Paninaro (song)

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"Paninaro '95"
Single by Pet Shop Boys
B-side"Girls & Boys" (live in Rio)
Released24 July 1995
Format12", CD, Cassette Single
Length4:40 (original 1986 version)
4:07 (1995 remix)
LabelParlophone / EMI
Songwriter(s)Neil Tennant, Chris Lowe
Producer(s)Pet Shop Boys
Pet Shop Boys singles chronology
"Yesterday, When I Was Mad"
"Paninaro '95"
The capitalization of song titles in this article may be disputed. Please see the centralized discussion on this subject before making changes.

"Paninaro" is a song by English synthpop duo Pet Shop Boys.[1] Originally a B-side to the 1986 single "Suburbia", it was released as a limited-edition single in Italy during the same year.

In 1995, a re-recording titled "Paninaro '95" was released to a wider market, to promote the B-side compilation Alternative (though only the original version was included on the compilation).


The song is about the 1980s Italian youth subculture known as the paninari; derived from the word panino, Italian for sandwich, they were known for congregating in restaurants serving sandwiches and in the first US-style fast food restaurants, as well as their preference for designer clothing and 1980s pop music such as the New Romantic music of Italo disco. Neil Tennant has said that they were drawn to the concept due to having shared those preferences.

According to Neil Tennant, the song's lyrics Woh, woh, woh which he provided on the backup lyrics were according to him in a written interview on the website. During an interview, he revealed the lyrics were influenced by the song. Tarzan Boy by Baltimora. He clarified this by stating "We wrote it because you could go 'woh, woh, woh.' We were obsessed with songs that had 'woh, woh, woh' in them. Remember 'Tarzan Boy' by Baltimora?". [1]


"Paninaro" is one of the few Pet Shop Boys songs in which Chris Lowe provides the majority of the vocals. Tennant, meanwhile, only sings the title repeatedly in intervals.

The main lyrical motif consists of eight words:

These words are repeated at the end of the song in a soliloquy to the singer's "lover".

In reference to the fashion of the paninari, references to prestigious Italian fashion designers are repeated throughout the song:

Armani, Armani, ah-ah-Armani
Versace, cinque

(Although Versace was removed from the 7-inch B-side and from the 1995 version.)

In addition, the middle of the song contains a sample of a 1986 Entertainment Tonight interview with the band:

I don't like country and western. I don't like rock music, I don't like rockabilly or rock and roll particularly. I don't like much, really, do I? But what I do like, I love passionately.


The song was included on the 1998 compilation album Essential. An extended mix was included on the 1986 remix album Disco, and on the companion disc to the 2001 remastered re-release of their 1986 debut album Please, called Further Listening 1984–1986.

1995 version[edit]

The new recording included a rap in the middle of the song, newly written by Lowe; it laments the loss of the "lover" referred to in the pre-existing lyrics. The written lyrics in the final are also changed to "were" rather than "are" in referring to the lost love.


The 1995 version received remixes from Angel Moraes, Tin Tin Out, and Tracy & Sharon. Tom Stephan of Tracy & Sharon would continue to remix for the Pet Shop Boys as his later alias Superchumbo.

The 1995 version is included on the 2003 compilation album PopArt and the 2001 2CD re-release of Bilingual.

1995 release track listing[edit]

CD 1 (UK)[edit]

  1. "Paninaro '95" (Extended Mix) – 7:30
  2. "Paninaro '95" (Tin Tin Out Mix) – 7:47
  3. "Paninaro '95" (Tracy's 12' Mix) – 8:30
  4. "Paninaro '95" (Sharon's Sexy Boyz Dub) – 5:47
  5. "Paninaro '95" (Angel Moraes' Deep Dance Mix) – 10:39

CD 2 (UK)[edit]

  1. "Paninaro '95" – 4:10
  2. "In the Night" – 4:24 (Arthur Baker Remix)
  3. "Girls & Boys" (Pet Shop Boys live in Rio) – 5:04

12" (UK)[edit]

  • A1. "Paninaro '95" (Tracy's 12" Mix) – 8:28
  • A2. "Paninaro '95" (Sharon's Sexy Boyz Dub) – 5:47
  • B1. "Paninaro '95" (Tin Tin Out Mix) – 7:47
  • B2. "Paninaro '95" (Pet Shop Boys Extended Mix) – 7:30

12" #2 (UK)[edit]

  • A. "Paninaro '95" (Angel Moraes' Deep Dance Mix) – 10:39
  • B1. "Paninaro '95" (Angel Moraes' Girls Boys in Dub) – 11:57
  • B2. "Paninaro '95" (Angel Moraes' The Hot N Spycy Dub) – 9:35

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1995) Peak
Germany 39
Finland 5
Sweden 24
Australia 30
UK 15
Canadian Dance/Urban Singles Chart[2] 19
Netherlands 35

Music videos[edit]


A self-produced music video, filmed in Italy, was used for the original release; it consisted of footage of the duo singing the song alongside locals.

1995 version[edit]

The "Paninaro '95" video was directed by long-time Pet Shop Boys director Howard Greenhalgh. The Top of the Pops performance of "Paninaro '95" replicated the imagery of the music video, with the same costumes, lighting, and male dancers involved.

Other versions[edit]

The song was reprised as a chiptune on the Commodore 64 by Dutch musician Edwin van Santen of the 20th Century Composers (20CC), for a Public Domain demo on the machine, namely So-Phisticated III by demo group Black Mail. It is featured in the High Voltage SID Collection (HVSC) archive of C64 chip tunes.


  1. ^ Limnander, Armand (7 September 2008). "Puff Dandies". The New York Times. Retrieved 22 February 2009.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 6 March 2014. Retrieved 11 February 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)