Homoerotic Thursday (why wait for Friday?)
February 26, 2015 3:56 PM   Subscribe

 


This song was in one of the Dance Dance Revolution games and was one of my absolute favorites. The music video was a big part of that. What a perfect combination of bombastic, goofy, and genuinely lush.

Rediscovering the video as a college student, I was further delighted by the cut-from-DDR delivery of the lines "(I love you!) / I know you love me / (I want you!) / How could I disagree", which ranks among my favorite lyric deliveries of all time. It's such a goddamn excellent song, and the rest of the album is pretty goddamn excellent as well.

(The music video to I Wouldn't Normally Do This Kind Of Thing is pretty high up there as well.)
posted by rorgy at 4:01 PM on February 26, 2015 [4 favorites]


Not sure what's homoerotic about early 90's video toaster effects.
posted by GuyZero at 4:04 PM on February 26, 2015 [4 favorites]




Good heavens, could the visuals be any more DEVO?
posted by kinnakeet at 4:10 PM on February 26, 2015 [3 favorites]


from this very-old-school site PSB At Dead Of Night, the story of the cover:
Neil: "Derek Jarman was having an exhibition for local Aids charities in Manchester and asked us to do a concert for him at the Ha├žienda. We were rehearsing in Nomis and we wanted to do a cover version. We were going to do 'The Fool On The Hill' by The Beatles, and then Chris came in the next morning and said, 'I've looked through my records and decided we'll do this song called "Go West".'"

Chris: "Which Neil didn't know."

Neil: "He played it to me and I said, 'This is ghastly.' I thought it was ghastly beyond belief. Awful. Anyway, Chris just carried on regardless."
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 4:12 PM on February 26, 2015 [6 favorites]


You can't talk about Gay UK 80s VIDEOS without talking about Relax by Frankie Gies To Hollywood

The video for it was edited and changed so many times to avoid uh....the content of the song

"The first official video for "Relax", directed by Bernard Rose and set in a S&M themed gay nightclub, featuring the bandmembers accosted by buff leathermen, a glamorous drag queen, and an obese admirer dressed up as a Roman emperor, was allegedly banned by MTV and the BBC, prompting the recording of a second video, directed by Godley and Creme[13] in early 1984, featuring the group performing with the help of laser beams. However, after the second video was made the song was banned completely by the BBC, meaning that neither video was ever broadcast on any BBC music programmes.

In addition, a version including footage from the Brian De Palma film Body Double as well as a live version, directed by David Mallet, also made the rounds at MTV."
posted by The Whelk at 4:19 PM on February 26, 2015 [6 favorites]


I haven't seen this video in twenty years. I remember thinking at the time that the computer graphics were amazing...

Too young, I guess.
posted by Thing at 4:19 PM on February 26, 2015 [2 favorites]




What I've always loved about the Pet Shop Boys version of this song is that it starts as a sort of elegy and ends with a sense of determination and maybe even hope. There's a real emotional journey happening in their version. Plus, you can dance to it.
posted by Joey Michaels at 4:25 PM on February 26, 2015 [4 favorites]


Also from Very: the CG and pointy hats of Can You Forgive Her (1993). Self-parodied (with help from David Walliams and Matt Lucas) in I'm With Stupid (2006).
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 4:26 PM on February 26, 2015 [3 favorites]


"What a perfect combination of bombastic, goofy, and genuinely lush."

Yes - I really dig PSB's sense of humor, too. They don't always employ it in their music videos (I think they're big hit, "West End Girls" has zero poking fun at themselves) but when they do, it is magic. Didn't Neil Tennant ride around in a chariot at the British Olympics wearing a gigantic "dunce" type hat? Just that kind of stuff endears them to me.

Also, see "I'm With Stupid" (Wiki), where they asked Matt Lucas and David Walliams (one of my favorite PSB songs).
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 4:30 PM on February 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


(oh. yes, whad,k)
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 4:31 PM on February 26, 2015


The paradox of Blue Monday: nothing specifically gay about it, yet supremely gay.
posted by gingerest at 4:40 PM on February 26, 2015 [4 favorites]


Yeah, beat you to it. It always felt to me like their performances and videos blossomed over time from very static and stoic synthesizer-poking into huge joyous campy zero-fucks-given productions.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 4:41 PM on February 26, 2015 [3 favorites]


The paradox of Blue Monday : nothing specifically gay about it, yet supremely gay.

