In 1990 I owned this cassette. An original one. I was thirteen and did not have many of those. This was a treasure that I would discover in my room by myself. I played it over and over. It was a precious and I remember hesitating to throw away. It is, hands down, my favorite album from stylish, influential, and electronic-pop royalty that are Pet Shop Boys. With underrated lyrics, I dare you now to find an album which starts with a song of the caliber of Being Boring.
I have been thinking of writing about this album for a good 3 months, and now that I am sat here having a read, I have found this interview, less than a month ago from the Wall Street Journal, where Neil Tennant talks about the song, paragraph by paragraph.
The album marked a break from their dance floor hits into more sophisticated and mature songs. It came out when they were losing fans (and friends) because of the AIDS epidemic, and although Neil Tennant had not officially come out of the closet, everyone knew what Its A Sin was about. Although the album breaks with their past, the first single released, which made it to Number 4 in the UK chart, was the classic, catchy ´So Hard´,
The duo was inspired by Depeche Mode´s Violator and the album was produced in Germany, by producer Harold Faltermeyer, who specialized in analog synthesizers, and isLiza Minelli and Dusty Springfield.Besides the difference in instruments and intended feel, Tennant’s voice stands out, probably influenced by singing with
The are other elegant songs included in this 4rth album. ‘My October Symphony’ and ‘Jealousy’ are fine examples. The latter had a relative success, reaching No. 12 in the UK chart. However, the album marked the end of America´s love affair with the duo. It did not reach Top 40 and it would take a while for them to make it back to the top of the charts.
For me, this is probably the first album I discovered on my own. No one recommended it to me, I can’t remember anyone who shared this music with me. I think I probably bought it because I liked them, but not because there was a specific single on the radio I was enamored with, even though the songs are now well known, and some of them have reached cult status. This is an album that was, and is, mine. It is for my ears only. It is headphone music, without the guilty pleasure. There is no shame. It is an intimate album. When I listen to the songs, no friends come to mind, it’s just me, in my room, playing my favourite song in the album on a loop. A song that does not touch a chord now, but at some point I think anyone who has had a broken heart can identify with: ‘To Face The Truth’.