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History

January 1988

‘I’m Not Scared’, a song the Pet Shop Boys have written and produced for Patsy Kensit, is released as a single by her group Eighth Wonder, and is their first hit.

February 1988

At the BPI Awards, the Pet Shop Boys win the Best Group award. They also mime to ‘What have I done to deserve this?’ on stage with Dusty Springfield. Afterwards Neil comments, “It’s kind of macho nowadays to prove you can cut it live, I quite like proving that we can’t cut it live. We’re a pop group, not a rock ’n’ roll group”.

March 1988

A different mix of ‘Heart’ is released as a single on March 21st and reaches #1 in the UK. “It’s a real disco song — the idea of ‘heartbeat’ the beat of the record and the beat of your heart. It’s actually pretty corny, to be honest, but I think the words are quite sweet and sincere”. The video, shot in Yugoslavia, is a resetting of the Dracula story with Ian McKellen in the title role.

1988 March

May 1988

For the second year running, the Pet Shop Boys win the Best International Hit award at the Ivor Novello Awards, this time for ‘It’s a sin’.

June 1988

Ian McKellen persuades the Pet Shop Boys to play live at an anti-Clause 28 benefit, Before The Act, at London’s Piccadilly Theatre, performing ‘It’s a sin’ and ‘One more chance’. “A brilliant event”, they say afterwards.

July 1988

‘It couldn’t happen here’ is released on July 8th to mixed reviews: it wins an award at the Houston film festival.

August 1988

The Pet Shop Boys win the Berolina award in Germany for ‘Group of the Year’. The award is presented to them by Miss Venezuela.

September 1988

On September 12th, ‘Domino dancing’ is released, a song they recorded that February in Miami with Expose producer, Lewis Martinee. They shoot a video in Puerto Rico and appeared with a full Latin band on Wogan and Top Of The Pops.

1988 September

October 1988

On October 10th, their new album ‘Introspective’ is released. It is so called because “all the songs, although it’s a dance album, are introspective”. The title was chosen after considering and dismissing ‘f’, ‘Dogmatic’, ‘Bounce’ and ‘Hello’. They explain that ‘Introspective’ sounds serious, like an art exhibition: “Nick Rhodes”, says Chris at the time, “will be so jealous”.

1988 October

November 1988

On November 14th, ‘Left to my own devices’ is released: “an exaggerated autobiography”. The second verse refers to a time when Neil’s mother would worry about him because he’d wait in a corner of the back garden pretending to be a Roundhead soldier.

1988 November

On this day

1987

‘It’s a Sin’ is released as a single.

1994

The Boys perform on an Italian TV show, images from which later appear on the Disco 2 cover.

2002

They perform in Zurich, Switzerland.

2005

Chris and Neil are in London’s Angel Studios with Trevor Horn supervising the recording of orchestral parts for several songs on their next album: ‘Integral,’ ‘Luna Park,’ and ‘Casanova in Hell.’

2006

The Boys kick off their summer European tour with a concert in Skien, Norway.

2009

The Pandemonium Tour comes to Zurich.

2011

Still in Cardiff for the second of their two shows there with Take That, Neil and Chris post on their official website that they’ve been taking time during the tour to write songs in their hotel rooms on a ‘portable studio…. using Pete Gleadall’s iPad to control the mix.’

2012

They work on two portions of A Man from the Future: ‘Other Ranks’ and ‘The Memory and the Control.’ In the evening they watch the England vs. Sweden ‘Euro 12’ soccer match, which England wins (and which Neil describes as ‘pretty amazing’).

2013

The Pet Shop Boys perform at the Sónar Festival in Barcelona.

2014

They bring their Electric Tour show to the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff, U.K.

2020

The Boys’ 1988 film It Couldn’t Happen Here, directed by Jack Bond, is re-released today in the U.K. by the British Film Institute in a Region 2 dual-format (DVD and Blu-ray) package, including assorted special features. On this same day, Neil re-records vocals for ‘Love Is the Law’ at a lower key.

2022

The Dreamworld Tour comes to Stockholm, Sweden.

2023

The Boys perform at L’Olympia in Paris.