What makes a band or artist Godlike? Their musical output is a big part of it, as well as attitude, personality, live shows and innovative spirit (and so much more) of course. Pet Shop Boys have no worries on that front – their back catalogue is heaving with incredible songs. It’s hard to narrow them down to just a handful, but we’ve gone ahead and tried. Here’s 10 of the band’s most Godlike tunes. Disagree? Tell us what would make your list in the comments.
‘West End Girls’
Best lyric: “You’ve got a heart of glass or a heart of stone/Just you wait til I get you home”
Fact: It was partially inspired by T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land.
‘It’s A Sin’
Best lyric: “At school they taught me how to be/So pure of thought and word and deed/They didn’t quite succeed”
Fact: Neil Tennant recites the Confiteor, a prayer said at the start of Mass, during the song.
‘Opportunities (Let’s Make Lots Of Money)’
Best lyric: “You can tell I’m educated/I studied at the Sorbonne/Doctored in mathematics/I could have been a don”
Fact: The duo have said the cyncial air of the song was inspired by the attitude of the punk scene.
Best lyric: “I’m a slave to glamour/Applause and clamour/My make up, my wardrobe, my wigs”
Fact: The track was originally released as the b-side to ‘Go West’, appearing later on compilation album ‘Alternative’.
‘What Have I Done To Deserve This?’
Best lyric: “You always wanted a lover/I only wanted a job”
Fact: Dusty Springfield guested on the track, which revived her career. After, PSB wrote and produced two more songs for the singer.
Best lyric: “We dressed up and fought, then thought ‘make amends/And we were never holding back or worried that time would come to an end”
Fact: The song is about a friend of Tennant’s who died of AIDS and sees the musician reminiscing on their lives together as teenagers.
Best lyric: “I’ve seen you look at strangers too many times/The love you want is of a different kind”
Fact: The pair were disappointed that it only charted at Number 9. “That’s it, it’s all over,” Tennant remembers thinking at the time.
Best lyric: “Stood by the bus stop with a felt pen in this suburban hell/And in the distance a police car to break the suburban spell”
Fact: The track was inspired by the LA suburbs and the Brixton riots of 1981 and 1985.
‘Love Comes Quickly’
Best lyric: “You can fly away to the end of the world/But where does it get you to?”
Fact: The cover of the single featured Chris Lowe in a cap with the word “BOY” on it. Tennant later said he thought that sleeve would be the band’s “coming out moment”.
Best lyric: “You phoned me in the evening on hearsay and bought me caviar/You took me to a restaurant off Broadway to tell me who you are”
Fact: Brandon Flowers performed the song with the band in LA in 2015, while Tennant has also played it with Suede in the past.
You can be in the audience to witness Pet Shop Boys pick up the award and perform a celebratory set. Get your tickets here now.
The VO5 NME Awards take place on February 15 at London’s O2 Academy Brixton. BBC Radio 1 DJ Huw Stephens will host the ceremony.