Pet Shop Boys

Heart

Song Review by

Had the circumstances been different, this Pet Shop Boys song -- a number one hit in the U.K., though not quite so high in the States -- might be famous to this day for being a smash single for someone else: Madonna. Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe have always been open about the fact that they figured she would do a good job with it, though Tennant later admitted that they never even got around to asking her. Motives aside, "Heart" is lovely if a bit anonymous, love drunk without much of the lyrical edge that can make the duo's compositions a cut above the norm. A mistake the band kept in helps kick it off -- Tennant's sampled voice saying "beat" instead of "heartbeat" -- while the arrangement, especially the higher pitched than normal bass line, suggests the Pet Shop Boys' semi-soulmates New Order to an extent. Lowe's work on the melody is faultless enough -- the song is undeniably catchy and features some fun percussion breaks here and there amid the straight-up four/four punch -- and Tennant's performance on the chorus in particular actually does suggest what the Madonna of that time might well have done with the song in the end. Still, it's not quite got the real impact of the band at its best and Tennant's later judgment that the memorably offbeat video, featuring Ian McKellen as a vampire, helped make the song a big hit isn't too far off in the end.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Actually 1987 EMI Music Distribution 3:58
Heart 1988 Parlophone
Discography: The Complete Singles Collection 1991 EMI Music Distribution 4:17
Best of 1980-1990, Vol. 6 1992
Various Artists
Electrola 4:18
Now: 1988 [1999] 1998
Various Artists
Virgin / EMI 4:17
No Image 1998 Capitol
PopArt [DVD] 2003 EMI Music Distribution
PopArt: The Hits 2003 Toshiba EMI 3:58
Ultimate Pet Shop Boys 2010 EMI / EMI Music Distribution 4:17