Interview

Pete Burns tribute: The last interview

Pete Burns spoke to SDE just weeks before his death

I interviewed Dead Or Alive frontman Pete Burns for SDE about a month ago, to discuss the new 19-disc box set Sophisticated Boom Box MMXVI. I was literally listening to the audio of the interview (conducted over the phone) late yesterday afternoon, when the shocking news came in of Pete’s untimely death at the age of 57.

When we spoke, Pete told me that he hadn’t done an interview for over 18 months and was “very anxious” about it, because he was “not used to selling a product”. He also didn’t really like speaking over the phone: “I hate having them and I don’t have the internet, either. I’m primitive, really,” he said.

He was recovering from a spell in hospital with kidney problems (“I’m fine now”) and was just getting back to a routine at home “and finding my feet in life again, because I’ve just spent four months in a hospital bed.”

I reassured him that I was simply going to ask about the box set and also put to him a few specific questions that SDE readers had submitted. There was no underhand agenda and I just wanted to talk about his career and the music. Pete was lovely to talk to. He was very thoughtful and quick with his answers which were direct and not sugar-coated. I started by asking how the idea of the box set came about…

Pete Burns: The record company approached us. Demon Records approached us and it was completely down to the record company. They’d done a bit of market research and there was a fan demand for it. Not a very interesting answer, but it’s the truth. That’s all I can give you.

SDE: But before they approached you, did you have any desire to get some of these albums back in print, maybe the ones that were out in Japan but have never been available in the UK?

PB: Yeah, I did. I’d always wanted them released in other territories, always, but it proved an impossible thing…I’m too old. Being 57 years old, people count you out the game at that point in England, but the record company did some research into whose box set they would like and ours came up as one of the priority ones, so they approached us and it was months of wrangling with the deal, you know, so it was a good deal. And we did it and it’s out soon.

SDE: I know you and Steve [Coy] have been involved in the project. How hands-on did you get in terms of selecting the content for the box?

PB: Well, it’s nearly everything that I’ve ever done, you know, so it wasn’t a case of being hands-on, it was like, “let’s put everything together and get it in a nice sleeve and let the record company market it.” So as hands-on as I could be, and then I took ill for four months with kidney stones, so I was off the project for a while, and then the next thing I come out of hospital, which is only four weeks ago, and the record’s ready.

SDE:  Did you enjoy the process? I guess doing the box set must have forced you to step back a little bit and have some distance and look at your whole career. What was your feeling, looking at your body of work?

PB: Well, I’m actually proud of my body of work. I don’t own any of my own records. I don’t listen to them once I’ve done them, unless they’re a hit, which is very rare. So it was a way of looking back at what I’ve done. Obviously, when you’re putting all of your work on it, there are some things you wish that you’d never done. There are some things I call ‘criminal records’… it’s not that I don’t think they should be on there, I just I wish I’d never done them. But everything is on there for everybody to hear and there’s some good stuff on there, and there’s some terrible stuff on there. It was therapeutic, and I think a lot of the material stuff stands up today, particularly off Sophisticated Boom Boom, like What I Want, and I’d Do Anything and stuff like that, and Unhappy Birthday, and Isn’t it a Pity? and stuff off Fragile that I can’t actually remember the titles of, because I haven’t got one of them that come to me at the moment. But they still stand up today. I still think that a great album could be lifted from that compilation as a single album to go out on its own, you know.

SDE: But what did you think of the concept of a 19-disc box set? There’s so much there. Did you have to be persuaded that it was a good idea to more or less empty the entire archive…

PB: For the advance, no, there was no persuasion necessary, and there was no other deal on the table. They approached us out of the blue and it was like pennies from heaven, you know. They’d done market research and found out there was a demand for it.

SDE: I noticed there’s at least 25 versions of You Spin Me Round.

PB: That’s not my fault. That’s because people asked to remix it and it seems to be the one that I’m going to die with, like Judy Garland died with Over the Rainbow. I wish there were other tracks that people took an interest in… we had other hits in other markets and other hits here, [but] that’s the one everyone remembers. I’m very grateful for it, but I wish that other things got an airing, but they don’t, which is the way it is.

SDE: I was going to ask you whether the song is a blessing or a curse in that respect, or is it a mixture of both?

PB: It’s an absolute blessing, because it keeps me afloat. It’s a blessing, but what can I say, really? I wish that hadn’t been the number one. I wish it had been Brand New Lover or Something in My House or something else. I wish it was another of the tracks. It’s not my favourite track, but it’s my luckiest track… I mean, George Michael must feel the same about Last Christmas, mustn’t he? It kind of haunts them. And when I’ve got to perform it on stage, although the crowd love the energy, I literally need a cattle prod to get me through the second verse.

SDE: One omission from the box is the very early work, your independent stuff that you issued before signing with Epic. Was there ever any chance that that might have made it? Will that see the light of day or get reissued?

PB: It will see the light of day but it’ll probably be re-recorded, because that wasn’t the sound that I wanted to be working with. Even when I started making those indie records, I always dreamt of us making disco records, and those records were done to finance the purchase of a sequencer. I found somebody who would operate a sequencer to turn my songs into disco records, because I always call them disco, not just dance-pop, they’re disco records. So they were just a means to an end, but they will see the light of day, but probably re-recorded and probably accompanied by the original versions so people can see how dire they were.

SDE: Tell us a little bit about how you ended up meeting Stock, Aitken and Waterman in the early ‘80s and how that partnership come about?

PB: It lasted two albums. Meeting them was a blessing and a curse, because the demo of Spin Me Round sounds exactly like the finished product. Well, at the time Culture Club were big, and Marilyn was big, Bananarama were big, and we didn’t fit any mould with the sound that we had, because it was the same as Stock Aitken Waterman [eventually] put out, you know. It was that dance sound. We needed producers and we approached Bobby Orlando who had done Divine and the Pet Shop Boys. But the deal he had on the table was a crook’s deal, and the record company refused to finance it. So then we approached someone called Patrick Cowley who worked with Sylvester, and that nearly came to fruition but he went and died of AIDS. And then I heard a record on the radio by Divine. I originally heard Native Love (Step by Step) by Divine and I heard him recording You Think You’re A Man, and I liked the sound of it. And then I heard a Hazell Dean track and I liked the sound of that, so I said, “Can we find these producers?” and we were told by the record company, “No, they’re not producing, they’re just DJs”. I was adamant that we’d find the producers, and we’d approached Clive Langer, we’d approached various other people –  they’d all turned us down.

They didn’t see us as marketable products, or me as a marketable product. And eventually we did finance it ourselves. The record company gave its blessing after I met Pete Waterman. As soon as he heard it, he said it was a number one hit. It was an obvious number one hit. If they had an album for them he’d take the project.

So that’s how we met him and it was through our own doing. We got management on board who set up the meeting, the record company weren’t helping in any way towards it at all, they tried to block it and tried to get us in with anyone to change our sound. Because the record company wanted us to sound like Culture Club at the time. So we forced the issue of meeting Stock Aitken Waterman. It wasn’t the most joyful experience working with them. It has lots of bad memories because they were doing bands called Spelt Like This and Hazell Dean and Princess and stuff like that, and they couldn’t understand our sound. So they thought we should have another sound, and it was a constant battle to get our sounds down the way it was. I don’t have fond memories of working with Stock Aitken Waterman at all, although they’re incredibly talented, but they were incredibly difficult to work with, because they’re artists as well, you know.

SDE: Was that because it was much easier for them to work with just one singer and you were a band and they never really knew what to do with a band?

PB: Absolutely, you’ve put it in words that failed me. Thank you for answering the question. Yeah, we were a band with our own identity and our own sound, and it was much easier to take a singer, like a cleaner off a reception desk or something like that, and give her a record and send her toddling on her way. And nobody who worked with Stock Aitken Waterman got a penny because they were all, you know, just session singers doing records. They got all the glory but they didn’t earn any money, and we were already an established band with a following, so there was a real battle of egos there.

SDE: And was that why the collaboration was relatively short-lived?

