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Pet Shop Boys continue to impress even after four decades of pop perfection

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Attitude magazine, it was public confirmation of what many already suspected. You didn’t have to be gay to pick up on the queer-coded lyrics to some of the Pet Shop Boys songs, but it was right there from the get-go.

On the 1986 debut album, Please, “I Want a Lover” resonated with any gay man who went cruising on the bar scene. Sophomore album, Actually, offered up ‘It’s A Sin”.

It chimed with anyone who’d been raised to believe their attractions were inherently immoral. “Rent” was vague enough to apply to anyone in a relationship with a wealthy benefactor, but also tipped its hat to the British slang for gay escorts (“rent boys”).

Subscribe to our newsletter for a refreshing cocktail (or mocktail) of LGBTQ+ entertainment and pop culture, served up with a side of eye-candy.On “Being Boring”, when Tennant sang “all the people I’ve been kissing, some are here and some are missing, in the 1990s”, most gay listeners understood it to be a reference to AIDS.

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