Release DateEdit

  • 15 June, 1987

Chart PositionsEdit

  • UK: #1
  • US: #9
  • US Club: #3
  • Norway: #1
  • Netherlands: #3
  • Germany: #1
  • Italy: #3


'It's A Sin' was the first single released from 'Actually', before the full album release. A highly dramatic production, it is a track that has come to be easily recognizable as Pet Shop Boys, as much as 'West End Girls'. It was originally conceived and written in 1982. Remixes were done by Ian Levine and Phil Harding. The b-side was 'You Know Where You Went Wrong'.

"It's A Sin" marks the start of Pet Shop Boys' Imperial phase.


Neil says that, "having been brought up as a Catholic you thought everything was a sin. You're told that thinking about it is as bad as doing it. The song was meant to be kind of big and funny and camp.'


  • 'Heart' was originally intended to be the first single from 'Actually' but after a phone call from manager Tom Watkins, they were persuaded to release 'It's A Sin' first instead, because 'it was obviously the most commerical track on the album.'
  • Bridge which goes 'Father forgive me / I tried not to do it...' was taken from a completely different song they had written at the time.
  • At several points in the song you can hear recordings taken in the Brompton Oratory, including general ambience, a preacher, and a choir singing amen.
  • The '20 seconds and counting' was taken from one of the Apollo missions.
  • The latin that Neil is singing in the background at the end of the track is the Confiteor, a Catholic prayer.

Official VersionsEdit

  • 4:59 It's A Sin (single/album version)
  • 7:39 It's A Sin (disco mix)
  • 8:18 It's A Sin (remix) remixed by Ian Levine
  • 9:14 It's A Sin (phil harding latin vocal mix) US only
  • 4:20 It's A Sin (phil harding latin dub mix) US only


Chris plays jailer to Neil in a dark ages dungeon scenario, while images personifying the seven deadly sins appear on the screen.

Cover Versions by Other ArtistsEdit

  • 1988 Delhusa Gjon (Favorit)
  • 1989 Munich Symphonic Sound Orchestra (Polystar)
  • 1997 Miguel Brown (Infinity Records)
  • 1999 Gamma Ray (Noise Records)
  • 2003 X-Perience (Polydor)
  • 2006 West End Girls

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