PSB3: Pet Shop Boys rate, 2006-2019. #4 How great is this song! We've got a hit! | Page 90 | The Popjustice Forum

PSB3: Pet Shop Boys rate, 2006-2019. #4 How great is this song! We've got a hit!

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


What is your favourite section of this rate?

  1. Fundamental

    14 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. Well, you know what's my least fave by now. It's a shame that it's the only album track left as I'm always up for having a great album track in the top 10 among all the predictable singles. I guess 'Fugitive', 'Integral' or 'Minimal' will leave next, though.
  2. Integral was also an album track. There was neither a single nor a single mix.
  3. Being the grumpy adversary that I am, I´d say goodbye to Vocal.

    Re: Burn
    Yes, it sounds a bit fuller than some of the other Subpar tracks, but go on and tell me that those de-tuned synth and the descending drum-rolls are in any way a sophisticated production choice?!

    Re: Dreamland. Sorry, this is borderline awful! I refuse to believe that these rhyme-by-numbers-rhymes were written by a certain Neil Tennant.
    It´s also flat out the worst middle-8 they ever did.
    The chorus is a bit like a sped-up Jeanny by Falco (switch to +1.5 speed for lolz)

    I´d too like to forget that the single mix exists. It´s all about the album version.
  4. I'd argue it was, in fact, a single, although a "digital only", in the same way "Axis" was. There was promo discs, even a video, and, well, the proof is in the pudding

    The single mix is the one from the video, so the Perfect Immaculate 7'' Mix.

    I really don't think there's much ambiguity about what counts as a single. A physical release, a video or a digital EP / remix should be enough, really. "Happiness" wasn't a single, it was a promo track. Neither was "Stupidity". The only point where I felt ambiguous was about the Christmas track and "All over the world", since they functioned as a double A-side of sorts.
    funkyg likes this.
  5. Integral was a 2 track promo single for Disco 4, although I don't love the song, I prefer the remix. I found it for 50p years ago (and ran quickly out the shop in case they clocked they were selling it far too cheap!)

    Ray, etienne and Future Lover like this.
  6. Ray




    pure pop perfection

    Doesn't quite take off the way it should


    'The way it used to be'
    Yes album track
    Average: 8,361
    Highest score: 1x11 (@Sweet Music), 9x10 (@MidnightCity, @etcetera, @tylerc904, @Jóga, @Farnaby, @OspreyQueen, @etienne, @WhipperSnapper, @VeryPSB)
    Lowest score: 1x4,5 (@Ray)

    Neil Chris's favourite track on the album. Unusually for Chris, he agrees with the fans.
    Chris That doesn't happen very often.
    Neil The fans had a poll of their favourite Pet Shop Boys songs and this came number two.
    Chris What was number one?
    Ray 'Winner'.
    Neil 'Being boring', I think.
    Chris I like that as well.
    Neil This was the easiest Xenomania one to write.
    Chris This was a Xenomania backing track and absolutely loved this the first time I heard it, and I got dispatched upstairs with it. It sounds French to me.
    Neil Very French. The first time they played it, I immediately sang 'I'm here, you're there... come closer... and I had 'the way you used to be' immediately.
    Chris And I did the other melodies upstairs.
    Neil So it's basically me and Chris over their backing track. And I think we may have put in the 'I'd survive with only memories' bit in.
    Chris The Kermit bit.
    Neil Totally Kermit bit. My Kermit voice. We've always called it that.
    Chris Pure Muppet Show.
    Neil I don't know why we don't do a cover version of 'Rainbow Connection'. This is a story from start to finish of a whole relationship. Miranda and I sat down and wrote the story. At the beginning it's two people meeting again after a long gap, and then you have a long flashback to 'I can remember days of sun...' Originally they're in Manchester – where it says 'over the bridge an empty scene' I was thinking of the canals in Manchester. They've been on holiday to Rome and then they've moved to Manchester and then they moved to New York and the relationship falls apart, one of them moves to Los Angeles. In the end, they're getting back together. When we were writing this, we were thinking it might be a duet. There was a singer at Xenomania called Carla Marie Williams. We recorded a version with her, but it wasn't right. And at one point we'd thought of asking Tina Turner to do this as a duet with us. But I don't think we even asked her. Brian really liked it. It's a funny thing – it's a real 'playing for the coach' thing-when Brian Higgins liked something you've written you felt quite chuffed.
    Chris Yeah, you're getting marks from the teacher.
    Neil We always thought it would be a single, but it's very long. Maybe we could have edited it down. Though it's one of our great beefs that in 2017 'It's a sin' would have to be released in a radio edit.
    Chris By far and away the standout track on this album.

    Ray I honestly don't know what it is that people are hearing, but surely not what *I* am hearing. The words 'this was a Xenomania backing track' are a great description of my feelings when I'm listening to this. 'I'm here, you're there, come closer, tonight I'm lonely' makes me roll my eyes so hard they hurt. There's simple and effective, and there's simple and embarrassing. But literally nobody agreed with me, @funkyg being close with 5 points.

