Pet Shop Boys vs. Rock Critics (1986)

“When the subject of critics arose, Tennant just laughed. ‘I love to give them a hard time,’ he said in an interview here. ‘In America, I proudly go around and say to these critics that we’re a disco group. I know they hate disco. We kind of rub their faces in it.

‘I don’t like the way they turn up their noses at dance music. Who do they think they are? I don’t like their patronizing attitude. If you’re not Hüsker Dü or somebody like that, they think you’re insignificant. These critics approach music like books, like book collectors. They don’t listen with their ears. You never get a sense that they like music.'”
Pet Shop Boys’ Neil Tennant blasts critics, but he was oneThe Bulletin, May 8, 1986

(FWIW, I will go to my grave convinced that Tennant pronounces “Hüsker” with the long, and not the short, ü, umlauted or not.)



5 thoughts on “Pet Shop Boys vs. Rock Critics (1986)

  1. If you’re not a fan, Steve, I get it, It’s not exactly Tennant at his wittiest or sharpest — though his essential argument was, at the time, refreshing — but he may well be my favourite pop person ever, not that I’ve ever thought of ranking pop people in such a way.

  2. Thanks, Jack (er, Mr. Thompson*). Yeah, I think he’s absolutely right, at least insofar as he was describing a tendency — an overriding tendency, for sure — in rock criticism.

    * Depends how one defines “nasty,” I suppose, but I’ve had my moments.

  3. I’m somewhat surprised—maybe I shouldn’t be—that Tenant was even cognizant of Husker Du at the time. (The writer apparently felt that some parenthetical explanation was required.) He could just as easily have named the Talking Heads or the Del-Lords or one of those other big 1986 American bands.

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