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One Hundred Lyrics and a Poem Hardcover – 1 Nov 2018
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The definitive collection of lyrics from the legendary Neil Tennant of The Pet Shop Boys.
About the Author
Neil Tennant is one half of the electronic pop music duo, the Pet Shop Boys, who have had four number one singles, released thirteen albums, written a musical and a ballet and toured the world several times. In the early 80s Neil was assistant editor of Smash Hits magazine.
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The lyrics are already available on the PSB website and as you read through, you can’t help but hear them playing in your head. As Neil says himself in the well-written and interesting introduction, they are not poems and are meant to be sung. The additional lure with this book is the commentaries for each song. Admittedly, many are very short and perhaps more can be gained from the booklets in the ‘Further Listening’ series of re-mastered albums, but occasionally you get something perhaps a bit more personal. For example, the song ‘The view from your balcony’ – according to the CD booklet, was written about a friend’s view from his high rise flat. Here we are told that it was a boyfriend.
Overall, nicely packaged and some interesting tit bits. It’s not an autobiography and perhaps we have to be thankful for that. After all, PSB songs are the soundtrack to our own lives.
So why only three stars?
Well for a start, any big fan will probably already have the Further Listening series of CD's where the lyrics for these songs can already be found written out. And, here is the clincher, the songs themselves are gone into much deeper in terms of talking about them by the interview with Neil and Chris in there.
That isn't to say that there aren't any new revelation in this book, but generally the brief passages from Neil about the songs will not tell you very much that you didn't already know from Further Listening.
As Neil himself states, this is perhaps his version of an autobiography (he's had many offers to write a "proper" one and feels his life hasn't been interesting enough) and a lot of fans will want a copy. The hundred lyrics don't simply cover the songs you will know off the radio and they've been chosen as the ones that look best written down on the page. But for all that, it's a tenner I've spent for essentially something I already have. And as much as I actually think the poem that is the new addition to this is a very thought provoking it's a few lines long.
As a fan, I'm happy to have the book on my shelf with the other PSB literature I have. It's by no means essential though.