The year was 1987. The decade was in full swing, embodying the bright colors, bold fashion statements, and infectious energy that defined the era. Synth-pop beats filled the airwaves, and optimism pervaded the cultural landscape. It was a time of economic growth, technological advances, and a renewed sense of confidence. Amidst this electric atmosphere, the Pet Shop Boys released their iconic cover of “Always On My Mind,” breathing new life into the classic song and capturing the essence of this transformative moment in history.
The music video, directed by the visionary Andy Morahan, perfectly encapsulates the vibrant spirit of the 1980s. It opens with a striking image of the duo – Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe – clad in their signature oversized suits, standing stoically on a barren stretch of road. Behind them, a surreal desert landscape stretches out as far as the eye can see. The scene is at once otherworldly and deeply rooted in the era’s aesthetic, a testament to the Pet Shop Boys’ ability to blend the familiar and the avant-garde.
As the video unfolds, the duo embarks on a journey through this dreamlike realm, encountering a diverse array of colorful characters along the way. In one memorable scene, they share the screen with a troupe of flamenco dancers, their passionate movements providing a stark contrast to the Pet Shop Boys’ deadpan expressions. This juxtaposition of styles and cultures exemplifies the boundless creativity and open-mindedness that defined the 1980s.
The performance itself is electrifying. Tennant’s impassioned vocals soar over the driving beat, his voice imbued with a raw emotion that resonates with the listener. Meanwhile, Lowe’s masterful synth work adds depth and nuance to the track, creating a soundscape that is at once nostalgic and utterly fresh. The result is a rendition of “Always On My Mind” that stands apart from its predecessors, a testament to the Pet Shop Boys’ ability to reimagine and reinvent the musical landscape.
The song itself has an intriguing history that even the most dedicated fans may not be aware of. Originally written by Wayne Carson, Johnny Christopher, and Mark James, “Always On My Mind” was first recorded by B.J. Thomas in 1970. However, it wasn’t until Elvis Presley’s soulful rendition in 1972 that the song became a bona fide hit. Over the years, numerous artists have put their own spin on the classic tune, but it was the Pet Shop Boys who took it to new heights, propelling it to the top of the charts in both the UK and the US.
Despite its success, the Pet Shop Boys’ version of “Always On My Mind” was something of an accident. The duo initially recorded the track for a television special commemorating the 10th anniversary of Presley’s death, with no intention of releasing it as a single. However, after an overwhelmingly positive response from fans and critics alike, they decided to put out the song, ultimately catapulting it to worldwide fame.
In the years since its release, “Always On My Mind” has become a staple of the Pet Shop Boys’ live performances, often accompanied by elaborate and theatrical stage shows. Their innovative approach to music and performance has inspired countless artists and solidified their status as icons of the 1980s.
As the music video draws to a close, Tennant and Lowe ride off into the sunset, their silhouettes fading against the vivid sky. It’s a fitting end to a visual masterpiece that transports us back to a time of endless possibilities and boundless creativity. Watching the video, one can’t help but feel a sense of nostalgia for the energy and optimism of the 1980s, a reminder of the magic that the Pet Shop Boys brought to the world through their music.
The Pet Shop Boys’ rendition of “Always On My Mind” serves as a powerful reminder of a bygone era, an anthem that captures the essence of the 1980s and transports us back to a time when anything felt possible. The song’s enduring popularity is a testament to its timeless appeal, and the music video stands as a vivid snapshot of a decade that will forever be remembered for its boldness, creativity, and spirit of adventure.
So, as you lose yourself in the kaleidoscopic world of the Pet Shop Boys’ “Always On My Mind,” remember to hit like and share because this music video is a dazzling gem that deserves to be cherished and celebrated by fans both old and new.
It’s a vibrant reminder of the magic that can be found in the fusion of music, performance, and visual storytelling, and a powerful ode to the enduring legacy of one of the most iconic bands of the 1980s.