I utterly adored the Pet Shop Boys as a teen and loved their mix of disco pop and deadpan observations of mid-80s Britain. The first album of theirs I bought was the Disco remix album from their debut Please which contained the 12” to Suburbia as well as Paninaro which appears on the B-side here, in addition to Jack The Lad, which doesn’t.
Suburbia is such a perfect pop song, and the 12” really does it justice in the way that many 12” don’t add anything worthwhile to the original song. Subtitled, ‘The Full Horror’ Chris Lowe really lets rip on his arsenal of sound effects and drum rhythms building up the tension and managing to sustain it over nearly 9 minutes. It shouldn’t have been surprising, even back in 1986, that the Pets went on to produce several songs for soundtracks as well as creating their own film soundtrack, they are great at creating a mood, a scene and a character study. Suburbia of course was inspired by Penelope Spheeris film of the same name, as well as the Brixton riots the previous summer.
But Actually (ha, see what I did there?) it was Paninaro that really grabbed my attention as a slightly Introspective 13 year old. For some bizarre reason, which I can no longer fathom, I wrote out the lyrics to this song in runes (self-taught from my copy of Tolkien’s Lord Of The Rings) and stuck it on the door of my bedroom, as if it was some kind of religious statement. Odd Behaviour perhaps? Very.
Best Bits: Where the drums and synth line comes back in at 6.50
Genre: Intellectual Disco Pop
Like This, Try This: Learning to write in runes – very handy when you want to write secret messages on your schoolbooks