Left To My Own Devices was the second single from the boys’ third studio-album Introspective, and did better chart-wise than the first one, Domino Dancing. But it was also the first single that missed out on the Top 40 in the USA (highest position was No. 84). It climbed up the the No. 4 spot in the UK though, and settled around No. 10 in other European countries.
The song was recorded at Abbey Road studios with Trevor Horn. It was the first song that the Pet Shop Boys recorded with an orchestra, and it included opera singer Sally Bradshaw. According to Chris Lowe, Devices was more of a Motown song at the beginning stages, and only became a pop-song later when the tempo was pitched up.
Left To My Own Devices is mainly about a person just doing what he/she wants to do without being bothered by anything or anyone. Neil Tennant, who wrote the lyrics, said that he was somehow influenced by his own youth, as “writing a book” or “going on stage” were both things he wanted to do when he was young. Other parts of the lyrics came from various people, for example the “Debussy to a disco beat” part was something that Trevor Horn “always wanted to do”.
The video to the song was once again directed by Eric Watson. It was a rather dark and dull affair, as it mainly showed Tennant and Lowe filmed through an invisible glass floor from an upward angle. MTV even declined to show the video due to its dimly-lit nature.
The album version of the song is slightly longer than the released radio-friendly 7″ single release. A limited version of the maxi-single came in a yellowish sleeve package (see below). As always, various remixes followed, one of them by long-time compagnion Shep Pettibone. The B-Side was the rather average The Sound Of The Atom Splitting.
Here’s the 7″ version of Left To My Own Devices, as well as various remixes, and of course the video. Stay tuned for the next part in this series!
Pet Shop Boys – Left To My Own Devices (7″ Version) (MP3)
Pet Shop Boys – Left To My Own Devices (Razormaid Mix) (MP3)
Pet Shop Boys – Left To My Own Devices (Device Mix) (MP3)
Pet Shop Boys – Left To My Own Devices (Royal Mix) (MP3)
Pet Shop Boys – Left To My Own Devices (Shep Pettibone Remix) (MP3)