No fooling, come April 1st another invasion will take place, only this time in Salt Lake City. And there's no general leading the attack by the name of Schwarzkopf.
True, America's most loyal ally, Great Britain, is once again sending her sons into the fray, although this invasion has nothing to do with guns or butter, for that matter. At least not the kind of butter you spread on toast.But it has everything to do with music, the electronic disco, synthesized sound of the British group the Pet Shop Boys, who are hoping their 14-city tour of the U.S. and Canada might just usher in another big wave of British pop music, similar to that which first hit America's shores in the early '60s when the Beatles and Rolling Stones established a secure beachhead.
Reluctant to tour in the past because they didn't want to put on a standard rock concert, lead singer and lyricist Neil Tennant, 36, and composer-keyboardist Chris Lowe, 31, will find themselves in Salt Lake City as the sixth venue in their tour. After a chance meeting in 1981 in a music store on London's Kings Road, Tennant and Lowe decided they had something in common, a shared ambivalence toward all things rock 'n' roll.
After haunting demo studios until 1983, the duo, whose name comes from some of Lowe's friends who worked in a London pet store, a breakthrough occurred when Tennant, then a writer and editor for Smash Hits, Britain's best-selling music magazine, was in New York City to interview the group the Police. While there, Tennant met producer Bobby "O" Orlando, who cut the group's first version of "West End Girls" in 1984.
"West End Girls" remained a London club hit until 1985, when the group recut the track and the new mix vaulted it to Britain's first No. 1 hit of 1986, eventually making the top of the charts in the United States and six other countries later that year.
Their first album, "Please," went platinum in America and Great Britain, spawning a series of hit singles - "Opportunities (Let's Make Lots of Money)," "Suburbia" and "Love Comes Quickly."
"Disco" was their second album of 1986, a combination of 12 remixed singles and two new songs.
Their next album, "Actually," the best selling to date, produced four more hit singles including "It's A Sin" and "What Have I Done To Deserve This?" which includes a duet between Tennant and Dusty Springfield, her biggest hit since 1969.
In 1988 the group's version of "Always On My Mind" hit the airwaves. Originally part of a television tribute to Elvis, the song was included on their 1988 six-track dance album, "Introspective."
"Behavior," the Pet Shop Boys' fifth and latest album, expresses a new maturity for the group combining their wizardry and wit with a softer edge. Ever the disco music dance fan, Chris Lowe says "Behavior" is still music you can dance to.
Tennant and Lowe's talents and interests are obviously multifaceted. They released a feature film, "It Couldn't Happen Here," in 1987 and produced the album "Results" for Liza Minnelli, which gave her a first-ever hit with "Losing My Mind."
Direct from two performances at L.A.'s Universal Amphitheater, the Pet Shop Boys will perform at the University of Utah's Kingsbury Hall at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, April 1.
Billed as "An Evening With the Pet Shop Boys," the concert will not include a warm-up act. Expect more than your average run-of-the-mill concert, however, as Tennant and Lowe promise a lavish, multimedia extravaganza complete with up to 12 costume changes.
Tickets are priced at $17.50 in advance and $18.50 the day of the show, available at all Smith's-Tix locations.
Whether it turns out to be a real invasion or not, after their final appearance in Montreal on April 15, the Pet Shop Boys at least hope they will have gained a little more R-E-S-P-E-C-T.