22 songs you probably didn’t know the Pet Shop Boys were involved with

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22 songs you probably didn’t know the Pet Shop Boys were involved with

Posted on: June 13th, 2014 by tommyj

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As the Pet Shop Boys bring all their hits to the LG Arena in Birmingham, we look at the many other songs they’ve worked on as producers or remixers

The Pet Shop Boys are the most successful pop duo in British history, according to the Guinness Book of Records – and they are coming to the LG Arena on Friday, June 13, as part of their Electric tour.

We have already looked at the possible setlist for their performance – and they’re sure to feature many of their most popular songs.

But there are many tracks they’ve been involved in that people may not know about.

Here we take a look at the projects they’ve produced or remixed for other artists. You’ll be surprised at the number of other tracks they have worked on over their long career.

In addition, they’ve also expressed a desire to record with Stevie Nicks and admitted in 2010 that they had turned down the chance to produce an album for the Bee Gees because they were "overawed" and "too scared."

Here’s 22 songs you probably didn’t know the Pet Shop Boys were involved with:

1. Madonna – Sorry (2006)

Neil had interviewed Madonna before she was a global megastar back in the days when he worked for music magazine Smash Hits. The boys had wanted to offer her their 1988 song Heart but were nervous about it being rejected so they kept it for themselves – and it became their fourth and (to date) last No 1 single in the UK.

They finally got to work with the Queen of Pop when they remixed her Confessions On A Dancefloor track Sorry in 2006, with additional vocals provided by Neil. Their version featured on the CD single and was the mix Madonna chose to perform on stage with her Confessions Tour.

In addition, her song Jump, from the same album, had an arrangement inspired by the duo’s smash hit West End Girls – and when Madonna heard what producer Stuart Price was doing in the studio with the musical arrangement, she shrieked: "Pet Shop Boys! I f***ing love them!"

Madonna later asked the Pet Shop Boys to provide a song for her next album (Hard Candy) but changed her mind when it was decided to focus on a more R&B sound instead.

2. Robbie Williams – She’s Madonna (2006)

Robbie’s Rudebox album features two PSB collaborations, She’s Madonna and We’re The Pet Shop Boys. She’s Madonna was a UK single, reaching No 16, while the other track surfaced with new remixes on a US promo CD but was never an official single in its own right.

3. Sander van Doorn vs Robbie Williams – Close My Eyes (2009)

The PSBs also co-produced the trancy track Close My Eyes by Sander van Doorn vs Robbie Williams. Sander is a Dutch DJ and producer whose sound is well-known on Ibiza dancefloors.

4. Robbie Williams – No Regrets (1998)

Neil Tennant sang backing vocals on Robbie’s 1998 single No Regrets.

5. The Killers – Read My Mind (2007)

The PSBs created a remix for The Killers’ 2007 single Read My Mind, and performed additional vocals on it.            

6. Kylie Minogue – In Denial (1999)

Pop princess Kylie did a duet with the boys on the track In Denial, from their album Nightlife. She performed it solo (alongside a male dancer but without the PSBs being there on stage) for her Showgirl tour.

7. David Bowie – Hallo Spaceboy (1996)

Bowie’s song Hallo Spaceboy, from his album Outside, was remixed by the Pet Shop Boys for its release as a single and reached No 12 in the UK charts.

8. Electronic – Getting Away With It (1989)

Electronic was a ‘supergroup’ formed by New Order’s Bernard Sumner and The Smiths’ guitarist Johnny Marr.

Neil Tennant sang on Electronic’s singles Getting Away With It and Disappointed as well as their album track Patience Of A Saint. He was involved with the writing and production of all three of those songs. Disappointed was Electronic’s biggest hit, reaching No 6 in the UK charts.

9. Lady Gaga – Eh, Eh (Nothing Else I Can Say) (2009)

The boys did a mix for this Gaga single, which appeared as a download and also one of the tracks on her dance mix collection The Remix.

10. Atomizer – Hooked On Radiation

London-based technopop duo Atomizer released the single Hooked On Radiation in 2002, with the Pet Shop Boys hired to do one of the song’s remixes.

11. Tina Turner – Confidential (1996)

The Pet Shop Boys wrote and co-produced Confidential for the Tina Turner album Wildest Dreams, with Neil Tennant singing backing vocals on the track. It was never released as a single.

The original Pet Shop Boys demo version featuring Neil’s vocals can be found as a bonus track on the reissue of their album Very.

12. Yoko Ono – Walking On Thin Ice (2003)

The peace activist and former wife of John Lennon is also known for her avant-garde music, first releasing the uptempo song Walking On Thin Ice in 1981.

It was later covered by Birmingham band Fuzzbox before Yoko returned to it herself for a 2003 reissue that included a whole host of remixes, including some energetic electro versions by the Pet Shop Boys.

