I cannot Gush About the Pet Shop Boys enough. Yes, they’re still around and still making great music. Once one of the biggest-selling groups in the world during their “Imperial Phase” (1985-1988), they’ve continued to make albums (13 in total), have hit singles (55 singles to date), and launch massive tours every few years. It’s just in America where they’ve disappeared except the occasional airing of “West End Girls” at Trader Joe’s.
Still, what a huge impact they had just during their Imperial Phase. Think of the hits: “Opportunities (Let’s Make Lots of Money)”, “Love Comes Quickly”, “Suburbia”, “Paninaro”, “It’s a Sin”, “What Have I Done to Deserve This?” (with Dusty Springfield), “Rent”, “Heart”, and of course their massive cover of “Always on My Mind”. They could tour just on those hits alone but have opted not to play the nostalgia circuit.
Indeed, Pet Shop Boys are in a select group of ’80s artists (along with Duran Duran, Gary Numan, Culture Club, Madonna, Depeche Mode) still putting out new music that still charts (their last album “Super” hit No. 3 in the U.K.).
I won’t go into a full history of what they’ve been up to other than to say that along with still producing superior pop, they’ve branched out into other media such as film (“It Couldn’t Happen Here”), silent film scoring (“Battleship Potemkin”), musical theatre (“Closer to Heaven”), and ballet (“The Most Incredible Thing”).
What are they up to now? After spending the last three years releasing “Super” and doing promotion plus touring the U.S., South America, and Europe, they’re working on a new album, the third in a row with genius producer Stuart Price. Before that’s released, they’ve got a new stage show/cabaret opening August 5th at the Edinburgh Fringe called “Musik” focused on a character named Billie Trix from their musical “Closer to Heaven”. It’s almost certain the show will tour or play the West End.
Also announced is their contribution to a musical version of “My Beautiful Laundrette” which will premiere in Leicester in September and then tour the U.K. The music will be released on the Pet Shop Boys own label x2 some time in the future.
To hear how amazing PSB still sound today, check out their great performance from their appearance in Rio performing “Burn” from their last album, “Super”.