“Pet Shop Boys are the UK’s Most Successful Duo” Facebook fan page
LIKE some of the best Pet Shop Boys song titles it’s a bit of a mouthful, but did you know the “Pet Shop Boys are the UK’s Most Successful Duo” Facebook page was set up by James Iles back in 2009?
Originally entitled “Pet Shop Boys for Christmas Number One” in an effort to get their December 2009 “Christmas” EP to the top of the pops, James’ group is now a celebration of the UK’s most successful pop duo, and has more than 6,400 members globally – and counting!
It’s a place for a worldwide community of Petheads to celebrate one of the finest pop acts in history, sharing tracks, videos, images and thoughts about Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe, for the mutual enjoyment of all who visit there!
You can visit and join the Facebook page here https://www.facebook.com/groups/174935017964
The original text for the Facebook group explains what the mission was all about, and it read as follows:
“Finally a genuine musical talent is releasing a Christmas record at Christmas despite the near certainty of this year’s X Factor puppet being crowned Number one with whatever Cowell & co. serves them up.
It’s time to break the monopoly so, why not support the Pet Shop Boys “Christmas EP” which is a five track EP released on December 14 and a genuinely festive Christmas effort that harks back to the pre-X Factor chart days?
“All over the world” is a new version of the track from Pet Shop Boys’ latest album, “Yes”.
Also included is a new version of “It doesn’t often snow at Christmas”, originally an exclusive Christmas single issued to members of the Pet Shop Boys fan club in 1997.
Both new versions are produced by Marius de Vries (Bjork, U2, Sugarcubes) and Pet Shop Boys, based on the original tracks, and have orchestral and choir arrangements by Matt Robertson and Marius de Vries.
The first is the PSB’s take on Madness’ My Girl which was originally performed with Suggs and Carl of Madness at “Can You Bear It?”, last year’s charity benefit for the family of Chris and Neil’s former assistant and close friend, Dainton Connell, who was tragically killed in a car accident.
The EP also includes the medley of Coldplay’s “Viva la vida” and Pet Shop Boys’ “Domino Dancing” which has been a highlight of the current PSB world tour.
This studio version is produced by Stuart Price (Madonna, Missy Elliot, The Killers).
So, come on and back the best British duo of all time and Godfathers of Electro Pop – it’s about time an artist formed in the old-fashioned way who write, produce and perform their own material took back the crown from those X Factor wannabes!”
James explains in the chapter “P is for Pet Shop Boys” of his new “Talking About Pop Music” book, it was his passion for Pet Shop Boys’ music that led him to set up the Facebook campaign to try and help them score (another) festive No.1 in 2009 with their ‘Christmas’ EP.
However, they could not top the charts as the EP format it was released on actually made it ineligible for the singles charts!
But that didn’t stop the Facebook campaign from escaping the attentions of Neil and Chris who dedicated a “Pet Text” (that’s a kind of Pet Shop Boys’ Tweet!) to it on December 10, 2009, which was a real buzz!
However, despite not being able to help the Boys get to No.1 again, the group he set up then morphed into something bigger – a fan-based community that now has more than 6,400 members globally.
“It’s a hive of shared love for my favourite pop group, with all the latest news and gossip shared by Facebook users from the UK to the USA and from Holland to Hong Kong,” James says in his “Talking About Pop Music” book.
“Never meet your heroes is the old cliche, but I disagree as I am really lucky to have met Pet Shop Boys – a couple of times – after patiently waiting by the stage door with scores of fellow Petheads.
“The first time was in 2002 on their ‘Release’ tour when both Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe signed a postcard for me which was amazing, even though, sadly, this was before smartphones so, alas, no pictures exist of the meeting.
“The second time was in 2007 on the ‘Fundamental’ tour though, strictly speaking, it was just Neil as the famously shy Chris had already swerved the fans to get straight on the tour bus!
“Neil very kindly signed a rare copy of their much sought-after 1989 official annual “Pet Shop Boys, annually”, remarking he didn’t even have a copy himself. (A moral dilemma for me – should I have given him my copy? Apparently he does have one now!)”
James has been a huge Pet Shop Boys fan since 1986 when he first heard “West End Girls”, and he still can’t wait to hear what they will do next, even after all these years.
I think that tells you everything you need to know about this stellar pair – the UK’s most successful pop duo.