PSB3: Pet Shop Boys rate, 2006-2019. #27 Attractively banal | Page 53 | The Popjustice Forum

PSB3: Pet Shop Boys rate, 2006-2019. #27 Attractively banal

Discussion in 'Charts, rates etc' started by Ray, Mar 18, 2019.


What is your favourite section of this rate?

  1. Fundamental

    13 vote(s)
  2. Yes

    17 vote(s)
  3. Elysium

    3 vote(s)
  4. Electric

    11 vote(s)
  5. Super

    3 vote(s)
  6. Agenda

    3 vote(s)
  7. Others

    1 vote(s)
  8. Christmas

    0 vote(s)
  1. Might we get a bit of pop justice after all?

    Last edited: Jul 16, 2019
    Ray likes this.
  2. What do people see/hear in Memory Of The Future and its broken fairground-organ?
  3. It's really lovely. And sad. And I like lovely and sad together.
  4. Gin and Jag may be the boys' darkest song, both in subject matter and sonically. Neil gets uncomfortably close to the song's subject and his violent urges. I'm pleasantly surprised it made it this far. Now how about some more Subpar tracks...
    Bleu Noir, WhipperSnapper and etienne like this.
  5. I was so shocked to see ‘Building a wall”, ‘Breathing Space’ and ‘Everything means something’ leave so early in a row ( a combined 28.5 points from me) that I guess I had to take some time to recover from this …

    I'm really not happy with these Top 5. The last two tracks should have left much earlier than ‘Breathing Space’ and ‘Everything means something’.

    Well, I’m really not sad to see ‘Gin and Jag’ leave, it should have gone long ago, somehow I don’t hear anything fresh and inventive at all here – or am I not in the mood for such a theme ... (and is this positive or negative?)

    The rest of the “Others” section ( B-sides or bonus tracks ;) ) should get some rest now, - there are no songs in that category that I rated lower than 8.

    Agreed. Also, I can't believe that ‘Numb’ and ‘Casanova in hell’ are still in…
    slurmjunkie likes this.
  6. Well. I was super bored and did that whole "who agreed most with the results" thing... and yeah, I'm #2 :( I hate not winning, even if it's basically who's the most mediocre voter. But hey, let's keep that for when we finish the whole thing, shall we now. I finally understand why people get a kick out of rates, statistics are super fun sometimes.
  7. Ray



    a bit less operatic and melodramatic

    seriously amazing


    'I started a joke'
    B-side to 'Winner'
    Average: 6,0638
    Highest score: 3x10 (@Farnaby, @tylerc904, @Sally_Harper)
    Lowest score: 1x1,5 (@Ray)

    Neil Just before Elysium was released, Robin Gibb died.
    Chris It's a great song, this. It was the music we came off to on one of the tours.
    Neil When I was a child, I used to listen to Radio Luxembourg, and when the Bee Gees suddenly became famous this single was a hit in Europe but for some reason it wasn't released as a single in Britain. But Radio Luxembourg used to play it, and I used to love this song, way more than 'Massachusetts' or anything. But you never really used to hear it anywhere else, so it gave it that magical quality of something that's difficult to get. And I found the whole idea of the song magical and strange. I always assumed it was about the man who invented the atomic bomb – I don't know if it is. I must have been 13 or 14 and I was always fascinated by the lyric. The Bee Gees wrote a lot of weird and dark songs. But I do remember, even as a boy, thinking that the chord change was really obvious: G, A minor, B minor, C.
    Chris He was only seventeen when he wrote it.
    Neil Chris and I were in the studio in London recording B-sides when he died, saying how sad it was, and then we thought 'why don't we record "I Started a Joke"?' Our version is the same key that Robin Gibb sings it in.
    Chris It really suits your voice.
    Neil Chris originally programmed it in a different time signature. It didn't work, so we went back something closer to the Bee Gees version, though we made it our own.
    Chris That first version became something else.
    Neil I love this version. I like Chris's drum programming.
    Chris There's some good fills.
    Neil Sven Helbig's a big fan of Chris's snare fills, and he's a drummer. And I love the middle bit. When we did the launch concert in Berlin for Elysium for the encore, we didn't want to play an old song of ours, so we performed this.

