Sunday, 28 July 2013

Pet Shop Boys - Bounce (Demo) (Updated 28th July 2013)

Bounce is probably my favourite Pet Shop Boys demo! This was recorded in 1987, around the time that Domino Dancing was also being written. Originally, Introspective was actually going to titled Bounce and, at a time, this was being considered for inclusion on the album. Why it was eventually dropped I don't know for sure, but I think it's a real shame this song was discarded and left to lie dormant in the vaults. One thing that I especially love about Bounce is how it sounds more or less the polar opposite to what you'd expect a song with its title to sound like. Initially, I expected the song (based on its title) to be a glossy and punchy piece of synthpop but it's really not. It actually makes the song one of the most interesting ones to write about. The tempo of Bounce is set at a mid-tempo speed and implores two really interesting musical techniques. First of all, the percussion line in the song is simply a drum machine playing every sound in its library one by one whilst keeping in time with the beat. If that sounds positively hellish fear not: it's actually done in a rather subtle way. What a relief otherwise the song would be an absolute mess! The second technique (if you could call it that) in the song is what makes it that little bit special. Neil singing the word "bounce" is sampled and made to sound rather jittery, no doubt to give a feeling of actual bounciness. Also lyrically, its not what you would expect either. Lyrically the song is about a rather tense relationship that has the potential to end in absolute disaster, as the line "will you be the one I look back on from a prison cell with regret?" shows. The narrator isn't ready to give up hope on the relationship though. Despite not giving up, the underlying sense of danger in the relationship reminds me of another Introspective era demo: So Sorry, I Said. In any case it's a shame this wasn't on Introspective as I think it would have fitted in quite well. For some reason I can envisage this being the closing track on Introspective as it's shorter length would have been a refreshing change from the lengthy running times of the other tracks. In the Introspective Further Listening booklet they say that the song was never recorded properly, personally I think the demo has a rather polished sound as it is. It'd have needed minimal more tweaking I think. In any case it's never been officially released. Two versions of it have leaked, a 7" mix and an instrumental. A great little demo that deserves more attention!

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