This is a FAQ for the Pet Shop Boys. It is not credited to anyone because it has been a result of input from many members of the Introspective group. However, if anyone wants to make any comments or additions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. This FAQ was originally compiled as Faqtually by Payvand Ghofrani and later maintained by email@example.com.
The FAQ itself is not necessarily sorted in any particular order, questions are added at the end, but the contents have been sorted in a couple of general topics. You can rely on the numbering to remain as they are now, so you can refer to a topic as "Oh, but that's question number 14 in the FAQ" if someone asks about Chris and some rumours. Don't rely on the URLs pointing to a questing to remain the same over time!
Thank you, and good night.
"This is Chris Lowe, I'm Neil Tennant. We're the Pet Shop Boys", says Neil
Tennant at the end of the Performance and Discovery tours.
The Pet Shop Boys are a musical group which combines intelligent lyrics, synthesized beats, and powerful orchestrations into what some may call dance music, but Neil would probably call pop.
Both were born into middle-upper class, although very different families. Neil started writing songs at an early age, although Chris had more encouragement from his family which had a musical background. Neil was a fanatic of Rock and Roll during his childhood, studied history and Socialism, and eventually got various jobs editing books until becoming a writer for Smash Hits magazine. Chris learned to play trombone, became a hyperactive teenager, worked odd jobs and relieved his boredom by chasing girls around the building. At 18 he began studying architecture, the only evidence of which is a staircase in Milton Keynes.
They met on August 19, 1981, in an electronics store on the King's Road when Neil Tennant went to buy some parts for his synthesizer, and met this guy who "laughed a lot" named Chris Lowe.
They chose the name because of some friends of Chris who worked in a London pet shop. Neil and Chris have also said "it reminded us of the hip-hop groups of the early 80's which we were so fond of." Many people suspect they were thinking of NYC Peech Boys in particular. Names which were rejected include West End among others.
Note: there has always been a story going around about the real meaning behind the name having something to do with gerbils up one's bum, although it is not appropriate to discuss the particulars of this as Neil and Chris say it is not true.
West End Girls, the version produced by Stephen Hague was not their first song. The PSB released WEG in 1984 on Epic with a self-titled b-side (Pet Shop Boys), produced by Bobby Orlando, becoming a minor hit in the US, but not in the UK. WEG was then recut with the help of Stephen Hague 18 months after its initial release and became number one world-wide in 1986. Also released before 1986 was the original Bobby O produced version of One More Chance on Bobcat Records.
Chris sings on the following songs: Paninaro, We All Feel Better in the
Dark, One of the Crowd, and Postscript. He also speaks a sentence in
It's Alright ["It's gonna be alright"], as well as telling
us how many different types of dogs there are in I Want a Dog.
The List of Dogs: "Bulldog, hound, pug, labrador, collie, retriever, doberman pincer, huskie, dalmatian, Saint Bernard, and dachsund, mongrel, beagle, cocker spaniel."
Lately Chris can also be heard on Radiophonic from the album Nightlife. He also sings (alone!) on Lies, the B-side to You Only Tell Me You Love Me When You're Drunk.
It is safe to assume Chris is a fantastic dancer, although he does not show off in PSB videos and concerts very much. He began dancing to disco and hi-NRG music of the early 80s, and continues to dance happily at the hippest clubs in town. He can also be seen dancing on stage in the Performance video, doing a little twirl in WHIDTDT?, a little move in WEG when Neil's running infront of him and instead of just running to catch-up, he does a little run/dance step combo. And he moves his body a little in DD when he's the DJ, but he's just groovin. Also check videos for HCYETBTS, LTMOD, and IWNDTKOT, but he mostly just jumps around a bit.
The PSB have had four tours to date. Some are documented in book, video or both.
Their first tour in 1989 covered Hong Kong, Japan and Britain. The experience can be shared by fans in Literally by Chris Heath.
They toured North America in 1991 with stops in LA, New York, Washington DC, and other cities. Their shows were very popular, even though they were met with bad reviews from many critics. One went so far as to say "Radio City Music Hall should be fumigated." The song Yesterday When I Was Mad is based on the experiences the PSB had during the Performance tour.
