Pet Shop Boys / Burning The Heather 7″

As mentioned a few weeks ago on Saturday Deluxe the Pet Shop Boys will release their next single ‘Burning The Heather’ just on one physical format: a seven-inch single.

This features a radio edit of the song along with a new track ‘Decide’ as the B-side. It’s the first Pet Shop Boys seven-inch for over seven years (‘Leaving’ from 2012 was the last commercial release on that format). It’s the second song to be issued from the forthcoming album Hotspot. Incidentally, the word on the street is that the next single will be issued on CD, although we will have to wait and see.

‘Burning The Heather’ will be released on 13 December 2019. The Hotspot album follows on the 24 January.

  1. Burning The Heather (Radio Edit)
  2. Decide

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[…] to be exclusive to their store, also). Standard pre-orders from other channels are below. The ‘Burning the Heather’ single is out […]


Yep thanks to a followed guy on the gram I discovered that a 2CD edition of Hotspot (Instrumentals of the whole album on the second disc) and a, wait for it, cassette (yes! we will be withheld a cd release of this single buy we’re getting a useless cassette!) edition! Also all versions come with signed 12″ print. Now I wonder, there is no indication that you only get one print no matter how many versions you buy so I got two separate items.
Presumably Paul will post about this soon.
I hope the cassette comes in “dirty-water-color” pvc case.


Shane, no kidding the cassette is indeed in a delightful shade of sludgey village pond!


2 Disc edition and cassette of Hotspot has just been announced !


Anyone notice on Amazon they list the mp3 version of the 7″ as 15 minutes (and 32 seconds)? (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Burning-heather-Pet-Shop-Boys/dp/B081VSPG1H/)

Just curious how long the b-side actually is as the radio edit of Heather is around 4 minutes. 11 minute b-side anyone? (actually assuming Amazon got it wrong).


Hi Richard. Per iTunes, the digital track lengths are Burning The Heather (Radio Edit) [4:03], Decide [4:49], and Decide (CYA Remix) [6:40].


At Amazon the digital bundle is listed, so 3 tracks, not 2…


It’s 15:32 in total for 3 tracks, so it’s 11 plus minutes for the b-side and its remix. Nothing wrong if you ask me.


Perhaps Paul knows the Boys, or through his numerous industry contacts, could have either Chris or Neil weigh in on this crucial topic. After all, their careers are fan-driven.


I ordered the 7″ but I am very disappointed about the lack of CD single.
The Dreamland 12″ sounded extremely bad but thankfully there was also a CD single which included the B-sides.

I really hope it’s true that the next single will indeed be released on CD. PSB are they only artists I have been able to rely on in recent years on giving their fans CD singles.

Sascha Partetzke

Hopefully they will put the B-Sides on a later CD Single as they did with the Inner Sanctum Carl Craig 2Juiced RMX later on the Say It To Me CD Single, or the 3 PSB Remixes of Leaving Again on the Elysium Further Listening CD 2.

We’ll see this somewhen in 2020.


Totally! The Dreamland 12” sounded absolutely terrible. An absolute waste of money.

mino gagliardi

The main problem is that it is not right to pay an mp3 file lodsa money! The cd single had a cost while the mp3, without the solid form, another. So why should I pay 0.99 € or more for a song that it’s not even phisically mine?

Sascha Partetzke

Lots of fans see it that way. Hopefully the music industry recognizes that not too late.


I do not live in a college dorm room…I do not need vinyl when you can only listen to it at home. Cds play in the cars. Now cars are not putting in CD players…what is wrong with people? Cars are bought also by 40+ age group where we all have Cds to play. I cannot put my 1500 cd collection on my phone.. What is the fascination with Vinyl besides larger artwork & possibly better sound? convenience? Not. durability..Not? takes up less space…no way. costs less..think not. Now I have to rip the B side from Youtube when it comes available when I would have bought the CD single rather then waiting two years to get it collected on B sides Vol 3 set CD.

Rene Rojas

Did you leave any in their car? Perhaps something cheesy? Lol


Paul in the last 2 or 3 years CD players in most brand new cars are NOT included as standard and are only available as an optional extra for anything from £100 upwards,
Car manufacturers are assuming we all have phones/MP3 players in our cars to play music which to some degree is true, and on longer journeys having a dedicated MP3 player with a good large varied stash of songs on it makes absolute perfect sense, This is where is the MP3 player comes into its own…Imagine having all those songs in an equal amount of CDs forever trying to change a CD while driving (dangerous).
Personally for me the CD is played at home either listening to it on my Hi-Fi or ripping tracks to MP3…Vinyl new releases have no interest for me I only have archive vinyl partly sentimental holding on to it and I very rarely play it, streaming new music from Spotify or YouTube is very much the norm now plus I enjoy purchasing signed or unsigned CDs from Amazon…long live the CD.