13. Blur – Girls & Boys (1994)

The Pet Shop Boys remixed Blur’s song Girls & Boys for its release as a single in 1994, providing a new radio edit and 12” mix.

The song reached No 5 in the UK charts and proved a comeback for the band; it was named named single of the year by NME and Melody Maker and was also Blur’s biggest hit in the USA. The track was taken from the album Parklife, which features the original unremixed version of the song.

14. Boy George – The Crying Game (1992)

The title track from the 1992 film The Crying Game was performed by Boy George, reaching No 22 in the UK charts, and was produced by the Pet Shop Boys in its original and dance mix formats.

The film itself was a flop when initially released in the UK, with critics disapproving of the sympathetic portrayal of an IRA fighter and the depiction of the bombing of a London pub, but American audiences loved the movie and it went on to earn $62million stateside where it was nominated for six Oscars and won one for best screenplay.

15. Eighth Wonder – I’m Not Scared (1988)

Patsy Kensit fronted the 80s pop group Eighth Wonder, whose biggest hit (No 7 in 1988) was I’m Not Scared, written and co-produced by the Pet Shop Boys and from the album Fearless. The boys recorded their own version of the song for their album Introspective.

16. Dusty Springfield – Nothing Has Been Proved (1989)            

The Pet Shop Boys’ duet with Dusty Springfield on the 1987 hit What Have I Done To Deserve This is much too well-known for this list.

After that they were also involved in her next two singles as she relaunched her solo career with Nothing Has Been Proved (reached No 16) and then In Private (peaked at No 14).

In fact, the boys had written four songs on Dusty’s comeback album Reputation – In Private, Daydreaming, Nothing Has Been Proved and Occupy Your Mind – and co-produced those songs along with a fifth one on the set, I Want To Stay Here.

17. Liza Minnelli – So Sorry I Said (1989)

The duo were involved with every track on Liza Minnelli’s 1989 album Results, which produced four singles.

Although they didn’t pen the hi-energy dance smash Losing My Mind – Minnelli’s biggest hit off the album, reaching No 6 in the charts in 1989 – they co-produced it, played the keyboards and worked on the Extended Remix.

Losing My Mind is probably too well known for this list, so we’re instead featuring the ballad So Sorry I Said, which the boys wrote (and Neil played keyboards on).

18. Cicero – Love Is Everywhere (1989)

Scottish musician David Cicero handed a demo tape to the Pet Shop Boys after one of their concerts and was signed to the duo’s own label, Spaghetti Records.

The boys worked on four songs on the his first and only album Future Boy, released in 1992, with Cicero’s biggest hit being Love Is Everywhere (No 19 in 1992). It even had some bagpipes in it.

He went on to support Take That on tour and was a mystery guest on TV music quiz show Never Mind The Buzzcocks in 2008.

19. Sam Taylor-Wood – I’m In Love With A German Film Star (2008)

London visual artist, filmmaker and photographer Sam Taylor-Wood is best known for directing the 2009 movie Nowhere Boy, about the childhood of John Lennon. She’s married to actor Aaron Taylor-Johnson, who played Lennon in the film and went on to appear in comic book adaptation Kick-Ass and as the male lead in Nuneaton director Gareth Edwards’ recent remake of Godzilla.

Sam became friends with the PSBs when she provided film projections for their shows at the Savoy Theatre in London in 1997.

A year later they worked with her on a cover of Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg’s Je T’aime…Moi Non Plus and in 2003 they again collaborated on a cover of Donna Summer’s Love To Love You Baby. Sam used the alias Kiki Kokova and just 500 copies of Love To Love You Baby were released on vinyl on the PSBs’ own label Lucky Kunst.

And then in 2008, Sam released a cover version of the single I’m In Love With A German Film Star, originally a 1981 Top 40 hit by post-punk New Wave band The Passions. Sam’s synthpop remake was produced by the Pet Shop Boys, who also remixed one of the four versions on the CD. It was only released in Germany.

20. The Bloodhound Gang – Mope (2000)

The Pet Shop Boys remixed the song Mope by American alternative rockers The Bloodhound Gang. It was a single in its own right and also features as a bonus track on the CD single of The Ballad of Chasey Lain.

21. Miyuki Motegi – All Or Nothing (2002)

The PSBs wrote and produced the track All Or Nothing for Japanese pop artist Miyuki Motegi on her 2002 album M.I.U. Neil Tennant also sang the backing vocals.

22. Pete Burns – Jack And Jill Party (2004)

Dead or Alive frontman Pete Burns has had a handful of spin-off projects including singing on Glam’s 1994 single Sex Drive and releasing two solo tracks – 2010’s download-only Never Marry An Icon and the 2004 electro track Jack And Jill Party.

It was the Pet Shop Boys who co-wrote, produced and co-mixed Jack And Jill Party. The CD was a limited release on an independent label and only got to No 75 in the charts before vanishing again.

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