Author Topic: Pet Shop Boys - It Couldn't Happen Here  (Read 10817 times)

Pet Shop Boys - It Couldn't Happen Here
« Reply #30 on: February 10, 2006, 11:54:18 AM »
Quote from: "Ray Le Otter"
I think the problem with PSB happened when Neil came out in the press - that finally gave the general public the chance to give them a "gay band" tag that they never had before.


I sort of agree with that - although it's absolutely Neil's prerogative about whether to declare or not, the effect of "not-knowing" was that gay and straight audiences would be equally catered for.  Like Pete Shelley, they never do 'he'/'she' lyrics in songs about relationships, and that's much rarer than it sounds.

Pet Shop Boys - It Couldn't Happen Here
« Reply #31 on: February 10, 2006, 12:15:47 PM »
I must have been naive/ignorant but until "Behaviour" & "Very" I never even thought of either of them as being gay - even when making excellent records with Liza Minelli.  It certainly wasn't an issue, and still isn't, but I feel that somehow their public image has changed from being this interesting pop duo to just another gay synth band from the 80s lumped in with Erasure and the rest (but hey, I like Erasure.)

An image not helped of couse by the likes of "Ab Fab", "Go West" (though I love it especially the mad synth intrumental at the end), "Somewhere" & "New York City Boy".

Pet Shop Boys - It Couldn't Happen Here
« Reply #32 on: February 10, 2006, 03:42:51 PM »
There seems to be a concentrated effort this time to not let the new material leak.

I personally don't think they 'lost' anything during the 90s, but the media's and public's perception seemed to change. However they are at their best when they make electronic pop as opposed to 'rock'.

I liked 'I didn't get where I am today' and 'London', and defended them on a number of occasions when some fans dismissed 'Release'. Even though I don't rate it alongside the rest of their albums, I loved the idea of 'Release' and the fact that they consciously wanted to push themselves into what was a different area for them, and react against the music press' and publics expectations. My problem is that they didn't go further enough and the album was a patchy affair with semi-electronic tracks, electro tracks and several guitar-lead numbers. They should have been consistent and gone all the way with the rock ethic, made the album full of tracks like Love is a Catastrophe and Birthday Boy, etc  As it was tracks like 'Here', 'Samurai'  and 'Email' good as they were, seemed out of place.

That said, 'The Night I fell in Love' made me ridiculously angry.

Pet Shop Boys - It Couldn't Happen Here
« Reply #33 on: February 10, 2006, 04:23:33 PM »
The "Release" songs actually sounded better live, especially "Home & Dry" which had the Blank & Jones mix at the start mixing into the album version.  It will be one of those albums which will probably get a favourable critical reappraisal in a few years time.  It's not one of my faves - having said that, the extended version of "Home" on "Disco 3" is a right stormer - love that.

A DVD release of "It Couldn't Happen Here" & also the live "Discovery" tour is long overdue - both of which are better than the grotty live "Montage" DVD that available - I have to turn the screen off when I put that on. The visuals are dire. Ironic as the "Nightlife" tour intself was great.

Pet Shop Boys - It Couldn't Happen Here
« Reply #34 on: February 10, 2006, 07:06:38 PM »
You're all making me want to reexamine newer PSB stuff, dammit!:)

"I Want to Wake Up" is the greatest song about unrequited love ever recorded.

"How Can You Expect to be Taken Seriously?" I've always reckoned that song is about Sting.

"Yesterday When I Was Mad". Can't believe nobody has mentioned that track. Fantastic song!

"Can You Forgive Her" came out right when I split up with my fiancee after I found out she was cheating on me. Still strikes a chord. (Even I don't dance to disco, and I DO like rock:))

Pet Shop Boys - It Couldn't Happen Here
« Reply #35 on: February 10, 2006, 07:23:04 PM »
The only thing about them that's cooled for me post-91 is the quality of the remixes that guests bring in.  I've mentioned the KLF's remix of So Hard on another thread, but I also loved the DJ International versions of It's Alright (by Tyree and Sterling Void), Marshall Jefferson's reworking of Being Boring, The Grid's mix of DJ Culture, the Pettibone version of West End Girls (on Disco) and even Altern-8's mix of Music For Boys.  Then, for some reason, from Can You Forgive Her? onwards, I found the mixes less thrilling.  In fact, around about then, dance records in general binned the idea of doing "Extended Mixes" and instead did lots of chucking the song in the bin and doing completely different versions.  Some of which have been fine, but I was always a sucker for the ten-minute slow-burning 12" mix that left you waiting for the vocals to start.  The winner (in PSB terms) being the aforementioned 11'30" "Disco Mix" of Left To My Own Devices.

