Flashback Friday – Domino Boys

Another part of the Pet Shop Boys singles discography. Let’s do some serious dancing!

Domino Dancing was released in 1988 as the first single from the Boys’ third album Introspective. Although expectations were high for the song to become another chart-breaker, the song failed to make a real impact. Highest chart position in the UK was No. 7, and in the U.S., it even failed to break the Top-10 with peaking at No. 18.

The song was produced by Lewis A. Matinée, the Miami-based producer of 80s-band Exposé. It was also recorded at Matinée‘s studio in Miami. The boys have been wanting to do a Latino-influenced song for a while, and a previous holiday on the Carib island Antigua might just have been the final kick they needed. Actually, most of the song had already been written about one and a half year earlier; all that was missing was a proper chorus. When in Antigua, they used to play Dominoes with friends, and one particular friend would always be doing a dance when he won; eventually, Chris Lowe told him to “stop doing his Domino Dance”. Neil Tennant took up the idea, and the chorus was born.

The photo on the cover of the single was taken on Miami’s South Beach. When the boys first saw the van with the inscript – Latin American Party – it was clear that it had to be on the cover. They took a polaroid, and this first shot ended up on the cover.

All the musicians on Domino Dancing were Cuban. During the recording sessions, various mixes were produced “on the go”, one of them the wonderful Lewis Matinée version without the drums. More remixes followed later, and until this day, the Base Mix of Domino Dancing remains my favourite ever PSB-remix. The B-Side to Domino Dancing was Don Juan.

The video was once again directed by Eric Watson, making it the sixth collaboration (of a total 11) with the Pet Shop Boys. It’s about a love-triangle between two young men fighting over one girl, and it was filmed in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico, in about 4 days. All the actors were Puerto Rican, and were cast by the boys themselves.

Here are various mixes of Domino Dancing; the above-mentioned, drumless version is the Alternative Version. Enjoy!

Pet Shop Boys – Domino Dancing (12″ Mix) (MP3)
Pet Shop Boys – Domino Dancing (Base Mix) (MP3)
Pet Shop Boys – Domino Dancing (Larkeros Mix) (MP3)
Pet Shop Boys – Domino Dancing (Alternative Version) (MP3)
Pet Shop Boys – Domino Dancing (Razormaid Mix) (MP3)
Pet Shop Boys – Domino Dancing (Demo Version) (MP3)
Pet Shop Boys – Don Juan (MP3)

Domino Dancing:

Domino Dancing 12 Inch:

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