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|Single by Pet Shop Boys|
|from the album Actually|
|B-side||"I Want a Dog"|
|Released||12 October 1987|
|Format||7", 12", cassette, CD|
|Length||5:08 (album version)
3:35 (single version)
7:06 (extended version)
|Label||Parlophone – R 6168|
|Writer(s)||Neil Tennant, Chris Lowe|
|Pet Shop Boys singles chronology|
The lyrics are commonly thought to deal with a financially one-sided relationship, i.e. that of a kept man, the title implying more specifically the lot of a rent boy. Neil Tennant, however, stated in the Actually: Further Listening liner notes:
"I've always imagined it's about a kept woman, and I always imagined it set in America. I vaguely thought of one of the Kennedys, for some reason, and imagined that this politician keeps this woman in a smart flat in Manhattan, and he's still got this family, and the two of them have some [sort] of relationship and they do love each other but it's all kind of secret..."
It peaked at number 8 in the British charts. Producer Stephen Hague remixed the song for single release.
The video for the song was directed by Derek Jarman. It features two intercut storylines. One, filmed in black and white, shows Chris Lowe arriving at King's Cross station by train and walking past various low-life characters. The other, filmed in colour, features Margi Clarke as the partner of a wealthy man (played by Alexander Thynn, 7th Marquess of Bath), who is hosting a dinner party. The lyrics are sung by Tennant, who plays her chauffeur. The woman becomes annoyed when the man pays her no attention. She then gets Tennant to drive her to King's Cross. There, she meets Chris Lowe on the platform and they embrace.
- Serbian punk rock band KBO! recorded a version on their 2001 cover album (Ne) Menjajte Stanicu (Do Not) Change the Station).
- In 2007, Thirteen Senses covered the song to be placed on preloaded iPod Nano. These were then given away as prizes at their May 2007 tour of the UK.
- "Rent" has been performed live by Neil Tennant with Suede and has also been covered by Carter USM and Liza Minnelli on her 1989 album Results.
- In 2002, the German ska-band Frau Doktor covered "Rent". It was released on their album Penner Superdisco.
- UK electro pop singer/songwriter Alexander Price recorded a cover version of Rent which was released as a digital download in September 2010.
- British indie rock band Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine released a cover of Rent as a b-side on their single "Rubbish" in 1990.
- Field Music recorded a cover of this, along with "Heart" for their 2012 Record Store Day release, actually, nearly.
- Matt Mancid & Color Theory released a 5-track EP with three different arrangements (synthpop, electro house, chillout) of "Rent" in December 2013, featuring Heather Alden of Faded Paper Figures on backing vocals.
Liza Minnelli released a cover of Rent on her 1989 album Results, produced by the Pet Shop Boys
7": Parlophone / R 6168 (UK)
- "Rent" – 3:35
- "I Want a Dog" – 4:57
12": Parlophone / 12R 6168 (UK)
- "Rent" (Extended Mix) – 7:06
- "Rent" (Dub) – 6:06
- "I Want a Dog" – 4:57
- also available on CD (Parlophone / CD R 6168)
- Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2.