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Pet Shop Boys / New single ‘Monkey Business’ due in February

Available on CD and 12-inch vinyl

Despite limiting the physical edition of ‘Burning The Heather’ to just a vinyl seven-inch single, the Pet Shop Boys have announced that their next single, ‘Monkey Business’, from the forthcoming Hotspot, will be available both on CD and 12-inch vinyl.

Both formats will contain the same four tracks: a radio edit of ‘Monkey Business’, two remixes (courtesy of Norwegian record producer Prins Thomas and Liverpudlian DJ Friend Within) and a new song ‘At Rock Bottom’.

‘Burning The Heather’ B-side ‘Decide’ remains unreleased on CD as of this moment, and it’s interesting to note that Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe have chosen not to add this as a bonus track on this ‘Monkey Business’ CD. Perhaps it will either appear on a future CD single or there’s still a chance of it being included on the Japanese CD of Hotspot, which is supposed to have two bonus tracks.

‘Monkey Business’ will be released on 7 February 2020, two weeks after Hotspot comes out. What do you think of the song? Leave a comment.

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1 Monkey business (radio edit)
2 Monkey business (Prins Thomas diskomiks)
3 At rock bottom
4 Monkey business (friend Within remix)

69 responses to Pet Shop Boys / New single ‘Monkey Business’ due in February

  1. Musiclover72 says:

    Now I’m really excited. I’ve just read the reviews for Pet Shop Boys Hotstop album. Q Magazine has given it a four star review and all the rest are universally positive. Seemingly there are some dance floor gems and some fun tracks too. I was looking forward to this release already but now I can’t wait for Friday to listen on Spotify as I wait for my pre order from Pet Shop Boys store. Hopefully the PSB fans will embrace this and send them to the top of the album charts. If any artists deserve a long overdue No.1 it is these boys . Happy listening. Btw what does everyone think of the b-side Decide from Burning the Heather 7 inch?

  2. Miro says:

    I’ve been a massive PSB fan from the beginning and always felt they were amazing in combining pop with subversive. They have created fabulous music over their long career, and the work with Stuart was fantastic (Electric) and very good (Super)… now, with the already-three tracks from the new album… I must say – its not working for me. In fact, I hated Dreamland – as a terribly mediocre and cheesy one…. Burning the heather was much better, but not their best elegiac song and sounds more like something out of Elysium (which is why they did Electric with Stuart, so wonder what happened there with such a change). Monkey Business is the best of the 3, but still sounds like not one of their best B-sides….. so, all in all, I think its a potential disappointment for the PSB/Price trilogy, but I am not going to cancel my order… there will probably be 1-2 gems on it…

  3. Haris says:

    Mix one part Monkey Business and two parts Madonna in a cocktail shaker. Shake vigorously, double-strain, pour in a Collins glass, top with club soda, squeeze of lime and garnish with a lemon wedge. Perfection.

  4. Michael says:

    Lots of whiny comments here. You do not like a new song? So what? Move on. Listen to your old records. Whatever. The level of complaining is like some competition in melodrama. I feel like Moz should sing some of these comments in his best self pitying style.

    • Deanery says:

      I hated this the first five times I played it here…this time I’m focussing less on the backing vocals and more on the layers of disco synth, I guess I like it. It reminds me of a cross between The Bloodhound Gang/ The Bad Touch (that might be partly due to sharing of the ‘monkey’ subject) and some old radio disco song from about ’78 or so.

      Taste in music as with taste in anything is subjective. You like what you like….there is no good/bad. Just enjoy what you enjoy and be glad these artists are still putting out at least half-decent material this late in the game.

      Out of this trilogy I already have two albums that I’m thrilled with. I’m getting the feeling that maybe they felt that the first two were so instrumentally drawn out and short on vocals that this time they’d do the opposite…..Who’s ever known what these two are up to? It’s been a roller coaster ride for me – I love an album then dislike the one after that and convince myself they’re all washed up, then a great b-side will restore faith then the next release is poor………I thought they were finished at Behaviour then again at Nightlife….but the B-sides let you know they still had it……same goes for Erasure. So I still can’t wait to get my ears on the album.