    @nostalgiakills (7): Much, much better than everything else on the album to this point bar “Love, etc.” and if it had a studied, lush production it would have been even better.
    @WhipperSnapper (10): Gloriously epic, soaringly sad and pure pop perfection. Some say the past cannot be changed. Those people are not Neil and Chris. [That's good sis Whippie quoting my book's blurb. Some people. I swear. Buymybookonamazontoday. – Ray]
    @DominoDancing (8): Very beautiful, one of the few standouts on the album. Compared to More Than A Dream, the song construction from all the different parts works very well here. The fact that the parts are already stronger by themselves certainly helps. Still, lacks a certain something to really be considered a classic.
    @OspreyQueen (10): The Boys and Xenomania obviously poured the absolute best of their talents into this song, and the result is, well, a masterpiece. The way it starts off fairly lowkey but slowly builds and builds, always adding just one more heart-rending verse or layer to the production, is simply out of this world. If I could have two 11s, this would unquestionably be one.
    @nanafan (9): A strong track, very classy. Doesn’t sound very Xenomania at all
    @TrendyMüller (7): I´m here. You´re there! Really!?! They should have given this to somebody else.
    @JakeMagnus (7): I overplayed this back when the lyrics felt meaningful to me. As with the rest of the album I don't really like to production anymore and I think the song is meandering a bit too much. It's still one of the better offerings here.
    @Jóga (10): A potential 11. It destroys me every time.
    @westendgirl (8): I know it is Chris’ favourite, but I find it a bit pretentious with name / city- dropping ( New York, Rome…)
    @MidnightCity (10): Lovely, sweeping, epic. Easily the best thing on the album. Love the switch to anger when he sings "I was there…." and the instrumental keyboard runs are lovely
    @etcetera (10): The second best song of the rate for me and the one that I had on repeat when I first got the album. It just got better with each listen and I never wanted it to end.
    @Sally_Harper (9): Bop with great lyrics, although “I’m here, you’re there” cracks me up for some reason. Also sounds very Girls Aloud to me!
    @Bleu Noir (6): Doesn't quite take off the way it should
    @Farnaby (10): Out of this world beauty. « What remains in time / that didn’t fade away »...


    Left of love dub:

    Richard X mix:

    Live at Pandemonium tour, O2:

    A not awful fanmade extended mix:
  7. Ray


    It has been correctly pointed out to me that Neil's voice sounds lovely in this song and yes, it does. I imagined what Stu Pri would have done to it and I spontaneously developed hives.

    I'm also listening to Madness' 'My girl' for the first time and I'm sorry, but this is a 10/10 Pet Shop Boys song that Madness were kind enough to provide a sketch for.
  8. Well, my 6 points are closer to your score than to the song's average. I really expected this to reach the top 5. I was already shocked to find out that it reached number 2 in that poll. I'm also on board with the following statements:
    If 'The way it used to be' can exit before the top 5, 'Vocal' should be able to follow it (both being the most overrated songs from their respective albums).
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2019 at 7:03 AM
    JakeMagnus and Ray like this.
  9. Integral higher than The Way It Used To be ? Or did I miss something ?

    Sadly I think I agree with TrendyMüller about Dreamland... It's not completely unlikable but it's spineless, M-People-on-a-bad-day vain, flabby, flaccid, slack, limp, weak (sorry, I'm discovering a lot of synonyms in Googletrad)...
    TrendyMüller, Ray and Bleu Noir like this.
  10. Oh I LOVE Vocal.......wouldn't mind a single version though.
    TrendyMüller and Ray like this.
  11. There is an official promo edit, but yeah, it wasn't properly released.
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2019 at 9:29 PM
  12. I'm afraid I have to agree with both of you. This generic contemporary R&B just sounds bland. Most of the lyrics and Neil's vocals are embarrassing (especially the way his voice strains during "far away"). The "I love you" and "I need you" bits in the chorus are awful, the same goes for Mr Alexander's occasional auto-tuned vocals and the "eyee eyee eyee" backing vocals. Also, this is the antithesis of Agenda in that it is utterly escapist, not even dreaming about changing the world for the better, just retreating into a dreamworld. Worst of all, there really isn't any point in the collaboration as they both try to sing in the same vocal style. Unlike 'This used to be the future', there's no big difference or contrast between the voices. It really sounds more like Years & Years (redundantly) featuring Neil Tennant.
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2019 at 9:34 PM
    TrendyMüller, Bleu Noir and Ray like this.
  13. I feel bad for being underwhelmed about it. I like it even less than "The Pop Kids". Hoping the other nine tracks sound a bit more modern and sleek, this is kind of dated and basic. Might grow on me, but I've already listened to it a bunch. And the lyrics... they look better on paper, and that's kind of a backhanded compliment.
  14. Ray


    I use the 3:31 promo/radio edit.

    Is this a good moment to reveal that the song that had a 10,25 average after four sets of votes was 'Vocal'?
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2019 at 9:48 PM
  15. I can’t believe I was the only person to give it 11
    WhipperSnapper likes this.
  16. I'm finding the top ten reveals to be surprisingly suspenseful, and I am not wanting the rate to end! Thank you, @Future Lover and @Ray for everything.
    I loved your book, and I would totally buy it again as an ebook if that were made available...
    funkyg, slurmjunkie and Future Lover like this.
  17. Ha, priceless!
    WhipperSnapper likes this.
  18. Ray


    I'm taking that to PMs, but it's...literally there?
    WhipperSnapper likes this.
  19. Ray


    A few rate facts!
    1. The last day will be Monday. Which is a bit embarrassing. It should be a Saturday night forever, really.
    2. The top 6 has songs with a total of seven words in the titles (we're not counting a 'Richard X remix'). Take note, Neil + Chris, before you release another In Ners Anc Tum.
    3. The top 6 represents five sections. Which is pretty damn awesome if you ask me.
    4. An exclusive scoop: 'West End girls' does not win this part of the rate.
  20. It pains me to come to terms with the fact that Dreamland is on the same level of cringe as Hold On, WAWGTDATR and Wimmer. What! Are! They! Thinking?
    Bleu Noir and Querelle Mix like this.
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