PSB3: Pet Shop Boys rate, 2006-2019. #31 Probably a divisive track + top 30 | Page 48 | The Popjustice Forum

PSB3: Pet Shop Boys rate, 2006-2019. #31 Probably a divisive track + top 30

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. I love this one, oop!
  2. Ray


    You only 7,5 love it, though!
    WhipperSnapper and slurmjunkie like this.
  3. Part of my hatred for the song comes from he fact i feel having it as a single devalued the exclusivity of it being a fan club release and the fact that it they wanted a double a-side/EP they should have looked to Pandemonium or The Way It Used To Be as All Over The World’s companion
    WhipperSnapper and Ray like this.
  4. So Neil thinks this is the best song they wrote in the 1990s? Better than:

    Dreaming Of The Queen
    The Theatre
    Young Offender
    It Always Comes As A Surprise
    Up Against It
    The Boy Who Couldn't Keep His Clothes On
    Silver Age
    Boy Strange


    Neil is delusional.
  5. Ray


    That EP was a complete mess indeed. I like most of it, but it sounds like they accidentally left shuffle on when putting it together. Random Pet Shop Boys.
    WhipperSnapper and Sweet Music like this.
  6. Yes, I love this, too. Apt social commentary sweetened by catchy verse and chorus melodies make this the perfect blend of anti-Christmas sentiments and festive spirit. I also prefer the original version (which I rated). The choir and orchestra on the EP are over the top and totally unnecessary. I really enjoyed the 2009 live performance, though.

    While I don't agree with the hyperbolic assessment of the first sentence, it indeed sounds like an effortless pop song.
    westendgirl and Ray like this.
  7. Sadly I only hear the effort, the effort, the effort... to try to deliver a poppy-happy-christmassy song. And at the end of the day, we've only got an idea of a PSB poppy piece about Christmas. (Not even talking about the verses, one of their worst... I think I over-rated it and that I should have given it a 2 instead of a 3.
  8. I would say "rating a Christmas song in the middle of summer wasn't ideal" but I just gave All I Want For Christmas Is You a 10 in the Skinny Legend rate so you got me there!
    Ray, Cutlery and WhipperSnapper like this.
  9. The hat! Wow.

    Neil was serving Russian Cossack Realness in that outfit, and clearly living.
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2019
    Ray likes this.
  10. So absolutely THIS! And that´s exactly why it isn´t camp. Camp is effortless. I stand by my vote.
  11. So there went my first 10. Interestingly, 'Christmas' just got a little bit higher than 'Hell' the day before (which got 9 points from me). Sigh. I hope today we will see a lower rated song leaving... (maybe 'Gin and Jag'.... *hopeful face*)

    So true.
    This might be very much true for some, I hope. But there seems to be a division not only between Christmas lovers and haters, but also between people who think this is a fun, effortless bop and the ones that don't hear it.
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2019
    WhipperSnapper likes this.
  12. Empirical Quiz everybody:

    - Do you like It Doesn´t Often Snow At Christmas by PSB

    - Do you like I Was Born On Christmas Day by Saint Etienne

    My score:
  13. Ray



    OK, 71 needs to go, right?
    WhipperSnapper likes this.
  14. Ray



    no one needs that Chris Lowe cameo

    undervalued gem in my opinion

    still not a good song


    'Building a wall'
    Yes album track
    Average: 5,844
    Highest score: 3x10 (@OspreyQueen, @slurmjunkie, @westendgirl)
    Lowest score: 1x0 (@Sweet Music)

