|Single by Pet Shop Boys|
|from the album Please|
|B-side(s)||Jack The Lad, Paninaro|
|Released||22 September, 1988|
|Peak chart positions|
UK: #8, USA: #70, USA Club: #46, Netherlands #2, Italy: #15
|Pet Shop Boys singles chronology|
|Opportunities (Let's Make Lots Of Money)||Suburbia||It's A Sin|
'Suburbia' was the last single released from the 'Please' album.
Production and RecordingEdit
The album version, which was produced by Stephen Hague, appeared first. The bassline is inspired by Madonna's 'Into The Groove', according to Chris, who wrote all the music for 'Suburbia'. The album version almost exactly resembles their original demo recording.
For the 7" and 12", Julian Mendelsohn was brought in to re-mix, and he transformed the track into an epic soundscape, complete with riot sounds, explosions and a heavier percussion arsenal. The smashing glass in the Julian Mendelsohn version was a pane of glass smashed and recorded at Sarm West Studios.
The lyrics were inspired by a film of the same name as the song, directed by Penelope Spheeris. Says Neil, "I thought it was a great idea to write a song about suburbia and how it's really violent and decaying and a mess...that the suburbs are really nasty, that behind lace curtains everyone is an alcoholic or a spanker or a mass murderer."
Neil is referring to his own mother in the line "mother's got a hairdo to be done..."
Suburbia where the suburbs met utopia where the suburbs met utopia Lost in the high street, where the dogs run roaming suburban boys Mother's got her hairdo to be done She says they're too old for toys Stood by the bus stop with a felt pen in this suburban hell and in the distance a police car to break the suburban spell Let's take a ride and run with the dogs tonightin suburbia You can't hide Run with the dogs tonight in suburbia Break the window by the town hall Listen! A siren screams there in the distance like a roll call of all the suburban dreams Let's take a ride and run with the dogs tonight in suburbia You can't hide run with the dogs tonight in suburbia I only wanted something else to do but hang around I only wanted something else to do but hang around It's on the front page of the papers This is their hour of need Where's a policeman when you need one to blame the colour TV? Let's take a ride and run with the dogs tonight in suburbia You can't hide run with the dogs tonight in suburbia Suburbia where the suburbs met utopia What kind of dream was this so easy to destroy? And who are we to blame for the sins of the past? These slums of the future? suburbia where the suburbs met utopia suburbia where the suburbs met utopia
Releases and VersionsEdit
Suburbia was released worldwide in various formats. The standard b-side was Paninaro for the 7" records and many 12" formats included a second one called Jack The Lad. Like Love Comes Quickly, there was no UK limited 12" configuration, but a limited double-7" gatefold pack was released, adding the Shep Pettibone mix of Love Comes Quickly, the second b-side, and an exclusive 2-minute edit of the Full Horror by Julian Mendelsohn.
In the US, veteran producer Arthur Baker was once again called upon to do remixes for the North American market, but these were only released on limited edition vinyl, and are quite hard to find now.
Design and Packaging Edit
Credited to Mark Farrow and PSB, the various front covers were again full frame black and white shots of the band, done in subtle sepia-tones. Most 12" records had a shot of Chris wearing window-shade sunglasses and a striped shirt. A double-sleeve edition of this has a second picture of Neil with dark shades and t-shirt as a counterpart. 7" records typically show one of several motion-blurred shots in which Neil appears to hold Chris in a headlock. All the photos in this set were done by Eric Watson.
The video was shot in Los Angeles and featured the Boys in various urban settings: the inside of an abandoned bus, in a poor neighbourhood, and a messy apartment.