See also: True Faith.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 4:44 PM on February 26, 2015


See also anything by New Order.
posted by blucevalo at 4:46 PM on February 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


Also, let's enjoy The Village People original.
posted by Joey Michaels at 4:46 PM on February 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


Is it just that late-80s electronic dance music by groups from Northern England with high-voiced male lead singers was sort of central to gay culture, or is it something else (maybe that such groups kept turning into other groups like that - Joy Divison/New Order, Fine Young Cannibals/English Beat/The Beat/General Public - giving the illusion of a larger, more homogeneous scene than existed)?
posted by gingerest at 4:52 PM on February 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


This (along with Last of the International Playboys by Morrissey) is a song that could always get me on the dance floor.

I'm noticing for the first time that every element of the video seems to have been designed around how uncomfortable it would make someone like say, Rush Limbaugh: A sexy Marxist army of gay men welcomed into the west by a black Statue of Liberty.
posted by justkevin at 4:55 PM on February 26, 2015 [5 favorites]


(Also, I was such a sheltered child that I didn't know why they wanted to censor Relax. I mean, they were just staying home instead of putting in an appearance! I mean, even if it did mean "relax so you don't have an orgasm", and why would you think that, gosh, that seems a stretch, why wouldn't you want to have an orgasm? I have no idea how I managed to maintain such ignorance despite a steady diet of Judy Blume and Paul Zindel.)
posted by gingerest at 4:57 PM on February 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


I've always dug the Pet Shop Boys, but I was so straight and square when I was in high school that I didn't realize or find out they were gay until...well, it was sometime after the video for "Where The Streets Have No Name (I Can't Take My Eyes Off You)" came out*. Which...c'mon, man.

* no pun intended
posted by The Card Cheat at 5:19 PM on February 26, 2015 [3 favorites]


MetaFilter: A sexy Marxist army of gay men welcomed into the west by a black Statue of Liberty.
posted by Celsius1414 at 5:19 PM on February 26, 2015 [3 favorites]


80s British pop just was quite gay, I think: both overtly gay, and quietly coded. (Girls on Film and Rio, yes, but Duran Duran videos spent quite a lot of time on lingering shots of Simon Le Bon's torso...)

I'm still holding out for the Pet Shop Boys eventually getting around to doing a whole covers album.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 5:25 PM on February 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


I know everybody else also gets the same Related Posts but I still want to point out hippybear's amazing Pet Shop Boys B-sides post from a few years back.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 5:28 PM on February 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


(Girls on Film and Rio, yes, but Duran Duran videos spent quite a lot of time on lingering shots of Simon Le Bon's torso...)

That was for the ladies? It was just regular-erotic?
posted by GuyZero at 5:31 PM on February 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


*cough* Wild Boys SHIRTLESS DUDE EXPLOSION
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 5:37 PM on February 26, 2015


Didn't Neil Tennant ride around in a chariot at the British Olympics wearing a gigantic "dunce" type hat?

Pet Shop Boys - Closing Ceremony London 2012
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 5:55 PM on February 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


(The MeFi inline player won't play these: maybe it doesn't like "start at time:" YouTube links?)
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 5:57 PM on February 26, 2015


The Pet Shop Boys drop lots of Russian references in their music, and that intro sounds a lot like the USSR's post-Internationale anthem. (I see the Wikipedia page mentions this.)
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles at 6:03 PM on February 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


So many awkward moments in this video, not least of which is the weird late-90s screensaver at 2:43.

Also, this video always makes me think of this and this.
posted by duffell at 6:19 PM on February 26, 2015


*can you feel it*can you feel it*can you feel it*can you feel it*...
posted by wallabear at 7:21 PM on February 26, 2015


Liza Minelli singing with the Pet Shop Shop boys a dance version of a Sondhiem song.

