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August 11, 2013
"Domino Dancing" is a song recorded by the British synthpop duo Pet Shop Boys which reached #7 on the UK Singles Chart. It was released as the lead single from their 1,988 album, Introspective.
Written by Chris Lowe and Neil Tennant, and influenced by Latin pop, the song was produced by Lewis A. Martinée, the Miami-based producer behind 1,980s freestyle groups like Exposé. The song was also recorded at Martinée's studio in Miami, resulting in a considerably large number of studio musicians for a Pet Shop Boys song being featured on it.
The duo had achieved three number ones in 1,987--1,988 and "Domino Dancing" was expected to continue this success. But the public reception to the duo's new Latin sound proved disappointing. Tennant remembers: "...it entered the charts at number nine and I thought, 'that's that, then - it's all over'. I knew then that our imperial phase of number one hits was over."
The single missed the top ten on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at #18, and was the duo's sixth and, to date, last Top 20 pop hit in the USA. The song did reach #5 on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart, where the duo have seen more consistent success.
The "Domino Dancing" music video was directed by Eric Watson and was director's sixth of the 11 collaborations he had with the band.
The storyline is about a love triangle between two attractive young men who are fighting over one girl. Rolling Stone magazine calls the video "probably the most homoerotic pop video ever made", citing the slow-motion shots of the boys wrestling on the beach.
The video was filmed in about four days in the old colonial district of San Juan, Puerto Rico in 1,988. One of the locations that was featured in the music video is the Santa María Magdalena de Pazzis Cemetery.
All the actors were Puerto Rican; the two boys were David Boira and Adalberto Martinez Mojica and the girl was Donna Bottman, who was an aspiring actress and model. All of them were cast by the Pet Shop Boys.
"Domino Dancing" (extended version) is a seven-minute dance song, combined with Lowe's synth melodies, Cuban brass and early hip hop beats.