    • Kittens69 says:

      I’m picturing you now Michael pressing that button with mischievous glee! Fact remains this is the place to debate new material and formats. Do you like the three tracks you’ve heard then? How do your rate them? Why are you so keen we all ‘move on’ without debating their quality? BTW have a listen to Rupert Everett on this week’s ‘Desert Island Discs‘; he talks about the Pets Lovingly and picks ‘Being Boring’. Listening again reminds me just how good they were even after their self-proclaimed “imperial phase”. As we all do, hope the album is a grower, but we’re entitled to be concerned on the tracks released so far.

      • Michael says:

        It is not the dislike of the song, it is some of the overboard comments that sound like people are personally injured, enraged or devastated by the song not being to their liking. Personally, I find it to be an okay, not great, dance track. But I’ve just given it one listen so far.

  5. memoryboy says:

    I LOVE IT!
    sounds Old Skool

  6. Carsten says:

    Just in case anyone’s interested. On 16/1, German magazine Musik Express releases an exclusive blue vinyl single by PSB. Tracks are: Dreamland, Always on my Mind (live) and Pop Kids (live). If you feel like putting in a pre-order, here’s the link:
    https://www.musikexpress.de/pet-shop-boys-vinyl-single-musikexpress-02-2020-vorbestellung-1451679/

  7. william says:

    I think with multiple listens, this would be not too bad. Maybe. Have to listen to the whole CD to really make a judgement, but so far with what has been released, it has been a big….eh.

  8. Shane says:

    I have to say it’s getting quite tiresome reading the comments for all the new PSB material. I doubt that fans wiukd write these messages about “losing their way, predictable, cancelling my order” and the boring likes. If you really are a fan you should not judge one song or excerts. A real music liver in general should know that some times it takes a whike to appreciate something. One is generally not too open about doing that wirh new unknown acts vut hell do you not think legends like Pet Shop Boys have earned that right? Especially from so-called life-long fans? I buy every album from every act i like or love. I’ ve seldom been so disappointed to regret a purchase so why don’t we stop whyining and get on with it? Dont like Monkey? Listen do At rock bottom. Not keen? Move on and meet us here in two years time for a new wave of whyining. Cheers and happy new year.

    • Michael says:

      Couldn’t agree more !

    • martin farnworth says:

      The post state’s leave a comment on the track. How many time’s should I listen to it before I know what I think? I’ve listened four times now and my opinion hasn’t changed. Does this mean I am not a real music fan? What I thought of Dreamland didn’t change after listening from the first to the tenth time not that I counted that far. As PSB primarily deal in 3/4 minute pop songs it shouldn’t take time to know what I think. Listening to a whole album is of course completely different. I still hope the albums good though. Cancelling an order based on a couple of tracks would be a bit silly.

      Not sure PSB have earnt any sort of right over newer artists as to what you say. They may even be unfairly judged by being compared their past. I could equally argue long term fans have more right to criticize (or whine) having spent so much money on PSB or sticking with them.

    • Kittens69 says:

      Three singles is a pretty good indication Shane; not sure any of us are making snap judgements. Careers have peaks and unusually the PSBs kept up the quality longer than most. During the Parlophone years I suspect having the record company ‘machine‘ guiding recording and releases helped them achieve longevity (plenty of examples Neil and Chris have quoted about them being reluctantly persuaded to go with different first singles that became their biggest hits etc…) and without it things have slowly gone off the rails sadly (see also Kylie). As you said no doubt they’ll be another album in two years and with luck they’ll have found a new producer and direction.

  9. Tom Walsh says:

    Great for collectors I suppose. But what a shockingly poor track.

  10. Jon Trask says:

    I’ve been a fan since day one, but i’m so sorry to say that they are losing their way as far as my ears are concerned ! – this has to be the worst song i have ever heard come from them, i really don’t know if its me or them !! – if you know what i mean. I may not be rushing to listen to anything new from them from now on.

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      I quite like this new song. Fine, the lyrics aren’t exactly ‘deep’ but it’s pretty catchy and it’s been a long time since I heard Neil singing in his ‘A Man Could Get Arrested’ voice.

