So Hard

"So Hard" is a song by English synth-pop duo Pet Shop Boys, released as the lead single from their fourth studio album, Behaviour (1990). The song is about "two people living together; they are totally unfaithful to each other but they both pretend they are faithful and then catch each other out".[1] It peaked at No. 4 in the United Kingdom and reached the top three in at least seven European countries, including Finland, where it reached No. 1.

"So Hard"
Pet Shop Boys - So hard.jpg
Single by Pet Shop Boys
from the album Behaviour
B-side"It Must Be Obvious"
Released24 September 1990[1]
RecordedMunich, 1990
Genre
Length
  • 3:56
  • 6:30 (extended mix)
LabelParlophone
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)
Pet Shop Boys singles chronology
"It's Alright"
(1989)
"So Hard"
(1990)
"Being Boring"
(1990)
Music video
"So Hard" on YouTube

BackgroundEdit

"The original was harping back to Giorgio Moroder with loads of all these retro instruments", recalled Chris Lowe. "Then David Morales took the chord progression from the middle section and made this classic pumping house track. It's quite funny, because we did this gig in Los Angeles and Frankie Knuckles played this track at the party afterwards. Neil came over and said, 'Why don't we make records like this?' I said, 'Neil, it is us.' So that's how much we know about dance music!"[2]

Critical receptionEdit

Larry Flick from Billboard wrote that the "fine first release from the upcoming "Behaviour" album maintains the fun and frothy disco melodrama of past efforts, while striking enough of a modern pop stance to encourage alternative and top 40 radio airplay."[3] Music & Media commented, "All radio formats unite! This commercial pop single - featuring that typically inescapable chorus - is the logical choice for any sensible programmer."[4] Nick Robinson from Music Week said, "A welcome return, this time with Harold 'Axel F' Faltermeyer co-producing, and a typical semi-orchestral pop song with those familiar heavy dance beats and another catchy chorus."[5] Roger Morton from NME stated that "So Hard" is "familiar Pet Shoppies territory", with its "superior hit factory pulse, boys town keyboard slashes and darkly tainted love-lyric."[6]

Music videoEdit

The music video for the song was directed by Eric Watson and filmed in Newcastle and North Tyneside. Filming locations included the Bigg Market, Newcastle Quayside, Railway Terrace in Wallsend, Byker, Whitley Bay and the Tyne and Wear Metro. The black and white video co-stars Paul Gascoigne's sister Anna Gascoigne. The video also shows people dancing and having fun on the streets with Neil and Chris in the background.[1]

Track listingEdit

The single's B-side is "It Must Be Obvious", with the US release also featuring the remix of "Paninaro", which was originally released on Disco. Remixes were done by Julian Mendelsohn, The KLF and David Morales. The KLF remixed "So Hard" and "It Must Be Obvious", available on the "So Hard (The KLF vs Pet Shop Boys)" single.

7": Parlophone / R 6269 (UK)

  1. "So Hard" – 3:56
    • Produced by Pet Shop Boys, Harold Faltermeyer
    • Mixed by Julian Mendelsohn
    • Engineered by Brian Reeves
    • Additional programming by Dominic Clarke
  2. "It Must Be Obvious" – 4:21
    • Produced by Pet Shop Boys
    • Mixed and engineered by Pete Schwier
    • Additional programming by Dominic Clarke
  • Artwork by 3a, Mark Farrow, Pet Shop Boys
  • Photography by Eric Watson

12": Parlophone / 12R 6269 (UK)

  1. "So Hard" (Extended Dance Mix) – 6:30
  2. "It Must Be Obvious" – 4:21
  3. "So Hard" (Dub Mix) – 7:30

12": Parlophone / 12RX 6269 (UK)

  1. "So Hard" (KLF vs. Pet Shop Boys) – 5:27
  2. "It Must Be Obvious" (UFO mix) – 9:22
  • Release title: "So Hard (The KLF vs Pet Shop Boys)"
  • Tracks 1 and 2 remixed by The KLF

12": EMI USA / V-56194

  1. "So Hard" (Extended Dance Mix) – 6:30
  2. "So Hard" (single) – 3:56
  3. "So Hard" (dub) – 7:30
  4. "It Must Be Obvious" – 4:21

CD: Parlophone / CDR 6269 (UK)

  1. "So Hard" – 3:56
  2. "It Must Be Obvious" – 4:21
  3. "So Hard" (Extended Dance Mix) – 6:30
  • Produced by Pet Shop Boys, Harold Faltermeyer
  • Edited by Danton Supple
  • Engineered by Brian Reeves
  • Mixed by Julian Mendelsohn

CD: EMI / 560 204177-2 (Germany)

  1. "So Hard" (12" remix) – 6:20
  2. "So Hard" (Radio mix) – 3:25
  3. "So Hard" (Red Zone Mix) – 7:42
  4. "So Hard" (Eclipse mix) – 4:00

