Winner (Pet Shop Boys song)

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Pet Shop Boys - Winner.jpg
Single by Pet Shop Boys
from the album Elysium
B-side "A Certain 'Je Ne Sais Quoi'", "The Way Through the Woods", "I Started a Joke"
Released 3 July 2012
Genre Synthpop
Length 3:48
Label Parlophone
Songwriter(s) Neil Tennant, Chris Lowe
Producer(s) Andrew Dawson, Pet Shop Boys
Pet Shop Boys singles chronology

"Winner" is a 2012 single by the Pet Shop Boys and the first to be taken from the duo's eleventh studio album Elysium. On 2 July 2012, it received its UK radio premiere on The Ken Bruce Show on BBC Radio 2. The following day, it was made available for download via iTunes.[1]

The track was BBC Radio 2's "Record of the Week" for the second week of July 2012.[2]

The track has been added on the B-list of the BBC Radio 2's playlists for three weeks.


Neil Tennant commented that the song "is called ‘Winner’ and superficially it’s a sort of ‘We Are the Champions’ song but actually it’s not. It’s really about that moment...and really what’s important is the camaraderie of everything that got you there. Enjoy the moment, enjoy the memory 'cause it’s just a little moment."[3]


"Winner" was received generally well. NME stated "Pet Shop Boys have released one of the most uplifting songs in the history of their songs."[4] Daily Telegraph said the song was patently timed to match the Olympic mood and "triumphant, low key; a very English take on things".[5] Popjustice commented that the song "kind of works in the context of all the sport in the air at the moment, but as the lead single from a Pet Shop Boys album it’s probably the worst since ‘Before’", also stating that the three b-sides eclipse the lead song.[6] Metro stated that the single reminds us the pop icons "... do gently persuasive feelgood with panache".[7] commented "the Pet Shop Boys kicked that idea round the studio and thought better of it".[8] Daily Star gave the song 9 out of 10 and commented, "deserving a gold medal for cashing in on Olympics fever, the duo's first taste of their new album is a gorgeous epic", and added the song is "such a lovely tune nobody can begrudge them their chance" and it is "a champion performance".[9]

Music video[edit]

The music video was directed by Surrender Monkeys and the features the London Rollergirls, a Roller Derby team, and their new rookie, Dirty Diana, who is transgender. The story highlights the inclusive message of the song and the Rollergirls, an all-women roller derby league that promote charity, teamwork and confidence in women by embracing everyone regardless of body shape, occupations, sexual orientation, race or nationality.[10] Conservative US gay commentator Andrew Sullivan, said it is ‘one of the very few videos I've seen that actually celebrates the life of the transgender person’.[11]

There was mixed reception to the video. commented the video is touching.[12] Sterogum stated the video "is an inspirational sports montage of sorts, but the inspiration doesn’t come from any athletic feats; it comes from the whole community-building side effect".[13]

The Pet Shop Boys received a letter which thanked them for positively showing the Transgender Community.[14]

Track listing[edit]

Digital download
No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Winner" Neil Tennant, Chris Lowe Andrew Dawson, Pet Shop Boys 3:48
Digital EP / CD single[15]
No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Winner" Neil Tennant, Chris Lowe Andrew Dawson, Pet Shop Boys 3:47
2. "A Certain "Je ne sais quoi"" Tennant, Lowe Pet Shop Boys 4:58
3. "The Way Through the Woods" (Long version) Rudyard Kipling (lyrics); Tennant, Lowe (music) Andrew Dawson, Pet Shop Boys 5:42
4. "I Started a Joke" Barry Gibb, Maurice Gibb, Robin Gibb Pet Shop Boys 3:17
Digital download — "Winner" remixed[16]
No. Title Writer(s) Remixer Length
1. "Winner" (Andrew Dawson HappyHour Remix) Neil Tennant, Chris Lowe Andrew Dawson 4:40
2. "Winner" (John Dahlbäck Remix) Tennant, Lowe John Dahlbäck 5:36
3. "Winner" (Niki & The Dove Remix) Tennant, Lowe Niki & The Dove 6:06
4. "Winner" (Andrew Dawson Extended HappySad Remix) Tennant, Lowe Andrew Dawson 8:06


Chart (2012) Peak
Belgium (Ultratip Flanders)[17] 55
Belgium (Ultratip Wallonia)[18] 16
Germany (Official German Charts)[19] 60
Japan Hot 100 (Billboard)[20] 16
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[21] 86
US Hot Dance Club Songs (Billboard)[22] 12


  1. ^ "Pet Shop Boys — News — Winner". Pet Shop Boys Partnership. Retrieved 3 July 2012. 
  2. ^ "Pet Shop Boys — Pet Texts — Record of the week". Pet Shop Boys Partnership. Retrieved 5 July 2012. 
  3. ^ "ABOVE & BEYOND IN CONVERSATION WITH THE PET SHOP BOYS". Mixmag. 2 August 2012. Retrieved 2 August 2012. 
  4. ^ "Pet Shop Boys — Pet Texts — NME review". Pet Shop Boys Partnership. Retrieved 1 August 2012. 
  5. ^ "Pet Shop Boys — Pet Texts — Winner review". Pet Shop Boys Partnership. Retrieved 28 July 2012. 
  6. ^ "Updated: Well the third Pet Shop Boys b-sides album is off to a good start". Popjustice Ltd. Retrieved 5 August 2012. 
  7. ^ "Dizzee Rascal's Scream and Pet Shop Boys' Winner: Singles of the week". Metro. Retrieved 6 August 2012. 
  8. ^ "This week's new tracks with Elis James". London: Guardian News and Media. 4 August 2012. Retrieved 4 August 2012. 
  9. ^ "Pet Shop Boys — Pet Texts — Another Winner review". Pet Shop Boys Partnership. Retrieved 6 August 2012. 
  10. ^ "Pet Shop Boys new video features trans rollergirl". Gaystarnews. Retrieved 24 Jul 2012. 
  11. ^ "Pet Shop Boys new video features trans rollergirl". Gaystarnews. Retrieved 24 Jul 2012. 
  12. ^ "Pet Shop Boys 'Winner' video released". Music-News. Retrieved 25 Jul 2012. 
  13. ^ "Pet Shop Boys – "Winner" Video". Stereogum. Retrieved 23 Jul 2012. 
  14. ^ "Pet Shop Boys — Pet Texts — The new video". Pet Shop Boys Partnership. Retrieved 24 July 2012. 
  15. ^ "Pet Shop Boys — News — Winner single". Pet Shop Boys Partnership. Retrieved 18 July 2012. 
  16. ^ "Winner remixed: Pet Shop Boys: MP3 Downloads". Pet Shop Boys Partnership. Retrieved 6 August 2012. 
  17. ^ " – Pet Shop Boys – Winner" (in Dutch). Ultratip.
  18. ^ " – Pet Shop Boys – Winner" (in French). Ultratip.
  19. ^ " – Pet Shop Boys Single-Chartverfolgung" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
  20. ^
  21. ^ "Pet Shop Boys: Artist Chart History" Official Charts Company.
  22. ^

External links[edit]