One of my favourite Pet Shop Boys songs, Liberation was the fourth and lowest charting single from Very here in the UK, reaching #14. Its also one of Very’s slower songs. Its probably the least electronic sounding track on the album, although its worth noting that despite the guitar, it still wouldn’t fit on previous album Behaviour. According to the Further Listening booklet for Very, the lyrics reflect the relationship that Neil was in at the time, but the sleeping on the shoulder incident that is depicted in the lyrics never actually occurred. The song has a very relaxing melody, personally I find it reflects how content the relationship in the song must be and the guitar in it is just lovely. There is a strong element of spontaneity and the feeling of being able to do and achieve anything conveyed in the duration of the song; even the title Liberation shows us this freedom. Its clearly a satisfying and intense relationship that Neil depicts in the song, as he shows no regard for consequences, saying “Take my hand, don’t think of obligation”. The song is very overlooked in my opinion, and hasn’t been performed live since Discovery Tour, so I hope they preform live again soon, great track!
Whilst I’ve been away one of the things I’ve been doing a lot is listening to the B-side collection Alternative. One of my favorites of this collection is One Of The Crowd, the B-side to the 1989 single Its Alright. The original idea of the song came about when Chris said on a Television interview that he didn’t like standing out, he just wanted to be one of the crowd. The song is an unusual one in that it actually features Chris on lead vocals for a change, albeit his vocals have been incredibly vocodered, to the point were the actual lyrics of the song are practically impossible to understand. I understand about two lines just. In terms of lyrics, I think I can succinctly describe it best by saying that its fundamentally Chris Lowe. What I mean by that is that the lyrics reflect his ethos when it comes to fame, he’s been open about the fact that he doesn’t feel the need for recognition, rather he would just prefer to “be part of the herd”. He also makes no secret of the fact that he prefers to be anonymous in the lyrics, to the point where there’s actually some symbolic value in the the fact that his voice has been digitized heavily. It gives him musical anonymity so to speak. Also, whether deliberately or mere coincidence, the track once again uses the line “I think its going to be alright” which formed the refrain of the One Of The Crowd’s A-side, It’s Alright. Personally I get reminded on Kraftwerk when I hear the song, but that is mainly due to the heavily robotic sounding vocals. Neil states in the Alternative booklet that he thinks the music is a bit generic but I personally really like it. Its definitely a Pet Shop Boys song with a difference. From what I’ve read on various sites its not one of their most popular b-sides but I like it, its experimental but still a good song!