Penultimate entry in our run down of the Pet Shop Boys’ 10 greatest songs (our A sides) and the next 10 best (our B sides). It’s all in honour of their current single “Winner” which – ironically – isn’t really a winner at all. But these songs are… For introduction and general love letter to the band click here.
A Side – Love Comes Quickly
Until “Being Boring” signalled the beginning of the Pet Shop Boys’ slow and stuttering commercial decline, “Love Comes Quickly” was the duo’s only flop single (number 19 with a blank bullet). Which just goes to show what idiots the British record buying public can be when they don’t agree exactly with us. Released immediately after West End Girls, it was clearly designed to offer a sharp contrast to that strange smash hit: a conventional love song compared to WEG’s oddball meditation on urban stress, a shinily produced slice of pure pop compared to WEG’s muted atmospherics, simple and streamlined compared to WEG’s restless complexity. Oh, one other thing of note – it is so utterly fucking gorgeous that PopLifer gets a little emotional even thinking about it. Lowe’s sleek, bass-driven production is the engine, but it’s Tennant’s soaring vocal – including his loveliest ever falsetto break – that gives the song its wings. It also started the proud tradition of Pet Shop Boys songtitles as filthy innuendos, one which reached a peak three years ago with “Did You See Me Coming?”. Key lyric: “You can fly away to the end of the world but where does it get you to?/ Love comes quickly, whatever you do.”
B Side – Domino Dancing
Let’s be honest about this – I’m always going to find it difficult to be objective about “Domino Dancing” the song because from the moment that sinuous, looping synth riff starts I’m already remembering the video. This was the first video in which the Pet Shop Boys cast themselves as voyeurs, watching on as a ridiculously gorgeous pair of young men from Puerto Rico fight for the attentions of a ridiculously gorgeous young woman. The finale, in which the rivals wrestle, near naked, in very suggestive surf, would almost certainly have turned me gay if I wasn’t already inclined that way. Good Lord, the adolescent hours that video consumed, the fuzziness of that VHS tape by the end. ANYWAY – back to “Domino Dancing” the song, in which the Pet Shop Boys managed to anticipate the Italo House trend which would dominate the UK charts two years later (RIIIIIDE ON TIME!), and in which Chris Lowe got to contribute vocally to his one and only top ten chorus. It’s a bit of a one-off for the Pet Shop Boys, and it’s a bit brilliant, but it didn’t quite make the top ten. Final entry soon… (could that be a PSB song title?). Key lyric: “I dont know why, i don’t know how/ I thought i loved you but… I’m not sure now.”
Neil (we’ve been doing this rundown jointly, but i think given the embarrassing admissions above, I should declare this one to be all about me)