PB: Well, you know, they discovered, after working with us, that it was easier, thank you, to work with other singers, just session singers. There was times when I’d be writing a track and they’d go, “Why don’t you go home and take a nice bubble bath and we’ll write it for you?” You know? Just fuck off basically and let us do it. Which is what they wanted to do. They wanted all the glory, as you probably saw on the Brit Awards when they appeared and stuff like that, you know. And as the time with us came to an end, they were so busy doing these kind of things, there was no space for us, which I was secretly glad of. So we went to the record company with our own demos and they said, “produce it yourself.”

SDE: You mentioned the Pet Shop Boys earlier on. One of the tracks that’s on the Fragile bonus disc in this box set is your collaboration with Chris and Neil, Jack and Jill Party.

PB: Yeah, that was great fun to do.

SDE: Tell me a little bit about how that came about?

PB: It’s the most dull, boring story ever. I was at a premiere of Party Monster. Remember that movie? And Janet Street-Porter said “My friend, Neil Tennant, has got a song for you. He really wants you to do this song,” and I said, “Oh, great, fantastic.” And then I bumped into Neil Tennant and I said, “I believe you’ve got a song for me.” We didn’t know each other or anything, never met. And he sent me a cassette over – at the time, it was actually a cassette that he sent me it over – of this demo, Jack and Jill Party, and I was a little bit disappointed at first when I heard it, because it was a bit dark. I wanted a bright, sparkly, Pet Shop Boys record, but I thought, “Well, it’s an opportunity to work with other people.” I wasn’t doing anything at the time – large parts of my life, I’m not doing anything at the time – and I went and worked with them and it was just the most joyful collaboration ever, because they took everything very lightly, and there was almost an album but things were not to be. Things didn’t work out, and their management gave us difficult problems with the royalties and stuff like that. But I will say to my own credit that I rewrote Jack and Jill Party. I rewrote the lyrics and everything like that, but I got no credit for it.

SDE: Were you disappointed it wasn’t a bigger hit?

PB: Of course I was, but I knew when we were finishing it, it wasn’t going to be a big hit because it wasn’t the Pet Shop Boys sound they gave me. An interpretation of a dark disco sound that they thought suited my persona, whereas I wanted something sparkly and bright. But, you know, I think it’s still stands up today. In fact I would say today it sounds better than it did at the time.

SDE: And with Dead Or Alive, does Dead Or Alive still exist as an entity? I mean, will there be any more records, tours or anything?

PB: Oh, there will definitely be more records. It doesn’t exist in the idea of the old members. We graft in members at the time, musicians and stuff like that, to write with. I usually write with one musician and Steve Coy, and then for the live work we get session musicians to do it. Dead Or Alive was always fundamentally musicians changing around me. One of the spells was Mike [Percy] and Tim [Lever], who are great to work with and went on to do their own things because they didn’t like the travelling and the interruption of having to stand behind me, really. Because, what can I say, there’s usually democracy in bands, and there was no democracy in mine. It was my way or the highway, so it’s not a good atmosphere to work under long-term because other people’s suggestions are very quickly rejected because I have a very strong idea of how I want to represent myself and how I want to sound, whereas other people think I should try something else. I’m very reticent to try it. I’m not really an experimental … I stick to one formula and go with it.

SDE:  I know there’s a lot in the new box, but are there any further archival projects planned?

PB: Well, Steve’s talking to a lot of people at the moment about further projects. There will be a new album, probably 2016/2017, but there’ll be a lot of cover versions on it and some new songs. There’s a lot of songs that I want to cover which will remain nameless. But sometimes you’ve just got to admit some people do it better than you, and if there’s a good song to cover and your voice carries it, why not do it?

SDE: Let me ask you some questions that SDE readers have submitted.  Is the cover of Mad, Bad, and Dangerous to Know, some kind of deliberate homage to The Damned’s Phantasmagoria album cover. Both are by the same photographer, Bob Carlos Clarke

PB: No, I never saw The Damned cover. I just saw an exhibition of Bob Carlos Clarke photographs, and chose… he’s now dead. He killed himself. I chose him to be the photographer for the cover, and that’s a really weird question.

SDE: Some people have asked whether the content within this box will be available separately, if they don’t want to – or can’t – pay £120 now for it – will that happen?

PB: Well, I do think it’s really expensive, it’s a lot of money to ask off somebody, which is why I feel sales will be limited. And it’s clearly not my call to say if they’ll be released separately. I can’t say anything. It’s in the hands of the record company and Steve Coy negotiating with them.

SDE READER QUESTION: Which music video did you enjoy making the most and why?

PB: Spin Me 2002 because it was very easy to make. Video had progressed to such a point that everything was very, very easy to do. Well, actually, it was just very easy to do in a very short shoot. I just enjoyed it and I enjoy the process of video making anyway. I enjoy it, but videos don’t serve the purpose that you think … well, they didn’t. I can only talk in the realms of the past. They didn’t serve the purpose that I was hoping they would do, in that you wouldn’t have to go on endless shows, they’d show your video. But no, they wanted to show you and intersperse the video with your performance or something, you know?

SDE READER QUESTION: You’ve been fabulously opinionated over the years – do you regret anything that you’ve said?

PB: Everything. I think opinions are best kept to yourself really and you pay the price for them. I don’t know what opinions in particular that they’re talking about because I’d have to sit re-reading my old press, which I never did. Once I’ve done an interview I don’t read it. But if someone asks me a question I usually have an answer for it, and I paid the price in some ways because it’s made me rather an intimidating individual, and I’m not really intimidating, I’m a pussy cat.

SDE: But the questioner goes on to say, have you made up with any of the pop stars that you might have dissed, whoever they may be? 

PB: Who have I have dissed? I’ve just got no memory of it. It just seems such an irrelevant question.

SDE READER QUESTION: When you first heard the initial cuts for You Spin Me Round, did you get the instant feeling of, “This is it, this is a big hit,” you know, “We’re going to have a number one record?”

PB: No, I definitely didn’t. I never assumed anything in advance. I thought at the most we’d have a Top 20 record [that’s] was what I hoped for, so there would be a building process to the career. Because after you’ve had your number one, everything else is downhill, you know. People call me a one-hit wonder, but I had seven Top 40 hits that year, and it’s like Spin Me has overshadowed absolutely everything I will ever achieve. I’ll never achieve another Spin Me. Not that I want to. It just seems that it hit the magical chord with people, and I didn’t expect anything. I was the unhappiest person in the world the day it got to number one, because I wanted it to stop at number six and the next thing we’ll go to number five and have a gradual building process. But even though we’d been around for a long time, that overnight success was the peak of what you could achieve. So even on the record company side, everything after that was a flop.

SDE: A few years ago, there was some buzz that you’d done some recordings with Pete Waterman and that something might come out of that. What’s the story behind that?

PB: No, what happened is Pete Waterman, after we’d done the O2 Centre as part of the Stock Aitken Waterman debacle, he said he got his excitement back when he saw me onstage and wanted to work with me, and I was very interested and eager, thinking he’d have a team like Aitken and Stock and stuff like that, and when I got there, it was like there was tumbleweed blowing around the studio. It was an inactive studio, and he had a new young songwriter that he’d discovered, who really wasn’t up to cutting the mustard, who couldn’t bring anything out of me and I couldn’t bring anything out of him, so within a week the project was dead. There was no recording actually done. Because Pete Waterman has a way of picking up people and getting the best out of them and then throwing them to one side, but it was an unworkable situation and there was no advance on the table or talk of a deal. It was just trying me in the studio with somebody else, and it came to nothing, so no hard feelings… but it came to nothing.

SDE READER QUESTION: To what extent was Fan the Flame Part II recorded and how come it remains unreleased?

PB: It’s a really long, boring, complicated story and I’ll try and make it short for you. I was doing a tour of America and I became very aware of the AIDS situation, and I wanted to make an album of torch songs, and I thought it would be a lot easier than it was. So we were in Texas and I went in the studio with … I wanted a cabaret pianist to do a sort of cabaret album. It was to be on sale with the merchandise, right, and the money was going to directly to the homeless people with AIDS. I was just going take the money and give it to the people on the street. And the tapes were never finished, the pianist was drunk and couldn’t read music and stuff like that, and it was just a nightmare after hearing it in the studio. I paid the studio bill and left and thought we’d hear no more of it, and it emerged as a bootleg that’s still on sale, and really it should never have gone on sale. It wasn’t for release. It was me playing around in the studio with a pianist who couldn’t play and didn’t know the songs, and it was never, ever, ever meant for release and I’m horrified that it’s still out there.

