GOOD OLD BOYS
Ian Peel celebrates 25 YEARS of the PET SHOP BOYS
“The mid-80s had its usual share of newcomers searching for the public’s attention,” recounts Simon Napier-Bell in his memoir, Black Vinyl White Powder, “but no one did it more modestly and with better music than the Pet Shop Boys.”
What no one in that mid-80s period could have predicted was just how enduring Pet Shop Boys would become. As the pop mainstream has jumped from one from fad to the next, from Britpop to boy-bands, X Factor to nu-rave, Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe have ploughed a unique furrow – turning pop into pop art, pop art into high art, and becoming a cornerstone of British songwriting in the process.
Neil Tennant took a tea break from rehearsals for the duo’s special Brit Awards performance – where they received the Outstanding Contribution To British Music gong – to talk to RC about a quarter-century of songs, remixes and collaborations.
What was your role on the last record I heard you on, Rufus Wainwright’s Release The Stars?
I was the executive producer. What that meant was Rufus sent me the demos, then he did a lot of recording in Brooklyn and I listened to it and made comments, which he either listened to or ignored, as appropriate. Then, when he was recording in Berlin, we were actually on tour, but I spent a week in Berlin …
by Ian Peel
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