Suburbia

Album: Please (1986)
Charted: 8 70
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Songfacts®:

  • This song was inspired by the 1984 movie Suburbia, directed by Penelope Spheeris. The film is about young people growing up in the Los Angeles suburbs amid abuse and decay. Spheeris is very rock and roll: she directed the landmark 1981 documentary The Decline of Western Civilization, which chronicles the LA punk scene. She also directed the 1992 movie Wayne's World.

    Another musical connection to Suburbia: Flea from Red Hot Chili Peppers appears in the film.
  • "Suburbia" was the fifth and final single from the Pet Shop Boys debut album, Please. The group had released "West End Girls" as a single in 1984, but it wasn't until they signed with EMI in 1985 and released a new version of the song that their career took off. In America, they had a steady stream of modest hits after "West End Girls," but in their native UK, they went gangbusters, landing four #1 by 1989.

    Club play had a lot to do with their success; unlike rock bands that built of fanbases by touring, they synth-based Pet Shop Boys stayed off the road.
  • Eric Watson, who also directed the videos for "West End Girls" and "Opportunities (Let's Make Lots Of Money)," helmed the "Suburbia" video. It was shot in both Los Angeles and London.

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