The last few months have been a true bonanza for the hardcore fanboys, as the Pet Shop Boys have delivered four full CDs and a handful of b-side chocked singles. First, in June they dropped the Fundamental double-set, which returned the Boys to standard glorious form, after 2003’s interesting, but ultimately unsatisfying experiment, Release. And yesterday I got my grubby little mitts on an advance copy of Concrete, a live double-CD recorded with the full BBC Concert Orchestra, which I blogged about back in June when the concert was streaming live online. And wow oh wow, this thing is fantastic! With guest vocalists Rufus Wainwright (Casanova In Hell) and Robbie Williams (Jealousy), and with Trevor Horn at the helm, Concrete is an absolute must-have for dedicated fans.
And in heavy rotation on my iPod all weekend was the second of two import CD-singles for Numb, which in addition to the video for Numb, debuts b-side Bright Young Things, originally recorded in 2003 for the movie of the same name, but never used on the soundtrack. In a matter of 48 hours, Bright Young Things has vaulted to very near the top of my all-time favorite PSB tracks, no mean feat. Bright Young Things is classic Tennant songwriting, layers upon layers of meaning. Gorgeous. Tragic. Tear-jerking. A stone PSB classic.
Pose for Steven’s camera
Then dance with me
Forget what the future brings
Surrounded by bright young things
Sometimes the party’s a port in a storm
No one is weary or lost and forlorn
The nightingale sings
In Berkeley Square
The bright young things
Are flying on chemical wings
Intent on their one last fling
UPDATE: I neglected to mention my one continuous beef with the PSB. For Concrete, as with most of their releases, the type on the booklet is minuscule, virtually unreadable. And as is their very relentless custom, it’s dark text on dark paper. ARRGH! So maddening. Dear PSB: Yes, we all love the gorgeously simple art of Mark Farrow, and have for decades. But please, some of us would actually like to read the essential information on your introspective liner notes. This is very bad behaviour. Whew, I needed that release.