After that PSB have said that they would likely never tour again, the US or anywhere else: "touring turns you into this horrible person", Neil has said. Despite these claims, another tour took place in Fall 1994 covering the following areas: Singapore, Australia, Puerto Rico, Mexico City, Costa Rica, Colombia, Peru, Chile, Argentina and Brazil. The tour was nothing like the previous two - it was on a far smaller scale. A performance from the Discovery tour in Rio is captured on LD and VHS.
In 1996 the did a dozen concerts at the Savoy Theatre in London, followed by a couple of appearances at rockfestivals in Europe.
In 1999 they started a world tour after the release of the Nightlife album. These concerts started in the US and then moved to Europe. In the summer of 2000 they will return to the first the US and then Europe.
There have also been a scattering of live appearances around the world including a few guest appearances with Depeche Mode and New Order. For a list of live appearances and set lists, check Lazlo's dicography.
There are five.
The first book, Annually (1988) was meant to be the first of an annual series, but was discontinued after this volume. It includes lots of pictures, lyrics and interviews, which give a clearer understanding of PSB.
The second one, Literally, shares the name of their fanclub magazine, and is a chronicle of MCMXXXIX (the 1989 tour). It is written by Chris Heath, and can be ordered from most retailers in the US and Europe. The ISBN (International Standard Book Number) on this one is 0-306-80494-8. It was originally published in hardcover by Viking Penguin in 1990. The U.S. paperback, published by reprinters extraordinaire Da Capo Press (New York) in 1992, contains some added material bringing it up to date.
The third book, called Pet Shop Boys Special is an unauthorized annual. Details are sketchy.
The fourth, Pet Shop Boys vs. America, is similar to Literally, covering the US leg of the Performance tour from 1991. It can be rather hard to find. One reason for this is that it is only available in the UK and Canada. It's a 1993 publication (concurrent with Very). The ISBN is 0-670-85274-0. The lion's share of U.S. bookstores will tell you it cannot be had in this country, but some claim Waldenbooks will order it for you. It is also written by Chris Heath with Penny Smith behind the camera.
The last book is Introspective (1991) by Michael Cowton. Not authorized by the Boys, it is made up of quotations, stories and interviews with Jonathan King and Bobby Orlando. It is fairly useless.
Chris Heath, the author of Literally and PSB vs. America, has followed the Boys during the DiscoVery tour. Unfortunately this abook might never see the light of day, because the PSB say they were "misbehaving so badly" that it would not be appropriate to release it.
More than you can imagine. Some of the frequently asked about ltd editions are the bonus material which came with Actually in the US and Japan, the extra disc with Disco 2 in the US, limited pressings of Introspective and Relentless on 12" singles. There are many coloured vinyls and rare remixes.
The best way to check on ltd ed releases is scanning Lazlo's discography.
When EMI re-released PSB's singles about two years ago, it only went back to the singles from Actually. Therefore, West End Girls, Love Comes Quickly, Opportunities, and Suburbia can only be found on 7", 12", or cassette, as they were not initially released on CD.
ZYX records, an international dance label, owns the rights to some early PSB material. This material is released on 4 CDs, available as a package or individually. They contain the Bobby O produced versions of West End Girls, One More Chance, and Pet Shop Boys, among other tracks. The material is very rough, and shows what PSB were like in their early days.
ZYX has also released a hard-to-find CD of West End Girls remixes. These mixes are actually quite good, so it might be worth tracking it down.
It is a megamix of the Boys' West End Girls and Corey Hart's Sunglasses at Night, but this version is not Corey Hart singing.
Neil Tennant has said in various interviews that he is gay. These articles can be found in Attitude, Details, the Advocate, and Rolling Stone among others. Chris' sexual preference, however, is not certain as he doesn't talk about it. It could be inferred, however, that he is gay. He lived with close friend Peter Andreas for many years until Andreas' death from AIDS-related causes in 1995.
Rumours abounded in 1995 that Chris was HIV+, probably stemming from his friend Peter Andreas' death. Neil and Chris have denied it and threatened lawsuits against certain newspapers for printing hearsay. Neil has also noted in Billboard that one of their songs, the Survivors, from the Bilingual album, should put to rest these rumours.