SDE: For the box, there’s new artwork on some of these albums, I understand. Have you chosen or have helped design or pick the new artwork for these?

PB: Well, I’d chosen the pictures and let the record company do what they want with them. This is the first time that a record company has been so easy and helpful, but I’ve just handed things over to them for their side, because they know what they’ve got to work with and what they’ve got to sell, you know, so I’ve handed it over to the record company because I used to stress out to the point where I was physically ill over the finer details, and what matters really is the music and if people actually want it.

SDE READER QUESTION: Is there anything in particular that inspires you or fires your imagination at the moment, and that might be art, fashion, literature, film or people?

PB: At the moment, I can honestly say no, because I’m not somebody who works off inspiration. Ideas just come to me out of the blue, in the middle of the night, and I’ve either got to record them or wear them or do things like that, and I’m in a phase of my life at the moment – not being negative – where I find nothing inspirational. My personal life’s going through a lot of changes at the moment, so I’m focused on that, and I’ve just had four months in hospital with kidney problems and stuff like that, so this is my … I think it’s my second week out of hospital with kidney problems and I’m fine now, but I’m just focusing on getting well and finding my feet in life again, because I’ve just spent four months in a hospital bed. You’ve been institutionalised for four months and, like, just going out on the street is a bit scary, so I’m not finding very much inspiration in anything. But it will come. My husband plays me lots of music that he thinks is good, and occasionally somebody will strike a chord and I’ll ask him what it was, but usually I’m incredibly slow. The last thing he played me that I found very inspirational was an album by an artist called Robyn and I found it very inspirational and there were tracks on that that I wanted to cover, but somebody beat me to it, the one I want to cover. But I’ll cover a track off that album at some point. I’ll pick a track, or maybe she’ll do another album, but she was the last thing that really inspired me, because she had a great pop dance sensibility and a beautiful voice and melodies and lyrics. There was stories in those lyrics, and I often wonder what’s happened to her. She seems to have gone away.

SDE READER QUESTION: If you had a TARDIS, is there any part of your career you’d go back and change?

PB: No, because what’s done is done. I’m not somebody who has regrets. Hold on, let me think what I would change…. Oh, the fact that we started a major lawsuit with Sony over our 12-inch royalties, just as Spin Me hit number one. We spent a lot of years in litigation with our record company behind the scenes, so the records suffered in marketing. I just wish it could have been different but it couldn’t be, because we changed it for everybody that we actually got royalties on 12-inches, because they was seen as a promotional tool, but once we sold 72 percent 12-inches of our Spin Me thing, we thought, “Hold on, this is more than a promotional tool.” So we had to do something about it legally or we’d have never got any money, and once we changed it, everyone on Sony got royalties on the 12-inches and we weren’t the most popular people in the Sony building for doing so.

SDE: Is that related to the fact that a few years back, there was supposed to be some 12-inch collection, compilation, coming out and that never happened. Do you know why that was, or what the story behind that is?

PB: I’m not sure. I would say it was down to the marketing manager changing their mind, because we were handed on to some very dodgy marketing managers who didn’t know what to do with us, and as I got older, I had more to say about it, and if something wasn’t acceptable to me, I’d veto the project. Because we always had complete artistic control in saying what the record company did, they couldn’t blink without our approval. So I probably said no to it, because they had a different idea for it than I did. I mean, when we did the Greatest Hits 2002, some genius in the marketing department – because you do need marketing – decided we would only market it to gay people. So what did that entail? Fly posting in Compton Street only and half-page ads in gay magazines only. It was relegated to the gay bucket. You know, music’s not something for your sexuality, it’s music, you know. But we’ve had a bad time with marketing people and record companies, which is why we licensed albums in separate territories because it made it easier. If one record company went down, another would pick it up, you know. Being in a worldwide contract with the same record company, if you fall out with your home record company, you’re affected in every other territory.

SDE READER QUESTION: Someone says he’s got an old copy of Record Mirror with an old interview where you said that Giorgio Moroder might be producing the next album after Sophisticated Boom Boom. That obviously that didn’t happen, but do you remember that?

PB: Yeah, I do remember it. Things just sometimes don’t happen because they ask for too much money and it can’t come to fruition. Unfortunately, I would speak about things before they were consolidated, you know.

SDE READER QUESTION:  If you weren’t the famous Pete Burns of Dead or Alive, what else might you be doing for a living, do you think?

PB: I have no idea. I have no idea. I’d probably be down the tube station begging with a bowl. I have no idea what else I might be doing, no idea. Fame was something that was thrust upon me, it’s not something that I actually sought, but my appearance put me on the treadmill of fame. It has its ups and downs. I feel completely anonymous. I don’t see how people can relate to me as a famous person just because I’m on the TV. I feel totally anonymous but I’m not. The public are very nice to me and very warm and affectionate. As soon as I did Big Brother and they saw I could actually string a sentence together and I was opinionated and had something to say. There’s a lot of love for me in the public, but whether they love my product, I don’t know, whether it’s me personally or they want a product from me. This is the first time that I’ve had a product out in a long time, so it’s a shock to the system. I’m not sure what’s supposed to happen with it. I don’t have any understanding of what the Amazon shop is, I don’t know what it is, I don’t understand the internet. All I do is I make the music and that’s all the music that I’ve made to date, and it’s available and it’s a ridiculous price, but what can I do? But it’s in a nice package, and I hope some people buy it.

SDE READER QUESTION: If you could stop time and live in any era or any particular year, which one would it be?

PB: With hindsight, I’d go back to the 80s. I’d go back to ’85 because there were some things that I would be more mature about. I mean, I was very immature. There’s no college or university you go to to learn how to deal with fame. You think it’s something bigger and more important than it is, and I ran away from it, whereas it was something I should have actually embraced and made more of. But I’d say ’85 to ’87, but unfortunately after ’87 my mother died, which was a very bad two years for me after she died. But I’d say ’85 to ’87 were the years that I’d go back to, because they were our halcyon days and everything was going well and I couldn’t fart without it being a hit.

SDE READER QUESTION: Does it bother you that, your image may have detracted from the music?

PB: Yes, it does. It’s a shame, but my image would be my image regardless. I’d be like this regardless of the music. It is a shame and it’s why at a certain point I stopped doing interviews completely, because it was always about my image and stuff like that, and I have nothing really to say about my image. My transformation was something organic. I just did it because I needed to do it, I needed to be this person. In the earlier stages I didn’t recognise myself, it was like a form of dysmorphia. I didn’t recognise myself, so I transformed myself into a person that I recognised and who’s comfortable in their own skin. And it’s a shame it outweighs the music, but it’s also done it some favours.

SDE: Thank you, Pete. Is there anything else you want to say? 

PB: Just buy it, buy it, buy it. Thank you very much, and I’m really grateful to the record company for putting it out and putting the steam behind it. And thanks for making this interview easy as well, because I’ve been so nervous about it.

RIP Pete Burns 1959 – 2016. The box set is out on Friday.

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Dead Or Alive

Sophisticated Boom Box

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Dead Or Alive

The Vinyl Collection

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track_listing

deadoralive

In the box set:

‘Sophisticated Boom Boom’ (2CD)
‘Youthquake’ (3CD)
‘Mad, Bad And Dangerous To Know’ (2CD)
‘Rip It Up’ (2CD)
‘Nude’/‘Nude Remade Remodelled’ (2CD)
‘Fan The Flame, Part 1’ (1CD)
‘Nukleopatra’ (2CD)
‘Fragile’/’Unbreakable – The Fragile Remixes’ (3CD)
DVD1: Promotional videos
DVD2: ‘Rip It Up Live’ in Japan at the height of their international fame and a selection of UK TV appearances.

