A Jack and Jill Party


The Pet Shop Boys have participated in some wildly successful collaborations with singers like Dusty Springfield and Liza Minnelli. Their new collaboration with androgynous and visually flamboyant Dead or Alive frontman Pete Burns, “Jack and Jill Party“, should rank as one of their best ever. Burns’ instantly recognizable voice combines the mechanical precision of a welded factory part with the dark snarl of Billy Idol and is familiar to most from Dead or Alive’s ’84 smash “You Spin Me Round”. The PSB arrangement is “retro-electro”, harking back to the early 80’s twisted dark synthetic disco sounds

Best of all, the lyrics to the single are brash, defiant, and laced with the kind of dark energy only Burns can deliver. The conceit of the song is that Burns is going to a “Jack and Jill Party”, a slang term from the late 80’s which describes a masturbatory sexual get-together in which both gay men and lesbians are invited to participate. Other definitions include both gay and straight men and women but in either case a Jack and Jill Party is about exhibitionism and performing sexual acts in the presence of others.

Sexual honesty, openness, and rebellion seem to be the core messages of the song, conveyed in a driving series of verses, including this visual of two men walking hand in hand in order to shock the public:

I’m going to America / A very big subject in America
We’ll walk down the avenue hand in hand / Cameras flashing on command
Possessed of a power to fascinate / It’s almost like I’m almost straight
And that’s such a great substantial way / To deflect hate in the USA

Aside from the lyrics, the single has an amazing mood and energy. I was turned on to it by a reader of this site, so thanks.. Two electronic music legends on one song — doesn’t happen too often.


  1. Patrick says

    This is my first “comment” on your site, which I recently discovered a few days ago. I’ve been enjoying coming here the past few days and reading your back posts and looking at your short films and photographs, etc. You’re very talented!

  2. says

    Pete Burns? That’s Pete Burns? I know a few years have passed, but if you hadn’t have identified him, I would have never picked him out in a line-up. I’m oddly drawn to that photograph…but don’t know why.

  3. Dex M. Cotton says

    I have searched and searched for this song after reserving the single “Jack and Jill Party” I found and downloaded the Extended Version and I love it! I can’t stop playing it! It’s just as good as “You Spin Me Round (Like A Record)”. I loved the Video Mix of “You Spin Me Round (Like A Record) 2003″

  4. DJ WIL says

    I have to say it is about time! PSB and Pete great collaberation of 2 great talents! PSB & Pete Burns need to make there presence known here in the US! Pete you may be gone but never forgotten in my book!Have alot of Japanese import CD’s and glad to find Jack & Jill Party!Welcome back with a vengence!

  5. Bjorn says

    Exept Mr Burnes nowdays odd look, he still is the best. I would so much want to meet him. And “Jack and Jill party” is hopefully just the start of more co productions with Mr Burnes at the microphone

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