In 1987 after It's A Sin came out, Jonathan King announced that he thought the melody line of the song had been stolen from It's A Wild World by Cat Stevens. Anyway, to prove this he released a cover of It's A Wild World, to the music of It's A Sin. The Pet Shop Boys sued him and won. Cat Stevens couldn't be bothered to care either way.
Since this information is constantly changing, the best way to find out is to ask the list, check the newsgroup or the official Pet Shop Boys site
This is simply because they haven't had a top-40 hit in the US since Domino Dancing. EMI US promotion may be to blame. VH1, the 30+ version of MTV, has played their recent videos sporadically. Some US cable subscribers may be able to receive MTV Latino or MuchMusic, both of which are PSB-friendly.
Yes. First their new label was Atlantic, a division of Warner. After being dropped they signed with Sire. They will stay with EMI for the rest of the world.
Ab Fab was a very popular British sit-com whose general theme is the fashion world. PSB recorded a Comic Relief charity single called Absolutely Fabulous, heavily sampling audio excerpts from the TV show as well as including new chatter from Ab Fab writer and star, Jennifer Saunders. It has been released in the UK, Europe, and Australia. There is also a video for the song featuring the Boys in what has been described as chef uniforms. The show ran for only three seasons, cancelled by Jennifer Saunders because she did not want the theme to become stale. Episodes can still be seen on the US cable channel Comedy Central and are available on VHS and LD. AbFab ran as three seasons of six episodes each, and the US tapes/LDs include all the episodes.
Some people do not consider Absolutely Fabulous a real PSB release, because it was not marketed as such when it was originally released. Since then it has featured very prominently on Disco 2, a real PSB release.
Yes there is. It's address can be found on the sleeve of all PSB singles and albums of the post-Behaviour era. To join, send a SAE to the following address: PO Box 102, Stanmore, Middlesex HA7 2PY, United Kingdom. Cost is 10 pounds in the UK, 13 pounds outside of Europe, and $26 for Australia. Membership entitles one to two pictures of Neil and Chris, and 4 issues of the fan club magazine Literally.
There is also the internet mailing list Introspective (which if you are reading this, you are probably already a member). To join send the command "subscribe Introspective" in the body of a message to firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are also a couple newsgroups of interest, alt.music.pet-shop-boys and alt.music.synthpop.
Not to mention the PSB IRC channel at #psb.
Ernesto "Che" Guevara was an Argentine doctor who colaborated with Fidel Castro in the Cuban Revolution. He was killed later in Bolivia.
Claude Debussy was a French composer noted for his evocative and subtle music style. His piano preludes redefined musical language.
Neil has referred to other 20th century historical figures in his lyrics. See the following questions.
The Zazous were a group of trendy youth in WWII occupied France. As described by Pierre Seel in his autobiography: "Our wardrobe was refined rather than rebellious. Our hair had to be very long, slicked down on the skull with Vaseline...converging in large layered sections at the back of the neck. Being Zazou also implied a dubious flirtatiousness."
Zelda Fitzgerald, famous suffragette and wife of novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald, to whom the quotation "because we were never being boring" is attributed.
This song is also the last in a trilogy about the death of Neil's best friend from AIDS. "It Couldn't Happen Here" being the first (when it was discovered he had AIDS), "Your Funny Uncle" being the second (about his funeral), and BB being the last (with Neil remembering his childhood and missing his friend, but how he must go on with life).
From the Concise Oxford English Dictionary: A member of the Parlaimentary party in the English Civil War [their custom of wearing their hair cut short].
Lake Geneva is where Lenin spent his time during his exile from Russia. Finland Station is the location of Lenin's entry into Russia after the fall of the Czars. There is also a book on the history of socialism called "To The Finland Station." It is interesting to note that Neil Tennant studied Socialism, and some of his songs, including WEG, My October Symphony, and This Must be the Place I Waited Years to Leave have socialist overtones.
This is the "mea culpa" from the traditional Latin mass. "Confiteor Deo omnipotenti vobis fratres, quia peccavi nimis cogitatione, verbo, opere et omissione, mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa..."
