Pet Shop Boys’ Neil Tennant Reckons Taylor Swift, Maker Of Many No. 1 Singles, Doesn’t Have Any ‘Famous Songs’


You can’t impress everyone, even if you’re Taylor Swift. Though her latest album, The Tortured Poets Department, seems be doing well in terms of streams and sales, some listeners just aren’t wowed.

Though Swift has quite an extensive catalog, at least one person believes very few of her songs have stood the test of time. During a livestreamed conversation with The Guardian‘s Alexis Petridis, Pet Shop Boys‘ Neil Tennant shared that he had listened to The Tortured Poets Department, but he was not moved.

“Taylor Swift sort of fascinates me as a phenomenon because she’s so popular, and I sort of quite like the whole thing, but then when I listen to the records […] for a phenomenon as big [as she is], where are the famous songs?” he asked. “What’s Taylor Swift’s ‘Billie Jean?'”

Someone in the audience suggested Swift’s 2014 single “Shake It Off” may be an equivalent to Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean.”

“Is it though? No, ’cause I actually even know that that’s the answer, but I listened to that the other day, and it’s not ‘Billie Jean.’ It’s not… Melodically — she’s got a great voice, by the way, and the production’s beautiful — but melodically… it’s all sung one or two notes going up and down… But, anyway, it’s a fascinating thing.”

It is worth noting that Swift has 11 No. 1 singles to her credit, as well as nine No. 1 albums, not including the re-records of the albums during her time with Big Machine. And it looks like she’s gearing up for more milestones as the first week sales for The Tortured Poets Department are wrapping up.