Richard Fenick

in the USA, or at least on Long Island NY….CD players are not an option

John McCann

I’ll sell you a 2012 e class merc mate, lovely sounding cd system in it.i dont use it as im in the van all the time.


How I hate people saying ” (xx) is dead/almost dead”. Maybe TO YOU. Thankfully enough people think downloads are awful and the industry still produces physical!

Diarmuid P Dineen

Maybe have ‘Decide’ as an extra track on the next CD single?


Formats aside this and ‘Dreamland’ are pretty poor openings for an album; surely you start with strongest tracks on an album? Have now given ‘BTH’ four listen (hoping the hook will get me) and it’s still a meandering dullard we’ll all be skipping when the album comes. Makes you reflect how strong those past PSB opening album singles were. ‘It’s A Sin’ in to the Dusty duet. ‘Can You Forgive Her’ in to ‘Go West’. ‘So Hard’ into ‘Being Boring’. Distant memories sadly.


Well. All arguments aside, atleast they had the decency not to make this a record store day release, like Fluorescent or Lovelife, which were virtually impossible to get outside of the uk for less than $80.


Guys, it´s very simple. Why should a company still produce something which almost nobody wants to buy anymore? There is no profit anymore for this format. Times are still changing and they will change again. But for the moment: it´s over. CDs are almost dead.

John McCann

And I would imagine that theirs more profit in CDs, cost nothing to manufacture,a shilling a jewel case and about 2bob for paperwork,,,,on the shelf £10 in Tesco.


The CD single is pretty much dead not the Cd album.


Massive PSB fan but for many years now I only tend to spend money on there albums and seeing them on tours as can just not justify paying £8 or more for a single with 2 to 4 tracks when can listen to them on you tube or other streaming apps for free


I personally love the format debate. Not personally tinged at all, nobody buys vinyl etc (meaning me, I want cd). Why are they producing cds, I want cassettes/vinyl/hi-res.
Whatever the format, it’s reproduction depends on the quality of the equipment that it’s played back on. A well matched system will reap dividends on it’s chosen format. I love to read peoples comments pouring scorn on something that doesn’t fit their particular demographic.
Vinyl is or has made it’s way back to forefront of sales. Is it better or worse that cd, as a consumer pay your money and choose which one suits. New turntables & streamers are appearing from the mayor hifi manufacturers yet cd players not so much. Is it a trend, a blip who knows. Are they cashing in on a fad, only time will tell. Variety is the spice of life for years nothing was released on vinyl, so now it’s playing catch up. For years we’ve just had cd + download releases, so I for one can forgive reissues of different formats.


Well said. I used to be a huge fan of cd singles by PSB but as time goes on, needs change I guess and I no longer buy them, probably because of the Further Listening series where everything is eventually assembled in one place. It’s also due to the fact that they’re nowhere near as creative with them. I remember when they used to be like mini-albums. The ep for Was It Worth It? is a great example. Pretty sure it ran for about 30 minutes with enough variety to hold interest.

As you said, it’s an interesting debate. Annoying for the devotees though who make a sport of collecting everything that goes with each album.

James C

This doesn’t seem like a full single release, in the same way Axis, Fluorescent, Inner Sanctum, Undertow and Agenda weren’t. Perhaps an experiment to see if a 7″ only release will sell? I can’t get too upset about it, I have always collected their records and have many imports and promos but this does seem unnecessary. When Integral was released as a download only single I made sure I got the promo CD as I wanted a physical copy. Those tracks have now been reissued and the CD is redundant. I can live with the download package of Burning The Heather. BTW, I didn’t love Super or Dreamland but for some reason the much maligned Agenda EP really clicked with me, and the Dreamland B side Open Mind is one of their best tracks in years. Don’t write them off yet.


Rubbish sounding 7” vinyl vs Quality sounding CD single…A No Brainer to completely ignore the 7” Single with it’s horrendous price tag of £9.99 not including postage if you don’t have Amazon prime…Seriously £10 for a crappy 7” single ? Come on record company that is a complete rip off we don’t want just vinyl we want CD plus download and streaming so listen to us…I will spell it out to you on behalf of everyone with any sense at all…WE DO NOT WANT JUST VINYL ONLY OK ?