Bogey

  • Let's face it, in this job I see a lot of penises.
Pet Shop Boys - It Couldn't Happen Here
« Reply #36 on: February 10, 2006, 07:47:15 PM »
Quote from: "Jemble Fred"
Se A Vida E, for all that it's basically a cover, cannot be bettered.


Is it really? I had no idea. Who did the original?

Pet Shop Boys - It Couldn't Happen Here
« Reply #37 on: February 11, 2006, 02:51:27 AM »
Some Brazlian band. The boys version was more of a heavily influenced version.

Pet Shop Boys - It Couldn't Happen Here
« Reply #38 on: February 11, 2006, 07:56:00 AM »
I agree about the remixes. I LOVE extended mixes of PSB stuff, but a lot of the remixes I have here are just arse. As you say, they bin the song.

VegaLA

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Pet Shop Boys - It Couldn't Happen Here
« Reply #39 on: February 11, 2006, 06:07:23 PM »
I have to agree with Ray regarding Very. I think PSB did reach their peak with that album. It was totally amazing in a year that for me personally produced some great albums. New Orders 'Republic' and Depeche Mode's 'Song of Love and Devotion'. Everythign about 'Very' was perfect, the Press interviews, the costumes, the artwork..promo videos, it wrapped the whole experience up nicely. I have'nt seen them or anyone else replicate this.
'Very' had also had a limited edition bonus CD, 'Relentless' which I still have hidden away somewhere.
I tuned out of the PSB after Bilingual but still grabbed hold of Disco 2. You guys have incited me to give their mid/late 90s output a second hearing.

kidsick5000

  • Gotta be groovy for the moovy
Pet Shop Boys - It Couldn't Happen Here
« Reply #40 on: February 11, 2006, 06:22:56 PM »
Quote from: "Ray Le Otter"
I must have been naive/ignorant but until "Behaviour" & "Very" I never even thought of either of them as being gay - even when making excellent records with Liza Minelli.  It certainly wasn't an issue, and still isn't, but I feel that somehow their public image has changed from being this interesting pop duo to just another gay synth band from the 80s lumped in with Erasure and the rest (but hey, I like Erasure.)

An image not helped of couse by the likes of "Ab Fab", "Go West" (though I love it especially the mad synth intrumental at the end), "Somewhere" & "New York City Boy".


When did Neil come out? I thought it was just one of those generally accepted things and as time went on it just became more obvious and accepted.
I certainly dont remember any huge outcry about Neils revelation. Or that Freddy Mercury inspired gasp of "My God! How could I have not noticed before. Hes blatantly all the way gay!"

Anyway. Go West: a shot to the kneecaps of their career. Not because it was overly camp. It just didnt suit them.

Pet Shop Boys - It Couldn't Happen Here
« Reply #41 on: February 11, 2006, 06:25:33 PM »
Quote from: "kidsick5000"
When did Neil come out?


Attitude Magazine, summer 1994, I think.

Pet Shop Boys - It Couldn't Happen Here
« Reply #42 on: February 12, 2006, 08:56:28 AM »
Quote from: "Smash Hits, 16 - 29 December 1987"
GREAT POP TIFFS OF OUR TIME: Pt 103
JONATHAN KING V PET SHOP BOYS

Yes, viewers, it's yet another pop rumpus. This is what has happened.

1. The Pet Shop Boys released their single "It's A Sin", and it shot to number one for several weeks.

2. Jonathan King decided that it sounded rather like a song called "Wild World" by old pop crooner Cat Stevens and stated this "fact" in his "pop" column in The Sun and on the radio, suggesting that stealing like this, as he put it, should be a criminal act.

3. The Pet Shop Boys, severely irked by Jonathan King's statements, started legal proceedings against him - or as he said "I'm being sued by the Shoppies".

4. In an effort to prove his point he's just recorded his own version of "Wild World", carefully ripping off the arrangement of "It's A Sin" to make the verses sound as similar as possible. "To me," he says, "it indicates that they are similar melodically. I've tried to make my point musically. I don't think the case will ever go to court but if it does I'm sure I could find 30 or 40 major celebrities to say they think the songs are similar. It's all a good laugh and I'm certainly not deeply serious."

5. Who knows where it'll end?


Does anyone know the outcome of this particular "situation"? Did King's pastiche ever get released? Did it ever go to court?

Pet Shop Boys - It Couldn't Happen Here
« Reply #43 on: February 12, 2006, 11:14:35 AM »
It was settled out of court sometime in 1988.

Tennant had met Jonathan King twice before.  In the early 70s, when a teenage singer-songwriter, he had taken some songs to King's record company UK, but was turned down.  Then in April 1983, he interviewed King for Smash Hits about his new TV series Entertainment USA.

