series together, I had no idea that Liberation, one of the slower numbers on Very, had been issued as single, never mind that it was a decent-sized hit, entering and peaking at #14 on the basis of its first week of sales.

I don’t mind the song, but it’s not close to being one of my favourites. It did fit in very well on the album – it was the third track and provided a nice change of pace after the one-two opening of Can You Forgive Her? and I Wouldn’t Normally…., but I much prefer To Speak Is A Sin, one of the other ballads on the album.


mp3: Pet Shop Boys – Liberation
mp3: Pet Shop Boys – Decadence

I’ve only just got to know this b-side, thanks to me picking up a second-hand copy of the 7″ single.   On first play, I thought it very cinematic in theme, while the very opening notes reminded me a bit of Confide In Me, the superb single released by Kylie Minogue a little later the same year.  I was really enjoying it, but there was something else that I couldn’t quite put by finger on.   I put on my reading glasses and looked at the small print on the back of the sleeve.

Guitars : Johnny Marr

All of which led to me doing a  little bit of searching on t’internet and coming across this nugget of info*:-

” Pet Shop Boys had been asked to write the theme music for a film titled Decadence based on a play by Steven Berkoff. Chris began writing a song built around a sample of the opening two bars of the Burt Bacharach/Hal David tune “I Say a Little Prayer” as performed by Aretha Franklin. When the song was finished, however, Neil and Chris decided that the track didn’t need the sample and thus removed it. They also decided not to submit the song for use in the film after having seen a rough edit, which they apparently didn’t particularly like.

According to Neil, the lyrics directly address “someone who’s become a really horrible person because they take lots of drugs and all they think about is money.” When once asked whether “Yesterday, When I Was Mad” was about the Boys’ former manager Tom Watkins, Neil replied, “No, but ‘Decadence’ was.” Neil has also stated elsewhere that he regrets the reference to “fin de siècle pretense” (fin de siècle is French for “end of the century,” commonly a period for decadent behavior), chiding himself for his own pretentiousness in authoring such a line.

Johnny Marr, formerly of the Smiths, played guitar, giving the track a distinctly “unplugged” feel—which undoubtedly inspired the Boys to go all the way and provide an “Unplugged Mix”. Chris says the recording “cost a fortune.””

There was no way I wasn’t hunting that down….

mp3: Pet Shop Boys – Decadence (Unplugged Mix)

As found on CD2 of Liberation.

*it was found on what can only be described as probably the most informative and well-written PSB fan site anywhere on the internet. It’s called Commentary, and it’s the work of Wayne Studer.    It can be found here.

Apologies to Wayne for not acknowledging this fully when the piece was initially posted.


4 thoughts on “PET SHOP BOYS SINGLES (Part Eleven)

  1. Excellent post, JC. I agree that the single version was a tad too long – there are a couple of shorter (4 min) edits out there which are better IMO. I’d never heard Decadence before today, a great tune in both versions. Thanks!

  2. Sorry Wayne. I did acknowledge it was from elsewhere….I wasn’t sure whether to link direct the source. I’m more than happy to amend the post accordingly.


  3. Haven’t heard the Unplugged Mix before. Very nice.
    Liberation is gorgeous, suffered a bit from being the 4th single from the album but a beautiful tune and production. The video was state of the art ‘internet graphics’ at the time and now looks dated as fuck.

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