Five Very Good Reasons Why Pet Shop Boys Are Amazing

I’ve gone on at length about why PSB are astonishingly good, and tonight after 25 years of actually getting better, they get a Brit tonight for Outstanding Contribution.

Why are they amazing?

1. They have gotten better as they have gotten older. While I liked their 80s stuff, PSB really hit their stride from 1990s Behaviour album onwards. Their quality control is very high indeed. 

2. They make fantastic videos. I can only think of one that is genuinely boring. (And no, it’s not ‘Home and dry‘)

3. Their b-sides would put the singles and album tracks of almost every other act to shame. Every new album brings a clutch of extra tracks that are often superior to the album tracks and singles. Ask a fan about ‘Fugitive’, ‘In the night’ or ‘The truck driver and his mate’.

4. They are curious and experimental. They write and produce others, made a (crap) film, did a (crap) musical, employed architects and artists for their extravagant tours, curate tribute albums, rescored Battleship Potempkin, keep indulging Sam Taylor Wood  and they are now working on a ballet. They seem to stretch the idea of what it is to be a pop band so that it includes being cultural omnivores. Burp!

5. They have a sense of humour. Do yourself a favour and listen to their commentary on the DVD of PopArt, their collection of videos from a few years back. When they howl with laughter at their moody scowls in the early videos or any attempt at intellectualising the stuff, it’s pure entertainment.


Congratulations, gentlemen. You have been spared The Dumper.



  1. Pingback: Pet Shop Boys, Brandon Flowers & Lady GaGa @ The Brits « Daddy or Chips?
  2. eguinan

    @manuel: West End Girls as a coaster? Oh well, I seem to recall my siblings being rather disrespectful of my parents 7″s. But it was he New Seekers, so it’s OK.

    @Robin: For the life of me, I could not remember a single STP track. The Killers, on the other hand, will make one hell of a fantastic singles compilation in a couple of years.

  3. bruceandfran

    While I would agree that Behaviour is their best album, you lose some credibility by casually demeaning their 80s work.

    Rent, West End Girls, It Couldn’t Happen Here, PAninaro, Suburbia, It’s A Sin, Left To My Own Devices, Shopping, covers of Always On My Mind and It’s Alright, Domino Dancing, Opportunities…

    And if we’re talking b-sides from that period: I Want A Dog, I Get Excited, Your Funny Uncle…

    Post Very they went seriously patchy up until Fundamental with some great tracks amid some rather large piles of poop.

    Just saying, like.

  4. eguinan

    Bruceandfran, I had to re-read the post. First to take in the idea that someone might think I had any credibility to lose (bless your heart!) and second to see where I had casually demeaned their 80s stuff. I’m pretty sure I said I liked it!

    I do prefer their more recent material though. Behaviour is superb, the clutch of b sides from the Bilingual era are stunningly good, Nightlife is totally underrated (IDK is my favourite PSB track ever), Release had some good stuff, Disco 3 is excellent, Fundamental is strong etc etc..

    The 80s material is great. I’m a very big Alternative fan.

    Always On My Mind is harmless cheesy twaddle for a hen party though (but not remotely as awful as The Night I Fell In Love!)

  5. themilkman

    Apart for Release, which was a rather crap idea to start with and had only a few half decent songs on, I do like their post Very albums very much, but I agree that Fundamental was their best for years. I concur on Behaviour being their most perfect and consistant record. As for b-sides, that’s where some of my favourites tracks are; Some Speculations, Shameless, Your Funny Uncle, Delusion of Grandeur, The Truckdriver & His Mate…

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