Two translations are as follows:
"I confess to almighty God, and to you my brothers, that I have sinned
exceedingly in thought, word, act and omission, through my fault, through
my fault, through my most grievous fault."
Or, "I confess to you Almighty God, of my sin, my sin, my highest sin, in word, deed and omission..." both of which match the English lyrics very well.
The line before is "decide it's time to reinvent yourself." The names refer to Elizabeth Taylor, Betty Ford (as in Betty Ford Clinic), Madonna and her ex-husband Sean Penn.
Igor Stravinsky's infamous composition which was later made into a ballet, causing a scandal on the premiere due to the almost nude male dancers.
The best way to get lyrics is downloading them from the net, either FTP or WWW. See the question below regarding info on the net for details and addresses.
Paninaro was a trendy cult of kids in Italy whom PSB stumbled upon early in their career. As described in the Alternative booklet by Chris: "It was a very distinctive style of dress: incredibly baggy jeans...which would stop at calf level and then they would wear Timberland boots. Then they would wear a fantastic pair of sunglasses, and almost a feather cut, long at the back, and some fantastic coat." As it turns out, the Paninaro tracks were untitled and missing a chorus until an article in ID magazine about the cult mentioned a song about Paninari PSB had supposedly written. It seems they mentioned something about Paninari to a journalist friend, Peter Martin, who in turn wrote the article in question. The Boys then followed through with their idea by adding the Paninaro chorus.
It's an excerpt from an interview in which he says: "I don't like country and western. I don't like rock music, em, I don't like rockabilly or rock and roll particularly. I don't like much, really, do I? But what I do like, I love passionately." This excerpt was taken from the US TV series, Entertainment Tonight, a syndicated daily recap of news throughout the entertainment industry.
It is 'cinque,' Italian for five. Introspective speculation has unearthed a possible reference: In the 1950's and 1960's the Italian car maker Fiat produced the 500 (Cinquecento). The 500 was very, very small and popular car (It still is!). Is it possible that the Paninaro liked driving Cinques while wearing their Armani? Of course, there's no official word from Chris on the meaning.
The original version of Paninaro does not include designer name Versace, just Armani, Armani, Ah-ah Armani. Versace can be heard in the Italian remix included on Disco.
This is a newsreel soundtrack (Paris 1968) which was supplied by Independent Television News.
There are two samples in this song.
One at the end in Russian is: "Trebuet nash narod odnogo..." translated: "Our people demand only..."
The other sample, which runs throughout the song is the topic of much debate. There is no consensus from Introspective, but a majority of folks beleive it is "Everybody must love somebody, Everybody - ev - everybody, Everybody must love somebody, Everybody jump to attention." Or is it "Everybody jack your body..." We may never know.
Most of the mixes appeared on 12" singles from the first album. The only cuts not released on a single are the extended mix of In the Night and West End Girls, a combination of the Shep Pettibone Mastermix and West End Dub. Other tracks: Love Comes Quickly (Shep Pettibone Mastermix), Opportunities (Version Latina), Suburbia (the Full Horror), Paninaro (remix from rare Italian 12" which includes an extra word during Chris' rap: "Versace").
This is simply a difference in the way the British and the Americans spell certain words. Example: British spelling is Behaviour, whereas the American spelling is Behavior. Coincidentally, one of Neil's early jobs was to edit American comic books so that words reflected the British spelling.
In the fall of 1987, after the song King's Cross was released on Actually, there was a major fire at the King's Cross underground (subway) station. It was caused by a wooden escalator catching fire probably from a cigarette end. There were quite a few fatalities both amongst passengers and rescue services. Other factors were involved in the fire spreading and casualty rate, such as trains continuing to arrive after the alarm was raised. The lyrics to King's Cross sounded like an eerie premonition to this tragic event.
