2003 got underway with the release, in February, of Disco 3,a remix album containing ten tracks, none of which, deliberately, were released as singles. The remainder of the year, musically, proved to be quiet until 17 November, and the release of new material:-
Those who had felt let down by the tunes on Release would no doubt have found some comfort in the return to electronica, but I’m of the view that it’s not really one I can get excited about. Enough people liked it to ensure it entered the charts at #10, but as was becoming the norm, it very quickly dropped out of sight.
2 x CDs and a 12″ remix single were put on sale. CD1 had just one other track on it.
mp3: Pet Shop Boys – We’re The Pet Shop Boys
It’s actually a cover, having been written and recorded originally the previous year by the New York based electronic band My Robot Friend. Chris and Neil were quite tickled by the idea of a tribute being paid to them in such a way that they chose to do their own version. Sadly, the idea is better than the execution, as the song itself isn’t much to write home about.
CD2 came with an extended version of Miracles, along with a remix by Lemon Jelly. But there was also a very odd sounding previously unreleased song.
mp3: Pet Shop Boys – Transparent
It has all the attributes of one that Chris came up with, with a load of different influences to the fore. It also sounds as if it might be him on lead vocal, albeit through a vocoder, or perhaps the duo had sneaked one of their many famous fans to record anonymously. Turns out it is Neil whose voice has been hugely distorted.
All in all, Miracles and the b-sides proved to make for the least appealing (IMHO) of any PSB single thus far.
One week after the release of Miracles, the compilation album Pop Art : The Hits was issued. Those of you who are keeping up with the 60 albums at 60 rundown will be aware that I included this at #33 on the basis that it’s impossible not to have it above any studio album given that among its 35 tracks across the standard 2xCD issue, you can find some of the greatest pop singles released by any singer or group in the late 20th century. There was only one completely new track on Pop Art, and it was no surprise that it was the next single, issued on 29 March 2004.
mp3: Pet Shop Boys – Flamboyant
It was actually a slightly different mix from that included on Pop Art, and is some ten seconds or so shorter in length. It’s a classic PSB hit single by numbers, one that reached #12 and got them was an increasingly rare appearance on Top of The Pops given how little of their music was now being aired on Radio 1.
2 x CDs and a 12″ remix were all that you could find in the shops, although there was also a limited edition 12″ remix single issued for the European market. CD2 was filled with remixes, which meant the only new song was a track on CD1.
mp3: Pet Shop Boys – I Didn’t Get Where I Am Today
This probably caught a few folk out as it is very unlike the PSB. The electric guitar, courtesy of their old mate Johnny Marr, is very much to the fore and there’s a bit of ‘hey hey hey’ backing vocal that wouldn’t have sounded out of place in a 60s single. Indeed, although the ex-Smiths man had no hand in writing the tune, it sort of is the template for what would appear on his much later solo albums. If I was on Jukebox Jury, I’d vote this one a hit…..
3 thoughts on “PET SHOP BOYS SINGLES (Part Seventeen)”
If I remember right also Robbie Williams did a cover of We’re The Pet Shop Boys, which seems like an odd idea.
Loving this series JC. Looking back, it appears I moved away completely from listening to the Pet Shop Boys after the excellent Very / Disco 2. Therefore, hearing the albums Bilingual, Nightlife and Release for the first time, and really enjoying them. Singles-wise, only Single-Bilingual was vaguely familiar. The A-sides are all great but it’s the B-sides that really grab the attention, a mix of so many styles and influences, whether experimenting or paying their respects to their contemporaries. This week’s “I didn’t get where I am today” being another highlight.
Never heard I didn’t get where I am…’ before. Nice Johnny Marr guitar part.