Literally Issue 40 Diary     Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Back
  As is traditional following the release of a new Pet Shop Boys album, Neil has shared from his diary the pertinent details from the period

in which Electric was written and recorded. These follow, with occasional clari?cations and comments from him and Chris. First however, a recap.
As the writing of Elysium and Electric overlapped to a signi? cant and unusual degree, the genesis of some Electric songs can be found in the Elysium diary published in the last issue of Literally. Here are the most important details of what had already happened:
Feb 4, 2010: Return home from a drunken night out in Berlin and begin “Axis

Feb 11: Still in Berlin, begin writing“Vocal

April 14: Do more work on “Axis speeding it up.

June 23: In Glasgow on tour with Take That. Work on “Shouting in the evening”.

Oct 3: In Berlin. Change some “Vocal ”lyrics and put down a mix of “Axis

Dec 12: In Berlin. Start working on a new song, “A dream

Jan 12, 2011: Begin work on “Vocal” with Andrew Dawson in Los Angeles. And now the diary picks up where the
previous one concluded.

May 20, 2012.

Neil starts reading Nice Work by David Lodge.

Neil: I'd always heard that it was a really funny book, and I’d read one of his other 1980s academic comedies, Changing Places, which is
really good.

May 21.
Pet Shop Boys go to Pete Gleadall is studio to work on “A certain je ne sais quoi

Neil: Which became a b-side.

May 22.

Finish working on “A certain je ne sais quoi ” and get up “The way through the woods adding the long intro and outro sections. Bob Krausaar mixes “A certain je ne sais quoi

May 23.

Finish “The way through the woods ” and start to work on a cover version of “I started a joke ” by the Bee Gees.

Neil: As-«a tribute to Robin Gibb who had died at the weekend.

May 24.
Finish “I started a joke ” at Pete Gleadall is studio
then take taxi to Bob Krausaar is studio. Listen to his mix of “A certain je ne sais quoi ” and tweak
it a bit; listen to what he has done so far on “The way through the woods

June 7.

In Berlin. Listen through to Turing music written on last Berlin trip. Look through photos sent by Gareth Pugh of clothes for the Olympics and choose ones they like. Discuss what the Elsyium album launch events should be. Chris starts to
work on something he wrote on the piano, then download a piece of music by Michael Nyman, - “Chasing Sheep... ” Chris makes a version of it while Neil writes lyrics. After dinner Neil adds vocal to track that is now called “Bourgeois

June 8.

Chris works on music for “Bourgeois Neil re- sings some lines with lyric changes. Put down a mix of “Bourgeois

June 11.

Chris sends parts of “Bourgeois ” to Pete Gleadall in London so that he can do a mix of it. Then Chris gets up his new track for the Turing piece but the gear doesn ’t work.

Neil: This was because on the computer I had pressed...

Chris: ...the mute button! Without telling me!

Neil: I think the phone rang and we were talking and there was music playing and I just muted it. And then we came back to work and it wouldn't work. So everything came to a standstill.

Chris: Anyway, you learn. I now know to look at the mute button that someone might have pressed.

June 12. _

Gear still not working so Neil and Chris’ catch a train to Wittenberg, Martin Luther is home town.

Neil: It was quite nice. The weather wasn’t that great, but we had a little wander round.

Chris: It was a bit boring. For clubbers.

Neil: We looked at the church where Martin Luther pinned up his 95 theses on the door.

June 13.
Holgen their sound engineer, discovers that the gear is not working because the mute button has been pressed. In the afternoon, they work on a new piece for the Turing score “T he memory and the control Then they make an Italo- disco version of “I started a joke Scrap it, but then write over the music a new song, “In his imagination

Chris: The gear was not working because someone pressed the mute button.

Neil: I’Ve admitted it!

June 14.
Work on “In his imagination ” all day long.

June 15.
Work on another Turing piece, “Other ranks Neil puts vocals on “The memory and the control In the evening watch England versus

Neil: England won, which is pretty amazing.

October 1.
In Berlin. Start a new track which becomes “Bolshy Neil puts vocal on it then does a phone interview with the MT VStyle website while Chris works on track.

October 2. .
Put down mix of “Bolshy ” then start new Turing track, “Natural wonders every child should know

October 3.
Work on “Natural wonders every child should know

October 4.
Continue work on “Natural wonders every child should know

October 5.

Continue work on “Natural wonders every child should know

Neil: Then we went to Cologne to do a TV show.

November 5.
Start working at Stuart Price s studio in West London. Work on the “Memory of the future ”
seven-inch mix.

