BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.

Accessibility help
Text only
BBC Homepage
BBC Music
Listen Live.

 Full Schedule

Contact Us

Like this page?
Send it to a friend!

80  | Top 100
'Being Boring'
Pet Shop Boys
Although not as commercially successful as many of their singles, “Being Boring” may well be the most beautiful thing the Pet Shop Boys ever recorded.Over a lush musical soundscape of warm basslines and sustained strings, Neil Tennant opens up lyrically,
Pet Shop Boys
Song facts
Composer Pet Shop Boys
Genre Pop
Album Behaviour
Year of release 1990
UK Chart Position 20
giving a simple chronological account of his life and times, with plenty of clever colour and insight into his 20s and 30s.
But it’s with the last of the three verses that “Being Boring” really makes its magic felt, as the tone shifts from one of gentle reminiscence to become a lament for friends lost: “All the people I was kissing/ Some are here and some are missing/ In the nineteen-nineties”.
That verse takes on extra poignancy with the knowledge that Tennant had recently lost a close friend to AIDS, but despite that the song retains an air of positivity: more a celebration of life than a mourning of death.
The title itself comes from the novelist F Scott Fitzgerald’s wife Zelda, herself an author, who wrote: “She refused to be bored chiefly because she wasn’t boring.”

Neil Tennant on composing Being Boring
Neil Tennant
Neil Tennant reveals the story behind writing the song Being Boring - "Being Boring is about this friend of mine dying of AIDS when he was really quite young".


Other versions
Pet Shop Boys
 The Pet Shop Boys released a remixed version of Being Boring on their CD single in 1990.

I think time has proved that this was sorely under-rated and has gone on to be a classic track from the 1990's.


Make a comment

Songwriting tips

Why gigging will help get the A&R man interested. More in Performing.
What to consider when looking for a manager or if one comes looking for you! More in Management.
Test your knowledge

Where did singer Neil Tennant and keyboard player Chris Lowe meet? Try our Being boring quiz and find out.


Like this song? Try these...

Love Will Tear Us Apart
Joy Division

Doves Doves
Special guests on Dermot's show this week

What's on

Radio 2 Documentaries
Find out more about current and forthcoming documentaries on Radio 2.

About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy