Pet Shop Boys

Pet Shop Boys

This is my tribute blog to a main-stay British music instituitionPet Shop Boys.

Like the Tom Petty collection, when I gathered up my Pet Shop Boys (PSB) CD collection, I was pleasantly surprised to see so many albums I’ve unconsciously acquired over the years.

PSB, started in 1981, has sold over 100 million records worldwide. They are listed as the most successful duo in UK, according to the 1999 edition of The Guiness Book of Records.

There are many things I admire about PSB. They had lush textured sonic scapes, great covers and packaging, they’ve been with their label Parlophone ever since and they don’t talk nonsense in the media.

Despite their astronomic success, PSB prefers to be admirably slightly under the mega-star radar screen, remaining low profile, detached and away from public fickleness.

PSB delivers great albums and songs, their albums and singles sell, which makes their label Parlophone happy and profitable. Which in term commits more money to making elaborate album artwork and attractive packages. A happy, synergistic business collaboration. Parlophone is an old British record label that gained prominence in the early 1960’s with the signing of the Beatles.

I love their plain, no-fuss album titlesPlease, actually, Discography, Introspective, Behaviour, Very, Bilingual, Disco, Nightlife, Release, Fundamental, Yes, Elysium, Electric, Super, Hotspot, Concrete, Pandemonium, Nonetheless and Relentless.

PSB’s latest output, Nonetheless, arrived at my home last week. Whenever I buy a PSB album, I know there’s quality unpredictable musical treats inside.

On their fashion style, I associate Neil Tennant as the Saville Row guy and Chris Lowe as the slogan-cap loving, big spectacled, sports jacketed guy. I detect they are both introverts, letting their music do the talking. Neil pays the role of spokesperson while Chris plays Neil’s quieter foil in interviews.Neil and Chris plays off each other like Yin and Yang. Chris provides the upbeat, catchy rhythms while Neil adds his sardonic, wistful and introspective vocals.

My Pet Shop Boys CD Stash (above image).

I’ve had the pleasure and honour of photographing PSB over the years. See below.

Neil Tennant (above image).

Chris Lowe (above image).

I love how PSB shared the limelight with Dusty Springfield on “What Have I Done To Deserve This?”, despite their label’s objection. Parlophone felt Dusty was hitless since 1970. Well played, guys! I also loved their Liza Minelli collaboration “Losing My Mind”.

My other favourite PSB hits are Go West, West End Girls, The Streets Have No Name (I Can’t Take My Eyes Off You), To Speak Is A Sin, It’s a Sin, Rent, Opportunities, Always On My Mind, Home And Dry.

actually, may your well-spring of musical delights never run home & dry.

Long live, Pet Shop Boys!