[16] Pet Shop Boys, ‘Where The Streets Have No Name (Can’t Take My Eyes Off You)’

Pet Shop Boys

I used to put this on the jukebox in the hall bar at university, just to antagonise the rockists. The Jimi Hendrix lookalike and his Led Zep pals would become particularly vexed, often because it tended to interrupt their ‘American Pie’ loop.

This record’s a thumb of the nose – it couldn’t be anything else with the merging of the Andy Williams camp classic – but there’s affection too. The Pet Shop Boys’ aural soundscapes (wow) are wide enough to do justice to the sweep of the song, and it’s all big and dramatic like Bono thinks he is. I’m sure they’re not JUST taking the piss. Ok, I’m not sure. It’s great, though; I hadn’t heard it for years until this morning, and I still love it.

I’ve banged on about this before, but it’s interesting (well, sorta) that the PSBs and Prince should own the ’80s but then lose the plot at about the same time as each other. Can’t think of any proper good PSBs singles after this – honourable mention, however, to the bit where it goes mad at the end of ‘Go West’.

Junior was rather smitten with this, the Hi-NRG beats bringing forth the cockateel moves. I’ve really brainwashed the poor kid. She’ll be writing her own version of ‘Being Boring’ in about 30 years:

“I came across a cache of digital photos,
And countless blog entries from my dull old father;
He played me records and voiced my opinions,
And Girls Aloud got him all in a lather,
In my 20-noughties…”

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[10] Franz Ferdinand, ‘Do You Want To’

A riff ripped off Go West’s ‘We Close Are Whys’*, doo-doos that could grace ‘Hungry Like The Wolf’, those knowing lyrics that the Ferdinand do so well (and so often), it’s an infectious stomp through the chart bluebells. As it stutters to a finish we even get a “whoop” from Junior, solid proof that we’re in heavyweight country now. She’d spent most of the record trying to eat her toes. We know Franz Ferdinand want to make “music for girls to dance to”, so if balance and leg strength are going to prevent Junior from getting up and strutting her stuff she doesn’t even want those feet.

As the needle runs off the vinyl, there’s time to ponder the Dennis the Menace jumpers. We can understand the boys all wearing them in the video, but what about those publicity shots where only the singer and drummer are sporting them? So, they liked them so much that they kept them, but couldn’t they have phoned each other before they went out adorned in the same clothes? So embarrassing. Being a girl, Junior has an eye for this.
*There’s no persuasive reason why we shouldn’t mock Peter Cox. I haven’t even mentioned that tour he did “versus” Tony Hadley a year or two back.