The following is an analysis of the lyrics to King's Cross, and their relevance to the subway station offered by Bruce, a member of Introspective: I think Kings Cross is actually about the experiences of a young Neil Tennant coming to London. My father worked at Kings Cross station for 26 years and I know the place very well and I must say that the song is very accurate. A lot of people come from the North of England, like Neil, to London as they think it has jobs, money etc. Neil came, as you know, to study at the Polytechnic of North London. "..dead and wounded on either side..", this is what Kings Cross looks like! With all the students with backpacks, tourists and of course homeless it looks like a refugee camp. "..good luck, bad luck waiting in a line.." I think refers to the fact that at Kings Cross you wait for your train by standing in a long queue that stretches across the concourse. "..you leave home and you don't go back..", Neil left home and headed for the bright lights of London. My dad was on the night shift when the Pets came down to the 'Cross and said they were very polite and well-spoken. They were having the photo shoot for the cover of Rent and apparently sampling the noise of HSTs (British trains) leaving, listen to King's Cross again and spot them in the instrumental bit.
This song has been given the name Postscript. It is a song written and sung by Chris, and he has said that it is "personal". As to its meaning, some say it's about Chris' lover/friend Peter Andreas, while others say it's about the drug Ecstasy. Either way, it is indeed personal, although one would give the song a lot more weight if it is about Mr. Andreas, since he has since passed away. Not all releases of Very (e.g. some South-American ones) have Postscript, notably the cassettes.
Relentless came about when it became obvious that Chris was writing some music for which Neil could not write lyrics. So, it was decided to release the 6-song EP in limited numbers, as it was mostly instrumental, and rather unlike what the PSB had done before.
The limited edition Very/Relentless was released in September of 1993 in the UK (15,000 copies), Canada (2,000 copies), and Australia (7,000 copies). There were also 500 copies of the EP released on vinyl, as DJ only promos. The same 2-cd set was also released six months later in the US, with 40,000 copies pressed although they were actually made in Germany.
It was expected that in July of 1994, the full version of Relentless would be released world-wide. A sticker on the US version claimed the following: "Special Limited Edition Collector's Item. The complete album Very plus 6 new songs from the forthcoming album Relentless."
Plans for its release were scrapped in favor of Disco2, a compilation album of existing remixes, megamixed by famous British DJ, Danny Rampling. In the US, there were 35,000 copies of a limited edition Disco2 pressed, which contained the 7" mix of Normally, the RAF Zone Dub of Yesterday and the b-sides Decadence, Euroboy, and Some Speculation.
Neil has since commented that the release of a fulle album along the lines off Relentless might have been a better choice after all.
There is a double-disc b-side compilation called Alternative, it was released in Summer of '95. As for a complete list of b-sides, there are different answers depending on what one thinks qualifies as a b-side. [There are also remixes of many b-sides including Miserablism, Decadence and We All Feel Better In The Dark. Check Lazlo's discography for specifics].
The best place to check for chart stats is on Lazlo's dicography. Chart info is also available from the PSB Press Archive, maintained by Alistair Knight and accessible via email at email@example.com
Although recent singles did not do well on the US Top 100, they did very well on the dance charts. Absolutely Fabulous for example, although never released in the US went up to number 7 on the dance charts.
As compiled by the fabulous Lazlo Nibble, on the WWW, ftp://ftp.swcp.com/pub.users/lazlo/discographies/psb It includes all versions of singles, albums, promotional material, tour information, chart stats, videography, bibliography, artists they've worked with, cover versions of PSB songs, Spaghetti label artists and more!
In the last couple of years the number of sites has risen quite dramatically. Besides, a lot of sites change location quite often. Therefore a list of sites is missing here, but at the official page there's a page full of links and those pages also feature a lot of links, so....
The official site can be found at http://www.petshopboys.co.uk
This selection had to be edited out of the video due to copyright problems, so all you'll hear is Where The Streets Have No Name.
Only on the Japanese Videography LD and VHS. Videography was released elsewhere before this video was completed.
Yes, one features Neil in a car-park up to his belly in pavement. The second features Neil and Chris handing things to each other and a shower of money. See video collection question above or Lazlo's discography for details of where to find each one.
It is not the Perfect Attitude mix as some people think. The mix is just a Brothers in Rhythm single remix from the vinyl 7" of Where the Streets Have No Name.
They are released on LD by Pioneer Artists, but not on VHS. Now that PSB have switched labels in the US, EMI will not be releasing the videotapes. It is unlikely that Atlantic will go through the trouble of releasing this material which was not recorded for them. Various is available on VHS from Canada.
