Thursday, November 5, 2009

Christmas cracker

I'm a little late to the party on this one today due to the fact that I was in the process of molding young minds at a university. More on that later.

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, Pet Shop Boys will release a five track, Christmas EP to coincide with their forthcoming UK shows. "Christmas" (Inspired title, no?) will be released on December 14. The tracklisting is as follows:

1. It Often Doesn't Snow At Christmas (New Version)
2. My Girl
3. All Over The World (New Version)
4. Viva La Vida/Domino Dancing
5. My Girl (Our House Mix)

The new version of "All Over The World" has been produced by PSB with Marius de Vries, who has most notably twiddled the knobs for Björk, Annie Lennox and Rufus Wainwright, among others. I first came across Marius in the 80s as the keyboard player for The Blow Monkeys. Since then, he has developed into a magnificent producer of lush proportions.

Also co-produced by Marius is a new version of “It Doesn’t Often Snow At Christmas”, originally an exclusive Christmas single issued to members of the Pet Shop Boys fan club in 1997.

Pet Shop Boys’ arrangement of the Madness classic, “My Girl”, was originally performed with Suggs and Carl of Madness at “Can You Bear It?”, last year’s charity benefit for the family of Chris and Neil’s former assistant and close friend, Dainton Connell, who was tragically killed in a car accident. A remix of "My Girl" will round out the rest of this special package.

The EP also includes a medley of Coldplay’s “Viva La Vida” and Pet Shop Boys' very own “Domino Dancing” which has been a highlight on the current PSB world tour. However, rather than include a live version of it from the tour, they recruited Stuart Price to produce a studio version of the track especially for this release. Stuart famously produced their 2009 Brits Medley and, of course, Madonna's "Confessions On A Dancefloor". Nice work if you can get it!

Many will notice that neither my mixes of "Beautiful People" nor Ralphi Rosario's mixes of "Did You See Me Coming?" have been included. But that doesn't mean they won't be able available. I hate to sound like a broken record. Or would that be a corrupted file these days? Well, they do still press vinyl. Whatever your phrase of choice, just keep watching this space. Seriously. After all, Christmas is nearly upon us.

And why the multi-colored balloons on the sleeve? Have I missed something? What do they have to do with Christmas? Shouldn't they have been ornaments or something similarly festive?

I'm getting a little misty about this EP. Remember when PSB used to pull out a surprise, single out of their back pockets in the middle of an album campaign?

The release of "Christmas" isn't quite the same as when they issued non-album singles, "Always On My Mind" and "Where The Streets Have No Name (I Can't Take My Eyes Off You)", especially since they were in the midst of their imperial phase at the time. But the inclusion of "My Girl" (a cover!) and "Viva La Vida/Domino Dancing" (a mash up of covers!) is certainly in the spirit of those previous, classic singles. I can hear 100,000 PSB fans rejoice!


  1. I'm ridiculously excited about this, partially because it's Christmas related (and I'm all about the festive season), partially because it's pet shop boys and partially because it's Viva La Vida! I quite like the balloons though agree with your comments on the cover :) Really looking forward to hearing your mixes of their tunes too.

  2. Balloons colors = pop art
    Would we expect ANYTHING less?!

    "The EP also includes a medley of Coldplay’s “Viva La Vida” and Pet Shop Boys' very own “Domino Dancing” which has been a highlight on the current PSB world tour."

    Domino Dancing has always been if not my favorite, one of my favorite tracks by Tenant and Lowe with Lewis A. Martineé grabbing the production creds. Nothing is better than the 12" mix and the video is outstanding as well.

    I feel around this period, about '88, was when "people" started to over-analyze their tracks and videos along with their sexuality becoming an issue. By "people," I'm referring to their American market. A couple of years after Domino Dancing, the Behaviour EP/CD was released and incredibly looked over- considered some of their finest songwriting/work by many.


  3. The balloons look like a leftover from the recent "Pet Shop Boys Party" Brazilian release. But in a strange way, it works.

    Personally, I'm very excited about this EP. Five brand-new recordings! Bring on Christmas. :)

  4. @outoutout - I guess it's the day after the "Party"! :) I'm pleased they put proper, studio versions "Viva La Vida" and "My Girl" on it.

  5. PERFECT. The whole thing could only be more perfect with your mix on it.

  6. hello vinny

    when will we be able to listen to your Club mix of Beautiful People ?

    thank you for your answer


  7. @xolondon - Oh, you sweet talker. :)

  8. @fabricepsb - Very soon, my friend. That's all I can say right now.

  9. I agree, those "special" PSB releases were always one of my favorite things about them -- the element of surprise is a powerful thing, I'm surprised it's not used more often as a marketing tool. But what do I know? Roll on Christmas!