David B

Fully agree .. and totally fed up how tv shows (wanting to be hip) always show vinyl as the medium for playing music. Yes in the 70s I did collect vinyl – 7 inch singles and LPs-but then moved over to the 12 inch single for better sound quality .. and then to cds (for the same reason) and with over 3,000 cds haven’t looked back since ..

Dean O

Hey I love the new artwork on both the single and the album….reminds me of Seventeen Seconds by The Cure…there’s a mystery there…….in the fog….


Love seeing vinyl released again. If they reissued all their 7″ and 12″ vinyl singles I would discard the inferior digital CDs and repurchase the high quality analogue vinyl issues. I would add them to the Human League reissues, and the a-ha reissues. I don’t mind the price tag so come on record company, bring them all out :). Some of us value the analogue sound over those cheap digital formats.

Gouster Jouster

Not at all. CDs are basically ‘capped’ at 16bit/44.1kHz. Vinyl doesn’t have this restriction. Of course, a vinyl can be produced from the same redbook restrictions as a CD file, but when it’s done from the masters, and uncompressed, vinyl sounds better. Not an opinion. A fact.

Gouster Jouster

I think you’ve misunderstood… CDs are capped. The master has to be compressed to be transferred correctly to a CD, so CDs are ALWAYS compressed, with the exception of SACDs, which aren’t commonplace. With vinyl, the master doesn’t have to be compressed, so (much more often than SACDs being produced) vinyl has the option of carrying the master file. See artists like Neil Young for example. If you buy the CD and vinyl versions of any of his remastered series, the vinyl will ALWAYS sound better, because he uses the masters for vinyl. Many artists do this. Not as many as there should, but a lot.

I understand that you prefer CDs and you love the format, but CDs were introduced for similar reason that (years later) MP3s were introduced: convenience. They have their benefits, but they aren’t high up on the fidelity chart.

Simon Morris

Unsure if anyone has mentioned both Axis & Fluorescent were 12″ only releases.


As were Inner sanctum and Undertow (sort of)

John McCann

In 1984 how was a cd more convenient than a vinyl l.p.you couldn’t play it in a car for instance,?


Sorry offtopic: A friend invited me to the next tour. What to expect? It‘s a best of tour, so I hope it’s getting great.

Tim Abbott

I’ve seen them three times, and two of those (one that became the live album Pandemonium, the other last year for the Inner Sanctum concert video) were among the best gigs out of the 500+ I’ve seen (the other one was a free gig at Trafalgar Square where they did a live soundtrack to Battleship Potemkin which was good, but rainy!). They put on a great show with incredible visuals, and if the crowd are into it, it’s even better. I’m passing on the tour next year simply because the tickets price is too high. I’ll probably change my mind, though!


Greatest hits tour, can’t miss that


No cd single…come on Boys I’ve been collecting them all since 1980s.

Chris Squires

It would be interesting if Paul did a poll of those who only have a CD player vs. those who only have a turntable vs. those that are primarily turntable vs. those that are primarily CD vs. those that only stream

I am in the primarily turntable group I do have a Naim CD player but only for background when there are other people about of I just want something on. If I actively listen to music it is nearly (90%) always from vinyl.

It’s an odd website on which to make the statement “Don’t think there are many of us still using phonographs” by Fref or Shane “not sure who actually own (sic) a turntable, and actually plays vinyl. Not many.”
There are a lot of us here who use vinyl in some capacity either completely or frequently.

No idea of percentages and won’t make a stupid guess but over the last five years? …Well you only have to read the threads… there are more than three of us is all I’ll say.



So I use vinyl mostly (Rega RP10) but use FLAC as a secondary format (Cyrus Stream X Signature). Gave up on CD along time ago once hi res was out because I refused to support three platforms and you can rip CD to FLAC.

It’s difficult to say what’s better sonically when you have a well mastered album on 24/96 FLAC vs. the same master on well pressed vinyl, but I prefer the physical aspect of vinyl.

However I do not buy singles on any format and never have…..

Peter m

Wow ,you have a naim CD player just for
Background ? !!!


^What I thought!^

Chris Squires

I have a very understanding wife and it’s the cheapest Naim there is. The CD5Si.
Funnily enough, Mark, we have the same deck the RP10, which is beautiful paired with an Apheta 2 MC cartridge.

I love Skreama’s thoughts at the top of this thread, nicely balanced and well thought out. Personal choice. It’s often the case here when people say they “Hate” vinyl that they also say something along the lines of they gave it up in 1989, which probably puts most of us in our early / mid 20s when we could probably only afford a “Sharp” or “Amstrad” on 110g vinyl that would be better served as a frisbee or wobble board. And nobody ever thought that vinyl might benefit from cleaning.

