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  • Cited by 7
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    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Carroll, Beth 2016. Today’s Sounds for Yesterday’s Films.

    Morin-Simard, Andréane 2016. Contemporary Research on Intertextuality in Video Games.

    Edgar, Amanda Nell 2014. Blackvoice and Adele's Racialized Musical Performance: Blackness, Whiteness, and Discursive Authenticity. Critical Studies in Media Communication, Vol. 31, Issue. 3, p. 167.

    Gunders, John 2013. Electronic dance music, the rock myth, and authenticity. Perfect Beat, Vol. 13, Issue. 2,

    Girard, Stéphane 2011. (Un)originality, hypertextuality and identity in Tiga's ‘Sunglasses at Night’. Popular Music, Vol. 30, Issue. 01, p. 105.

    Earl, Benjamin 2010. The reformer's charter: setting Bloom's Anxiety of Influence in the context of melodic rock. Popular Music, Vol. 29, Issue. 01, p. 131.

    Everett, Walter 2010. ‘If you're gonna have a hit’: intratextual mixes and edits of pop recordings. Popular Music, Vol. 29, Issue. 02, p. 229.


Taking it seriously: intertextuality and authenticity in two covers by the Pet Shop Boys


When musicians ‘cover’ a previously recorded song, they provide an intertextual commentary on another musical work or style. This paper considers several ways in which such commentaries engage constructions of authenticity, focusing on two covers by the Pet Shop Boys: ‘Where the Streets Have No Name’, originally by U2, and ‘Go West’, first recorded by the Village People. I analyse the musical sound, performance style, and lyrical themes of each pair of songs, as well as the discourse surrounding their production and reception. I also consider how scholars have theorised authenticity in the interpretive traditions engaged by these songs. I argue that the Pet Shop Boys’ version of ‘Where the Streets Have No Name’ is subversive, poking fun at certain common ways of expressing authenticity in 1980s rock, while their cover of ‘Go West’ repositions disco - a genre that has widely been construed as inauthentic - as a type of ‘roots music’ for the gay community of the 1990s.

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Popular Music
  • ISSN: 0261-1430
  • EISSN: 1474-0095
  • URL: /core/journals/popular-music
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