Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe first struck a magic formula of quintessentially English lyricism and rap-inspired electro-pop with 1985’s West End Girls. Since then, they’ve set the pop world aglow with a peerless mix of dazzling synths and ironic wordplay. Here’s a list of the 20 best Pet Shop Boys songs you must hear.
20: I Wouldn’t Normally Do This Kind Of Thing (1993)
With its upbeat 60s-inspired vibe, this whimsical Beatles-esque single from late 1993 benefitted hugely from a dance remix by hip-house pioneers The Beatmasters, which helped elevate it to the level of the best Pet Shop Boys songs. Said to be inspired by a comic strip by cartoonist Jules Feiffer, Neil Tennant wanted the song to embrace the artist’s joyous outlook, writing in his poetry collection: “I imagined myself as a Feiffer cartoon figure, going crazy with happiness.”
While singing about stripping off and “dancing to The Rite Of Spring”, the music video revels in psychedelic imagery allowing Neil and Chris to dress up in moptop wigs and pay tribute to the Sgt Pepper-era Lennon and McCartney. “I’m sure if The Beatles had formed in 1983, they would’ve been a duo,” Neil once said. “John and Paul would be using synths and drum machines instead of George and Ringo.”