Vinyl is a totally different proposition now than it was back in the day, almost like a new format with decent equipment, care and a bit of attention… with cleaning, anti-static sleeves and not using them as coasters or ashtrays (the way many 16 – 21 year olds treated their records). Also the vinyl is generally better quality although the downside for me is that the niche value and lack of manufacturing plants has meant that the pressing companies need to up their game along with the labels. Too many mistakes and bad presses, although having said that they seem to be also making a bit of a mess of a fair few CD sets too, so that isn’t just limited to vinyl. They need to up their game for all things physical.

Nick Love

I’ve noticed a similar disparity in the guitar community, you have all the young guys who don’t want to play anything that isn’t either vintage or new but built like the old days and already looks beat to hell, then you have the older guys embracing new technology because they never want to go back to those days of difficult to play frets/radiuses and amps that had to be deafeningly loud to give up the goods. Nostalgia can cast a strange spell.


Agree on a survey of sorts here, that would be interesting.
But not a straight “what’s your favourite format” question.
I struggle to play vinyl in the car… so context is important.

No cd players in my house, just vinyl and streaming / download.

The format discussions for me are redundant when it comes to listening to the music.
The primary source high-res digital file is shrunk for cd, and has an analog element added for vinyl. Therefore the high res file is the best source for the music, there’s literally no argument to be had there.
Can we hear the difference? That’s down to individuals.

Even then, some masters don’t even start from a good place.
The glorious Blue Hour by Suede for instance has one track that is sourced from a lossy source so the cd was partly derived from an mp3 or lossy equivalent format.
Same with Bowie’s Tis Pity demo version and plenty of other releases.
No matter what format, you’re listening to an mp3 there, increased resolution won’t add back in what’s not there.

There are rare instances where the master is different for the formats. Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories sound is better on vinyl, that’s again just a fact. They chose to use a master with a higher dynamic range presumably based on an opinion that those listeners would be more invested in the sonics. I personally don’t think that’s the case, but was grateful that my copy has a better sound than the cd.

An infamous example was Metallica’s Death Magnetic which was appallingly mastered for cd but sounded way better on a video game – Guitar Hero. There’s a great comparison video here that illustrates that perfectly. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Nfqpr3ygSg
Listen with your ears not your eyes, but a waveform certainly confirms visually exactly what your ears already know.

From a functionality point of view digital files can be played on just about anything, so again win out over physical formats which tie you down.

I play vinyl mainly because most of the masters used in the current reissued versions of things over about 30 years old sound poor to me or have errors in them. That’s just my taste perhaps, but the errors are objective. But I also just like records and the ceremony of playing one.

And while I enjoy looking at the pictures here, the packaging personally makes zero difference to me so physical formats are irrelevant in that respect.
For me I just want to hear the best possible version of the recorded music, and assuming the master is the same, this will be a lossless stream like Tidal, or an hdtracks download or equivalent. In some ways, physical versions are just expensive, inconvenient, sometimes dumbed down versions of that.


Actually, a discussion can be had whether a Hi-Res download is inferior to CD and it goes something like this: the CD covers the entire sound range of human hearing, so adding frequencies to that gives you nothing by default. It’s like having a TV that also includes ultraviolet ‘color’ range.

But due to the equipment we use to replicate the sound, those frequencies outside the human range can interfere with the frequencies we actually can hear, so the Hi-Res is actually adding distortion over the CD, making it inferior.

I am not interested in debating this, just pointing it out to show it is not as clear cut as you made it sound.


I already got it delivered by JPC (Exclusive distributor in Germany), love it!
It is of good quality and has a printed innersleeve.
Both Tracks are excellent.


Again, how can we fans/collectors of physical products collect the tracks Burning The Heather (radio edit), Decide and Decide (CYA remix) on CD when the next single (just like the first) will be on CD again!? Do we have to wait for the nest B-sides collection to only get one!? That will be far out from this point. Bummer twice.


And the b-sides collection won’t have the remix on it… This is just sad. Wish they would release a CD based on the feedback they are getting.


Honestly I get why people complain about the artwork for this and the album, but I have to say they aren’t that bad, it’s just a choice and at least this single and the album have a concept which ties them together, while the first single does not match at all so, no explanation there.
The only sore part for me is the absence of a cd.
Like Fref says, not sure who actually own a turntable, and actually plays vinyl. Not many.
I own multiple ones but I only buy vinyls for the artists I collect and because I like the bigger artwork (althoth current artists’ releases are pure cash-ins and you can tell by the poor and cheap execution) and used to believe the quality was better.
Now I’m older and I only care about being able to rip a physical CD to my itunes for playing on the go. I hate downloads and still want the physical with easy option to rip.