Pet Shop Boys - It Couldn't Happen Here
« Reply #44 on: February 12, 2006, 05:06:57 PM »
That debacle is mentioned in the sleevenotes to "Actually". Kind did indeed record a single to prove his point, but as Tennant noted, it actually hindered King's point more than anything else.

Pet Shop Boys - It Couldn't Happen Here
« Reply #45 on: February 12, 2006, 05:22:19 PM »
I don't have the issue to hand but I'm sure I recall Tom Hibbert's original Smash Hits review of It's A Sin also making the 'Wild World' comparison.

Pet Shop Boys - It Couldn't Happen Here
« Reply #46 on: February 12, 2006, 08:33:30 PM »
Quote
That's what Chris Morris thought, and his attempt is the single most woeful thing I've ever heard from the man. It made me angry it was so amateurish.

What about Nathan Barley?
Saying that, I agree, it is bad, and it's on this site and should probably be taken off.

Pet Shop Boys - It Couldn't Happen Here
« Reply #47 on: February 13, 2006, 01:12:49 AM »
They also sued that arsehole Roger 'Scrotum' Scruton as well, didn't they for suggesting that they didn't produce or play instruments on their albums or something like that.

That guy is a first class wankhead. I don't think there's anything he doesn't claim to be an authority on. He once wrote a guide to Modern Philosophy. Honestly, it was beyond awful.

Didn't anyone hear the Pet Shop Boys version of Battleship Potemkin?

Pet Shop Boys - It Couldn't Happen Here
« Reply #48 on: February 13, 2006, 04:02:40 AM »
To be on topic -  ICHH i've owned on Video for god knows how many years, only watched it once - they're a funny old lot those two, kind of like Oscar Wilde and Pete Tong working together. Tennant/Lowe are a bloody good writing partnership though, everything time I see that "Tennant/Lowe" name on a  record I always think quality.

Behaviour/Actually are classics, Johnny Marr said 'Being Boring' is one of the most finely crafted pop songs ever made.
I tend to agree.

New Album out soon, produced by Trevor Horn.

new stuff sounds a bit Kraftwerky/That Eclipse song they did
http://media.phonicarecords.co.uk/psb002_1.mp3

Pet Shop Boys - It Couldn't Happen Here
« Reply #49 on: February 13, 2006, 04:10:59 AM »
Quote from: "23 Daves"

They're due a reassessment, aren't they?  You hardly ever hear anyone talking about them now, it's hard to imagine that at the peak of their careers they chalked up four number ones.


Arrent they the most successful duo of all time? having more top 20 hits than any other duo

Pet Shop Boys - It Couldn't Happen Here
« Reply #50 on: February 13, 2006, 12:59:16 PM »
Quote from: "Steve Thompson Dance Mix"
They also sued that arsehole Roger 'Scrotum' Scruton as well, didn't they for suggesting that they didn't produce or play instruments on their albums or something like that.

That guy is a first class wankhead. I don't think there's anything he doesn't claim to be an authority on. He once wrote a guide to Modern Philosophy. Honestly, it was beyond awful.


Haha! Yes, I have that. It's awful, just for his dismissal of Hegel. I'll type that again for you - Roger Scruton's dismissal of G.W.F. Hegel.

Catalogue Trousers

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Pet Shop Boys - It Couldn't Happen Here
« Reply #51 on: February 13, 2006, 01:21:49 PM »
Doesn't Neil Dickson turn up in It Couldn't Happen Here, playing an enigmatic variant on his classic portrayal of James ("my friends call me Biggles...") Bigglesworth?

Jemble Fred

  • ... And I ain't ashamed.
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Pet Shop Boys - It Couldn't Happen Here
« Reply #52 on: February 13, 2006, 01:38:13 PM »
I used to insist that it was Timothy Dalton. I was wrong.

Pet Shop Boys - It Couldn't Happen Here
« Reply #53 on: February 13, 2006, 01:38:45 PM »
Yep. You're right Catalogue. I remember I had the rather excellent PSB annual (called 'Annually' of course) and it had something about the film in there

Unfortuately a relative threw it out in a cleaning frenzy - something which I will forever hate her for...

It also had an article about Chris Lowe's glasses IIRC

Pet Shop Boys - It Couldn't Happen Here
« Reply #54 on: February 14, 2006, 01:02:31 PM »
Quote from: "Steve Thompson Dance Mix"
Didn't anyone hear the Pet Shop Boys version of Battleship Potemkin?


Went to the Trafalgar Square performance, got the album – DVD to follow this year, hopefully. I thought it was a really good soundtrack and the CD works well on its own, too.

