Pet Shop Boys

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Pet Shop Boys Biography

Pet Shop Boys (formed 1981)

Pet Shop Boys is the name of an English electronic pop duo who rose to fame in the 1980s and whose career has spanned three decades. The personnel of the band is: Chris Lowe: keyboards and occasional backing vocals and Neil Tennant, vocals and keyboards.

Pet Shop Boys: Formation

Neil Tennant met Chris Lowe in 1981, in a shop on Kings Road, London. They shared a mutual love of electronic dance music and starting working on their own material together. Initially, they worked from Tennant's Chelsea flat and eventually moved into a small studio in Camden Town. It was around this time that some of their early hits were written, including 'It's A Sin', 'Jealousy' and 'West End Girls'.

In 1983, Neil Tennant was commissioned to interview Sting's old band, The Police, for Smash Hits magazine, in New York. He used his time in the US city to have a meeting with Bobby O, the New York record producer. Bobby Orlando (as he was also known) liked the demo tape that Neil had taken with him and agreed to produce 'West End Girls'. The track became a hit in Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Pet Shop Boys: Music Career

Pet Shop Boys cut their ties with Bobby O in 1985, though Bobby O departed with and agreement allowing him significant royalties from Pet Shop Boys' future sales. They went on to hire Tom Watkins as their manager and soon signed a record deal with Parlophone Records. Following the signing, Pet Shop Boys released 'Opportunities (Let's Make Lots of Money)'. The B-side to the track, 'In the Night' was later famously used as the soundtrack to the popular TV series, The Clothes Show. Releasing a new version of 'West End Girls' turned out to be a good move for the band, as it slowly climbed to number one on the UK chart.

The debut album from Pet Shop Boys was entitled Please and was released in 1986. Later that year, they released a remix version of their tracks, named Disco. Their second number one single came in 1987 with the release of 'It's A Sin'. The single caused a great deal of drama in the lives of Tennant and Howe, when the DJ Jonathan King accused them of plagiarizing Cat Stevens' 'Wild World'. King was ordered to pay damages when Pet Shop Boys decided to sue him and donated their winnings to charity.

Pet Shop Boys' next single featured Dusty Springfield on vocals. 'What Have I Done to Deserve This?' went to number two and was included on the band's second album, Actually. Pet Shop boys were included in a TV programme commemorating the death of Elvis Presley, performing 'Always on my Mind' and 'Baby Let's Play House'.

In 1988, Pet Shop Boys released Introspective, their next studio album. That same year, the band released a video, directed by Jack Bond and starring Barbara Windsor, Joss Ackland and Gareth Hunt, entitled It Couldn't Happen Here. The film received a mixed response but Pet Shop Boys used clips from the film in the video for 'Always on My Mind', which famously kept The Pogues' 'Fairytale of New York from the Christmas Number One spot. The video for 'Hurt', also directed by Jack Bond, starred Ian McKellen as a vampire. The Introspective era also saw them working with record producer Trevor Horn and film director Derek Jarman.

The fourth studio album from Pet Shop Boys was Behaviour and included such tracks as 'Being Boring' and 'So Hard'. In 1991, Pet Shop Boys released a cover of U2's 'Where the Streets Have No Name', as a medley with 'Can't Take My Eyes off You', originally performed by Frankie Valli / The Four Seasons.

During a brief break from recording, Pet Shop Boys worked on a soundtrack for the film Scandal, starring John Hurt and Bridget Fonda. They also worked with Liza Minnelli and Electronic (Bernard Sumner and Johnny Marr's band).

In 1991, Pet Shop Boys set up their Spaghetti Records label, on which they released the soundtrack to The Crying Game, starring Stephen Rea, Miranda Richardson and Tony Slattery.

Pet Shop Boys then changed their image, employed the use of computer imagery and released a cover of Village People's 'Go West', which many consider to be their signature tune. Their fifth album, Very, was partly produced by Stephen Hague, renowned for his work with OMD, Erasure and New Order.

In 1994, Pet Shop Boys remixed Blur's single 'Girls & Boys' and the track became a hit around Europe. They also released a Comic Relief single, sampling Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley in Absolutely Fabulous.

At David Bowie's request, Pet Shop Boys remixed a version of 'Hallo Spaceboy', which they performed with the Thin White Duke on Top of the Pops. In 1996, the released their sixth studio album, Bilingual. Two years later, they teamed up with the likes of Elton John, Divine Comedy, Suede, Robbie Williams and Marianne Faithfull to create a charity album of Noel Coward covers.

The seventh album from Pet Shop Boys was 1999's Nightlife. The album included a duet with Kylie Minogue, entitled 'In Denial'. The follow-up was 2002's Release, with its more stripped down acoustic sound. Launching two new record labels in 003, Pet Shop Boys released albums by Rammstein, Yoko Ono and Pete Burns.

The next album from Pet Shop Boys was Fundamental, featuring Elton John and Richard X.

2009 saw the release of Yes, produced by Xenomania.

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Pet Shop Boys Picture Gallery

fireworks display and performances at the edinburgh 311213
fireworks display and performances at the edinburgh 311213
fireworks display and performances at the edinburgh 311213
fireworks display and performances at the edinburgh 311213
fireworks display and performances at the edinburgh 311213

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The Latest Pet Shop Boys News

Pet Shop Boys Produce Track Based On Gay Rights Speech

10th March 2014

British pop act Pet Shop Boys have released a new track based on a gay rights speech by an Irish...

Pet Shop Boys' Neil Tennant Victim Of Hospital Hoax

7th February 2014

A representative for the Pet Shop Boys has shot down online reports suggesting singer Neil Tennant has been hospitalised.The West...

Outkast, Muse And Arcade Fire To Headline Coachella 2014

9th January 2014

Coachella 2014 will be returning to Indio, California, this spring for a two-weekend spectacular that will see some of the...

Pet Shop Boys Star Leads Charge To Save Fabled London Venue

29th November 2013

Pet Shop Boys star Neil Tennant and fashion mogul Ozwald Boateng have joined forces in a bid to halt the...

Pet Shop Boys Announce Big New Year's Eve Show In Scotland

28th August 2013

The Pet Shop Boys will play their only U.K. show of the year on the last night of 2013 when...

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Pet Shop Boys Reviews

Pet Shop Boys - Ultimate Pet Shop Boys Album Review

8th November 2010

The quality of The Pet Shop Boys' best moments in unquestionable. Having cottoned on to...

Pet Shop Boys - Fundamental Album Review

30th May 2006

Pet Shop BoysFundamentalParlophoneThe ninth studio album from the iconic synth pop stars follows 2002's 'Release'...

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Pet Shop Boys Festivals


23rd April 2014

Bingley Music Live

29th August 2014

Berlin Festival

5th September 2014

The Eden Sessions

21st June 2014


7th July 2011

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The Latest Pet Shop Boys Press Releases

Pet Shop Boys Release A Special Limited-edition Single For Record Store Day On April 19 2014

27th March 2014

Pet Shop Boys will release a limited-edition, 12-inch vinyl single of "...

Pet Shop Boys Will Release Their Brand New Studio Album 'Electric' On July 15 2013

30th April 2013

On July 15th, Pet Shop Boys return in triumphant form with their new studio...

Pet Shop Boys Announce The First 'Electric' 2013 UK Tour Dates

6th December 2012

Wednesday 5th December - Pet Shop Boys have announced the first two UK tour...

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Pet Shop Boys Related Artists



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Pet Shop Man's picture

Pet Shop Man

There hasn't been a band like this before and there won't be one like this in future. They are simply superb. A totally new genre of music!!

7 years 9 months ago
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