    Neil Stuart Price's favourite track on the album.
    Ray Why am I not surprised.
    Chris It ended up in the show, that's how much Stuart liked it.
    Neil Yes – just the chorus. It's a very odd song, this, really. It's a lot of war references put together: Hadrian's Wall and the Berlin Wall in particular. I already had the lyric for 'I'm building a wall, a fine wall and 'protection, prevention, detection, detention' – I wrote that walking down the street one day and sang it into my telephone. Spoke it, actually. When I was at grammar school, we used to go on trips to the Roman Wall. It's basically a childhood memoir – the Berlin wall representing the Cold War because we used to play on bombsites in Newcastle when I was a child. 'Not so much to keep you out more to keep me in' – the Berlin Wall wasn't built to keep people out, it was to keep people in. So I decided to sort of make it about the Cold War and about my childhood. I was thinking about The Man From U.N.C.L.E.. In 1964, 1965, when I was 10 or 11, I was absolutely obsessed by The Man From U.N.C.L.E.. But it's also, at the same time, about someone building a psychological wall around themselves. Also, it's using the Berlin wall as the emblem of the past, and then using one's personal past to see how one's got to where one is. Therefore why you're building your wall. But I've never really sat down and thought this lyric out. 'There's nowhere to defect to anymore' was the sort of thing people used to say when the Berlin wall came down and communism ended. Something that often occurs to me in the modern world is that there isn't an underground anymore – you can't opt out anymore. It's a big change in the course of my life. There's a spoken bit – 'Sand in the sandwiches, wasps in the tea' – and I've become aware that people think that's a reference to a poem by John Betjeman. And I didn't think it was. Because we used to have sand in the sandwiches and wasps in the tea when we had picnics on the Northumbrian coast. I think there is a John Betjeman poem that mentions that, but thought I'd come up with that myself. I think it's just a statement of the obvious.
    Chris What's interesting is that you get sand in the sandwiches, which is on the beach, but you don't get wasps on the beach, do you? So it's not one picnic, is it? It's an amalgamation of two picnics.
    Neil I think it's a reminiscence of picnics in general. You have your egg and tomato sandwich with a bit of sand in it, and I can picture the cup from the top of a flask of tea with a wasp swimming round it.
    Chris Fascinating.
    Ray Fascinating.
    Neil Anyway, it's got a very strong chorus.
    Chris The backing track went through a major transformation. It went through trance – the verse melody actually came from the trance melody that we then legato'd into that – and then it went rock.
    Neil Johnny Marr played weird guitar – we told him to play like Robert Fripp on 'Heroes'. Brian Higgins always liked this track. Even when it was finished, Chris and I suddenly had a move to scrap it. We thought it was a bit of a b-side maybe, because it's so quirky, but Brian always liked it.

    Ray It is not a good song. As mentioned later, it's the one Chris cameo I never needed in my life. I didn't need Neil's contributions either. Or Stuart's. At the same time, in 2019 it seems to be a very different song, both because of Brexit ('It was a free country!') and, welp, the you know what. So now I guilt-skip it instead of providing my alternative lyrics for the 'projection/infection/etc.' bit. Oops. I just did it again. My least favourite track from Yes.

    @nostalgiakills (3): Knock it down, boys, and start again.
    @WhipperSnapper (5): Either hopelessly dated or incredibly prescient. I don’t know, but I do know a decade later everyone was talking about walls again.
    @DominoDancing (7.5): At last something with a bit of character after all the faceless tracks preceeding it. The chorus is really good. I know the spoken and shouted bits are not particularly well liked, and while they don't bother me that much I agree that they're not great.
    @OspreyQueen (10): Looking past the fact that the lyrics have…not aged well, I love this one. The melodies are darkly beautiful, and the way it seamlessly shifts between keys is incredible. An undervalued gem in my opinion.
    @nanafan (9): I think I may be in the minority by liking this one but it’s a strong track
    @TrendyMüller (1.5): Worst song on the album and a real stinker
    @JakeMagnus (5.5): This is just there. I would never listen to this on purpose, but they have a number of songs that are worse.
    @Jóga (8): The production is definitely not as polished as the PSB standard, but it’s such a big song...
    @Seventeen Days (9.5): This track hits that sweet spot of “upbeat music and slightly depressing lyrics”. Speaking as a part-time introvert, the theme of blocking yourself off from the world to protect yourself is infinitely relatable.
    @westendgirl (10): quirky in a great way
    @Midnight City (6.5): Really like the lyrics to this, but no one needs that Chris Lowe cameo….
    @etcetera (3): The Protection/Prevention etc bit annoys me. I usually skip this track when I listen to the album so I hadn’t heard it for a while. Actually it’s not quite as bad as I remembered it, but still not a good song.
    @Sally_Harper (3) I liked this better before it made me think of Trump and his shitty wall, but it’s never been a favourite.
    @Remorque (7): Although this one is kinda universally disliked, I like this one. Yes, it's extremely political, yet the melody that's there is solid enough.
    @Bleu Noir (2): Never liked this
    @Farnaby (4): Preachy lyrics, boring melodies... I like the birds in the middle 8 though.

    Pandemonium live:

    Which album is losing a track tomorrow?
  15. Same
  16. Maybe we could make it a double elimination, just to be merciful?
    Also, whew at that artwork! You've outdone yourself, Ray!
    I feel like I've underscored it, after reading Neil's description. On the other hand, I think songs should work without reading a full page essay about it, so yeah, maybe my score wasn't too bad? (5.4 compared to the calculated 5.8 something)
    Ray and WhipperSnapper like this.
  17. I gave it a 5 and I get why people like this song, but I find it both bloated and uninspired, which is not easy to achieve. Occasionally I remember that Yes landed on one of the '1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die' lists, and then I hear this song and think uhhhh

    Ray likes this.
  18. Elysium!
    Ray likes this.
  19. Your avatars deserve a shoutout too, mister! I mean...

    *clap emoji*
    WhipperSnapper, TrendyMüller and Ray like this.
  20. PSB - Not really.
    St. Etienne - No, no, NO, no. "I'm so happy I just got my pay / I was born on Xmas day" is one of the worst lyrics I've ever heard. They should be ashamed.

    My score:
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