I wish you would… but I guess it’s out of the question, right? So instead, we continue the Pet Shop Boys single history with Rent:
Although already written in 1984, Rent was released only in October 1987. Originally it was a high energy song, but was later toned down because the boy’s producer thought they already had too many uptempo-songs on their new album. Rent was the first single release after said album came out in September 1987. Actually also included the hit singles What Have I Done To Deserve This?, It’s A Sin and Heart.
The song peaked at number 8 in the UK charts, but failed to chart in the US. Over Europe, the song also stayed out of the Top-10-lists. According to Neil Tennant, the lyrics are from the point of view of a female prostitute who has an affair with a politician; he pays her rent, and although she’s had a nice life and didn’t have to go out to work, she’s not really satisfied with her life. Tennant also stated that he vaguely thought of a member of the Kennedy family when writing the song.
The video was directed by Derek Jarman and featured scenes filmed at London’s King’s Cross tube station. The video stars the 7th Marquess of Bath, Alexander Thynn, an English politician and author, as a host of a dinner party. When he shows no attention to his partner, she commands Neil Tennant to drive her to King’s Cross where she meets Chris Lowe on a platform and leaves with him. Rewatch the video below.
Rent was re-recorded in 1989 for the PSB-produced-album Results of American actress and singer Liza Minnelli, which gave her a long-overdue push back into the music business. The arrangement on Liza‘s version was done by Angelo Badalamenti, a well-known soundtrack composer, who made the song sound more like a Broadway tune. Other cover-versions of Rent were later done by UK-artists Carter USM, and in 2007, a version by Thirteen Senses was pre-loaded on iPod Nanos (if anyone has this version, please contact me in the comments!!!).
The B-side to Rent was the rather dull I Want A Dog. As far as I know, there have only been two official remixes of Rent: the Extended Mix and the Dub mix, both remixed by Fran¢ois Kevorkian. I’ve also found a demo-version and a live one, recorded in 2004 at Radio XFM. The Liza Minnelli and Carter USM cover-versions are also here, and once again: if anyone can come up with the Thirteen Senses version, I’d apprechiate if you’d let me know!
Always On My Mind will be next!