Michael McA

So – Pet Shop Boys release a single on 7” vinyl only – after releasing all before on CD – and the next single WILL have a CD.

What’s that all about?

To p**s off CD collectors?

Can’t think of ANY other reason.


I’m a fan of PSB in no more than a casual sense – have three or four albums and probably a ‘Greatest’ knocking about somewhere. That doesn’t mean I can’t spot an absolute ball drop when I hear one. The lyrics made my physically cringe – the last time I read anything that appalling was the time I asked a fellow ‘A’ Level Eng Lit student to stop passing me their poetry to read. The lyrics embarrassed me and should the author also. The music/melody… well, you get out what you put in, never more true than here. Sounds like they knocked it out whilst doing something else at the same time.

An awful shame, these guys have produced some truly magnificent songs in the past – LTMOD, Soddom and G Show, Pandemonium, Rent to name but a few.


You are so right. The writing seems so uninspired and lazy. This new set of songs is probably the cast offs from former sets.

Richard John

Oh boy, I do miss the days of a 7″ single being 99p.

I’m never going to stump up a tenner for two tracks on a 7″. Especially as the album will be basically the same price.


exactly this.I really like the song. but will stop myself buying 7 inch records at full CD price. (i actually did place an order and then cancel because it’s too silly).

in 2002 or so singles were 99p and CDs £13.49. i know there is inflation but CDs are actually much cheaper now.


Inflation doesn’t have much to do with it.

This PSB 7″ will have a print run of about 1,000, if that. It’s purely a collector’s market release. Very few will ever be played, only to be stored in a smoke-free room until the owner dies, leaving the partner or kids wondering if it should go to the op-shop or into the recycling.


If you think that’s pricey,

Asda are doing a pair of Star Wars 7” singles on coloured vinyl at £ 15 !!


Just saw on the website there’s a remix in the digital package as well. Oops. Amazon made it look like it was the mp3 7″ package, not the download package.


No cd single. Don’t think there are many of us still using phonograph players

Mark Armstrong

The lack of CD single(s) is a mystery as you say in another post Paul, but would have thought that it’s cause for celebration that a seven inch single is coming out, no matter what your opinion is of the track – we’re all collectors aren’t we !?

Captain Chivas

They have made zero effort with this design. They shouldn’t have even bothered releasing it as it”s rubbish. They seem to have run out of ideas & creativity all round now. Sorry but I’m a longtime fan & this is just very disappointing.

Gerald Himmelein

I like the look of the new album and single covers.

Also, I disagree on the “zero effort” – stylish minimalism isn’t easy to get right.

Luckily nobody is forced to purchase or even like this product. After throughly enjoying both Electric and Super (give or take a couple of tracks), I’m looking forward to the album.


@Gerald For what it’s worth – I wholeheartedly agree with you: stylish minimalism isn’t easy to do, let alone get right.

One of the things I love about PSB is their overall design aesthetic which often focuses on minimalist, yet bold, statements. right from the days of Please.

“Zero effort” and “Rubbish” really are quite strong statements. I don’t think the single is one of their strongest efforts but you know what? I suspect I couldn’t write anything approaching it.


The music is the most important thing than the cover, Big deal. I had lots of their cd’s and some of them, just have photos of the two. Nothing else. Didn’t stop me from buying them.


Rich, what about the Truck Driver And His Mate promo 12″?!


What were they thinking?

John McCann

Is the cover not heather after its been burnt,i think theirs a blueberry connection to burning heather,hence the colour,not a farmer van driver so probably wrong.


Seems to me you could do something other than complain about the song and the artwork. If you don’t like it, don’t buy it. Why spew your unhappiness all over a site celebrating music and it’s physical media?

John McCann

I dident mate, haven’t Heard the song,just commenting on artwork which I like.


TD – People like to voice opinions… I value everyone else’s here as much as my own. None of us are wrong and none, conversely, right! I should have thought the point of a Comments section was to let people have their say? Not everyone (certainly not me for this release) are always going to say positive things, that’s life. “Be boring if we were all the same”, and all that. You’re quite right – if you don’t like it, don’t buy it! I shan’t!

John McCann

Just reply to the correct comments,if you read a post t.d that you disagree with. post your comments after that one,not after a tottolly unrelated one,if anyone was spewing unhappiness then it certainly wasn’t me.


Any info about the two Japan bonus tracks on Hotspot???


one of those Japanese bonus tracks better be “decide”