1984 SOPHISTICATED BOOM BOOM

CD1

  • 1 I’d Do Anything
  • 2 That’s The Way (I Like It)
  • 3 Absolutely Nothing
  • 4 What I Want
  • 5 Far Too Hard
  • 6 You Make Me Wanna
  • 7 Sit On It
  • 8 Wish You Were Here
  • 9 Misty Circles
  • 10 Do It

Bonus Tracks

  • 11 Selfish Side
  • 12 Misty Circles [7″ Version]
  • 13 What I Want [7″ Version]
  • 14 I’d Do Anything [7″ Version]
  • 15 That’s The Way (I Like It) [7″ Version]

CD2

  • 1 Misty Circles [Dance Mix]
  • 2 What I Want [Original Dance Mix]
  • 3 I’d Do Anything [Megamix]
  • 4 That’s The Way (I Like It) [Extended Version]
  • 5 What I Want [1984 Dance Mix]
  • 6 What I Want [1984 7″ Remix]
  • 7 Give It To Me [BBC Session]
  • 8 Misty Circles [Dub Mix]
  • 9 That’s The Way (I Like It) [Dub] – previously unreleased
  • 10 Absolutely Nothing [Dub] – previously unreleased
  • 11 Misty Circles [Instrumental]
  • 12 Keep That Body Strong (That’s The Way)

1985 YOUTHQUAKE

CD1

  • 1 You Spin Me Round (Like A Record)
  • 2 I Wanna Be A Toy
  • 3 DJ Hit That Button
  • 4 In Too Deep
  • 5 Big Daddy Of The Rhythm
  • 6 Cake And Eat It
  • 7 Lover Come Back To Me
  • 8 My Heart Goes Bang
  • 9 It’s Been A Long Time

Bonus Tracks

  • 10 You Spin Me Round [Murder Mix]
  • 11 In Too Deep [7″ Remix]
  • 12 My Heart Goes Bang [7″ Version]
  • 13 Lover Come Back To Me [Extended Version]
  • 14 My Heart Goes Bang [Extended Version]

CD2

  • 1 In Too Deep [Off Yer Mong Mix]
  • 2 You Spin Me Round [Performance Mix]
  • 3 Lover Come Back To Me [Extended Remix]
  • 4 My Heart Goes Bang [American WIPE-OUT Mix]
  • 5 You Spin Me Round [Alt. Album CD Version with ‘Rock It’ intro]
  • 6 Cake And Eat It [Alt. Album CD Version with unfaded intro]
  • 7 It’s Been A Long Time [Alt. Album CD Version with ‘You Can Be The First…’ intro]
  • 8 You Spin Me Round [Big Ben Mix]
  • 9 Lover Come Back To Me [7″ Bonus Mix]
  • 10 I Wanna Be A Toy [Instrumental] – previously unreleased
  • 11 Lover Come Back To Me [Instrumental] – previously unreleased
  • 12 In Too Deep [Instrumental]
  • 13 My Heart Goes Bang [Instrumental]

CD3: The Youthquake Tour – Live At Hammersmith Odeon, 6th July 1985

  • 1 Cake And Eat It [Live]
  • 2 My Heart Goes Bang [Live] – previously unreleased
  • 3 In Too Deep [Live]
  • 4 Big Daddy Of The Rhythm [Live]
  • 5 Far Too Hard [Live] – previously unreleased
  • 6 Misty Circles [Live] – previously unreleased
  • 7 It’s Been A Long Time [Live] – previously unreleased
  • 8 Lover Come Back To Me [Live] – previously unreleased
  • 9 DJ Hit That Button [Live] – previously unreleased
  • 10 What I Want [Live] – previously unreleased
  • 11 You Spin Me Round [Live] – previously unreleased
  • 12 In Too Deep [Encore] [Live]  – previously unreleased
  • 13 My Heart Goes Bang [Encore] [Live]  – previously unreleased
  • 14 You Spin Me Round [Encore] [Live] – previously unreleased

1986 MAD, BAD AND DANGEROUS TO KNOW

CD1

  • 1 Brand New Lover
  • 2 I’ll Save You All My Kisses
  • 3 Son Of A Gun
  • 4 Then There Was You
  • 5 Come Inside
  • 6 Something In My House
  • 7 Hooked On Love
  • 8 I Want You
  • 9 Special Star

Bonus Tracks

  • 10 Come Inside [7″ Mix]
  • 11 I Want You [7″ Mix]
  • 12 Brand New Lover [Edit]
  • 13 Something In My House [7″ Remix]
  • 14 Hooked On Love [Edit]
  • 15 I’ll Save You All My Kisses [Remix]
  • 16 Something In My House [Flamenco Version]
  • 17 Hooked On Love [7″ Remix]

CD2

  • 1 Brand New Lover [The Dust Monkey’s Love Bubble Club Mix]
  • 2 Something In My House [Mortevicar Mix]
  • 3 Hooked On Love [The Big Revolver Mix]
  • 4 I’ll Save You All My Kisses [The Sonia Mezumbda Memorial Mix]
  • 5 Brand New Lover [Up Ducky Mix]
  • 6 Something In My House [7″ US Wipe-Out Mix]
  • 7 Something In My House [12″ US Wipe-Out Mix Part 2]
  • 8 I’ll Save You All My Kisses [The Long Wet Sloppy Kiss Mix]
  • 9 Hooked On Love [La Vie En Rose Mix]
  • 10 Brand New Lover [Instrumental]
  • 11 Something In My House [House Instrumental]
  • 12 Hooked On Love [Instrumental] – previously unreleased
  • 13 Something In My House [7″ Instru-MENTAL Mix]

1987 RIP IT UP

CD1

  • 1 Brand New Lover [continuously mixed]
  • 2 My Heart Goes Bang [continuously mixed]
  • 3 Something In My House [continuously mixed]
  • 4 Lover Come Back To Me [continuously mixed]
  • 5 You Spin Me Round (Like A Record) [continuously mixed]
  • 6 I’ll Save You All My Kisses [continuously mixed]
  • 7 In Too Deep [continuously mixed]
  • 8 Hooked On Love [continuously mixed]

Bonus Tracks

  • 9 Mighty Mix [Part 1] – Wish You Were Here, What I Want, Do It, Misty Circles
  • 10 Mighty Mix [Part 2] Absolutely Nothing, Sit On It, You Make Me Wanna, That’s The Way (I Like It)
  • 11 Something In My House [Naughty XXX Mix]
  • 12 Baby Don’t Say Goodbye [The Powerful Club Twelve]
  • 13 Something In My House [Short Version]

CD2

  • 1 Baby Don’t Say Goodbye [Club Mix]
  • 2 Baby Don’t Say Goodbye [Instrumental]
  • 3 You Spin Me Round [Jail House Club Edit Remix]
  • 4 You Spin Me Round [Jail House Club Remix]
  • 5 You Spin Me Round [400 Hz – Kleopatra Remix]
  • 6 You Spin Me Round [400 Hz – Marc Antoine Remix]
  • 7 You Spin Me Round [Edouard’s Mix]
  • 8 You Spin Me Round [Kalk’s Underground Mix]
  • 9 You Spin Me Round [Blue Sky Mix]
  • 10 You Spin Me Round [The Yummi Extended Mix]
  • 11 You Spin Me Round [The Yummi 4am Mix]
  • 12 You Spin Me Round [The Vicious Mix]
  • 13 MEDLEY: Turn Around And Count 2 Ten/Blue Christmas /Your Sweetness [Accapella] (Live In Nagoya, Japan 29 November 1990)

1989 NUDE

CD1

  • 1 Turn Around And Count 2 Ten
  • 2 Give It Back (That Love Is Mine)
  • 3 Baby Don’t Say Goodbye
  • 4 Stop Kicking My Heart Around
  • 5 Come Home (With Me Baby)
  • 6 I Don’t Wanna Be Your Boyfriend
  • 7 Get Out Of My House
  • 8 I Cannot Carry On
  • 9 My Forbidden Lover

Bonus Tracks

  • 10 Give It Back (That Love Is Mine) [Instrumental]
  • 11 Baby Don’t Say Goodbye [Alternative Mix]
  • 12 Love Toy [inst. version]
  • 13 Turn Around And Count 2 Ten [7″ Version]
  • 14 Come Home (With Me Baby) [7″ Version]
  • 15 Baby Don’t Say Goodbye [Edited House Version]
  • 16 Love Toy [Full Vocal Version] – previously unreleased
  • 17 Come Home (With Me Baby) [The Deadhouse Dub 7″ Edit]
  • 18 Baby Don’t Say Goodbye [Radio Edit]