And the answer is none. None more gay.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 7:22 PM on February 26, 2015 [4 favorites]


That Minelli/Pet Shop Boys cover is perfect.
posted by Joey Michaels at 8:24 PM on February 26, 2015


And through the night, behind the wheel, the mileage clicking west
I think upon Mackenzie, David Thompson and the rest
Who cracked the mountain ramparts and did show a path for me
To race the roaring Fraser to the sea.
posted by ethnomethodologist at 8:25 PM on February 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


I thought Go West was a Village People song?
posted by Confess, Fletch at 8:48 PM on February 26, 2015


um... yes - have you been reading the thread? :D
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 8:53 PM on February 26, 2015


I thought Go West vimeo was a Village People song?

I suspect Bill Drummond passed the Pet Shop Boys a pre-publication copy of The Manual.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 9:36 PM on February 26, 2015 [3 favorites]


The Pet Shop Boys drop lots of Russian references in their music...
...They put together a score for Battleship Potemkin.
posted by combinatorial explosion at 10:06 PM on February 26, 2015


The Potemkin score, of course, being listed in your link, npb. It's late, dammit, and I've been 'forced' to watch loads of PSB videos.
posted by combinatorial explosion at 10:24 PM on February 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


One of my favorite Pet Shop Boys songs was "Absolutely Fabulous," featuring clips of Patsy and Edina.

"Hit the bloody techno, darling!"
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 11:39 PM on February 26, 2015 [3 favorites]


CHANEL DIOR GIVENCHY darling, names, names, names!
posted by The Whelk at 11:49 PM on February 26, 2015 [2 favorites]




Also, for UK 80s I'm pretty sure Adam Ant's Prince Charming made me gay
posted by The Whelk at 12:00 AM on February 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


Although, that's a kind of a lie, cause we can all pretend we were hip and with it and into new wave queer Fantasia but really when it came to watching reruns of VH1 as a preteen with your best friend Alan, you mostly got a feeling watching Oliva Newton John's Physical
posted by The Whelk at 12:08 AM on February 27, 2015 [3 favorites]


I somehow managed to come out in the late 70s/early 80s with a taste for punk instead of disco. CBGBs not Paradise Garage. BUT...

One year (1990?), The Village People were the headline entertainment for International Mr. Leather. I was working backstage as part of the costume emergency repair squad, in the days before the bootblack contest was formalized. I'm sure some of my co-volunteers were fluffers, but I was using tools in a different way! I was called for when the LEATHERMAN needed some help. It turns out that year's interation of his "studded" leather get-up was enhanced in thousands of rhinestones, not little bits of metal. Talk about a leather queen!
posted by Dreidl at 12:11 AM on February 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


I've done my share of PSB posts here on the blue... it's nice to see someone else taking the baton and running with it. :)

Anyone who STILL has not heard PSB's 2013 album Electric, you should listen to it like right now. It's a stunner, one of their best. Easily up there with Yes and Very. Not quite the literary moody artistic statement that was Behaviour, but that kind of thing only comes along once in a lifetime, I think.

Actually you should BUY a copy because PSB are no longer on a record label. They have joined the ranks of the truly independent artists, and should be supported by dollars from appreciative fans.

They toured that album for, what? two years? It is PSB all full of dance fun and SO MANY FUCKING LASERS OMG! (To be completely honest, it wasn't nearly as good an artistic statement for a tour as the Pandemonium tour, which was jaw-droppingly amazing. But it was way better of a tour than I was expecting after Elysium was released.

They're apparently working on a new album, so I have my fingers crossed for a 2015 album release and a 2016 tour. Because that would be AWESOME!
posted by hippybear at 12:29 AM on February 27, 2015 [7 favorites]


I always thought the last 30 seconds of Go West was the best bit.
posted by memebake at 2:15 AM on February 27, 2015


Sorry, but this will always be the definitive Pet Shop Boys "Go West" performance to me.

It's their performance at the 94 Brit Awards accompanied by a full colliery male voice choir.

For years this was only on YouTube as a bootleg, but it looks like the Brits have now put an official version up. That's great, but annoyingly it means the bootleg and its comments no longer seem to be there. That's a shame because one of the commenters busted a bunch of myths about the performance because his Grandad had been one of the miners.