November 6.
US elections. Go to the Pet Shop Boys ’new studio in East London and get up “Inside a dream Neil re-sings the vocals. Work on “One night”.

November 7.
Barack Obama re—elected. Listen to ?nished, mastered the “Memory of the future ” single mix then work on “Axis Decide that “Axis ” should
be called “Electric

November 8.
Work with Stuart all day on “Bolshy

November 9.
Stuart not feeling well. No work.

November 12.
Work on “Bolshy ” all day long, changing the verse melody and the lyrics.

Neil: I bumped into Chris on the tube on the way there.

Chris: It's an awful journey from my place to Stuart’s.

November 13.
Work on “A dream

Neil: That’s “Inside a dream”. I was calling it “A dream” at this point.

November 15.
Chris and Stuart work while Neil goes up north.

November 16.
Chris and Stuart continue working.

Chris: How would Neil know what we did?

November 20.
Stuart is studio. Stuart plays what he has done on “A dream “Bourgeois ” and “Shouting in the evening”. Get up “The last to die ” and Neil sings extra vocals.

Neil: That’s when the guitar riff which had become a synth riff became a Vocal riff.

November 21.
At Stuart ’s studio, work on “Love is a bourgeois construct” all day.

November 22.
Neil sings lyric changes on “Love is a bourgeois construct”. Work on “A dream

November 23.
Discuss touring plans with Angela Becker Get up “Thursday night special Neil sings vocals and the song is renamed “Over”.

Chris: What would that have done to the tracklisting?

December 11.
In Berlin. Work on the “The trial” section of the
Turing piece.

December 12.
Further work on “The trial

December 13.
Continue working on “The trial

December 14.
Continue working on “The trial

December 16.

Chris puts down a mix of the whole of “The trial

Neil: On a Sunday!

January 15, 2013.
Back in Stuart is studio. Discuss the tour with Angela. Work on “Thursday”; Neil sings a new chorus part and they change the song structure.

January 16.
Stuart is studio. Work more on “Thursday ” then work on songs for the Electric tour

January 18.
Long meeting about the Electric tour. Neil; There was a lot of snow this month.

January 22.
Stuart is studio. Play through the live show so far, and work on the tour version of “I get excited ”
January 23.
Work on second section of the show.

January 24.
Stuart works on the tour music by himself

Neil: We didn't go in.

January 25.
Listen through to the second part of the live show then work on “Love is a bourgeois construct”. Neil: It’s Very spread out, making the album.

February 12.
Stuarts studio. Listen through to the entire show, making notes for changes.

February 14.
Stuarts studio. Stuart plays Neil and Chris the latest versions of parts three and four of the new show. Neil sings lyric corrections on “Love is a bourgeois construct. ”

Neil: That day we'd had lunch with Angela to discuss the Kobalt deal — I notice that at this point I spell ‘Kobalt’ with a ‘C’.

March 12.
Wsit Mark Farrow is studio to see an idea for the album artwork.

April 3.
Meeting at Farrow about album artwork.

April 10.
Work on new track “0nline

April 11.
Work more on “0nline and put down a mix of it. Start working on “Fluorescence ” from Chris 3 music; Neil writes lyrics and sings them.

April 12.
Work on “Fluorescence ” which becomes "Fluorescent”. Neil simpli?es the lyrics and re- Sings them. Then they ?nish a mix of the song.

April 15.
Work on “Entschuldigung! ” Neil adds “Ich nicht sprechen Deutsch! ” chant to Chris is track. Finish it in the afternoon.

April 16.
Work on music for the ?nal section of the Turing piece, then stop and spend ages working on the cataloguing system for their x2 label.

April 17.
Work on the ?nal part of the Turing project, “An apology”, based on the music of “He dreamed of machines

Neil: Actually “An apology” might not be in the final project.

April 18.
Carried on working on “An apology ,

April 19. .
Carried on working on “An apology

April 23.
At the Pet Shop Boys studio, Neil sings revised version of “...Bourgeois... ” recorded by Pete Gleadall who sends them to Stuart in Los Angeles.

Neil: Stuart’s now working in LA.

April 24.
See the ?nished Electric artwork.

April 26.
Check mastering of eight tracks which have come through overnight from LA. Discuss the “Axis ” video.

May 8.
Travel to Los Angeles.

May 9.
Stuart does a radio edit of “Vocal

Neil: So I haVen’t noted in my diary when Stuart sent us “Vocal” originally. He worked on it in Los

Chris: He sent it just before the album was going to be delivered. Literally a day before.

Neil: Originally the album Was going to come out in June but we delayed it a month.

Chris: This was a far more haphazard way of putting together an album than usual.

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