CD2: Nude: Remade Remodelled

  • 1 Come Home (With Me Baby) [Remade Remodelled]
  • 2 Baby Don’t Say Goodbye [Remade Remodelled]
  • 3 Stop Kicking My Heart Around [Remade Remodelled]
  • 4 I Don’t Wanna Be Your Boyfriend [Remade Remodelled]
  • 5 Give It Back (That Love Is Mine) [Remade Remodelled]
  • 6 Turn Around And Count 2 Ten [Remade Remodelled]
  • 7 Come Home (With Me Baby) [12″ Version]

Bonus Tracks

  • 8 Baby Don’t Say Goodbye [Extended Mix]
  • 9 Turn Around And Count 2 Ten [The Pearl And Dean “I Love” BPM Mix]
  • 10 Come Home (With Me Baby) [The Deadhouse Dub]
  • 11 Turn Around And Count 2 Ten [The Pearl And Dean “I Had A Disco Dream” Mix]
  • 12 Turn Around And Count 2 Ten [Instru-MENTAL]
  • 13 Come Home (With Me Baby) [Instru-MENTAL] – previously unreleased

1990 FAN THE FLAME (Part 1)

CD1

  • 1 Fan The Flame (feat. Gina X) – previously unreleased
  • 2 Unhappy Birthday
  • 3 Your Sweetness (Is Your Weakness)
  • 4 Total Stranger
  • 5 Gone 2 Long
  • 6 Lucky Day
  • 7 What Have U Done (2 Make Me Change)
  • 8 And Then I Met U
  • 9 Blue Christmas

Bonus Tracks

  • 10 Total Stranger [Remix]
  • 11 Unhappy Birthday [Heavy Metal Version]
  • 12 Your Sweetness (Is Your Weakness) [Instrumental]

1995 NUKLEOPATRA

CD1

  • 1 Nukleopatra
  • 2 Rebel Rebel
  • 3 Sleep With You
  • 4 The Right Stuff
  • 5 I’m A Star
  • 6 International Thing
  • 7 Picture This
  • 8 Spend The Night Together
  • 9 Gone Too Long
  • 10 Getting It On
  • 11 Sex Drive

Bonus Track

12 You Spin Me Round [Sugar Pumpers Radio Mix]

CD2

  • 1 Rebel Rebel [12″ Extended Mix]
  • 2 The Right Stuff [1994 Mix]
  • 3 You Spin Me Round [Sugar Pumpers Extended Mix]
  • 4 Sex Drive [Sugar Pumpers Extended Mix]
  • 5 International Thing [International 7″ Edit]
  • 6 Rebel Rebel [The Hole Mix]
  • 7 Sex Drive [Scream Driven Remix]
  • 8 International Thing [Nu-NRG 7″ Remix]
  • 9 Rebel Rebel [Safe Hands Remix]
  • 10 You Spin Me Round [Sugar Pumpers Pumpin’ Mix]
  • 11 Sex Drive [Peewee’s Extended Mix]
  • 12 International Thing [Nu-NRG 12″ Remix]

2000 FRAGILE

CD1

  • 1 Hit And Run Lover
  • 2 Something In My House [2000]
  • 3 Even Better Than The Real Thing [2000]
  • 4 Turn Around And Count 2 Ten [2000]
  • 5 I Paralyze
  • 6 Isn’t It A Pity?
  • 7 You Spin Me Round (Like A Record) [2000]
  • 8 Just What I Always Wanted
  • 9 My Heart Goes Bang [2000]
  • 10 Lover Come Back To Me [2000]
  • 11 I Promised Myself
  • 12 Blue Christmas 2000

CD2 – Unbreakable – The Fragile Remixes

  • 1 Turn Around And Count 2 Ten [Y&Co. “B” Mix]
  • 2 You Spin Me Round [Zi Zone Mix]
  • 3 My Heart Goes Bang [Love Machine Remix]
  • 4 Something In My House [Deadend Of Eurasia Mix]
  • 5 Hit And Run Lover [Ventura Mix]
  • 6 Isn’t It A Pity [Bustard Remix]
  • 7 I Paralyze [B4 ZA BEAT Remix]
  • 8 Blue Christmas [P.K.G. Remix]
  • 9 Lover Come Back To Me [Earthquake Mix]
  • 10 Just What I Always Wanted [R.M. Hyper Techno Mix]

CD3

  • 1 You Spin Me Round [Punx Soundcheck Vs Princess Julia]
  • 2 You Spin Me Round [Mark Moore & Mr Motion Remix]
  • 3 You Spin Me Round [D-Bop Club Mix]
  • 4 You Spin Me Round [Metro 7″ Edit]
  • 5 Hit And Run Lover [Bonus Hit Remix]
  • 6 You Spin Me Round [Metro 12″ Extended Mix]
  • 7 Pop Life
  • 8 Why’s It So Hard
  • 9 Jack & Jill Party – Pet Shop Boys Feat. Pete Burns
  • 10 Never Marry An Icon – Pete Burns vs The Dirty Disco
  • 11 The Art – Pete Burns vs The Dirty Disco – previously unreleased

DVD1: PROMOTIONAL VIDEOS

  • 1 I’d Do Anything [Promo Video]
  • 2 That’s The Way (I Like It) [Promo Video]
  • 3 You Spin Me Round (Like A Record) [Promo Video]
  • 4 Lover Come Back To Me [Promo Video]
  • 5 In Too Deep [Promo Video]
  • 6 My Heart Goes Bang [Promo Video]
  • 7 Something In My House [Promo Video]
  • 8 Hooked On Love [Promo Video]
  • 9 I’ll Save You All My Kisses [Promo Video]
  • 10 Brand New Lover [12″] [Promo Video]
  • 11 Something In My House [12″] [Promo Video]
  • 12 Come Home (With Me Baby) [Promo Video]
  • 13 Turn Around And Count 2 Ten [12″] [Promo Video]
  • 14 Come Home (With Me Baby) [12″] [Promo Video]
  • 15 Your Sweetness (Is Your Weakness) [Promo Video]
  • 16 Total Stranger [Ruff Promo Video]
  • 17 Rebel Rebel [Promo Video]
  • 18 Sex Drive [Promo Video]
  • 19 Hit And Run Lover [Promo Video]
  • 20 You Spin Me Round (Like A Record) [2003] [Promo Video]

DVD 2: CONCERT FEATURE & TV PERFORMANCES

CONCERT FEATURE: ‘Rip It Up Live’ – Japan, 1987

  • 1 Hooked On Love [Live]
  • 2 My Heart Goes Bang [Live]
  • 3 You Spin Me Round (Like A Record) [Live]
  • 4 Lover Come Back To Me [Live]
  • 5 Brand New Lover [Live]
  • 6 I’ll Save You All My Kisses [Live]
  • 7 In Too Deep [Live]
  • 8 Something In My House [Live]
  • 9 Come Inside [Live]
  • 10 Son Of A Gun [Live]
  • 11 I’ll Save You All My Kisses [Encore] [Live]

TV PERFORMANCES

  • 12 That’s The Way (I Like It) [on ‘Top Of The Pops’] TX 12/04/1984
  • 13 You Spin Me Round (Like A Record) [on ‘Top Of The Pops’] TX 14/02/1985
  • 14 Lover Come Back To Me [on ‘Top Of The Pops’] TX 1985
  • 15 In Too Deep [on ‘Top Of The Pops’] TX 1985
  • 16 Lover Come Back To Me [on ‘The Kenny Everett Television Show’] TX 11/05/1985
  • 17 In Too Deep [on ‘Wogan’] TX 17/06/1985
  • 18 You Spin Me Round (Like A Record) [on ‘Christmas Top Of The Pops’] TX 25/12/1985
  • 19 Brand New Lover [on ‘Wogan’] TX 1986
  • 20 Brand New Lover [on ‘Roland Rat: The Series’] TX 1986
  • 21 Something In My House [on ‘Top Of The Pops’] TX 22/01/1987
  • 22 You Spin Me Round (Like A Record) [on ‘Blue Peter’] TX 10/01/2003

 

 

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92 responses to Pete Burns tribute: The last interview

  1. Dom says:

    Fantastic interview. Lovely that he gave in depth detailed answers. Makes a change from many who seem to treat fan questions as something akin to root canal surgery. Thank Paul.

