Tuesday, 30 December 2008

LSS 2 Round-up

And the winner of the 2nd round of LSS is:

It’s a sin

+Everything I’ve ever done, everything I ever do, every place I’ve ever been, everywhere I’m going to: it’s a sin+

I've said earlier that this song is too "grandiose" for me. And that’s coming from someone who once listened to Integral fifty times in a row…I also should add that I haven’t listened to Integral for over a year now…Anyway.

It’s a sin and Go west are the two most played PSB song on Czech radios, I think – and that’s probably why I "love" both songs dearly and became a PSB fan just a few years ago. :o)
But I don’t deny the good quality of It’s a sin, of course not. It is a good song and a great single. And it has some cool lyrics.

Just like Neil I went to a catholic school but something tells me that a catholic school in Czech Republic (the most atheistic country in Europe) at the turn of the 21st century is something different than a boys' catholic school of the 60’s. We didn’t have to pray every morning or anything like that.
But one thing that sort of stuck in my mind from our RE lessons was that thinking about something (e.g. having sex with somene you’re not supposed to have sex with…Neil?) was a sin too. (Neil: "…and having been brought up as a Catholic you thought that everything was a sin. You’re told that thinking about it is as bad as doing it.")
It should be OK if you think about killing someone and you don’t go and do it, right? God knows that you actually have some brain and you use it…well, the church needs people to feel bad because if they don’t, then what’s the point in going to masses and going to confession…
I’m a lucky person. I’ve never been christiened and I don’t feel the need to do so in the future. But I do believe in God, just not in the proper Christian way. :o) Because once you read a bit more about other religions you’ll discover how unoriginal "your" religion is, how patched up it is – which really makes you wonder: why should I believe in this particular system?
On the other hand being not brough up as a Catholic, you don’t have to suffer for anything, doubt anything or feel the need to mock your own beliefs - and you probably won’t ever write something like It’s a sin in your whole life…

What I like about this song is the contrast of the deep lyrics and the camp music that accompanies them. Neil said: "The song was meant to be kind of big and funny and camp … When we recorded it for Actually, we decided to make the whole record gargantuanally Catholic and over-the-top."

Reading the lyrics alone, you’d probably could mistake it for a poem of some tortured post-romantic poet but the music transforms it into a Catholic-mocking piece which in the end is a lot of fun indeed. I always have to think about Neil and Chris writing it and recording it for the first time and dancing around the studio pretending they were nuns… :-D

One last note – as I was reading through the lyrics before writing this I noticed – for the very first time – the "for everything I long to do, no matter … who" part. I had to laugh. Not Noel Coward but Neil Tennant is the English Cole Porter! :-D

LSS 1 Round-up

This is the first LSS Round-up the way I found it in my old comp. I think but I'm not entirely sure that the actual round-up at tennant-lowe.com might have been a bit longer but maybe it wasn't...there's no way of finding out now.

The Winner of the 1st round of LSS is:

Tonight is forever

First fo all, I’m really happy with how the things worked out this round: my favourite song won (by one vote, I have to admit) and I can swear I didn’t pay anyone to vote for it…so it seems that sometimes my tastes meet with the tastes of the majority.

So what is it about this song that makes us like it so much? So much that some of us prefer it to West End girls – the song that sent the Boys to the charts and to our ears at the first place?

The feeling of “here and now“, the love theme, the „let’s give a damn about what will be, take a chance on what is happening to us right now“
Or is it the music that makes the overall sensation of freedom complete?

Thinking about it now it also reminds me of Queer As Folk's Babylon in which the time stops when the whole place moves to the rhythm of the music and everyone dreams about meeting The One.

Last Song Standing Round-up Archive

I have posted a few LSS Round-Ups just the way they have been posted on tennant-lowe.com forum over the last year or so.
Those that are missing are either non-existent (LSS 7 and 9) or have been lost (LSS 1 and 2 were deleted off the forum and unfortunately I haven't found them in my computer either...too bad, they were good if I remember correctly :o) )

EDIT: just as I posted this I found LSS 1 and 2 Round-ups in my comp...under some very strange names. Yeah, in college they've told us the title is important. I guess this is how you distinguish the lazy students from the few dilligent ones.

I may write a few words about the LSS's 7 and 9 winners in the future though...I'll see.



LSS 8 Round-up

It's official - the winner of the 8th round of LSS is

Home and dry

During the course of the game people kept hinting how much the song means to them...well this topic is the place to share your memories - please, feel free to post them here!

My memory: Home and dry vid was the first PSB vid I remember seeing and boy I don't think I'll ever forget what it was like watching it!
My other memory: I kept on hearing this song on radio and in shops (particularly remember hearing it at Tesco's) - as well as I get along later and even though I didn't become a fan back then yet (it was about two or three years later) it totally was Release and particularly its two main singles that were crucial for my buying PopArt later...and the rest, as they say, is history.

Clare: "well, for me the song is special because it reminds me of my long-distance relationship with my boyfriend (now husband). He's American and I can always remember how I felt traveling between the 2 countries either going to visit him or returning to the UK. So when Neil played it acoustically at Hammersmith and was sat right infront of me, it made me tear up, BIG TIME, as I was still in the process of waiting for my visa and was having a tough time of waiting for it."