Often cited by the Boys, this is a jacket Chris wore when they performed on Live at the London Palladium, a UK TV show broadcast live from a London theatre. It was accompanied by a painted on scar which made him look "completely manic" in his own words. Chris has been a great fan and buyer of Issey's designs. BTW, they performed Rent, and also refused to wave to the crowd at the end of the show. You can see this performance in the South Bank Show documentary about PSB.
A British TV series which produces one hour documentaries on historical figures and pop culture. They featured Pet Shop Boys after the release of Discography.
PSB have written a few songs and produced half of the Reputation album for the late Dusty Springfield.
Produced and wrote most of Liza Minelli's 1989 album Results
Worked with Electronic on several tracks of their debut album (Getting Away With It, Patience of a Saint and the non-album single Dissapointed)
Remixed Blur's hit single Girls and Boys
Written the song Falling for Australian pop-star Kylie Minogue's self-titled album on the Deconstruction label. Later they recorded the song In Denial for the Nightlife album with her.
Remixed David Bowie's single Hallo Spaceboy
Written a song for Eighth Wonder featuring Patsy Kensit, I'm Not Scared (b-side for that single was J'ai Pas Peur which actually was the song spoken in French - It went to number one in France, and was Neil's idea, according to Patsy Kensit)
Written and produced the song Confidential for Tina Turner's album, Wildest Dreams
Produced an album for protege Cicero
Produced Boy George's hit single The Crying Game as well as other tracks on that soundtrack
And Chris worked independently with footballer (that's soccer, to you Yanks) Ian Wright on a single, Do The Right Thing
No. For the last album Bernard Sumner and Johnny Marr were reportedly working with members from Kraftwerk/Elektrik Music.
This is a very subjective question, but Introspective listmembers have compared PSB with Saint Etienne, Erasure, New Order, Electronic and countless others.
This is a highly speculative question.
It is known that the PSB are friendly with the artists they have worked with on projects. Neil Tennant, however, hated Boy George in the early days and in fact gave Culture Club a horrible review in Smash Hits.
They are also fans of Madonna and even considered offering her the song Heart but later decided against it.
As for U2, there doesn't seem to be any grudge held by U2 against the PSB for disco-fying WTSHNN; infact Bono hugged Chris Lowe when he went to see the Zooropa show. Neil says: "Chris has now become a U2 fan as a result. We've all become a bit worried by it."
Axl Rose of Guns n' Roses is also a great fan of the Boys. He went to their show in LA back in '91, gave them roses and complained as to why they didn't perform Being Boring. It is also said that My October Symphony inspired GnR's November Rain.
Neil has recently been seen cavorting with Robbie Williams (ex-Take That) and the brothers Gallagher from Oasis.
Super-gay singer Jimmy Sommerville has complained numerous times about their dubious sexuality and they don't get along with Erasure very well either. Many gay artists feel they have an obligation to wear their sexuality on their sleeve in order to help remind people (both gay and straight) that gay people are everywhere and have no intention of being shoved back into the closet. There's certainly something to be said for this approach but it's not how Neil and Chris choose to act (and frankly it would seem a little strange if they suddenly started!)
West End Girls has been covered by East 17, Rent by Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine as well as Liza Minelli. Liza also covered Tonight is Forever. Some more rare ones are Heart by Kerosene and Do IHave to? by Inga. In the Night was technoed up by the Kinky Boyz. Australian singer Merril Bainbridge did a version of Being Boring and Rhythm Inc remade Heart [retitled Hold On (My Heart)] featuring Nevada. For complete details, check Lazlo's discography.
The most famous, of course, is U2/Franki Valli's Where the streets have no name/I Can't take my eyes off of you. Others include It's Alright by Sterling Void, Elvis Presley's Always on my mind, Noel Coward's If Love Were All, and of course the Village People's Go West. They've also covered Stephen Sondheim's Losing My Mind, once on their own and once with Liza Minelli; Kurt Weill's What Keeps Mankind Alive? from the Threepenny Opera. And finally, they've released their own version of Blur's Girls & Boys recorded live in concert as a b-side to Paninaro '95.