  2. Martin Wedge says:

    Here’s a quick story of how ‘You Spin Me Round’ almost flopped and how CBS took things in hand to get it into the top 40. When the single came out Gallup were compiling the charts with their super computers installed into the chart return stores and they were super keen to ensure that the returns were accurate and that chart hyping was limited as much as possible. CBS had already had their fingers burned after the Nolans had their single ‘Dressed To Kill’ removed from the chart due to the fan club directing people to chart return stores to buy the single.

    After a slow start YSMRLAR was just outside the top 40 but this was only due to sales in Scotland, the north and midlands where hi-nrg sold well. The track was selling loads in these areas although there were hardly any sales in London and the south east, and Gallup weighted down the track due to these regional sales differences. After thirteen weeks outside the top 40 CBS knew they were in danger of losing the track. So they released a cheaper 12″ remix and then deleted the single for three weeks in order to build demand. The single was still getting airplay and after faltering back to number 42 they re-released it and the single edged into the top 40 and the rest is history. CBS used this trick afterwards on quite a few singles including Power Of Love by Jennifer Rush that had the same kind of difficulty due to regional sales.

  3. RJSWinchester says:

    I’m not a fan but a very interesting read nonetheless.

  4. Mike the Fish says:

    That vulnerability of his was quite sweet. I like your style of interviewing where it is very much about the music and the formats, etc.

  5. Eric says:

    A great interview, as always, and a fitting tribute.

  6. edward says:

    such an honest interview! a great read

  7. Simon F says:

    Great interview. RIP Pete. Incidentally the box set is available from Base.com for £93.99 A snip!

  8. Paul Fraser says:

    It’s fitting that his last interview shows the human behind the image. Rest In Pete.

  9. Seb Sharp says:

    Thanks so much for this, Paul.

  10. AnthonyC says:

    Just like the box set this interview is Epic. I’m only a quarter of the way through it and it is absolutely gripping.

    Hopefully, I’ll find time later to resume the read.

    Thank you very much for getting this interview out so quickly. I’m sure the fans greatly appreciate it.

    I like the comment about Last Christmas! In fact I’m sure George Michael isn’t bothered about this track at all – he gave the right to Andrew as a Wham leaving gift. which I’m sure he is very thankful for!

    Anyway, on a day like today, this interview certainly gave an air of positivity and an occasional smile.

    Thank you :-)

  11. Michael says:

    Hi Paul,

    ”Twas a shock when I saw this news last night-so sad.

    Whilst I wait for a Friday and the box set, can or are you able to confirm if the set is remastered and if so where and by whom?

    R.I.P Pete.

    Kind regards,

    Michael

  12. Stan Butler says:

    Great interview and credit to Pete for giving such detailed responses. Although I’m not a fan, it’s very sad that he was planning a new album next year and then suddenly he’s gone.

  13. Darren H says:

    Lovely interview that just makes the whole thing even sadder. I’ve had the privilege of having the box set promos for a few weeks for review purposes and have been totally immersed in the discs, I’d expected it to be a bit of a chore to be honest, and I would describe myself as a DOA fan, but there just seemed so much content. It turned out to be the complete opposite, I’ve loved the experience of getting to know all these albums. Each one is as good as the rest, there’s not a weak album among them and it’s just shown me how brilliant Pete was. Rest In Peace you glorious creation.

  14. Rob says:

    I am still in shock. Great interview and RIP Pete, you are still loved and remembered in the US!!

  15. asdf says:

    That Fan the Flame part. II question was actually about the sequel to FtF not about Love, Pete bootleg. Shame that the interviewer didnt correct him. Oh well

  16. Jon says:

    Great interview, thanks for conducting and transcribing it Paul. a lot of interesting responses – Sony lawsuit over 12″ singles? Had no idea, and yes, they should have received royalties for their 12″
    Singles! Interesting that the Love Pete album was actually the blueprint for Fan the Flame II.

  17. Tyler Williams says:

    Hi Paul!

    The first sentence of the article, “I interviewed Dead Or Alive frontman Pete Burns for SDE about a month ago, to discuss the new 19-disc box set Sophisticated Boom Boom MMXVI” should read, “I interviewed Dead Or Alive frontman Pete Burns for SDE about a month ago, to discuss the new 19-disc box set Sophisticated Boom Box MMXVI.”

  18. Phil V says:

    Nice interview, thanks Paul

  19. sean says:

    Great interview Paul, definitely a one off was our Pete R.I.P

  20. Robert Lett says:

    Great interview Paul.

  21. William Thomas says:

    Thank you Paul for this.

  22. OMAR says:

    Thanks Paul for the interview . I’m guessing with his passing the boxset will sell out very quickly in a lot of places, and since it’s limited edition it’ll summon up astronomical prices by third party sellers etc.

    • Eightiesaddict says:

      The Amazon Limited Edition version had already sold out (well before Pete passing). Ditto for the vinyl, if I am not mistaken. D.O.A. fans are hardcore, and we always supported Pete and D.O.A.

      Loved the interview.

  23. HS says:

    WOW! What a great interview that was. He seemed very nice, down to earth, vulnerable – and quite clever! Paul, publishing this wonderful interview is the best tribute to the man and his work I can think of.

    The box set is currently unavailable on Amazon. I dropped hints to my better half a few days ago that I really wanted it for Christmas but I doubt he has bought it yet. Really hope it is not sold out!

    • Larry Davis says:

      It’s sold out on Amazon already?? I pre-ordered it Monday afternoon right when I heard about his death from a friend. I was originally going to wait until it was released and the price had dropped…but I felt that in the wake of Pete’s passing, it would have been kinda tacky, and it might have sold out and would be waiting a long time to get it at the price I want…if at all…did I order it in the nick of time?? I did miss out on the limited one with the signed print…that’s alright, I’m just concerned with having the boxset and music..maybe I should pre-order the vinyl too before it’s gone…it comes out in December and I won’t be charged until it’s dispatched, so I’ll be fine…great interview though, Paul and RIP Pete… pretty cool he was a Robyn fan…

  24. Dayvv says:

    Great interview, Paul. It’s wonderful to see that his last interview was done by someone who understands the depth of the band.

    I’m ecstatic that one of my questions made the cut. Major bonus: Pete though it was weird! (I think that’s a good thing?)

    R.I.P. Pete

  25. Daniel ( from Berlin ) says:

    Thanks for the interview. It seems that Pete Burns was not an easy guy/girl
    but he/she has his own path of life. I respect that really.
    But I don’t like that artists ( Rick Astley ) and now Pete Burns speak not very good about
    the PWL years. Have they forgotten that these years have made them stars?
    The same with Donna Summer after “Another Place In Time” – great album with huge success
    worldwide – and then she decided to leave PWL to make “Mistaken Identity” – a crash down record. Was that really a good decision ?
    Some may know “Happening All Over Again” by Lonnie Gordon – that was originally
    planned for Donna Summer’s lead single for the 2nd PWL album. You can imagine
    how great that song would be sung by Donna Summer. But finally it wasn’t…
    Meanwhile ( as Pete Burns talks about the Pet Shop Boys ): where is the “Please” Anniversary
    Edition / Box Set – planned for Autumn 2016 ?
    Has somebody heard news about it ?

    • Michael khalsa says:

      He was a star before SAW I first saw him on TV doing that’s the way in 1984. Some of those Pete Hammond remixes are fabulous though

      • Daniel ( from Berlin ) says:

        I mean with “star” a minimum of one number 1 song in different countries
        as a musician or band and not appearances on tv shows…

    • Andrew Edwards says:

      Hello prior to the re-release of Donna Summer’s Another Place and Time. either Mike Stock or Matt Aiken debunked that myth on Twitter or Face Book. Happening All over Again was never meant for Donna Summer. It was originally created for Lonnie Gordon.

      Also in an interview in 1990 or 1991 Donna Summer stated that the only reason she didn’t do a follow-up to Another Place and Time was that finding time to schedule the recording was impossible. She stated she was unable to get back to the U.K. Unlike some of the reporting by people, she didn’t have a falling out with them and spoke very glowingly about her recording time with them.

      • Daniel ( from Berlin ) says:

        I have not said that Donna Summer spokes not good about the working with SAW.
        I think that ( in my opinion ) a 2nd SAW album would have been better than “Mistaken Identity”. Also I think its a little obscure that only 10 tracks were recorded for
        “Another Place And Time” – and 1 song of them was previously released by Mandy Smith….but obviously thats the SAW business.

