15 June 1987
On June 15, 1987, “It’s a sin”, a song that originally appeared on the demo Neil had in his pocket when he took Bobby O’ out to lunch, was released. “It’s about being brought up as a Catholic. When I went to school you were taught that everything was a sin”. It reached #1 and caused several notable rumpuses. Jonathan King accused them of plagiarism (he later apologized and paid damages to a charity at their request). A teacher at Neil’s old school, St. Cuthbert’s Grammar School, Newcastle, got very steamed up about the picture Neil painted of his education and castigated Neil in the press. The Salvation Army magazine, War Cry, put the Pet Shop Boys on the front page and noted, approvingly, “It’s interesting that someone’s raised the concept of sin in our modern life again”. Neil was also asked to appear with Cardinal Hume in a press advert for CAFOD; he politely declined the offer, explaining that he wasn’t a practising Catholic. The song’s video, a sombre tale of guilt and punishment featuring the seven deadly sins, was the first time the Pet Shop Boys worked with Derek Jarman.