Thanx, Clare! x

LSS 6 Round-up

And the winner of the sixth round of LSS is:

A red letter day

When the Bilingual round started I had no idea which song would eventually win. Bilingual doesn't have an opus magnum of Being Boring format or a cult song like Can you forgive her and it's not hugely popular even with the fans.
I personally was very surprised in the best possible way that To step aside made it to the finals, didn't think it would win anyway.

I really don't know what to write about A red letter day. It's a nice song, very nice. But I don't really listen to it that often...To step aside, Up against it or Matamorphosis definitely get more "airplay" in my iPod.

Pet thoughts: Chris doesn't like the production. He thinks that "the song's better than the record". Neil likes it and thinks that it has "a funny quality" - particularly the out-of-tune choir. And yeah, btw, the song was nicked from Beethoven's Song of Joy (EU's anthem) in case you haven't noticed... Apparently it's one of Elton John's favourite PSB songs and originally it should have been more about gay rights than it ended up to be eventually.

I'd really like to know what all of you like so much about it, what does it mean to you etc. I'm genuenly curious. And what is a 'red letter' anyway?


"I think that "red letter" makes reference to the way the holidays are written in the Orthodox Church`s calendar: with red letters. I don`t know the rule for the Catholic confession. So, "A red letter day" could mean "a day of celebration"." by corina_m (thanx, Corina!)

LSS 5 Round-up

And the winner of the fifth round of LSS is:

Can You Forgive Her?

I'm personally not a bit surprised that this song won.
But what is it that makes this song a favourite of so many fans?

The unusual tune with a "sneaky quality to it", the lyrics that were "intended to be funny" and seem "to sum up the Pet Shop Boys" or the wonderful video with those famous orange costumes and pointy hats?
Perhaps all of it...some of the fans would identify with the lyrics (about a gay boy who's girlfriend knows he's gay but who at this point really doesn't want to know she knows), the camp ones just love the costumes and don't miss any opportunity to show their home-made versions of pointy hats in public and the geeks would endlessly discuss which version is better: the album one, the swing one (I'm in!) or the Nightlife tour one...

Can You Forgive Her? isn't such an opus magnum of The PSB - as were Left To My Own Devices and Being Boring but it's got this kind of playfulness that makes many fans imitate Neil's video/stage gestures everytime they hear this song...
Though the topic of this song isn't that much hilarious, the song comes across as a lot of fun and therefore represents the whole album called Very very, very well.

LSS 4 Round-up

The winner of the fourth round of LSS is:

Being Boring

This time I won't give you any essay of mine, nope.
I'm just gonna give you a link to an article that most of you already know, I guess, and those who don't should go and read it.
Despite the fact that the duel between This Must Be The Place... and Being Boring was very tight, it's Being Boring and not the other song that has its OWN internet site.
It's a song that means a lot to a lot of different people and I think that in this song anyone can find something that speaks directly to them.
It's simply one of the best songs (and I mean songs, not singles *wink, Neil!*) of the 20th century, one that might quote others but doesn't borrow (or steal) from other songs (like Left To My Own Devices did).

So, enjoy this wonderful site:

and the essay written by Tom Hocknell:

LSS 3 Round-up

The winner of the third round of LSS is:

Left to my own devices

„Woke up, got out of bed, dragged a comb across my head…“ (The Beatles – A Day In The Life)
Is a PSB opus magnum. A perfect big pop song. End of discussion. :-D

It’s a song that can be compared to A Day In The Life by the Beatles or David Bowie’s Life on Mars?
What do these songs have in common? „Big“ producers – Sir George Martin (The Beatles), Ken Scott (Bowie, The Beatles) and of course, everytime I hear these songs I have to think of Phil Spector as well – the term wall of soud and all that…

And this is what Neil said: "I’ve always liked big orchestral pop music. I’ve always liked Phil Spector’s records, and the big Beatles records like A Day In The Life and I Am The Walrus (two of my all-time Beatles favourites – note by FV) and Trevor comes out of that school of production."
Two incredibly talented pop institutions on one record – it was predetermined to be just great, right? :-)

The single version is maybe „just“ a perfect pop song but the studio version is a perfect postmodern work. 8-)
Opera, „British rap“, orchestra, disco, some quite personal lyrics or a dadaistic last verse (my favourite part) – all in one song.

Well, the lyrics... All that Neil had at the beginning was the title. Neil: "… I sat down at my typewriter. I thought: 'I’ve got to write this bloody song.' I didn’t get out of bed at half past ten, I used to get out of bed at half past nine, as I still do, but I just thought it sounded better."
(So much for the personal lyrics. Liar! And I almost envied him…)
Then Neil just wrote what came to his mind. … Most of it was „completely not true.“ So why is it so bloody good? (because reality sucks… sometimes)
Neil: "I liked the idea of writing a really up pop song about being left alone. … In fact I wasn’t remotely lonely."
This is something that Neil likes to do: a happy sounding, euphoric song with sometimes really sad lyrics – e.g. I didn’t get where I am today.

I mentioned two other songs at the beginning, at first I just mentioned them because of how they sounded but thinking about it now…both of them more or less describe a day in a life of a person. See a patern here?
Neil: "The song is a day in a life of someone. … The last section is meant to be a dream."
Again, both A Day In The Life and Life On Mars? have a dream sequence.
I do see a patern here and let’s say: Neil learnt from the best. 8-)