    Ray This actually sounds like 'Winner'. It's the production that ruins this song for me. It gives me '80s Legends: Pet Shop Boys at the San Remo Festival, Performing Classic Hit Songs by Bee Gees and Engelbert Humperdinck' vibes. I would have liked to hear that different time signature version, really.

    @nostalgiakills (3): As a springboard for the excellent “In His Imagination” this justifies its existence, but as a cover in its own right it’s a disaster. The original Bee Gees song only works as its highly lachrymose vocal sells the teenage melodrama - take that away and you’re left without much worth commenting on, and sadly Neil doesn’t have the kind of singing voice than can sell it.
    @WhipperSnapper (4): Of all the Bee Gees songs to cover, this wouldn’t have made my top 20.
    @DominoDancing (8): Perhaps too straight a cover to really be essential, but the melody suits Neil's voice surprisingly well. I appreciate that it's actually a bit less operatic and melodramatic than the original.
    @nanafan (4): A by numbers B Side but nothing offensive
    @TrendyMüller (8.8): I never really loved the original, but leave it to PSB to tickle out the gems with their interpretations
    @JakeMagnus (9.5): Had this on heavy rotation for quite a while
    @Jóga (5): It isn’t very exciting, is it?
    @tylerc904 (10): An absolutely brilliant cover, they do sad songs so well so why not take on one of the saddest! The Winner b-sides were seriously amazing, I played this and Je ne sais quoi relentlessly at the time.
    @westendgirl (8): it really suits Neil’s voice!
    @Midnight City (5): A bit too"Release-era" beige chug-a -long for me
    @Sally_Harper (10) I know it's a cover but it's so lovely!
    @Bleu Noir (2): A song I couldn't finish

    Today I'm the lowest scorer, tomorrow the highest scorer. Just to show again how all over the place this rate is!

    And on @Future Lover's Standard Deviation Chart I'm #32. Out of 36. Oh wait. Maybe it's me who's all over the place... (confirmed)
  8. Aww i love this too. Leave the b-sides alone!
    Sally_Harper and JakeMagnus like this.
  9. This so much. How did this horrible song sneak past the 6 point mark?
    WhipperSnapper and Ray like this.
  10. How is "We're all criminals now" still in?!?!? I've said it before, but it genuinely sounds like an old folks home.
    Jóga, WhipperSnapper and blissteria like this.
  11. Ray


    I'd fire you, but you're doing 95% of the work behind the scenes, so I'll settle for

    Jóga and slurmjunkie like this.
  12. What? I gave this 8.8? I must have started a joke.
    Ray and WhipperSnapper like this.
  13. Mine actually features all the B-sides apart from 'A cloud in a box' plus 'Brick England'.

    Thanks for this. It gives your 7s context as my scoring system slightly (yet crucially) deviates from 6 to 8:
    10 - exceptional
    9 - excellent
    8 - very good
    7 - good
    6 - slightly above average
    5 - average
    4 - slightly below average
    3 - poor
    2 - very poor
    1 - awful
    0 - unlistenable

    Almost all excellent choices, the odd one out being 'Odd man out'.

    I grew up listening to B-sides on literal B-sides of 7" and 12" singles before the advent of CDs, so I'm used to calling them B-sides even if they were bonus tracks on a CD single. It's a shame that in the age of digital-only single releases most artists' additional tracks are usually released as bonus tracks on deluxe editions of albums instead of accompanying the singles.

    Dark and bleak doesn't necessarily mean boring, though.
    Yes, while the song's concept might be interesting, it is such a slog to listen to. 4 points. It should have left a while ago, though not before 'Numb' and 'Casanove in hell'.


    I can't believe that 'Casanova in hell' isn't finally out now as suggested by @Future Lover shortly before voting closed. Did the last few voters really push this up even higher? The only thing that would console me now is if their votes resulted in 'Numb' being the first track from Fundamental to leave.
    What? Even #62 isn't that long-awaited first Fundamental track to exit? That's hard to stomach with so many superior tracks having already left.

    Yes, I also find Neil's vocal to be superior to the original. 8 points.

