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One Hundred Lyrics and a Poem

In a career that spans four decades, Neil Tennant has become extremely well known as one half of the duo Pet Shop Boys, Chris Lowe being the other half. Formed in 1981 the duo burst onto the pop/dance scene with their vibrant synth-pop style of music and lyrics, created with the emerging scope of the synthesiser.

The other aspect of Tennant is his lifelong love of creating lyrics and poetry, one hundred of which he has selected in this intriguing and most enjoyable anthology, which literally documents his life’s journey through the medium of poetry.

He has written a very informative Introduction to the collection which fills in many of the gaps, commencing from his first set of lyrics, or song, ‘Has anyone seen my cat, the one with the long tail’ which was part of his first musical The Girl Who Pulled Tails, performed with the girl next door to an audience of three!

From such humble beginning, his career has gone to be the stuff legends are made from, his lyrics a reflection of the years, life in general and the innate quirkiness of human nature. Each of the selected lyrics have a little footnote offering the reason behind the inspiration.

A favourite, wry piece, amongst the many It couldn’t happen here reflects on the AIDS epidemic when it first became a global issue in 1987 and the unreal belief that it could not happen in Britain; could it!

Perfectly captured in Shameless,  the verse takes a satirical tilt at what people will undertake to garner for their ‘one minute of fame’ and the celebrity culture that was created around this ephemeral moment,  along with the raw determination to do whatever it takes to succeed.

Over the years Tennant has taken a tilt at most things, such as Thatcherism, Tony Blair, love, tragedy and despair, religion, families, basically every aspect of humanity and its foibles!

In selecting the pieces to construct the essence of this anthology, Tennant points out the words have been written as lyrics in most cases and therefore are designed to be set to music, making the flow somewhat different, but the ethos exactly the same as when they were written

One Hundred Lyrics and a Poem will keep on giving just as Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe, as the Pet Shop Boys will for some considerable time to come.

Truly a most enjoyable, fascinating collection and look behind the words at the genius of the mind that sees life through the medium of words and music.

Author Neil Tennant
Publisher Faber
ISBN 9780571348909
Distributor Allen and Unwin
Released December 2018