The Pet Shop Boys explained this song to the Mail on Sunday March 8, 2009: "We visited Italy a lot and saw these cool kids, obsessed by music and fashion, called Paninari. We ended up writing a song about them."
The original version of this song was the B-side to the Pet Shop Boys 1986 hit "Suburbia." In 1995 an updated version was released as a single and charted in the UK.
Unusually for the Pet Shop Boys, Chris Lowe rather than Neil Tennant is the lead vocalist on this number.
These lines are a case of the group quoting themselves:
I don't like Country & Western I don't like rock music I don't like rockabilly or rock 'n' roll particularly Don't like much really, do I? But what I do like I love passionately
Chris Lowe said something to this effect in an interview, and the group integrated it into the lyric.
"Bittersweet Symphony" by The Verve samples an obscure orchestral arrangement of the 1965 Rolling Stones song "The Last Time." The Verve had to sign away most of the royalties before they could release the song.