Pet Shop Boys ‘Being Boring’ is 30 years old today

Pet Shop Boys released one of their most poignant hits on this day in 1990. Being Boring was the second single off their album Behaviour and hits clever lyrics and a subtle nod to those lost to the AIDS epidemic made it one of the duo’s most loved songs.

For their fourth record Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe worked with German producer Harold Faltermeyer. He was best known for his tune Axel F from the film Beverley Hills Cop, but he’d also worked with Janis Ian, Donna Summer, Laura Brannigan, Jennifer Rush, Billy Idol and Giorgio Moroder.

Inspired by Depeche Mode’s Violator which had been released earlier in the year, Pet Shop Boys delivered a introspective and mellow record which was quite unlike their previous work.

Being Boring was the second single, and it’s lyrics told of parties, growing older and growing wiser. In the third verse many fans thought Tennant was singing about the AIDS pandemic.

All the people I was kissing,
Some are here and some are missing,
In the nineteen-nineties.

Tennant would later confirm the song was primarily about losing friends to HIV.

“For me it is a personal song because it’s about a friend of mine who died of AIDS, and so it’s about our lives when we were teenagers and how we moved to London, and I suppose me becoming successful and him becoming ill.” Tennant said of the song in a 1993 interview.

The video for the song was filmed by photographer Bruce Weber who is famed for his black and white homoerotic photography. The clip was banned from MTV because of the male nudity scattered throughout. Webber would go on to work with the band again on their videos for Se a Vida é (That’s the Way Life Is) and I Get Along. 

The song was covered by Australian artist Meryl Bainbridge in the mid 1990s, and Lloyd Cole has also performed the song during radio station appearances. Saint Etienne sampled Being Boring for their tune in She’s The One from their Foxbase Alpha record the following year.

The Marshall Jefferson remix took the song on to the dance floor, extending the song out to just over nine minutes.

Take a look at the video for Being Boring.

OIP Staff

Love OUTinPerth Campaign

Help support the publication of OUTinPerth by contributing to our
GoFundMe campaign.