With the UK gripped by the dance revolution – a Second Summer Of Love, with no sign of any sunset – for Behaviour, Pet Shop Boys’ fourth studio album, the duo headed abroad in order construct their most introspective work to date.
Listen to ‘Behaviour’ here.
The raw underbelly of a grand musical theatre
Released on 22 October 1990, Behaviour offered a moodier and more uniform collection of songs than fans had seen before. Of course, it didn’t start like that. The initial idea was simply to record ten fabulous pop singles but, by the time this ambition had been blended with a desire to work almost exclusively on analogue synthesisers, the plan was centring around producer Harold Faltermeyer. The German, most famous for his 1985 smash Axel F, had developed his craft as Giorgio Moroder’s programmer and was still based in Munich. Two lengthy studio stints with him across a Bavarian winter would expose the raw underbelly of Pet Shop Boys’ grand musical theatre.
Arguably the group’s finest single opens the album: Being Boring is a delicate ode to moving forward and looking back, backlit by the tragic poignancy of the AIDS crisis then in full, frightful flight. The inspirational black-and-white Bruce Weber video is pop artistry at its most accomplished, and the track is now a fan favourite and consistent critics’ pick among the best Pet Shop Boys songs, despite only making No.20 in the UK, the lowest position achieved by the duo since West End Girls, five years earlier.