Monday, July 17, 2017

Robbed hit of the week 7/17/17 - Pet Shop Boys' "So Hard"...

"So Hard" - Pet Shop Boys
from the album Behaviour (1990)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #62

This week's "robbed hit" comes from the Pet Shop Boys, who had veered into Latin freestyle territory on what would be their final American top-40 pop hit so far, "Domino Dancing" in the winter of 1988. In the start of the new decade, the pair of Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe released their fourth album Behaviour. The first single, "So Hard", also took from the freestyle genre in its frenetic pace, but anchored it squarely in their electropop wheelhouse, with synth flourishes swirling around Tennant cooing lackadaisically about a couple weary of their life and seeking out alternative situations, which the music video portrays as a pair of couples hides a secret...


While "So Hard" continued the duo's streak of top ten hits in their native Britain, peaking at #4, in the States the single stalled down at #62 in November of 1990. The song did climb to #17 on Billboard's Modern Rock/Alternative radio chart, while the 12"/CD single remixes helped the track rise to #4 on their Dance Club Play list. Internationally, the single topped the chart in Finland, and reached the top ten in Italy (#2), Switzerland (#2), Germany (#3), Ireland (#3), Sweden (#3), Belgium (#8), and Norway (#9).

Neil and Chris' follow-up single, "Being Boring", despite being one of their all-time most acclaimed recordings, peaked at #70 in America and #20 in the UK. They came back with "How Can You Expect To Be Taken Seriously?" (US #93) and a mash-up of "Where The Streets Have No Name (Can't Take My Eyes Off You)" (US #72), both which were a "double-A sided" single that went to #4 in the UK and #2 in Ireland. A fifth single from Behaviour, "Jealousy", climbed to #12 in Britain but missed the American charts altogether.

(Click below to see the rest of the post)


Here's the main extended mix that the original music video was based on...


...and the house music clubbanger "Red Zone" mix done by club legend David Morales...


The KLF ("Justified and Ancient") even did a rework of the song for a special pressing of the 12" single in the UK...


Here's the duo performing the song live on their Performance tour supporting the album in 1991...


...and next on their Discovery shows of 1994 in Rio...


and finally back to 1990 when the pair appeared live on the Arsenio Hall show...



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