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4.3 out of 5 stars
Winner
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 12 August 2012
Winner, whilst for my money the weakest lead single for a Pet Shop Boys album we've had yet, is nowhere near as bad as some of the fan-base would have you believe. (It's also worth pointing out that, generally, it's got a good critical reception). Yes it's Olympic stylings could be said to show a certain amount of bare-naked opportunism and cynicism that you wouldn't expect from Neil and Chris but it's not as if it's totally unheard of. Their camp cover of U2's Where The Streets Have No Name, for instance, was released to chase a "hit" after Being Boring's disappointing chart position - and perhaps the realisation that even a fantastic remix of How Can You Expect To Be Taken Seriously wasn't going to take that song into the upper echelon of the pop charts.
Winner is still the best of the Olympic "cash-in" tracks I've heard and is a damn site better than the official Muse song. It's also backed by three rather cracking "b" sides, which with two double CD sets in the bag have always been a PSB strong point.
A Certain "Je Ne Sais Quoi" is perhaps this generation's Shameless, with it's pumping backing track and witty lyrics. Tennant's "mmmm" that breaks up the title in the chorus is perfectly timed and is simply the sort of thing most pop acts wouldn't come up with.
A Walk Through The Woods is a more disconcerting effort, putting as it does a Rudyard Kipling poem to music. It's not an immediate, ahem, winner but repeated listens do prove it to be more than an atmospheric curiosity and again it's simply the kind of thing you don't get with other pop acts.
I Started A Joke rounds things off, being a tribute to the recently departed Robin Gibb. It's lush and lovely and, like many a PSB cover version, sounds as if it could be one of their originals.
Overall this is a really rather good package, even if Winner, as nice as it is, could never be said to be a "classic" PSB single.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 28 March 2013
The Boys continue to churn out some clever, easy to sing along to and poignant songs and although people say "Winner" is the "weakest track on the album", I think it's actually very triumphant a very appropriate as a theme for the 2012 London Olympics, regardless of whether PSB wrote the song as a tribute to artists who compete at The Eurovision Song Contest or not.

If you're thinking of buying this, then I also URGE you to consider "Elysium" - this not only has original 'b-side' tracks (a PSB trademark) but this single comes from a very different sounding, lush, mellow and easy going album. Produced by the guy who's done Kanye West albums in California, it was wholly recorded and produced there as well, by Andrew Dawson.

Service was prompt and good value for money - at the time, it was cheaper on here than on PSB's own web site, sadly.

Glad to see the Boys back and I'm already looking forward to their 2013 concerts and new album, "ELECTRIC"!!
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 5 August 2012
By now most have heard "Winner", but the real gems here are the three fantastic other tracks. The best is A Certain "Je Ne Sais Quoi", a witty track full of bubbling synth hooks. I Started a Joke is a stately Robin Gibb tribute with one of Neil's best ever vocals and some beautiful mournful horn riffs. The Way Through the Woods is based on a Rudyard Kipling poem and is an inventive song with interesting melodies and naturalistic sound effect evocative of a woodland setting. A fantastic group of songs, and a steal for the price.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 5 August 2012
Leave it to the Pet Shop Boys. Any other U.K. act who released a single called Winner within a week of the Olympic Games would be expected to have shots of people breaking the tape and standing on the podium getting their gold medal. Not Neil and Chris.

They've assembled a rather touching video of the London Rollergirls, a Roller Derby team, and their new rookie, Dirty Diana, who happens to be transgender...-Music News.

The single contains four tracks and , as always, is excellent value for money;

Winner
A Certain "Je ne Sais Quoi"
The Way Through the Woods (Long Version)
I Started a Joke

Joke is a cover of the Bee Gees song and is a salute to the late Robin Gibb.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 14 November 2012
A very good CD. Loved listening to the music on it. This was an excellent purchase. I would recommend this as a very good buy.
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on 21 May 2014
This song was used for the Olympics in Britain last year but was not played enough in my opinion. It has a wonderful uplifting message and rising anthemic melody The video, if you get the chance to see it, is STUNNING!
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on 3 December 2012
It seems that the Pet Shop Boys got caught up in Olympic hysteria this year as evidenced by this song. I was surprised that it was just worthy of a Bronze medal.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 9 August 2012
Like most PSB cd singles this offers great value for money with 4 strong tracks.

As is often the case with the PSB's I prefer the other 3 tracks to the actual single; however it's growing on me!

This CD is on heavy rotation at present!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 5 November 2012
Dreadful 'Jolly' Eurovisioneque nonsense... only saving grace is the b-side ' a certain je ne sais pas' otherwise forget it, worse single of their career, but given lots of 5 star reviews here by their fans, who would rate a burp from either one of them five star. A joke. So good it got to No. 86.... for a week
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 6 August 2012
Whilst most of the die-hard PSB fans appear to hate Winner - I think it has a good uplifting melody and is a really good single. The B sides are even better - the PSB demonstrates once again that they are the masters of pop! We have `Winner', instantly likeable pop song which is easy on the ears. `A Certain Je ne sais quoi' is a typical PSB electronic stomper. `The way through the woods' is a sophisticated pop song full of beautiful harmony and `I started a joke' is a timeless pop song which sounds like it was written by them! An easy 5 out of 5 from me - can't wait for the album in September with 10 new songs (plus Invisible and Winner).
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