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"Rent" is a 1987 single by the Pet Shop Boys. It was released in the UK by Parlophone on 12 October 1987.

Single by Pet Shop Boys
from the album Actually
B-side "I Want a Dog"
Released 12 October 1987
Format 7", 12", cassette, CD
Genre Synthpop
Length 5:08 (album version)
3:35 (single version)
7:06 (extended version)
Label ParlophoneR 6168
Songwriter(s) Neil Tennant, Chris Lowe
Producer(s) Julian Mendelsohn
Pet Shop Boys singles chronology
"What Have I Done to Deserve This?"
"Always on My Mind"

"What Have I Done to Deserve This?"
"Always on My Mind"


Song informationEdit

The lyrics are commonly thought to deal with a financially one-sided relationship, i.e. that of a kept man, the title implying more specifically the lot of a rent boy. Neil Tennant, however, stated in the Actually: Further Listening liner notes:

I've always imagined it's about a kept woman, and I always imagined it set in America. I vaguely thought of one of the Kennedys, for some reason, and imagined that this politician keeps this woman in a smart flat in Manhattan, and he's still got this family, and the two of them have some [sort] of relationship and they do love each other but it's all kind of secret...

It peaked at number 8 in the British charts. Producer Stephen Hague remixed the song for single release.


The video for the song was directed by Derek Jarman. It features two intercut storylines. One, filmed in black and white, shows Chris Lowe arriving at King's Cross station by train and walking past various low-life characters. The other, filmed in colour, features Margi Clarke as the partner of a wealthy man (played by Alexander Thynn, 7th Marquess of Bath), who is hosting a dinner party. The lyrics are sung by Tennant, who plays her chauffeur. The woman becomes annoyed when the man pays her no attention. She then gets Tennant to drive her to King's Cross. There, she meets Chris Lowe on the platform and they embrace.

Cover versionsEdit

Track listingEdit

7": Parlophone / R 6168 (UK)Edit

  1. "Rent" – 3:35
  2. "I Want a Dog" – 4:57

12": Parlophone / 12R 6168 (UK)Edit

  1. "Rent" (Extended Mix) – 7:06
  2. "Rent" (Dub) – 6:06
  3. "I Want a Dog" – 4:57
  • also available on CD (Parlophone / CD R 6168)

Chart performanceEdit

Chart (1987) Peak
Poland[2] 1
Ireland 5
UK 8
Italy 9
Finland (Suomen virallinen lista)[3] 12
Germany 10
Spain (AFYVE)[4] 21
Switzerland 10
Sweden 19
Austria 27
Australia (ARIA)[5] 81


  1. ^ "Matt Mancid & Color Theory - Rent ft. Faded Paper Figures — Color Theory". 11 December 2013.
  2. ^ "Lista Przebojów Programu Trzeciego — ABC druhów zastępowych i kaziów".
  3. ^ Pennanen, Timo (2006). Sisältää hitin - levyt ja esittäjät Suomen musiikkilistoilla vuodesta 1972 (in Finnish) (1st ed.). Helsinki: Tammi. ISBN 978-951-1-21053-5.
  4. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2.
  5. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.