ZANG TUMMM TUMB ARTICLES “the first draft of history”


Ah, the Pet Shop Boys — they are such an unfathomable duo, are they not? They pride themselves on naming their LPs such acutely “normal” things as “Please” and “Disco” and now theyve gone and made a new one — made up of six tunes — and called it (ahooorgh) “Introspective”!!! Its a rum “do” is it not and thats why theyre offering Bitz an “exclusive” “explanation” of this remarkable “waxing”.

Neil: “Well, its called ‘Introspective, because all the songs, although its a dance album, are introspective!”

Chris: “Lyrically!”

Neil: “Lyrically, they are, yes. ‘Left To My Own Devices (the very first tune on side one, a blustering “affair” produced by top blustering tune “wizard” Trevor Horn) is even partly autobiographical. Its absolutely true. Its about sort of when youre left alone to get on with doing something, you might do it.(?) Its an exaggerated autobiography, really. For instance the first line is ‘I get out of bed at half past ten — well, I dont actually, I get out of bed at half past nine!”

Chris: “Oh, everybody knows that! I get out of bed at half past two hahahah! In the afternoon! ‘And go back to bed at half past three! After Ive had breakfast and a cup of tea! Dyou know, I dont know why I dont write the lyrics!”

Neil: “Uuuuuuuuugh! ‘Get phoned up and have a moan! Oh, why dont they leave me alone!! Uuuugh. Yes, anyway, ‘Left To My Own Devices — the third verse is actually referring back to my childhood. And I remembered when I was writing the song that my mother used to worry about me because I always used to sit in a corner at the back of the garden and play with my soldiers and she was worried that I would never have any friends. Then she started worrying when I did get friends! Uuuuuuugh! Yes, its also quite funny in places, too. But it is introspective, of course! Mnmn. We did have lots of other titles for the album — of course, we did have ‘F.” (??)

Chris: “And thats because, you know in musical terms it means ‘loud, yknow ‘forte… And also because its the car registration of the moment, so itd be like ‘The Car.”(?)

Neil: “Dogmatic! That was another one — its a good title, ‘Dogmatic.

And of course, ‘Bounce, which, readers, you will already have read about in Smash Hits (when Chris claimed the new LP would be called “Bounce” because everyone was bouncing instead of dancing in clubs nowadays). Then there was ‘Hello but that wasnt really a serious title.”

Chris: “It was a working title.”

Neil: “Yes, that was for our contract — ‘The “Hello” Album, it said. Everyone thought we were going to call it ‘Thank You, of course. But instead we settled for ‘Introspective.”

Chris: “And its not a joke!”

Neil: “Yes, you see, we were getting a bit fed up of all these sort of jokes. I mean, we are jokesters to a certain extent, but its just a bit predictable, isnt it? And being predictable is always boring — and also all the songs, well, we just sat down and thought ‘well, what are all the songs about? and Chris said…

Chris: “Dont put the blame on me!!”

Neil: “He said, ‘well, theyre all introspective! He came up with it!”

Chris: “Well, I knew that when you wrote that word down it would look like some sort of jazz album, something with substance, something that could be an exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. ‘Introspective… the new exhibition by the Pet Shop Boys! Nick Rhodes (ivory-tinkler with Duran Duran and a bit of an exhibition-“type”) will be so envious!”

Neil: “I dont suppose he will, actually…”