  11. Kittens69 says:

    I’m sorely tempted to cancel my order after hearing this third track (Daft Punk lite) off the album, but as others have pointed out their album tracks usually deliver a gem or two. However in the fortnight the extraordinarily talented Allee Willis died (co-writer of ‘What Have I Done To Deserve This’ – a tribute would have been nice on the band’s page BTW) it is a reminder that melody has been lacking for some time from the band’s repertoire. Check out Allee’s wiki page to see her incredible body of work.

  12. Eric says:

    Jesus wept!. It’s awful, rubbish lyrics, stale predictable sound. That’s definitely not for me. I’ve been a fan from almost the beginning, like a lot of people here & can’t quite believe the creative fall from grace I’m hearing in their last 3 songs, 7 if you include the “Agenda” EP. I’ve rather enjoyed the last 2 Stuart Price too which makes my dislike here more surprising, Price has done some really great stuff over the years so WTF has gone on here? So glad I never succumbed before Christmas for the signed edition, probably the sort of album you play once & eventually farm out to a charity shop. Sorry lads, not for me this time.

  13. Murray says:

    Yikes. With singles like that, who wants the album! That’s got to be one of the laziest songs I’ve heard from a group I’ve adored from day one. Not an auspicious start to 2020. :(

  14. Pete {in Australia} says:

    Japan listings, at this point in time…. on HMV Japan, CDJapan and Amazon Japan, have only one bonus track, “Wedding In Berlin”.
    For me, been a fan of Pet Shop Boys, from when i first heard “Opportunities {Let’s make Lots of Money}” in 1985 and bought the 12″.
    Some singles for me are hit or miss, but tend to like album tracks and of course with the P.S.B. b sides.
    Being a fan i feel you take the good with the bad, but i do not expect folks to gel with everything an artist releases! :)
    For me out of the singles, released, from HotSpot, it is not really grabbing me, but who knows in time, it could grow or when playing the album, as a whole!

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      It was supposed to be two tracks a while ago. Info about Japanese releases is always a bit unreliable I find. Sometimes you get told there will be a bonus track only for non to transpire.

  15. Don Jones says:

    I think they sound utterly invigorated and this song just makes me smile. I still can’t get into Dreamland at all. Both of the b-sides are better than the actual single. Burning the Heather is very nice, but not necessarily what we want as a pre-release single. Again, the b-side is very good. On this new single the guys have put everything they’ve ever done into a blender and added genuine funk to the mix. Neil’s voice sounds like he’s bursting with energy.

  16. Ant in NZ says:

    What a boring song which sounds more like a B-side effort from the period of “A Man Could Get Arrested” or “That’s My Impression” that didn’t make the cut until now. I have been a fan of PSB since the beginning, but sadly the releases are becoming non-essential to me now – they are lacking in inspiration and seem to be just going through the motions…

  17. Peter dB says:

    Wow! With fans like you guys….who needs enemies 0.o ….PSB should always have some diversity to keep things interesting. Some tracks will be received better than others (depending on the listener). Whilst I don’t love all PSB’s material – I enjoy most. And look forward to what they do next.

    And I’m a fan of Stuart Price & Trevor Horn – so I’m happy with either!

  18. LuckLad says:

    Musically I think this is a great track. I read most of the comments before listening so expectations were low. I think is a great mix of disco with PSB trademarks. The only PSB album I listen to with any regularity is Yes, so I’m not an aficionado.

  19. Alan B says:

    By the way the 2 CD version of the new album is currently being advertised as an HMV exclusive on their website which it is not as you can also pre order it from the PSB store (I pre ordered it weeks ago with the signed print). I have lost count of the number of times HMV have advertised a release as an “HMV exclusive” which is also available elsewhere.

  20. martin farnworth says:

    Definitely below par effort. Insipid and half baked is what springs to mind. Not even a potential grower. There’s rarely been a PSB single that has grown on me. I’ve almost always got into it straight away or not. This would be one of the weaker efforts if it appeared Bilingual or Super- two of my least favourite PSB albums. I fear the only thing to look forward to with the new album will be the signed print.

  21. Brian Heretofore says:

    love ’em to bits, but the cover art is very telling re: the track: headed down a stairwell that’s used for crises and emergencies, face shaded so as to obscure one’s identity. unfortunate second release from what I fear will be a ‘ho-hum’ album. ‘keeping hope alive’ that the rebound happens soon in this new decade….perhaps post-Price?

