Pet Shop Boys reveal artist they most wish they’d worked with during 40-year career

The Eighties band spoke at album launch event of their huge collaborations

Lydia Spencer-Elliott
Tuesday 23 April 2024 17:26 BST
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The Killers perform Human alongside the Pet Shop Boys at Glastonbury

From Liza Minnelli to Robbie Williams, the Pet Shop Boys have collaborated with the biggest stars in the music industry over their four decade long electronic pop career.

But Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe, who penned 44 UK top 40 hits including “Suburbia” and “West End Girls” have admitted there’s one huge name they still wish they could have made music with.

Speaking at The Guardian Live “An evening with Pet Shop Boys” event in London on Monday 22 April, where their new album Nonetheless was played publicly for the first time, Tennant and Lowe expressed regret over never having worked with jazz legend Nina Simone.

Simone, who died in 2003 at her home in France at the age of 70, became known for her blend of jazz, gospel and blues, including singles “I Loves You, Porgy”, “My Baby Just Care for Me”, and the Screamin’ Jay Hawkins cover “I Put a Spell on You”.

Tennant and Lowe also revealed they had planned a full album with Dusty Springfield but the "Son of a Preacher Man" singer passed away in 1999 before they could start recording the follow up to their collaboration on her thirteenth studio album, Reputation.

Cover art for the new Pet Shop Boys album, Nonetheless
Cover art for the new Pet Shop Boys album, Nonetheless (Tim Walker)

It comes after the Pet Shop Boys accused Drake of singing the lyrics to their 1983 hit “West End Girls” in his track, “All the Parties”, without permission last October.

In the song, which features on Drake’s new album, For All The Dogs, the “One Dance” rapper sings: “East End boys and West End girls, yeah/ East End boys and West End girls.”

On the day of the album’s release, the Pet Shop Boys tweeted: “Surprising to hear @Drake singing the chorus of ‘West End Girls’ in the track ‘All the Parties’ on his new album. No credit given or permission requested.”

Speaking with NME this week, Tennant and Lowe said the dispute has now been resolved but didn’t outline specifics.

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“It’s all sorted now,” Tennant said. “But I must say I thought it was a really nice bit in the record. He sang it very well.”

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