Song of the Day: Pet Shop Boys “Always On My Mind”
Gwen McCrae‘s 1972 classic country lament, “Always On My Mind” has been recorded by more than 300 different musicians. Great versions were turned out by the likes of Elvis and Willie Nelson, but my absolute favorite take on the song is the off-kilter, deadpan electro version released by the Pet Shop Boys in 1987.
The song combined Pet Shop Boys trademark sardonic delivery with a bumping dance arrangement and a real sense of yearning. The video features classic English character actor Joss Ackland as an eccentric lunatic. The Pet Shops Boys appear as the driver and second passenger in the same minicab as Ackland, with the song itself apparently existing as a dialogue between the characters, or perhaps as just an auditory hallucination in Ackland’s head. The song was a dancefloor sensation for the duo and was remixed by many a DJ, though the original version of the song appeared on Pet Shop Boys‘ third album, Introspective.
Pet Shop Boys are one of the original synth pop groups and were formed in London in 1981. The group consists of Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe. The pair both play keyboards and sing, with Tennant serving as the lead vocalist and also pitching in some occasional guitar. The group have had dozens of charting singles and are one of the most successful duos in pop music history. The pair’s alchemy of cheeky humor, sardonic deliveries, dance beats and irresistible hooks has seen them hold on through the years as a cherished institution. Pet Shop Boys continue to tour, make new music and both remix the work of other musicians as well as having their own work remixed.