Monday, 22 July 2013

Nightlife (B-side) (Updated 22nd July 2013)

DVD single cover.
I've always found myself enjoying the B-sides and unreleased tracks from the Release album more enjoyable than the album itself. And Nightlife continues this trend. It was a B-side to Home and Dry (it featured on the UK DVD single). I do like Home & Dry an awful lot, but I definitely prefer Nightlife in all honesty. The track took me by surprise initially. It's one of the lightest, most airy sounding Pet Shop Boys you'll ever hear. I also think the chorus to the track is one of the most infectious chorus' in their discography. Also - Neil sings in his falsetto, not too dissimilar sounding from Before. It's an obvious stylistic homage to the Bee Gees and a deliberate one at that. Neil himself has stated it sounds a tad Bee Gees and they even contacted the Bee Gees about recording it for Nightlife. The Bee Gees never responded and it was left at that. The track wasn't written during the Nightlife sessions though, it's actually a bit older than that. It was written for their musical Closer To Heaven, specifically to perhaps serve as the closing song. The original title for the musical was actually Nightlife. Lyrically, as it deals with the issue of night-time culture, I actually think this could have fitted on quite well in Nightlife so it's pretty unusual for a Pet Shop Boys song in that regard. In terms of lyrics, it's simply about nightlife. It does highlight the negative aspects of nightlife culture however. For example; it's repetitive as people are "looking for life every night". The emptiness of nightlife is implied there also. Reminding us of these negative qualities only adds weight to the argument it would have been a perfect fit on Nightlife, I think. Lyrically the song also reminds me a lot of Saturday Night Forever from Bilingual too. Following the non-inclusion in Closer To Heaven  the song was then considered for inclusion on Release, but Neil & Chris weren't happy with that particular mix. Personally, I'm glad that it wasn't included on Release as it would just not have fitted in at all. It suits being a B-side better than being on Release I feel. It remains an overlooked gem I think, I'm just glad that the Format compilation allows me to have a physical copy of it (officially)!

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