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.

March 1988

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.

September 1988

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".

October 1988

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.

November 1988

On This Day

1994

Neil appears on the BBC Radio 4 show With Great Pleasure to talk about some of his favorite literary works. Among them are Nik Cohn's I Am Still the Greatest Says Johnny Angelo, Evelyn Waugh's Decline and Fall, Barbara Pym's Excellent Women, John Betjeman's 'Death of George V,' Philip Larkin's 'Aubade,' excerpts from the diaries of Noël Coward and Tony Benn, and Elvis Costello's lyrics for the song 'Shipbuilding' (which Neil describes as 'one of the cleverest lyrics in recent pop music').

1997

The Pet Shop Boys make their first-ever live festival appearance at the Roskilde Festival in Denmark.

2002

They perform in Amsterdam.

2011

The Boys open again for Take That in the first of two consecutive nights' shows in Birmingham, U.K.

2015

The Pet Shop Boys headline the Flow Festival in Ljubljana, Slovenia—their first show ever in that country. Their concert starts just before midnight and continues into the early hours of the following day (June 28).

2016

Neil appears as a guest on the fiftieth episode of Rocket Hour, a weekly radio show hosted by Elton John on Apple Music. They play several records chosen by Neil and, of course, talk. Neil later says, 'It was nice—it was more like just a chat between the two of us.'

Next (1989)