By: Darryl Smyers
Hard to believe that England's Pet Shop Boys have been doing the synthpop/alternative dance thing for over three decades. During that time, the duo of Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe has managed to evolve with the musical tides while maintaining a sizable audience.
Although known for original songs such as “West End Girls” and “What Have I Done to Deserve This?” Pet Shop Boys have also carved out a successful niche with cover songs. In honor of their set on Saturday night set during weekend 2 of Coachella, here is a list of the most successful covers in the repertoire of Pet Shop Boys.
5. Always on My Mind (Elvis Presley)
Although commonly associated with Willie Nelson, the song was first made famous by Elvis Presley back in 1972. Written by Johnny Christopher, Mark James and Wayne Carson, the song became perfect fodder for Pet Shop Boys' cheeky electronics. Indeed, the version released as a single in 1987 is one of the best cover songs of all time.
4. Where The Streets Have No Name (U2)/3. Can't Take My Eyes Off You (Frankie Valli)
Since both these songs were paired as a medley released around the same time as 1990's Behaviour, it's an easy task to add both to this list. Tennant and Lowe always had the balls to tackle songs that many others would be wary to cover. The guys in U2 and Frankie Valley should be proud of what Pet Shop Boys have done with two very disparate songs.
2. Go West (Village People)
It is always telling of how good a band is when they can take a truly terrible original and turn it into something special. Featured as a single on the 1993 album Very, “Go West” became the biggest single of Pet Shop Boys' storied career.
1. The Last to Die (Bruce Springsteen)
Another brave choice well executed, “The Last to Die” was included on 2013's Electric, an album that received some of the best reviews Pet Shops Boys have ever gotten. Combining synthpop with The Boss was a crazily inspired idea that could have easily gone awry. Instead, like all of the songs Tennant and Lowe have chosen to cover, “The Last to Die” was a categorical success.