Listen to Pet Shop Boys’ ‘Rent’ from Saltburn as Oliver sings karaoke

Saltburn’s soundtrack features stellar older contemporary songs including Pet Shop Boys ‘Rent

With the British black comedy Saltburn making a reappearance on the Amazon Prime Video Top Movies chart (#5), I thought it was time to look at a couple of the songs featured on its quite stellar soundtrack.

Songs and pieces of music that are a mix of classical music and tracks that are more contemporary.

Tracks like Pet Shop Boys’ ‘Rent‘, which was played on Saltburn as Farleigh makes Oliver sing the song during karaoke, and as Oliver then rings Farleigh to finish singing it.

When was the Pet Shop Boys’ ‘Rent‘ released?

The song first came out as the British synth pop duo’s third single from their sophomore studio album Actually, which was released on the Parlophone and EMI Manhattan record labels in 1987.

Rent‘ became a hit for the Pet Shop Boys, making it to #8 on the UK Singles chart, #5 on the Irish chart, and #10 in Switzerland and West Germany.

It also ranked in the Top 50 in seven other countries.

When the song was initially released, it was one of the most requested tracks on the British Exports show I hosted on a U.S. radio station for months after its release.

Its subsequent extended mix was almost as popular.

At the time, Pet Shop Boys ‘Rent‘ was thought by most of us to have been written about a “rent boy” or male prostitute, especially as it was sung by lead singer Neil Tennant who was widely thought to be gay at the time (he came out in 1994) with the now iconic lyric “I love you. You pay my rent“.

But the Pet Shop Boys’ vocalist said several years later it was more written about a “kept woman” in a secret relationship with a politician.

Listen to Pet Shop Boys’ ‘Rent‘ as heard on Saltburn in the track’s music video, which has recently had an upgrade to HD, and via the duo’s remastered Actually album on Spotify.

It is close to 30 years since the track was released, and it and the rest of the Pet Shop Boys’ Actually album are still as fresh and as cool as the first time I heard them.

Saltburn, of course, is currently one of the top films on Amazon Prime.


About Michelle Topham

I'm a Brit-American journalist, former radio DJ at 97X WOXY, and Founder/CEO of Leo Sigh. I'm also obsessed with music, anime, manga, and K-dramas. Help!