    • Larry Davis says:

      Regarding PWL and working with SAW…yes it made them stars…Kylie too…but perhaps working with them (SAW) may have been a horrible experience?? Pete explained it quite well…they seemed to prefer working with session singers they could exploit…and couldn’t push Pete and DOA around and push their sound onto em…notice how those 2 SAW-produced records sound like DOA and NOT SAW?? Big reason for that…now I love the SAW sound…I view the Xenomania sound as the true successor with the stuff they did with Girls Aloud…but DOA stand apart from that…RIP Pete…

      • Daniel ( from Berlin ) says:

        Hello Larry
        that’s why i love this website.
        Different people from different countries have different opinions and write about it.
        Some have more informations about facts and some can learn.
        Nobody said to DOA: “Hey you must work with SAW”. They did it a free will…
        I know as an independent photographer what contracts can do and not do.
        Not everything is good in the end with major companies. But sometimes you
        must do it to have worldwide success.
        That’s the same thing for DOA, me and all other artists.

  26. Stan says:

    Oh, this is just so lovely. I can’t even begin to imagine how surreal it must have been for you, Paul, to have the sound of his voice in your ears when the news came.

    Also, just as a tiny aside– It is endlessly fascinating to me that, in comment thread after comment thread, to see so many people who will take time out of their day simply so they can stop and type “I’m not a fan, myself…” in the comments section. What the hell is that all about? It’s especially bewildering to me when it appears in the comments sections under a piece about an artist who has just passed. I mean, it’s not as if you would take the time to go to someone’s funeral and mingle among their loved ones saying “Oh, my goodness, it’s such a shame that we’ve lost him. But, please know that I didn’t particularly care for his work, myself…” Odd.

    • RJSWinchester says:

      Nothing odd about the ‘not a fan’ comments. I quite often read articles online and in music magazines about artists whose music doesn’t particularly interest me.

  27. Thomas says:

    I really hope they don’t cancel the box set. The fans have been looking forward to it for many years. I hope the “currently unavailable” status on Amazon means that they are simply getting too many pre-orders so they are maybe need to stop taking them because there is not enough supply for demand.

    BTW, that was a fantastic interview. So nice to read something about Pete other than his looks. Loved his honesty. He was point blank about SAW but he wasn’t rude about them.

  28. Darren Briscoe says:

    Can this year get any worse for dead icons?…

  29. Mikael says:

    What is the difference between the limited Amazon and original version with regards to bonustracks?

  30. Greig says:

    I have been waiting for this interview since Paul announced it was taking place and it as glorious as I thought it would be. Glad Pete still likes the Fragile album as tracks like Isn’t It A Pity and I Paralyze are classics.

    So damn sad that Pete will never get to hear the positive feedback I expect this box set will have from Friday.

    Not normally one for pricey box sets, I pre-ordered this the day I found out it was being released through this very site and am so glad I did. Friday will be rather sad for us Dead or Alive/Pete fans but he has such a great back catalogue that will live on forever and then some.

    I hope Paul realises how much we appreciate all the little gems he gives us like this interview and the fact he keeps us all up to date with news of such amazing music releases which sadly don’t get much press elsewhere.

    One thing’s for sure: there will never be another person like Pete Burns in the music world.

  31. Mikael says:

    Thanks for posting it now, Paul. Really great read.

  32. Michael khalsa says:

    Nice interview Paul. I am glad that Pete was interviewed by some who was asking intelligent and respectful questions. I bought the record over a month ago & while I am very sad this beautiful honest man is no longer with us I take peace in looking forward to receiving the box and that he is back with his beloved mother Eva. Viva Pete maybe now you will get the respect you deserve.

  33. HalloweenJack says:

    Great interview, Paul Sinclair! Thank you very much for sharing.
    It would be nice to see you post the audio interview on your YouTube channel! ;-)

    Unfortunately, I believe Pete misunderstood the FTF2 question only because many fans mislabel the “Love, Pete” cassette as such.

    According to Wikipedia:
    “Fan the Flame (Part 2) was recorded but never released, and is often confused with the acoustic album “Love, Pete”, which was made available during a US personal appearance tour in 1992 and has since been widely bootlegged with the title “Fan the Flame (Part 2): The Acoustic Sessions.”

    To clarify, there is a FTF2 project that consists of previously unreleased studio recordings of tracks including…
    Love On The Line (Tell You A Secret) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ft4yz_rp2iY
    I Don’t Care About Your Heart https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iLh5cfJ7BMU

    Here’s hoping Steve Coy will release those FTF2 tapes!
    As much as I love the early years and SAW years, I have a soft spot for the Hi-NRG, Burns & Coy, Nude/Flame era… underrated songs and production from those two in that period.

  34. Tommy says:

    Thanks for a brilliant interview to an amazing artist that when growing up it felt ok to be a bit different. One of the best singing voices ever! Ordered both cd and vinyl sets. What a treasure to leave fans.

  35. Fatoldbloke says:

    Not a fan at all, but I found this interview to be very honest, interesting and gave me a good insight to the in and out of a pop stars mind.
    Thanks.

  36. Griffin says:

    Thank you Paul for the interview. I’m glad you did the interview “right on time” otherwise we would have never known all the “stories behind”! His final/last wish was that we’re going buy it. I did pre-ordered it although I’ve said before I might regret it when the price drops (deal alert)! But now I’m glad I had pre-ordered it.

  37. Brian says:

    Shame we never got to find out about any Nightmares in Wax reissues.:(

  38. David Stanley says:

    As an American, a pond away from all the tabloid noise, I saw Pete Burns as part of an androgynous wave of Brit musicians making excellent, catchy music. So Paul, I very much appreciate your very respectful approach to the interview and it’s clear that you made Pete feel comfortable, allowing him to be open with his answers. “Youthquake” hit just as I was coming out and I have fond memories of dancing to his music in clubs and at house parties. DOA dropped off the radar in America after MBADTK, so it took very dedicated fans pre-Internet to keep up with them, but I kept tabs on them when I could, especially when we saw reports of Pete’s stint on Celebrity Big Brother. I’m sorry to hear that he was ill during the past year, but hope that he was truly aware of how much people loved him and his work.

  39. Randall says:

    Great interview. It def. helps with my sadness.

  40. Richard the Big Bunny says:

    Cheers! I enjoyed that.

  41. Paul W says:

    Just thought that I’d add myself to the weight of the non-fans who really enjoyed the interview. 2016 has just been a ridiculous year.

  42. Ray T says:

    Very touching. Thank you for letting Pete get the last word!

  43. Jay Payton says:

    Great interview Paul. Pete Burns was one of a kind. Incredible talent and performer. Dead or Alive was the 80’s.

  44. CHDX says:

    Not a fan but really enjoyed reading the interview…And I wish more artists would take Pete’s approach of releasing everything for the listeners to figure out a great album out of it (and in the process aknowledge that their least favorite tunes could for some reason be our favorite ones).

    Thanks Paul.

  45. Kauwgompie says:

    Thank you Paul. I became cynical about Pete because of his transformation. I guess I just couldn’t understand why he did that and I reacted by making fun of him. I realize that was very wrong. Not because he is dead now but because of the 2nd to the last question. To me that was the most important and revealing moment of the interview. He really needed to do it. He needed to transform away from the person he was. And he was sorry because it took away the attention from what he really was; an artist. Whatever was behind his feelings of needing the transformation (a lot I’m guessing) is not important. I will be buying the box for sure. Thank you for revealing a little more about Pete. It was important, at least it was to me.

  46. Straker says:

    CD set now back up on Amazon for order after being temporarily unavailable.

    Good interview Paul – I’d always wondered if the SAW/Hi-NRG sound was something either foisted upon him or something he later regretted but it’s interesting to read of his desire to make “disco” records above all else.

  47. Straker says:

    Ah, just checked Amazon and it’s bloody gone again!