Pet Shop Boys - It Couldn't Happen Here
« Reply #55 on: February 15, 2006, 02:13:34 AM »
More from Ver Hits:

Quote from: "Smash Hits, 6-19 April 1988"
The Pet Shop Boys Film: It's still "happening"

What on earth, Bitz wonders, has happened to the Pet Shop Boys film, the one featuring Barbara Windsor, Gareth Hunt and Joss Ackland which you could see bits of in the "Always On My Mind" video? And why didn't it appear in February like it was supposed to?

"What happened," explains Neil Tennant rather technically, "is that it was finished in December and you have to get what's called a window (i.e. a gap in the busy schedule for releasing films) in March which we missed and there's now one in June so it should come out then. Originally we were going to try and have it screened in a different place every night, like a tour - in fact we're still trying to fit that idea in." The title, he says, will still probably be It couldn't Happen here though in America they're under pressure to change it to Always On My Mind: "I don't think we're going to have that!"

So does it show them off as wonderfully good actors?

"Chris is good in it," claims Neil. "I think Chris is a better actor than me because I always look like I'm acting; Chris manages to look natural."

"That," says Chris, "is because I'm not acting. We just do what we normally do in videos - walk around, me a few paces behind Neil."

"Look moody... lip sync..." adds Neil.

"There's a bit of spoken stuff - Neil has a voice-over where he's reading out what he's written on a postcard: 'Dear mum...', that kind of thing."

"Chris," says Neil, "gets chased by a gang of Hell's Angels."

"Real Hell's Angels," Chris points out. "I'm running down this promenade in Clapton and the director Jack Bond is saying 'faster faster' and I've got these massive boots on which are a size too big for me, a leather coat, a hat and these bikers... the front wheels are literally next to me and I've got a few behind me as well and if I fall I'm obviously going to get run over because there's no way they could possibly avoid me. I was absolutely scared stiff."

So, erm, what is the film actually about?

"It's a film about England," Neil explains, "about how England seemed when you were a child and what it's like now and how your childhood image of England has sort of changed and gone to pieces... something like that."

What actually happens?

"The film starts off with what we're escaping from - a seaside surburban background. You see us as children doing 'It's A SKIN'. Then it's funny, and then the whole thing turns kind of nightmarish during the 'King's Cross' sequence - there's all these lines like Milton (17th century poet who wrote Paradise Lost) which makes sense when you see it - and we get really slagged off by this chauffeur. And then there's a world war right at the end and then we sing 'One More Chance' and er, that's it."

"There's this great bit at the end," adds Chris, "when the world's ended and then the credits come up with 'Wake Up' on. It's a dead good moment, actually."

So is it going to make them famous film stars?

"Not really," says Neil. "It's not really a commercial film."

"I don't think we're going to get offers flooding in," Chris says. "Anyway, making films is very time consuming. You spend a lot of time hanging around in caravans. You get up at about five o'clock in the morning." He grins. "It's not very rock 'n' roll..."

Pet Shop Boys - It Couldn't Happen Here
« Reply #56 on: February 15, 2006, 06:02:11 AM »
For what it's worth, the movie is almost downloaded off Emule for me. Some cock was bitching in the comments that it was invalid/corrupt. When I checked the comment, he'd labelled it that because it has Japanese subtitles.

Previewed the video... Gotta say those subs just make it even more bizarre:)

Pet Shop Boys - It Couldn't Happen Here
« Reply #57 on: February 16, 2006, 12:17:24 AM »
I think I got it in 1992 or something on the music club VHS label. I love the fact that it's bizarre and surreal in places, exactley the kind of film you would expect them to take part in.

I find it funny but sinister. I like the bit with a nameless guy in the hat and coat whose covered in flames, leaves his suburban house on his way to work after a 'blazing' row and watches as some fly posters, replaced a billboard with a brick wall motiff, and the scene with two zoo keepers with zebra painted faces, struggling to get a zebra on the train.

Then there's the weird dummy, who laughs manically as Biggles attempts to gun down the boys while they're in a car singing 'Two Divided by Zero'. Good fun. I'm surprised film four hasn't shown this long before now. Did anyone see that South Bank Show special on the Pet Shop Boys in 1992?

Pet Shop Boys - It Couldn't Happen Here
« Reply #58 on: February 16, 2006, 03:54:08 AM »
Got it finished now. Will attempt to watch it tonight. Should be a laugh.

Jemble Fred

  • ... And I ain't ashamed.
    • 100% BALLS
Pet Shop Boys - It Couldn't Happen Here
« Reply #59 on: February 16, 2006, 09:31:55 AM »
Apparently Neil and Madonna did an impromptu acapella version of the PSB remix of Madge's latest single on the R2 Brits show last night. I'd better alert my brother immediately – if he misses any PSB footage, he weeps.