212. Pet Shop Boys – ‘Love Etc.’ (2009)

“Boy, it’s tough getting on in the world
When the sun doesn’t shine and a boy needs a girl”

Taken from the album Yes

UK #14

Alright, so when I said ‘Memory Of You’ was my favourite song of 2009, I forgot about this song. No doubt there are like twenty more 2009 songs lurking on this list that I’d forgotten about, waiting to make a fool of me. My excuse is this: when this list was made, it was July of 09, and in that time of course my tastes have changed ever so slightly and I remembered ‘Memory Of You’ as my number one. If any song were to challenge it, however, it would be ‘Love Etc.’, the lead single from the otherwise quite underwhelming Pet Shop Boys album Yes.

I think the first few seconds of ‘Love Etc.’ are the best part of the song. That bouncy ding-da-da-ding beat is infectious and thrilling, and made me instantly excited for a new Pet Shop Boys song. I properly discovered PSB in 2007, so Yes was the first album released while I was a huge fan, and ‘Love Etc.’ was such a good sign – it was one of those pop moments that you live for.

The lyrics switch between the melancholy verses, as always doing wistful better than anyone else, and the life-affirming chorus. The chant of “You need more” must be a commentary on materialistic life, but the conclusion of “You need love” brings everything back down to a place everyone can understand. It was their catchiest single since ‘Can You Forgive Her?’, it was their 39th UK top twenty hit, and it was an instant Pet Shop Boys classic.

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