  22. Glenn says:

    Glad to see a CD release this time and nice that the CD includes all of the tracks from the 12″ so that you don’t have to buy both to get them all. Like the song so far.

  23. Michael says:

    Loving it ! Very “Funky “

  24. mike says:

    Another single which increasingly proves they have lost ‘it’ sadly. echoing other posts I dont understand why they have given the very overrated Stuart Price a third go but none of the tracks ive heard recently would have made a B side in the imperial era. However they have had a superlative run of at least 25 years consistency before faltering, which is more than most and it happens to anyone who stays the course in time.

  25. Craig Hedges says:

    I can’t get passed the awful backing vocals, they sound identical to the ones in the adverts for Funky Pigeon dot com, (British company that sells cards)
    There is a great song by Nik Kershaw called Monkey Business which is lyrically miles better, about Darwin and Evolution. So I have to say Neils lyrics are very, very disappointing… must try harder!

  26. Dave Richards says:

    Prins Thomas is always good for interesting (long) remixes. Looking forward to that. Still not sure what PSB are up to? Maybe just chasing their muse, market and their reputation be damned. The songs from this album seem all over the map.

  27. Antknee says:

    I don’t have the expectation that PSB is going to make a masterpiece at this stage in their career. They are doing what they love and I like the vibe of “Monkey Business”. Not every song will attach to you quickly upon first listen but this has my attention. They’ve always bounced around with their sound and that’s because they love music. I applaud them for not trying to force a particular sound and just creating what they find interesting.

  28. Jason says:

    Monkey sounds like it WAS recorded in 1986! A lost demo dolled up? Neil sounds positively agitated! Not sure about the commercial prospects but maybe this song is closest to early PSB and this album is shaping up to be their widest range of styles since Actually (or at least Fundamental). Once this record arrives I’ll probably be most excited to hear what they’ll do next if they choose to work with someone other than Stuart Price. I think it’s already safe to say if you were expecting Electric part 2 (or 3), that’s not on the menu this time…

  29. Otto says:

    I liked the ‘Agenda’ EP quite a bit but everything from their next album doesn’t do it for me unfortunately. Music wise it’s quite uneventful and the lyrics, well, aren’t great. I hope this is the last Stuart Price collaboration and I’d love to see them go back to Trevor Horn.
    What I like is that the content on cd and vinyl is the same this time, but if the content isn’t great (I wait for the remixes and ‘b-side’) I won’t buy it.

  30. Kauwgompie says:

    Been a fan from day 1. I bought all their albums most of them as special edition 2xcd’s and then again when they released the Further Listening series. Since they left Parlophone they don’t release special edition 2xcd’s anymore so I stopped buying them until now. I bought the 2xcd version of the new album from the Pet Shop store. Ok, so a full disc of instrumentals can be somewhat boring but if you cherry pick the best tracks, the instrumentals will be great to listen to.
    The new single is not the best nor worst track they made. I like it, just like Burning the Heather. Pet Shop Boys always deliver quality. If you listen to their Further Listening series, almost every song is good. I’m confident the new album will deliver.

  31. Graeme says:

    I’ve been a fan of theirs since the begining & don’t mind this new track, not brilliant, but quite catchy. I wasn’t taken with Burning The Heather, possibly their worst single since Winner! I’ve preordered their album, so I still have faith that it will be worth listening to!

  32. Gdb says:

    I’ve been a fan from the early days even before west end girls got in the charts I love everything they do, can’t wait for the new album the singles are fantastic; if you are true fan you love all they bring out.

    • Jon says:

      Excuse me but there is a difference in being a “true fan” and a fanatic. You are a fanatic if you truly believe you can’t be a “true” fan if you don’t love everything they put out. I hated “Dreamland” which is rubbish. “Burning the Heather” is painfully dull but I like the new song, it reminds me of 1986 PSB.

  33. Jack Moon says:

    I continue to be pleased and mildly surprised by what the boys have released in the last year.
    I think Agenda is a very decent ep marred by bad mastering. Dreamland is initially catchy but quickly fades on repeat play, BTH has a gorgeously melancholic melody and a sublime first verse, bridge and chorus but a completely banal ending, and Monkey Business has a cringey opening which surprisingly becomes quite funky and fun.
    Who doesn’t enjoy a rollercoaster?

