Richard X on working with PSB and others

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Suburban_Boy
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Richard X on working with PSB and others

#1 Post by Suburban_Boy »

https://lastdonutofthenight.substack.co ... -mia-annie

Pet Shop Boys, “Fugitive”

Pet Shop Boys are one of a few legacy acts that you’ve worked with. Who were some of your idols growing up?
Pretty much all synth-pop—Human League at the top. When I was very young, I liked Ultravox and OMD. Those three are the trinity of synth-pop to me. I also used to buy a lot of Mute Records [albums]—pre-coldwave electronic stuff. I made my first songs when I was 11, and I bought cheap analog synths from the money of my newspaper rounds.

I was a bit older when Pet Shop Boys came along, and that took it somewhere completely different for me. It made a lot of early synth-pop seem basic. The technology they were using took it somewhere completely new and sophisticated. As a teenager, you picked up on that depth. Then house music came to the North of England, where I lived, and that was huge. I was a bit too young to go to the illegal raves, but you live through other people and hearing their stories, and the music was great. That’s where I heard more soulful voices. I was mad obsessed with Saint Etienne, too, but we’ll talk about them later.

What was it like working with Pet Shop Boys?
I was never starstruck until that session. Even when you’re meeting pop stars, it wasn’t the same as meeting those two. They were so funny—just nonstop hilarity. It’s nice to be considered as a producer [on that song]. I didn’t make the whole thing, they did the original programming with Pete Gleadall. I dropped a few sly referential sounds in it, because I like doing that sort of thing. The intro’s got a few little Easter eggs.

Trevor Horn did the rest of the album but didn’t want to touch this song, because it was originally called “Suicide Bomber.” It came to me from management—I think they knew I was a fan—and that was a discussion point. I couldn’t see any way it wouldn’t end in negativity. The chorus was originally “Suicide bomber!”. It was just so raw after the London bombing that it wasn’t gonna end well. The idea of the song being banned or not coming out was not a positive thing—it was a good song, it was classic Pet Shop Boys, so it would be a shame if that kept it in the studio drawer.

So Neil Tennant rewrote it. They published a lyric book, and they mention the original title in the book—but there’s no way that wouldn’t have been Daily Mail fodder, and that would’ve been a shame. Even now, the mauling that would get…But it’s a very valid position, that a family member would question why someone would become a suicide bomber. People might think it’s trite to do that in a disco song, but that’s what they do and we can appreciate that on any other level.

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psbfannyc
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Re: Richard X on working with PSB and others

#2 Post by psbfannyc »

Fascinating. I've always wanted to meet him. And he did that haunting remix of "The Way it Used to Be". I have always loved his work with Annie and I forgot he produced "Tonight" with Saint Etienne. Thanks for posting.

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rashomon
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Re: Richard X on working with PSB and others

#3 Post by rashomon »

Suburban_Boy wrote: Thu 23 Jul 2020, 4:11 pm The chorus was originally “Suicide bomber!”. It was just so raw after the London bombing that it wasn’t gonna end well. The idea of the song being banned or not coming out was not a positive thing—it was a good song, it was classic Pet Shop Boys, so it would be a shame if that kept it in the studio drawer.
Woah! I did not know this ... and must say I'm glad they switched up the lyrics.

Such a brilliant song and still can't believe it wasn't front and centre on the album ... but hey, that's the Pet Shop Boys for you! :dance:
you could say conventional ... and I could claim intentional

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Pod
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Re: Richard X on working with PSB and others

#4 Post by Pod »

Interesting - thanks for posting.
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glennjridge
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Re: Richard X on working with PSB and others

#5 Post by glennjridge »

Suicide bomber is too on the nose....fugitive really didnt do the subject matter justice as that seems to be something someone is called once they have been identified as a criminal and then searched for by the law...then, they would be fugitives,but that wasnt the case here.

maybe "Martyr" would have been a better title. since Fugitive wasnt used in the actual song it wouldnt have mattered anyways.

I love hearing inside info on their songs! thats why I loved those remaster booklets. I want more of this type of thing!

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retrofuturist
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Re: Richard X on working with PSB and others

#6 Post by retrofuturist »

I reckon the "you are my brother" lyric replaced "suicide bomber".

Den
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Re: Richard X on working with PSB and others

#7 Post by Den »

Suicide bomber
You're gonna take me with you

:lol:

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Markpro
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Re: Richard X on working with PSB and others

#8 Post by Markpro »

Funnily enough i was listening to Fugitive yesterday.
I love the intro to it, how everything is calm and serene, I have this image in my head while listening to the start of the song of New Yorker's going about their daily business while the soothing music gently plays in the background lulling us into a false sense of security, then you hear the engines of the first plane flying overhead, the second plane roars by shortly after ...and then all hell breaks loose when the bass kicks in, the sinister beat playing like war drums of an approaching army and in the blink of an eye the world has changed.
It is very cleverly done and a fantastic track.
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Andie
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Re: Richard X on working with PSB and others

#9 Post by Andie »

Markpro wrote: Fri 24 Jul 2020, 8:09 am Funnily enough i was listening to Fugitive yesterday.
I love the intro to it, how everything is calm and serene, I have this image in my head while listening to the start of the song of New Yorker's going about their daily business while the soothing music gently plays in the background lulling us into a false sense of security, then you hear the engines of the first plane flying overhead, the second plane roars by shortly after ...and then all hell breaks loose when the bass kicks in, the sinister beat playing like war drums of an approaching army and in the blink of an eye the world has changed.
It is very cleverly done and a fantastic track.
I think it's an amazing track. I still love this today & the lyrics.
Don’t be scared, for only the dark can show you the stars

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Patrick Bateman
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Re: Richard X on working with PSB and others

#10 Post by Patrick Bateman »

Thanks for the link - really interesting. Echo the sentiments on Fugitive - it shows that they never lost their ability to deliver incredible pop songs. Neither a single nor album track, not even a b-side!

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Re: Richard X on working with PSB and others

#11 Post by psbfannyc »

Markpro wrote: Fri 24 Jul 2020, 8:09 am Funnily enough i was listening to Fugitive yesterday.
I love the intro to it, how everything is calm and serene, I have this image in my head while listening to the start of the song of New Yorker's going about their daily business while the soothing music gently plays in the background lulling us into a false sense of security, then you hear the engines of the first plane flying overhead, the second plane roars by shortly after ...and then all hell breaks loose when the bass kicks in, the sinister beat playing like war drums of an approaching army and in the blink of an eye the world has changed.
It is very cleverly done and a fantastic track.
"Fugitive" was so much fun to dance to at the "Electric Tour"! I had so much fun! What a great dance song.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ld75hnkXWU8

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Re: Richard X on working with PSB and others

#12 Post by Spittingcat »

So good. They got that tour so right.

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