  48. Mikey Roberts says:

    Thanks a lot for that great interview Paul, really enjoyed it. Nice to see an interviewer with genuine interest and respect for the artist and their work. RIP Pete Burns

  49. Charles Christopher says:

    What a terrific interview! Possibly his last ever, since he mentions that he hasn’t interviewed in awhile, is wary about doing them, and doesn’t seem to have any others lined up. Coming from someone so famously flashy, it’s very demystifying. Burns became famous when all of our pop-stars seemed to live in a music-video fantasy land, so coming from such a flamboyant personality, that interview was very open, humble and down to earth. Nowadays, I think we’re more aware of what self-employed working people most musicians are – even the flashy ones – so people like Pete Burns, who you can barely imagine doing something so mortal as having a hospital visit, are literally a dying breed.
    I don’t think it diminishes him one bit when people say “I’m not a fan” here. I’m certainly ‘not a fan’ enough to buy a set this thorough (one or two versions of YSMRR is plenty for me, thank you), and I’m sure there are many people who are saddened by his death despite never having owned any of his music or followed his career closely. Far from being insulting, I think that’s a tribute to what a big impression he made on so many people. Someone transcends being a mere celebrity or ‘star’ and become icons when they represent something even to people who know little about them – look at Elvis, who embodies rock and roll and is well-loved even to people who were born after he passed away and may never have owned one of his records. Pete Burns is so symbolic of an entire era of music, and fascinated the public even when he wasn’t singing – and in that sense, Pete was a true icon.

    This is my first ever response to a SDE article, but I’ve been a regular visitor for awhile now. Now seems like a good time to say thanks for all your good work, Paul.

  50. Rich K says:

    Thanks for a great interview Paul. Thank you Pete Burns for the music you and your band mates crafted. May you rest in peace. Your upbeat and energetic music will live on!
    As a fan since the 80s, I was very saddened by Pete’s passing, mere days before the release of his career spanning box set. I’m so grateful for the coverage Paul provided and looking forward to Boom Box.

  51. Daniel ( from Berlin ) says:

    Pet Shop Boys have leaved a comment on their website and leaked a video link
    with great pictures of Pete Burns ( over the song “Jack & Jill Party” ).
    Paul, have you heard anything new about the “Please” Anniversary Edition ?
    Was it not announced for Autumn 2016?

  52. sue ward says:

    Great read .rip my idol …sleep tight Pete x

  53. Jon says:

    As far as I know PBS aren’t doing another Please reissue (which is a shame). They will be reissuing Nightlife up thru Elysium sometime in spring 2017 as deluxe editions. Neil has said this himself.

  54. Jon says:

    Did anyone notice Pete said he almost had an album full of PSB tracks. Did he in fact record more songs with them? I’m intrigued…

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      Not quite… What Pete meant was there was nearly a deal/agreement to work on an album, not that they had nearly an album’s worth of material.

  55. Simon F says:

    “Pete Burns is a strange character – possibly the most bizarre fucker on Merseyside: a psychedelic Sitting Bull with gold rings in his nose, a cosmetic blitzkrieg of eye shadow and rouge, cascades of elaborate ear-rings, several pounds of beads and bones hanging round his neck, and a tonsorial superstructure like a rasta Tony Curtis modified by 5000 volts of live wire up the anus”.

    Pete Frame
    from Liverpool 1980: Eric’s Progeny family tree created and written in August 1980
    From The Beatles And Some Other Guys – Rock Family Trees Of The Early Sixties by Pete Frame

  56. Phil G. says:

    Great interview Paul. Sad that yet another distinctive voice in music has passed away this year.

  57. Adam says:

    Many thanks for one of the best interviews with Pete Burns I’ve ever read.

  58. J says:

    I have no idea who this guy is but what a great interview. Paul, please do a couple thousand more of these. Start with KEEF & work your way into Charlie
    Thank you
    J

  59. Stevie B says:

    Seems there are a few issues with what’s on the Boxset, some mislabelled tracks and so on, I see on Amazon UK that the CD is not available until mid December so hopefully that will give the record company time to rectify the mistakes.

    I was wondering if anyone managed to get the signed artwork/photo with their release, and hopefully the Boxset will be released as individual Deluxe Editions of the featured albums with the appropriate DVD content for each album.

    I remember some grumples on this forum about DOA not being worthy of such an extensive release, I think the public reaction puts paid to that, and it’s a fitting tribute that we have this fabulous Pete Burns musical legacy to keep his flame fanned. RIP.

    • Adam says:

      I got the signed photo. Don’t know if they’re all the same, but mine is a black and white 8×10 which replicates the Australian release of the ‘Sex Drive’ single cover. It’s signed by Pete ‘Love Pete Burns’ in gold marker pen.

  60. Straker says:

    CD box backordered to mid-December now at Amazon, presumably as Demon frantically represses. Yet again, we see how death is good for business.

    • SMS says:

      Totally agree Straker.

      Now everyone wants to see the ‘transformation of Pete’ and one that made me laugh was a headline ‘Who is Lynne Burns?’ Unbelievable…they’ve had 30+ years to gawk at Pete’s face evolution or to find out about Lynne. But no, just wait for death and then be intrigued.

  61. NM says:

    My copy of the box set is on its way. Unfortunately I hear that there are significant errors. Youthquake, discs 1 and 2 are in mono, My Heart Goes Bang 7″ version is a repeat of the album version and there are editing mistakes on the Mad Bad & Dangerous disc. It would be really sad if Edsel left this as Pete’s legacy. My comments are not a reflection of the admiration that I had for Pete and the rest of the band. I have contacted Demon/Edsel and Amazon. Paul any thoughts/news on whether corrected replacement discs will be issued. I appreciate that as today is release day that it may be a bit early to confirm.

  62. gb says:

    well done Paul. really enjoyed reading it. you can tell Pete was relaxed during this and found it different to what he was “used to” … all down to you.

  63. SMS says:

    Thanks for this interview Paul. Awesome!

    I’m in Australia, so still haven’t received my copy of Sophisticated Boom Box as yet, BUT, omfgoodness…..MISTAKES!!

    This is just so bad, wrong etc etc.

    What Demon Music should do (and I can help them out if they want me to) is to let a massive fan (aka..me!) to listen to the complete box set BEFORE it gets released. That way, they would avoid embarrassment and also spending more money to fix their mistakes!

    In fact, that’s what should be done now with any box set that is being released. Let a couple of hardcore fans listen to the finished product so it gets the green light and can get released.

    Back to DOA. So, the tosser who remastered ‘Youthquake’ couldn’t HEAR that the tracks were in MONO??? FFS. Unbelievable. That’s why fans really need to be involved in all of this. The person who remastered the tracks probably isn’t even a fan, but is just doing a ‘job’. See what happens?

    Have a great rest Pete…you deserve it! :)

  64. Andrew says:

    Great interview, Paul. So good to hear Pete’s take on how the anthology came to fruition.

    I wrote to Butns, via his manager, in 1984 after purchasing the debut album and its five singles. I was won over by the ascerbic charm of Pete and was excited to have a new band to obsess over. Pete sent me a typed note in reply and signed the note, also enclosing a signed band photo too. I still have them stored safely.

    Receiving the signed print in the Boombox made it feel like the circle had come full cycle. We’ll miss him dreadfully and I just hope that 2016 doesn’t bring us any further losses from the music industry.

    I’m not religious, but I’m praying that Boy George and Marc Almond continue to enjoy good health. Too many bright lights have been snuffed out.

  65. Stephen E Cohen says:

    Wonderful interview, Paul… Great questions from you and the SDE readers. I was shocked to find out about Pete Burns’ death as I was going to work on Tuesday morning. He did not even make the New York Times obituary list until a couple of days after that. I suppose Bobby Vee’s death garnered more attention in the NYC market?

    Regarding the box set, I was one of those “two and out” Dead Or Alive supporters in the 1980’s, who bought the second and third albums, “Youthquake” and “Mad, Bad..” and went on his merry way. I would rather pick up those two deluxe sets than spend 100.00 USD on the whole lot. I hope the powers that be reconsider this method of distribution, which they might, if they see a demand.

    Oh, and I always liked “Lover Come Back To Me” better than “You Spin Me Round”, and “Something In My House” better than “Brand New Lover”.

  66. Neil Kelly says:

    Wow! What a shame all those plans will never see the light of day now.

  67. Straker says:

    Oops – That’s the repeat. First goes out Tuesday at 10pm.

  68. Teiemka says:

    Thanks Paul for sharing this, it gives an insight of the dross behind the gloss of the music industry. Great to have an interview just on music rather the usual fluff pieces that we get in the music press planted by record company PR people.

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