  34. Carl Stanley says:

    Personally, I think this song is fantastic – it’s a worthy successor to ‘Pop Kids’ which is my favourite PSB single of the last decade.

  35. Tony Clarke says:

    Burning The Heather single is available as a lossless download on qobuz, if anyone’s interested.

  36. Widnesian says:

    I’ve been a fan from the start and loyally bought every 12″ and LP. It’s depressing/refreshing to find that I am not alone in the way I feel about recent PSB singles, regarding the comments here. The last good single was the Undertow 12″. Everything since then – the awful Agenda EP, Dreamland, Burning the Heather, and now this – has been ‘predict the rhyme’ time, and I find that I can do it easily with most lines. I know that Neil can do better. What’s gone wrong?

  37. Gary Hunter says:

    Gets my vote as the worst Pet Shop Boys single of all time, it sounds a right mess, lacks direction and the style does not suit PSB one bit, I am getting very concerned about the forthcoming album as from what they have released so far, seems like they are using odds and ends from previous sessions, “Burning The Heather” though is a mighty fine track, but “Dreamland” and “Monkey Business” are terrible.

  38. Gareth Jones says:

    I like it (the song, not so much the messing around with formats!). Doesn’t sound like standard typical PSB, it’s a bit different which makes a change. Neil even sounds slightly aggressive!

    But I think the best thing they’ve released recently was ‘What Are We Going to Do About the Rich?’ from the ‘Agenda’ EP, which isn’t even going to be on the new album!!

  39. Uncle Ruru says:

    The song is soso. Production- and sound-wise not too bad, but it lacks in a good melody and Neil’s vocals are more yelled than sung. Not very good, sadly.

  40. Ian Smith says:

    Hang on, £6.99 for a four-track single and the full album just three quid more? And the album is released prior to the single so we’ll have the song anyway?

  41. Ron says:

    That song puts me in the mood for some Army of Lovers (not a bad thing).

  42. Lee says:

    Am beginning to think they should re-name this album Diminishing Returns.

  43. Chrissi says:

    Hm,not really my Taste,as alongtime PSB Fan!
    Well,the Golden Days are over.

  44. Chris Marsh says:

    I’m having a bit of a flounce. They decided that I couldn’t have their last single on CD – thereby denying me any chance of a ‘complete set’ (as it were) so they can shove this and all future releases somewhere moist.

  45. Paul says:

    Is it me, or have they sampled Tom Tom Club’s ‘Wordy Rappinghood’ ?

  46. Tom says:

    At least they have chosen good mixers… the song is a bit of a non event.

  47. Horia says:

    Seems and sounds like a b- sides album. Their latest ep was kinda bad too.
    Fans will always blame the production, which is good, but the songs are really poor.

    • Rich says:

      “It sounds like a b-sides album” – ‘Alternative’ and ‘Format’ are great albums! And of course some of the extra disks in the ‘Further Listening’ series are better than some albums (particularly the terrible ‘Elysium’! So sounding like a b-sides album might be hyping it up too much!!
      This track reminds me of something like “Get Lucky” by Daft Punk.- though slower and not as catchy. Sort of funky Chic with laid back electronic vibes. I quite like it, despite not being either their traditional sound, nor standard.
      Are we ever likely to get a “Further Listening” release of the more recent albums? (‘Elysium aside!) Or will that forever be just for the earlier PLG UK Catalogue?
      Or an album of rare remixes not on the likes of Pop Art or Disco?

  48. Peter Muscutt says:

    Heard ‘Monkey Business’ yesterday on Radio 2 and thought it was…OK? Lyrics seemed a little bit “cringey” in places (the chorus, mainly) but it felt more ‘melodic’ (as Neil Tennant referred to it in the interview) than the other offerings showcased so far. Interestingly, he seemed to big up their forthcoming greatest hits tour as something they’ve wanted to do for ages – a hint that they themselves prefer “the old stuff”??

  49. daveid76 says:

    I get the feeling that two singles have effectively been created out of one. Between Burning the Heather and Monkey Business we have the three physical formats and two bonus tracks. Possibly a fairly last minute decision. Hopefully any fourth single will produce two bonus tracks. The song is a grower and very Chic.

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