If you scrutinise this blog carefully, you may find a few subtle indications that Pop Lifer are Pet Shop Boys fans. In fact, we think they are the greatest pop act of all time, and our towering achievement in life (with the possible exception of the children) is that one of us is cited in the Wikipedia entry on “West End Girls”.
So any unveiling of new material is a moment of thrilled anticipation around these parts, mixed with a little apprehension. Will it be another disappointment (“I’m With Stupid”) or another return to the intelligence, melodic gorgeousness and swooning romanticism of their finest work (“Love Etc”)?
Well, there’s a new single in town, “Winner”, along with a new video which rather touchingly follows the London Rollergirls, a Roller Derby team, and their new rookie, Dirty Diana, who happens to be transgender, as well as brilliantly named.
The song is a blatant attempt at snatching a bit of the Olympics spotlight (lyrics like “Now at this moment the crowd acclaimed us/ Will you just listen to that sound!” sound scientifically engineered to be used by BBC News Teams looking for a soundtrack for a Team GB win) but it’s a lot less embarrassing than the PSBs last attempt to brazenly cash in on a media hype whirlwind (there are moments when we can still weep thinking about the “Absolutely Fabulous” single). In fact, while not exactly a triumphant return to form, it’s a rather pretty number, with just a hint of melancholy to ease the relentless optimism down the gullet.
But it did get Pop Lifer thinking – what are the real Pet Shop Boys winners? Which of their songs over the last 25 years have helped define our lives – which have we danced to, loved to, had our hearts broken to?
So, in the first of our Pop Lifer Hero features, we are going to spend the next week unveiling our All Time Pet Shop Boys Winners in 10 parts. Each post will feature an A Side (one of the 10 greatest Pet Shop Boys songs in all their glorious history) and a B Side (the ones that nearly made it, and would have easily made the top 10 of any other band than the Pet Shop Boys).
The first of our winners will be posted today, watch for the others. And we’re also inviting you – YES, YOU! – to take part. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave us a comment, and if you choose a song that we don’t have in our list, but we do think is fantastic, then we’ll put it up and give you the credit/blame.
You lucky, lucky, people, what have you done to deserve this?