In concert they have covered Gloria Gaynor's I Will Survive in a medley with It's A Sin, Corona's Rhythm of the Night in a medley with Left to my Own Devices, and Culturebeat's Mr. Vain in a medley with One In A Million, but have yet to commit them to record.
In US Actually was released with an additional disc of Always on my mind. This is the CD which has Neil and Chris sitting in chairs, with Chris wearing a ski hat. In Japan, Actually was released with a bonus 7" with an unreleased anywhere else mix of Always On My Mind (high energy mix) which should be the live version from the Elvis memorial show the Boys did in 1987. And also an unreleased mix of Heart.
For some reason there have been a couple of times when a rumour from Eastern Europe has been reported to Introspective regarding a car crash in which Neil or Chris should have died. If this happens again, PLEASE check if the source is reliable, if other media are reporting the same thing before sending this material to either Introspective or the newsgroup!
This question is hard to answer, but the most logical answer may be that the list satisfies the needs of all the fans, and so there hasn't been much incentive to start a newsgroup or irc site, although there is now a PSB newsgroup up and running [alt.music.pet-shop-boys]. There is also the fact that Introspective is very much like a family with a level of closeness which may not be matched by a newsgroup.
Yes, there is, at http://members.xoom.com/intro_arch/! Almost all the posts from 1996 onwards are available over there, with some earlier posts that are also available. For more information, see the site.
You can also ask the archive maintainer to search the archive for keywords. He will then send the results back to you.
When there is hardly any news concerning the PSB, the topics discussed tend to vary a lot. The topics then start to range from the Teletubbies to the difficulties of being a gay man in Hicksville, TX. Sometimes the list gets collectively bored (for a very short time fortunately) with PSB.....
There are a couple of things that tend to inflame the list and should therefore be discussed very rarely. This is not an attempt to censure anyone, it's just the experience of 7 years of Introspective:
Sometimes things can get a little out of control. Usually somebody has sent an insensitive post to the list and that spiralled out of control. Introspective has always been a ver "liberal" mailing list, in the sense that almost everything goes. Some people have a different way of expressing themselves than others. For instance, Dutch people have a tendency to be very direct and short in their words, so people from other cultures tend to react to that. Some people have known each other for years and have often spoken face to face, so they see ach other as friends. Introspective has never been a place that was very Politically Correct, it can be very seis, either gay or straight.
To save time typing a message, the members of Introspetive have come up with some abbreviations:
Intro = Introspective
BB = Being Boring
IDK = I Don't Know What You Want But I Can't Give It Anymore
All songs that have a name longer than two words tend to be abbreviated by combining their first letters. Names that contain one word (Paninaro) are generally not abbreviated. There are some exceptions to this rule:
P95 = Paninaro 1995
ITN95 = In The Night 1995.
For a (n increasingly) complete list of all abbreviations, see The Introspective Abbreviations List
[From the BBC News programme "Question Time" website] Professor Roger Scruton is one of the UK's best-known philosophers, contributing regular opinion pieces for national newspapers. He has written a number of books including popular introductions to philosophy, accounts of the tradition of conservative political philosophy, and fiction. He is not afraid of holding unpopular opinions. He is for the death penalty and has written a book called On Hunting, in which he celebrates fox hunting. He describes left-wingers and radicals as "arrested in the state of adolescent rebellion".
See also a biography type article from the Guardian.
In his book "An Intelligent Person's Guide to Philosophy" he writes about the Pet Shop Boys:
Sometimes, as with the Spice Girls or the Pet Shop Boys, serious doubts arise as to whether the performers made more than a minimal contribution to the recording, which owes its trade mark to subsequent sound engineering, designed precisely to make it unrepeatable.
In a subsequent libel case the Pet Shop Boys sued Mr Scruton, during which the defendent agreed to pay Neil and Chris a sum each in damages and all their libel costs.
A lot of PSB songs can be found on the Internet (WWW, FTP, Napster, etc.). Some songs are mislabeled. If you find a (n unknown to you) song, first check the discography, then check the list of unreleased songs on the official site and then start asking around.
Some people suggest these songs are mislabeled on purpose... Anyway, the most famous ones are:
DVD-singles Region Home and dry 0 (none) I get along 0 (none) DVD Montage 0 (none)
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