Apr 262024

‘The Best Covers Ever’ series counts down our favorite covers of great artists.

pet shop boys covers

No one does a cover like the Pet Shop Boys. Their “I Started a Joke” ranked high on our Bee Gees list. Their “Always On My Mind” ranked number-one on our Best Covers of 1987 list. When we eventually do a U2 covers list, I imagine “Where the Streets Have No Name” will be a contender for the top slot there too.

But today we’re not talking about covers by the Pet Shop Boys. We’re talking about covers of the Pet Shop Boys. Because, for as many songs as Chris Lowe and Neil Tennant have covered, they’ve been covered even more.

Which makes sense. As experimental and innovative as the pair are sonically, they also write incredibly solid pop tunes. Songs that don’t require their clever electronic production or droll delivery to be great. Songs that can work as acoustic ballads or hip-hop ragers or black-metal explosions—examples of all of which are below. The big songs get covered a ton (“It’s a Sin” and “West End Girls” are the heaviest hitters), but the album cuts get reimagined some too. They drop their latest album Nonetheless today. We wouldn’t be surprised if cuts off that start getting covered soon too.

So we’ll leave you to your own devices to explore our list below. We promise you wouldn’t be bored.


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  7 Responses to “The 30 Best Pet Shop Boys Covers Ever”

Comments (7)
  1. Good list but disappointed that Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine’s version of Rent didn’t make the cut. As much as I love original, Carter bring the griminess in relationship and with them using both members’ vocals to great effect I genuinely think it’s a better version. https://youtu.be/deEXgD15ABc?si=xHhyg667qa_O_PyH

  2. Technically I’m Not Scared was a cover when PSB recorded it, given that they wrote it for Patsy Kensit who released it under her band’s name, Eighth Wonder. I’m being picky though; it was a PSB single in all but name and vocal.

  3. Nice list, however I do miss some tracks. For instance the Robbie Wiliams cover “I Wouldn’t Normally Do This Kind Of Thing”, one of the b-sides to Let Me Entertain You. Liza Minnelli covered two Pet Shop Boys tracks for her 1989 Results album: “Tonight Is Forever” and “Rent”. Also very nice, but hard to find, is the Thirteen Senses cover of “Rent”. British boy band East 17 did a very decent cover of “West End Girls”. A very funky take on this song was done by Da Lukas, especially in the Mark Picchiotti remix version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=taioUWorvGs

    • Absolutely. Robbie’s governor that is excellent but the best one is Do I Have To by Swedish singer Inga and it hasn’t even made the list. Tracey Thorn’s Kings Cross should be higher up the list as well as it’s excellent

  4. Oh, and I forgot this great take on “You Only Tell Me You Love Me When You’re Drunk” by German band Element of Crime: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=So343ZObqlY

  5. Olly Alexander from Years and Years appeared in the AIDS TV drama It’s a Sin and then covered PSB song of the same name before duetting with Elton John on it. Worth a look – https://youtu.be/Hk4eMIswunQ?si=1HLO1CN_l13KLgsf

  6. This is a good list, was surprised to find that Rent by Carter USM was left out.

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