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History

March 2021

On March 19 two books by Chris Heath – Literally from 1990, and Pet Shop Boys versus America from 1993 – were reissued by the Penguin imprint Cornerstone, completely redesigned by Farrow design, and new introductions and afterwords written by the Pet Shop Boys and Chris Heath. 

April 2021

On April 21, Discovery, the film of the Pet Shop Boys 1994 South American tour – “the tour I enjoyed the most,” Chris notes – is released on DVD, accompanied by the release for the first time of a CD of their performance. 

May 2021

On May 7, a new Pet Shop Boys song, the ten-minute “Cricket wife”, is released on CD (accompanied by “West End girls (New lockdown version)”) with the periodical Annually 2021. “Cricket wife”, written during lockdown, began as an extended piece of music created by Chris. “My mum asked me if I would write a piece of classical music for her,” he explains. “I thought, ‘Well, I’ve got nothing else better to do.’ ‘Classical’ in inverted commas, obviously – I’m no classical composer. In the style of classical music.” When Neil received it, it struck him that it might fit a poem he had written some years before. “It’s really about my parents,” he says. “My father played cricket for many years.” 

Cricket wife

December 2021

On December 26, the Pet Shop Boys host a three-hour radio show, Pet Shop Boys, Takeover, on BBC Radio 2 between 9pm and midnight, playing a selection of favourite songs; a broadcast also billed by Radio 2 as “Neil and Chris’s Unpredictable Party Playlist”. (The show has been pre-recorded on the afternoon of December 13.) The Pet Shop Boys have recorded five new jingles for the show, titled “Takeover”, “Strings”, “Beautiful”, “Boxing Day” and “Electric”, and introduce a joyously eclectic selection of music, including records by Matt Monro, Alcazar, Paul Weller (their recent remix of his song “Cosmic Fringes”), Gloria Ann Taylor, Eric Prydz, Françoise Hardy and The 1975. “We’ve only ever done radio when we can play records that we want,” says Chris. “I love doing radio. There’s something very satisfying about broadcasting to the nation.” 

On this day

2000

An article in Billboard reports that the Pet Shop Boys are working on several new tracks for a ‘best of’ collection, scheduled for release in the fall. They will later postpone plans for this album, putting it off until 2003.

2007

Back in the U.K. following a couple of shows on the continent, the Boys perform at the Eden Project in Cornwall.

2011

PSB and Take That perform this evening in Hamburg, Germany.

2013

Neil is one of more than a hundred internationally known musicians who have signed an open letter posted today by Amnesty International calling for the release from prison of the members of the band Pussy Riot, who had been found guilty and jailed a year earlier for an act of protest in a Russian cathedral.

2016

This evening: the third ‘Inner Sanctum’ show at the Royal Opera House.

2017

The Pet Shop Boys perform at the Tall Ships Races Music Festival in Turku, Finland.

2019

The first rehearsal for Musik.