    'We're all criminals now' is Pet Shop Boys channeling Saint Etienne so I'm sorry you think that Saint Etienne sound like an old folks home.
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2019
  14. Well....
  15. Ray


    I must admit I thought about the same... I think I listened to Home Counties maybe three times in its entirety. 'Dive' is div-ine, though, same as 'Magpie Eyes'.
    Jóga, blissteria and WhipperSnapper like this.
  16. It´s music from the DIVINE HOME FOR OUR ELDERLY FOLKS
    Dive sounds like it´s played by a cruise-ship band.
  17. Ray


    'I started a joke' wishes.
  18. Ray



    Brilliant cover

    I prefer the original


    'My girl'
    Randomly, a Pet Shop Boys Christmas track
    Average: 6,094
    Highest score: 3x10 (@Ray, @nanafan, @tylerc904)
    Lowest score: 1x1 (@etienne)

    Neil After our friend Dainton Connell died, there was a concert at Heaven on May 2, 2008, a fundraiser for his family, and because Dainton's first job in the music business was for Madness, Chris proposed doing this song. I think when Madness first got going, I bought this single. It's quite a touching song. We also thought it seemed to say something about Dainton's relationship with his wife, Mandy. So we decided to perform it, and we got Suggs and Carl from Madness to come on and sing as well. This is the arrangement we performed there.
    Chris We put a bass drum on the beat, four-on-thefloor, then took it from there. We added a riff.
    Neil We also did a remix.
    Chris It's a dance mix, of sorts.
    Neil The name, the 'Our house' mix, is obviously a jokey reference to the Madness song 'Our House' – it's not really a house mix.

    Ray This is WRONG. I love everything about this song, Dainton (I have his autograph and shook his hand, he was so lovely) or not. It's a perfect cover, because it's both 100% Pet Shop Boys and yet somehow still I hear Madness in it – the chorus melody is 100% Madness. I love the lyrics as well and Neil sounds so sad and sweet – the production is flawless (especially on headphones, there are so many little things going on). This song definitely suffers from being thrown into the mess that Christmas is. I love that it even has a proper extended mix. It feels like they put so much more care into it than into 'Viva la vida/Domino dancing'. Or, for that matter, a good chunk of Yes. I really wish that 'All over the world' was a real single, together with this as either a b-side or even double A-side. Oh well. I suppose I am #32 on the standard deviation chart for a reason.

    Am I the only one who noticed that the vocals on 'I tried and tried but could not be heard' are different in the remix?

    @nostalgiakills (3): I don’t want to do this down considering it’s a tribute to Dainton, but musically it doesn’t work for me, and loses all the pathos of the Madness original.
    @WhipperSnapper (4): Chris fires up Garage Band on his phone?
    @DominoDancing (7.5): The opening pads are very Twin Peaks-ish, and you certainly can't fault them for sticking too close to the original arrangement. But by making the verses this much more menacing, they really don't fit with the chorus very well anymore. So cool that they put a bit of effort into the cover here, but the result doesn't work as well as the original.
    @OspreyQueen (8): It’s genuinely impressive that the Boys turned such a…laddish song into something genuinely quite moving. The sparse electronic production and Neil’s soft vocals work so much better with the lyrics.
    @nanafan (10): What a great cover. Really suits the boys and adds to the already superb Madness original
    @TrendyMüller (4.7): As if…!
    @JakeMagnus (3.5): The production on Christmas is very dated
    @Jóga (8): I like this. The chorus is very sweet sounding.
    @tylerc904 (10): Brilliant cover, admittedly I had never heard the original when this came out.
    @westendgirl (5): I prefer the original
    @Midnight City (4.5): ? Eh
    @etcetera (9): Not sure if this really fits on the Christmas EP but a great cover anyway. [Literally nothing fits on that EP – Ray]
    @Filler (8): great now do Baggy Trousers or Bed and Breakfast Man
    @Bleu Noir (2): Can't bear this
    @Farnaby (4): Nice theme from Twin Peaks intro. Okayish cover but quite vain.

    Our house mix (average quality, but some douchecanoe uploaded his own remix under the same name and that's all I found on YouTube)

    Pandemonium live:

    Demo with different vocals (and the rest):

    Heaven recording, not that you will hear or see anything:

  19. Ray


    Last edited: Jul 18, 2019
  20. "My girl" is amazing, so much wrongdoing here on this fine day...
    Ray and Riiiiiiiii like this.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.