“Heart” by Pet Shop Boys

In terms of its lyrical composition, “Hearts” is a rather simple song, especially coming from artists like the Pet Shop Boys. Succinctly put, Neil Tennant is in love, and the person whom he is addressing is the woman he has these strong feelings for.

The title is based primarily on a metaphor used in chorus where Neil’s heart ‘misses a beat’ every time he sees this lady. As we all know, the “heart” is actually a poetic symbol for love. So basically the idea he is putting forth via this statement is not only his getting excited when he sees her, but more to the point that his enthusiasm for her is due to love.

Neil also uses the symbol of the “heart” in a slightly-different context during the post-chorus, when he states that he can ‘hear the heartbeat’ of this lady when she is next to him. Of course he cannot literally hear her heart beating. Rather this expression is founded on the notion of his being convinced that she is in love with him also. Indeed he comes off as being unsure if she feels the same about him as he does about her. However, in general, it appears that what he is singing about is a thriving romance with a bright future.

Lyrics of "Heart"

Release Date of “Heart”

Parlophone in conjunction with EMI released this classic on 21 March 1988, as the fourth single from the Pet Shop Boys’ second album, “Actually”. That album produced four singles. The other three singles are:

Interesting Origin

 This track has an interesting origin. For instance, the Pet Shop Boys planned for it to be sung by Madonna before keeping it themselves. Moreover theBoys’ rendition was slated to be featured on Steven Spielberg’s 1987 film Innerspace. However, it ultimately could not fit into the particular scene it was intended for.

Additionally at first, the song was entitled “Heartbeat”. But when Jon Moss, the drummer for Culture Club, came out with a band called Heartbeat UK, the Boys decided to trim the name down to simply “Heart”.

Success of “Heart”

 This classic managed to top the UK Singles Chart, with the United Kingdom being the native land of the Pet Shop Boys. This was the fourth and likely final time they accomplished that feat.

Furthermore, this classic tune also topped the charts in Canada, Finland, Germany, Ireland, New Zealand and Switzerland. 

Music Video

The music video to “Heart” was directed by Jack Bond. It was based on the classic 1922 Dracula movie “Nosferatu” and features prominent British actor Sir Ian McKellen portraying the role of a seductive vampire.

Pet Shop Boys are not so much into “Heart”

Due to its overt-romantic nature this song is not usual Pet Shop Boys’ fare, as the duo are known for their intricate wordplay. Indeed Chris Lowe even displayed a mild disdain for it in 2001, basically insinuating that its performance on the charts illustrated fans’ appreciation for standard music.

Writing and Inspiration

The Pet Shop Boys (Chris Lowe and Neil Tennant) wrote “Heart”. According to Tennant, the inspiration for the song was a 1985 track by American singer Phyllis Nelson (1950-1998) entitled “I Like You”.

The Pet Shop Boys also produced “Heart” along with Andy Richards.

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