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The Last To Die
July 15, 2013 6:42 PM   Subscribe

For their new album and new tour, Pet Shop Boys have recorded and are performing a cover of Bruce Springsteen's 2008 song The Last To Die.
posted by hippybear (32 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
The perfect compliment to this would be Bruce doing an acoustic cover of West End Girls — which could actually work if you think about it.
posted by quadog at 7:04 PM on July 15, 2013 [5 favorites]


One of these bands is famous for two men kissing each other during concerts.

The other turned "Go West" into a gay anthem.
posted by R. Schlock at 7:17 PM on July 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


Considering "Go West" was first a Village People song, I think it was probably ALWAYS a gay anthem.
posted by hippybear at 7:19 PM on July 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah, when was "Go West" anything but a gay anthem?

I love the Pet Shop Boys version, though. It's so evocative. Reminds me very strongly of what it was like to be young and queer in the midwest in the 80s--that yearning for a better place.
posted by not that girl at 7:24 PM on July 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


I am so excited for this whole album. The Bruce cover is a bonus.
posted by immlass at 7:39 PM on July 15, 2013


If you have the chance to see PSB live, just do it.
posted by wallabear at 7:40 PM on July 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


I expect this album to be widely ignored in the US and a giant hit in every other country of the world. Just like all the PSB albums of the past decade or so.

I hope I'm wrong and it blows up here, too. It's a GREAT album, right on the edge of the Now, and deserves attention.
posted by hippybear at 7:45 PM on July 15, 2013


I could barely hear the vocals, but other than that I didn't hate it. For a dance/pop Springsteen cover, that's the highest compliment I can give.

What's with the interprative dancing and, um, Homestuck trolls behind them?
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 8:44 PM on July 15, 2013


Thanks for this post! I am a huge fan of PSB's old album Very, in part because "Go West" was one of my favorite songs on Dance Dance Revolution back in the day, and somewhere along the way their song "Love Inc" became one of my favorite driving songs, but I didn't realize how prolific or interesting they've continued to be.

My favorite song off of the new album, from what I've heard (only half the songs, granted), is Love is a Bourgeoise Concept—strikes me as Stephin Merrittesque lyrically, or more properly it's probably the sort of witty that Merritt derived some of his style from. And the production is glorious, with some very silly-happy MIDI overtones. (Reminds me a bit of Daft Punk's "Superheroes".)

Also, I am not a fan of Bruce, in part because he's a pop musician that people take way too seriously, and in part because his delivery is melodramatic to the point of sickeningness, but he writes a heck of a song, and PSB's cover removes all of the things in Bruce I dislike. Neat!
posted by Rory Marinich at 8:50 PM on July 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


What's with the interprative dancing and, um, Homestuck trolls behind them?

PSB shows have a lot going on, including interpretive dance. Here's Jealousy from their last tour.

The "trolls" seem to have first appeared in the video for the first single from Electric, "Axis".
posted by hippybear at 8:53 PM on July 15, 2013 [2 favorites]



Also, I am not a fan of Bruce, in part because he's a pop musician that people take way too seriously, and in part because his delivery is melodramatic to the point of sickeningness


It's only 'melodramatic' if the delivery is not up to the subject matter. He sings about life and death and redemption, immigration and crime, the sweet of the American dream and the small tragedy of destroyed lives. And he uses his voice and his talent to transform all those things into universals, and channel that pain and that longing and that hope into music that connects to millions of people. I'm sorry if that's not cool enough.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 8:53 PM on July 15, 2013 [9 favorites]


Dan Brown writes about "universal themes" in ways that sell millions of books. Bruce Springsteen is vastly more talented than Dan Brown, but that doesn't make him perfect, and his flaws line up precisely with things I dislike about songwriters.
posted by Rory Marinich at 9:12 PM on July 15, 2013


Well, I think it's more that his flaws line up precise with things you dislike about song performers. You seem to quite like the PSB cover of the song he wrote.
posted by hippybear at 9:14 PM on July 15, 2013



Dan Brown writes about "universal themes" in ways that sell millions of books. Bruce Springsteen is vastly more talented than Dan Brown, but that doesn't make him perfect, and his flaws line up precisely with things I dislike about songwriters.


I just don't understand that, and I don't understand this trend of whispery/indie covers of Springsteen... saw some local band do the same thing with "I'm On Fire" once, and here's Casiotone for the Painfully Alone doing Streets of Philadelphia
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 9:14 PM on July 15, 2013


Robin Williams performs I'm On Fire as Elmer Fudd. (From a VERY long time ago)
posted by hippybear at 9:22 PM on July 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


It doesn't seem that absurd to me if you look beyond "Go West," which actually fits in well with Tennant and Lowe's generally skeptical presentation of sexual and emotional frustration as a result of different kinds of social conformity. "Go West" was originally a charity cover, but can also be viewed as the utopian answer to "Can You Forgive Her?" The video of the song is a load of digital WTFery and emus, but the song isn't bad.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 9:39 PM on July 15, 2013


Yeah, this is a really good album. I mean, Elysium is good, too, but quite low-key and this scratches an itch that the other album never got to. I got a link to a live stream in my email over the weekend (though I don't write about music for a living I get these occasionally, so yay!) but Amazon just unlocked the MP3s for my pre-ordered copy so I'm digging in for the rest of the evening. Anyone else remember the dancier second CD that came with deluxe purchases of Very? That's what this new record reminds me of.

I didn't get tickets to see them this time around and I already regret it. We saw them at Hammerstein Ballroom quite a few years ago, and I remember mainly that Elton John and Co. were up in one of the boxes having a grand time, and Neil and Chris were obviously delighted, and the good-natured atmosphere that developed was remarkable. One of my very favorite bands.
posted by Mothlight at 9:50 PM on July 15, 2013


I didn't get tickets to see them this time around and I already regret it.

wallabear and I got tix to see their last tour over craigslist. Kind of a lark, ended up being AMAZING. The first thing we each said after the show was over was, "We HAVE to see them on their next tour."

We'll be seeing them in Portland. :)

Moral of the story: check CL.
posted by hippybear at 10:33 PM on July 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


No, that was the second thing. The first thing was OH MY FUCKING GOD
posted by wallabear at 10:48 PM on July 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


Also, in terms of the Bruce doing an acoustic "West End Girls", it's not WEG, but a lot of times on live DVDs, Neil does an acoustic version of "Rent" with just him and guitar, and it's pretty damned amazing. "Rent" has always been one of my favorite PSB songs, but that one really solidified that feeling. Goddamn.
posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me at 11:00 PM on July 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Liza Minnelli did an amazing cover of Rent on the album which PSB produced for her.
posted by hippybear at 11:09 PM on July 15, 2013 [1 favorite]




Don't forget that Frankie Goes To Hollywood covered "Born To Run" in the 1980s.
posted by chavenet at 12:09 AM on July 16, 2013 [3 favorites]





Don't forget that Frankie Goes To Hollywood covered "Born To Run" in the 1980s.


Awesome, except when they replace the 1! 2! 3! 4! countdown with moans.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 12:32 AM on July 16, 2013


and note: that original PSB video for Go West is really something, if you like kitschy neo-Constructivism.
posted by ovvl at 4:13 AM on July 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


As a just-come-out, still-an-International-Relations-major freshman in college when the PSB "Go West" video video came out, I had never felt more catered too and probably never will.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 9:50 AM on July 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


I feel like I say this in every PSB thread, but: they've done some cracking (and subversive) covers in their time and a very big part of me wishes that they'd slot a covers album into their schedule.

(Also, "Cover" would be a great PSB album title.)
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 10:56 AM on July 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


Pet Shop Boys - Electric EPK [23m25s] Interviews with Neil and Chris and Stuart about the making of the album.
posted by hippybear at 6:07 PM on July 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


I expect this album to be widely ignored in the US and a giant hit in every other country of the world. Just like all the PSB albums of the past decade or so.

As someone who used to like the PSB, I think the rest of the world has been ignoring them since "Hello Spaceboy", mostly. I was just wondering what they were up to these days, and there's this.

Yay, this!
posted by Mezentian at 11:45 AM on July 19, 2013


A lengthy interview with Neil Tennant

Here are five reasons why Pet Shop Boys’ ‘Electric’ is their best album since ‘Very’


I've been listening to Electric on Spotify, and am cautiously in favour. It feels a bit hollow at times, like an ersatz victory lap through the pop landscape they helped create, but I can't help but love how seriously they take the business of making ephemeral songs about love and dancing.

Half tempted to make my next holiday some gay friendly city in South America or Eastern Europe to watch them live.
posted by rollick at 1:03 PM on July 20, 2013




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