Being Boring

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"Being Boring"
Being Boring.jpg
Single by Pet Shop Boys
from the album Behaviour
B-side"We All Feel Better in the Dark"
Released12 November 1990
Format7", 12", cassette single, CD single
RecordedMunich, 1990
Length4:50 (7" edit)
6:48 (album version)
10:40 (extended version)
LabelParlophoneR 6275
Songwriter(s)Neil Tennant, Chris Lowe
Producer(s)Pet Shop Boys, Harold Faltermeyer
Pet Shop Boys singles chronology
"So Hard"
"Being Boring"
"Where the Streets Have No Name (I Can't Take My Eyes off You)" / "How Can You Expect to Be Taken Seriously?"

"Being Boring" is a song by the British pop group Pet Shop Boys, the opening track from their fourth album Behaviour.

As the second single release from the album, following "So Hard", "Being Boring" was not particularly successful upon release, only reaching number twenty in the UK Singles Chart and being the first single released by the group not to get into the Top 10 since "Opportunities (Let's Make Lots of Money)" four years previously.

The song is concerned with the idea of growing up and how people's perceptions and values change as they grow older. The title apparently materialised after someone in Japan accused the duo of being boring. The title is also derived from a Zelda Fitzgerald quotation, "she refused to be bored chiefly because she wasn't boring".

Rated highly by Pet Shop Boy aficionados, in an interview in 1993, Neil Tennant described "Being Boring" as "one of the best songs that we've written", and explained that "For me it is a personal song because it's about a friend of mine who died of AIDS, and so it's about our lives when we were teenagers and how we moved to London, and I suppose me becoming successful and him becoming ill."[1]

The track was originally pieced together in a studio in West Glasgow, where the music for "My October Symphony", "The End of the World" and the unreleased "Love and War" were also done. The track was also played in 1990–1991 Brazilian soap opera Meu Bem, Meu Mal.[2] The track was played in an episode of Top Gear from 2001, during the review of the Mazda 626.

Pet Shop Boys fans Saint Etienne sampled the album version throughout on 'She's the One' from Foxbase Alpha (1991) and the Marshall Jefferson Remix throughout on 'Archway People' from their b-sides compilation You Need a Mess of Help to Stand Alone (1993) having first appeared on the b-side to You're in a Bad Way (also 1993)


In spite of the track's moderate commercial success, "Being Boring" has been played regularly at concerts and is widely considered amongst the greatest, most beautiful Pet Shop Boys songs by fans. Ironically, due to various factors (including it being hard to sing), it was not initially performed on the tour of 1991, Performance;[3] leading to many fans, including Axl Rose of Guns N' Roses, complaining about its omission.[4]

As a result, it was added as an encore late in the tour with the band commenting that it "invariably got the best reception of the night."[3] It has since become a mainstay of their live performances.


The video, the first by fashion photographer Bruce Weber, totally in black and white, shows a house party and begins with a nude swimmer and a message: "I came from Newcastle in the North of England. We used to have lots of parties where everyone got dressed up and on one party invitation was the quote 'she was never bored because she was never boring'.

The song is about growing up, the ideals that you have when you're young and how they turn out".


The B side, "We All Feel Better in the Dark" was written around a piece of music Chris Lowe had composed and features him as the lead vocalist. As he explains, "The idea came from a tape I bought from a health food shop round the corner from the studio: The Secrets of Sexual Attraction. The words are terrible. Awful. Embarrassing."[5]

The track proved to be a fan favourite and was performed live during their Performance Tour in 1991. The remix 12" includes two mixes of the track by Brothers in Rhythm.

Track listing[edit]

7": Parlophone / R 6275 (United Kingdom)[edit]

  1. "Being Boring" – 4:50
  2. "We All Feel Better in the Dark" – 4:00

12": Parlophone / 12 R 6275 (United Kingdom)[edit]

  1. "Being Boring" (Extended Mix) – 10:40
  2. "We All Feel Better in the Dark" (Extended Mix) – 6:45
  • also available on CD (CDR 6275) which also includes the 7" mix

12": Parlophone / 12 RX 6275 (United Kingdom)[edit]

  1. "Being Boring" (Marshall Jefferson Remix) – 9:05
  2. "We All Feel Better in the Dark" (After Hours Climax) – 5:30
  3. "We All Feel Better in the Dark" (Ambient) – 5:20

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1990) Peak
Australian Singles Chart[6] 82
Austrian Singles Chart[7] 30
Belgian Singles Chart (Flanders)[citation needed] 27
Canadian Singles Chart[8] 90
Dutch Singles Chart[9] 66
Finland (Suomen virallinen lista)[10] 5
French Singles Chart[citation needed]
German Singles Chart[11] 13
Italian Singles Chart[12] 10
Japanese Singles Chart (Tokyo)[citation needed] 4
Polish Singles Chart[citation needed] 13
Spain (AFYVE)[13] 13
Swedish Singles Chart[14] 16
Swiss Singles Chart[15] 16
UK Singles Chart[16] 20
US Billboard Dance/Club Play Songs[17] 10

Cover versions[edit]

  • Australian singer Merril Bainbridge included a cover of the song on her debut album from 1995, The Garden.
  • Norwegian power pop band Autopulver covered the song and included it as a bonus track in the Benelux special edition of his album from 1997, F-Words.
  • Swedish Pet Shop Boys tribute synthpop duo, West End Girls, recorded a cover for their album from 2006, Goes Petshopping.
  • Austrian Singer/Songwriter Bernhard Eder included a cover of the song on his album from 2007, "the livingroom sessions" (TRONrecords).


  1. ^ O Zone. BBC 2, 1993.
  2. ^ Remastered Behaviour liner note interview - Being boring Archived 28 December 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ a b sleevenotes Pet Shop Boys "Discography: the Complete Singles Collection"
  4. ^ 10 Years of Being Boring Trivia
  5. ^ Remastered Behaviour liner note interview - We all feel better in the dark Archived 28 December 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988-2010. Mt. Martha, VIC, Australia: Moonlight Publishing.
  7. ^ Steffen Hung. "Pet Shop Boys - Being Boring". Retrieved 23 June 2012.
  8. ^ "Results - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Archived from the original on 2 August 2012. Retrieved 23 June 2012.
  9. ^ Steffen Hung. "Pet Shop Boys - Being Boring". Retrieved 23 June 2012.
  10. ^ Pennanen, Timo (2006). Sisältää hitin - levyt ja esittäjät Suomen musiikkilistoilla vuodesta 1972 (in Finnish) (1st ed.). Helsinki: Tammi. ISBN 978-951-1-21053-5.
  11. ^ "". 14 November 2006. Retrieved 23 June 2012.
  12. ^ "Hit Parade Italia - Indice per Interprete: P". Retrieved 23 June 2012.
  13. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2.
  14. ^ Steffen Hung. "Pet Shop Boys - Being Boring". Retrieved 23 June 2012.
  15. ^ Steffen Hung. "Pet Shop Boys - Being Boring". Retrieved 23 June 2012.
  16. ^ "ChartArchive - Pet Shop Boys - Being Boring". Retrieved 23 June 2012.
  17. ^ Pet Shop Boys (21 December 2009). "Pet Shop Boys - Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 23 June 2012.

External links[edit]