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"Suburbia"
Sub
Single by Pet Shop Boys
from the album Please
B-side(s) Jack The Lad, Paninaro
Released 22 September, 1988
Label Parlophone, EMI
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

LyricsEdit

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.

VideosEdit

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.

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