From memory:

1) They were indeed genuine colliery male voice choirs (two in fact).
2) The idea that they didn't know this was a gay anthem was a myth - they knew it and, almost to a man, were both keen and proud to perform as a result.
posted by garius at 2:41 AM on February 27, 2015 [3 favorites]


"The first official video for "Relax", directed by Bernard Rose and set in a S&M themed gay nightclub, featuring the bandmembers accosted by buff leathermen, a glamorous drag queen, and an obese admirer dressed up as a Roman emperor

Years later I began to wonder if that scene wasn't inspired by/harkening to the opening scene of Jarman's Sebastiane. I've never read anything that suggests it was or wasn't either way, but I'm still curious.

Two of my favorite PSB videos are "What Have I Done To Deserve This" (with the marvelous Dusty Springfield) and "Domino Dancing" (with marvelous guys wrestling on the beach). I find both amazing not just for how skillfully they suggest a story, but also for the degree of homoeroticism they telegraph so openly but more or less deniably. "Domino Dancing" in particular fascinates me because it reads so clearly as a man leaving a woman for another man. It's practically Brokeback Mountain avant la lettre in under 5 minutes. Little symphonies, indeed.

Eric Watson, who died in '12, directed both of those videos (as well as "West End Girls" and some others) and his Guardian obit notes how responsible he was for much of the PSB "look." I read his remark, "Most of my work with PSBs was about the juxtaposition of shiny pop things and decay ... the implied entropy," and I'm struck by just how much that idea has always informed my own aesthetic preferences.

Is it just that late-80s electronic dance music by groups from Northern England with high-voiced male lead singers was sort of central to gay culture

By the by, anyone interested in the gay English pop-musical culture of the '80s should find a copy of Kris Kirk's A Boy Called Mary. There's even a couple of pieces on the PSBs in it.
posted by octobersurprise at 8:17 AM on February 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


Homoerotic song rec: David by The Radio Dept. its really good I love it and you will too
posted by Quilford at 8:29 AM on February 27, 2015


It's funny what resonances the melody of "Go West" has for people who grew up evangelical.

It is worth noting the awful abomination that is "Give Thanks," a terribly sappy "contemporary praise" song which was first recorded by Don Moen in 1986 and then (miraculously!) turned out to have been secretly written, though not published, in 1978, which just happens to be a year before the Village People released "Go West."

So we can theorize: at some point one Henry Smith of Williamsburg, Virgina, the retroactively-honored "author" of "Give Thanks," flipped on his television late at night and watched, enraptured, as the Village People performed "Go West." He realized that, because of the cultural divide between Evangelicals and the rest of the world, he could pass this marvelous melody off as his own and no one would know the difference. So he introduced it to his church, and the rest is history.

In a just world, every time anybody licensed "Give Thanks," the Village People would get some money.
posted by koeselitz at 8:31 AM on February 27, 2015


Bob Stanley mentioned in his book 'Yeah Yeah Yeah' that the Pet Shop Boys seemed like the only pop act at that time with any sense of humour.

from this very-old-school site PSB At Dead Of Night, the story of the cover:

Fascinating. From the interview:

Chris: "When the Village People sung about a gay utopia it seemed for real, but looking back in hindsight it wasn't the utopia they all thought it would be."
posted by ovvl at 8:42 AM on February 27, 2015


(The MeFi inline player won't play these: maybe it doesn't like "start at time:" YouTube links?)

(And now it does and it will; thanks pb!)
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 8:47 AM on February 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


I've been thinking about doing an FPP about this for a while, but I might as well drop this here.

Pet Shop Boys - It Couldn't Happen Here

(only released on VHS, unavailable for decades)
posted by hippybear at 8:47 AM on February 27, 2015 [5 favorites]


AAHHHHHHH - I wanted to see It Couldn't Happen Here SO BADLY c. 1991 and never saw more than clips that someone had copied onto a pirated tape. I cannot wait to watch this.

hippybear, I suppose probably shouldn't flood the front page with Pet Shop Boys posts, but if you ever want to flesh this out into a FPP based on your knowledge, I would (obviously) be SUPER ON BOARD with that.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:14 AM on February 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'll wait a bit and do a post about it. It's definitely FPP worthy.
posted by hippybear at 10:15 AM on February 27, 2015 [4 favorites]


Called it.
posted by kirkaracha at 11:26 AM on February 27, 2015 [3 favorites]


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