Pet Shop Boys, Literally (英語) ハードカバー – 2020/3/19
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The Pet Shop Boys are one of the most successful and unusual bands of the last five decades. They are the pop duo that proves pop music can be modern, ecstatic and playful as well as serious and intelligent, winning them legions of devoted fans throughout the world.
In 1989, Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe invited journalist Chris Heath and photographer Lawrence Watson to shadow them around Hong Kong, Japan and the UK as they embarked on their first-ever tour. This book is the result: an immersive portrait giving access into the duo’s inner sanctum, showing them in brilliantly observed detail as they work, relax, gossip, argue and occasionally try to make sense of what they do.
‘As clear a picture as could be wished for of the seething mass of elegant contradictions that is the
Pet Shop Boys’ on-the-road experience.’ Independent on Sunday
‘This superbly reported book transcends tired rock journalism cliché. It’s about what it means to be a pop star, what it means to be a Pet Shop Boy… how to love pop, hold it to a higher standard and subvert its expectations.’
Chris, an investigative news writer, has written for Rolling Stone, Details, Telegraph and Sunday Times, amongst many others. His subjects have varied from Madonna and Lisa Marie Presley to politicians, murderers and artists.
First, the book is terribly funny. PSB act like spoiled rock stars at times and then seem like the most normal chaps you could hope to meet. This schism is appropriate for a group that writes and performs such complex music. We also learn a great deal about their creative process. For example, I had always assumed that Chris wrote the music and Neil wrote the lyrics, which apparently is not the case; instead, they seem to have equal say in developing songs. The boys also seem surprisingly principled and unwilling to bend their artistic choices for the sake of popularity and record company approval.
"Literally" covers their tour during for "Introspective" CD ("It's Alright" was released as a single in Britain during this time). The PSB were in their self-proclaimed "imperial period" - when everything they did went to #1 in the UK and top 10 in the US. However, times were clearly changing, especially with the proliferation of English boy bands during the 1990s. Neil and Chris riff on a number of British and American pop stars, and the fun is not diminished by the fact that many of these acts, such as Bros, are fairly unknown in the US. If anything, the fading of these untalented bands and the continuing (European) success of PSB documents that substance can win over style.
Although the book is a bit dated, it?s a terrific read. Most highly recommended for PSB fans.