CD: EMI / E2-56195 (US)

  1. "So Hard" (Extended Dance Mix) – 6:30
  2. "So Hard" (single) – 3:56
  3. "So Hard" (dub) – 7:30
  4. "It Must Be Obvious" – 4:21
  5. "Paninaro" (Italian Remix) ["12-inch remix"] – 8:40
  • Remix – David Jacob, Pet Shop Boys

MixesEdit

Mixes by Julian Mendelsohn

  • Album/single version (3:56)
  • Extended dance mix (6:30)
  • Available on the Further Listening bonus disc with the Behaviour reissue
  • Dub Mix (7:30)
  • 9" edit (4:59)

Mixes by David Morales

  • Red Zone Mix (7:45)
  • An abbreviated (2:48) version of this mix appears on Disco 2
  • 12" mix (6:26)
  • Radio mix (3:37)
  • Dub (7:37)
  • Eclipse Mix (4:02)

Mix by The KLF

  • The KLF Versus Pet Shop Boys (5:27)

ChartsEdit

Cover versionsEdit

A cover version by Scottish musician Momus was included on the 2001 compilation Very Introspective, Actually: A Tribute to the Pet Shop Boys.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c petshopboys.co.uk Singles – So Hard
  2. ^ Q, May 2001
  3. ^ Flick, Larry (29 September 1990). "Single Reviews" (PDF). Billboard. p. 85. Retrieved 28 October 2020.
  4. ^ "Previews: Singles" (PDF). Music & Media. 6 October 1990. p. 18. Retrieved 3 November 2020.
  5. ^ Robinson, Nick (29 September 1990). "Singles" (PDF). Music Week. p. 21. Retrieved 31 October 2020.
  6. ^ Morton, Roger. "THE PET SHOP BOYS – Behaviour". NME. Retrieved 24 November 2020.
  7. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Pet Shop Boys – So Hard". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved 28 July 2019.
  8. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Pet Shop Boys – So Hard" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 28 July 2019.
  9. ^ "Ultratop.be – Pet Shop Boys – So Hard" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 28 July 2019.
  10. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 9171." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 28 July 2019.
  11. ^ "Top RPM Dance/Urban: Issue 9082." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 28 July 2019.
  12. ^ Danish Singles Chart 9 November 1990
  13. ^ "Eurochart Hot 100 Singles" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 7 no. 45. 10 November 1990. p. IV. OCLC 29800226 – via World Radio History.
  14. ^ Nyman, Jake (2005). Suomi soi 4: Suuri suomalainen listakirja (in Finnish) (1st ed.). Helsinki: Tammi. ISBN 951-31-2503-3.
  15. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Pet Shop Boys – So Hard". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 28 July 2019.
  16. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – So Hard". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 28 July 2019.
  17. ^ "Top 3 Singles in Europe" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 7 no. 45. 10 November 1990. p. VII. OCLC 29800226 – via World Radio History.
  18. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 46, 1990" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40 Retrieved 28 July 2019.
  19. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Pet Shop Boys – So Hard" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 28 July 2019.
  20. ^ "Charts.nz – Pet Shop Boys – So Hard". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 28 July 2019.
  21. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Pet Shop Boys – So Hard". VG-lista. Retrieved 28 July 2019.
  22. ^ "Top 10 in Europe" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 8 no. 2. 12 January 1991. p. 29. Retrieved 30 October 2020.
  23. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (in Spanish) (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor/SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2.
  24. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Pet Shop Boys – So Hard". Singles Top 100. Retrieved 28 July 2019.
  25. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Pet Shop Boys – So Hard". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 28 July 2019.
  26. ^ "Pet Shop Boys: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 23 October 2020.
  27. ^ "Pet Shop Boys Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
  28. ^ "Pet Shop Boys Chart History (Alternative Airplay)". Billboard.
  29. ^ "Pet Shop Boys Chart History (Dance Club Songs)". Billboard.
  30. ^ "Pet Shop Boys Chart History (Dance Singles Sales)". Billboard. Retrieved 22 November 2019.
  31. ^ "Cash Box Top 100 Pop Singles – Week ending November 17, 1990". Cash Box. Retrieved 23 October 2020.
  32. ^ "Jaaroverzichten 1990 – Singles" (in Dutch). Ultratop. Retrieved 28 July 2019.
  33. ^ "Eurochart Hot 100 Singles – 1990" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 7 no. 51. 22 December 1990. p. 36. OCLC 29800226 – via World Radio History.
  34. ^ "Top 100 Single-Jahrescharts – 1990" (in German). GfK Entertainment. Retrieved 28 July 2019.
  35. ^ "Jaaroverzichten – Single 1990" (in Dutch). Dutch Charts. Retrieved 28 July 2019.

External linksEdit