Categories MusicPosted on

PET SHOP BOYS: ALL HAIL THE KINGS OF TECHNO-POP

Pet Shop Boys’ long and prolific music career establishes them as living icons of British techno-pop. SEEN can hardly believe that more than 30 years have passed since they were burning the dance floor to 1984’s West End Girls.

Pet Shop Boys’ long and prolific music career establishes them as living icons of British techno-pop. SEEN can hardly believe that more than 30 years have passed since they were burning the dance floor to 1984’s West End Girls.

While other artists and bands from the same generation were doing the same old music year after year, acclaimed British duo Chris Lowe and Neil Tennant were busy crossing boundaries, and taking new risks with every project: the acoustic album, Release; the electronic and orchestral soundtrack for the movie, Battleship Potemkin; the musical, The Most Incredible Thing; the compilation album, Back To Mine; the four remix albums of their Disco series; their own record label; collaborations and remixes for other artists; their parallel project Electronic, alongside Bernard Summers of New Order, and Johnny Marr of The Smiths; Concrete, their first life concert album; or Please and Super, not to mention 14 other original albums. Prolific is hardly the word. The Pet Shop Boys have made techno-pop into an art form. With every album, they have managed to create new themes and sounds, but without losing their original essence. Their boundless energy can make us move non-stop on the dance floor, or touch us deeply with a delicious ballad.

seenlondon_pet shop boys super3
Pet Shop Boys. By Pelle Crépin © Pet Shop Boys Partnership, 2016

Such a prolific and heterogeneous career has not only allowed them to lay down some of the greatest hits in the history of modern music, but they’ve also created an indelible brand by commissioning videos and images by some of the greatest masters of photography, cinema, fashion, art, humour and graphic design. The video of their song Being Boring, directed by Bruce Weber, is a perfect example, as are the covers of their albums and singles, which are always arresting because of the bold use of formats and materials. Each piece they’ve created has always been at the forefront of the latest artistic and graphic design trends, as you can see with the release of the double CD Very/Relentless.

Pet Shop Boys’ first European tour in 1986 was delayed due to their initial reluctance to appear in public. Their success at home and in America soon persuaded them that their audience awaited. Since then, at every concert, they have surpassed themselves, always choosing the best image and sound technology to move their fans from fully-charged dance numbers exploding with energy, to quieter moments of real audiovisual poetry. They are honest when singing about love and deceit; with their social and political critiques; when talking about themselves and their art, and importantly, when discussing their sexuality and identity.

In 2013 they released Electric, an album produced by Stuart Price that reached top chart positions in the UK and the US, giving them their biggest success of the past 20 years. Super is the new album by Pet Shop Boys. Again, produced by Stuart Price, it represents a new level in their stunning and successful career, and another reason to consider them icons of the international electronic pop music world. The single The Pop Kids is ample proof of their love for pop music, where they tell the story of young love in the clubbing years of the 90s, but really the song is timeless. It could happen in any club, and in any decade.

Their recently released single Twenty-something sings about being that age, now. And other gems, such as Burn, transmit all the energy necessary to burn the disco down before dawn. 12 new songs drenched in the iconic Pet Shop Boys’ sound! What’s not to love? Super will debut this summer in a series of sold-out concerts from the 20th to 23rd July at the London Royal Opera House, as part as the Inner Sanctum tour before it goes world-wide. SEEN can’t wait to get their dance shoes on.

Link to previous SEEN article: Pet Shop Boys to perform four dates at the Royal Opera House in July 2016

Credits

  • Text Toni Bass
  • Photo Credit Pelle Crépin

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