Left to My Own Devices

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"Left to My Own Devices"
Single by Pet Shop Boys
from the album Introspective
Released November 14, 1988
Format 7", 12", cassette, CD single
Recorded 1987/88
Genre Dance
Length 4:43 (7")
8:16 (album version)
Label ParlophoneR 6198
Writer(s) Neil Tennant, Chris Lowe
Producer(s) Trevor Horn, Stephen Lipson, Pet Shop Boys
Pet Shop Boys singles chronology
"Domino Dancing"
(1988)
"Left to My Own Devices"
(1988)
"It's Alright"
(1989)
UK cover
The UK cover of "Left to My Own Devices"

"Left to My Own Devices" is a song recorded by Pet Shop Boys, released as the second single from their third studio album, Introspective. It was also the first track of the album. It is their 9th best-selling hit.[citation needed]

The single fared better than the album's lead single, "Domino Dancing", charting three positions higher in the UK Singles Chart, at Number 4. It became the first track that Pet Shop Boys recorded with an orchestra, arranged by Richard Niles. Since its release, it has become a staple of Pet Shop Boys live performances.

Background and writing[edit]

Neil Tennant (who wrote the lyrics, as with most other Pet Shop Boys songs) explained the meaning of the track:

"This person goes through life always doing what he wanted to do. I liked the idea of writing a really up pop song about being left alone. This song is a day in the life of someone, so it starts off with getting out of bed and being on the phone and drinking tea and all the rest of it, and it ends up with coming home. By this time I was making the words very exaggerated and camp, though writing a book and going on stage were both things I had wanted to do when I was young."

As with the other tracks on Introspective, it has a longer 12" version on the album and was edited down to become more radio-friendly when released as a single. This is mainly due to the Pet Shop Boys wanting to be different from every other artist at the time. This is confirmed in the booklet accompanying the 2001 re-release of Introspective, where both Tennant and Lowe state:

"We had been so disciplined at making four-minute pop singles, with the exception of "It's a Sin", which is five minutes. The idea was to have an album where every track was a single."

The song contains the memorable lyrics: "I was faced with a choice at a difficult age / Would I write a book? Or should I take to the stage? / But in the back of my head I heard distant feet / Che Guevara and Debussy to a disco beat". Tennant has spoken of the early influence of Isao Tomita's Snowflakes Are Dancing on him; an album consisting of arrangements of Debussy on Moog synthesizer.[1]

Music video[edit]

The music video, directed by long time Pet Shop Boys director, Eric Watson, primarily consists of Tennant and Lowe dancing on an invisible glass floor, with the camera angle facing upwards. Tennant and Lowe are joined by several acrobats who are also seen from the same camera angle. At one point, balloons are also visible. MTV declined to show the video due to its dimly-lit nature.[citation needed]

Track listing[edit]

7": Parlophone / R 6198 (UK)[edit]

A. "Left to My Own Devices" – 4:43
B. "The Sound of the Atom Splitting" (Extended version) – 5:13

12": Parlophone / 12R 6198 (UK)[edit]

A. "Left to My Own Devices" (Disco Mix) – 11:28
B1. "Left to My Own Devices" – 4:43
B2. "The Sound of the Atom Splitting" – 3:37

CD: Parlophone / CDR 6198 (UK)[edit]

  1. "Left to My Own Devices" – 4:43
  2. "Left to My Own Devices" (Disco Mix) – 11:28
  3. "The Sound of the Atom Splitting" – 3:37

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1988) Peak
position
Australian Singles Chart[2] 48
Belgian Singles Chart[citation needed] 23
Dutch Singles Chart[3] 18
German Singles Chart[4] 9
Irish Singles Chart[5] 3
Italian Singles Chart[6] 15
New Zealand Singles Chart[7] 22
Polish Singles Chart[citation needed] 9
Spain (AFYVE)[8] 5
UK Singles Chart[9] 4
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[10] 84
U.S. Billboard Dance/Club Play Songs Chart[10] 8
U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales Chart[10] 25

Cover versions[edit]

Scottish electronica group Motormark recorded a cover which was included on the 2007 tribute compilation Very Introspective, Actually – A Pet Shop Boys Tribute.

References[edit]

  1. ^ [1] The First Time With..., BBC Radio 6, 2010-10-31.
  2. ^ Steffen Hung. "Pet Shop Boys - Left To My Own Devices". australian-charts.com. Retrieved 2012-06-23. 
  3. ^ Steffen Hung. "Pet Shop Boys - Left To My Own Devices". dutchcharts.nl. Retrieved 2012-06-23. 
  4. ^ "charts.de". charts.de. 2006-11-14. Retrieved 2012-06-23. 
  5. ^ Jaclyn Ward - Fireball Media Group - http://www.fireballmedia.ie. "The Irish Charts - All there is to know". Irishcharts.ie. Retrieved 2012-06-23. 
  6. ^ "Hit Parade Italia - Indice per Interprete: P". Hitparadeitalia.it. Retrieved 2012-06-23. 
  7. ^ Steffen Hung. "Pet Shop Boys - Left To My Own Devices". charts.org.nz. Retrieved 2012-06-23. 
  8. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2. 
  9. ^ "ChartArchive - Pet Shop Boys - Left To My Own Devices". Chartstats.com. Archived from the original on 2012-07-24. Retrieved 2012-06-23. 
  10. ^ a b c Pet Shop Boys (2009-12-21). "Pet Shop Boys - Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2012-06-23. 

External links[edit]