Neil Tennant celebrates his birthday today, turning 69. Tennant is one half of pop duo Pet Shop Boys who have delivered over a dozen albums, as well as a musical, a cabaret show, a ballet, a couple of film soundtracks, remix albums, and productions for other artists.
Tennant started off his career in publishing where he first worked for Marvel comics. His job was to adjust the dialogue so British readers understood the comics. He then went on to work publishing cookbooks, before landing a job at teen magazine Smash Hits.
In the early 1980’s teenagers eagerly awaited each issue of the magazine to find out the latest news about their favourite pop stars. It was while on a trip to New York City for the magazine that he met producer Bobby Orlando. Tennant told him that he and friend Chris Lowe had started writing music and Orlando ended up produce Pet Shop Boys first tracks.
Over their career Pet Shop Boys have sold over 50 million records, and delivered 14 studio albums, their most recent was 2020’s Hotspot. The prolific band has also released two double albums of b-sides and several discs of rarities and studio outtakes.
Pet Shop Boys have also written and produced music for Eighth Wonder, Morten Harket, Dusty Springfield, Tina Turner, Shirley Bassey, Liza Minelli, Boy George, Pete Burns, Alcazar and Kylie Minogue. They’ve produced remixes for Blur, David Bowie, Madonna, Lady Gaga and many others.
Outside his work with Lowe in Pet Shop Boys, he’s also collaborated with The Pretenders, Robbie Williams, Rufus Wainwright, Tom Stephan and DJ Fresh. He also collaborated with the band Electronic alongside Bernard Summer from New Order and ex-Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr.