Elton John Covers Pet Shop Boys ‘It’s a Sin’ With Years and Years
Elton John has joined forces with English singer Olly Alexander - of the electropop group Years and Years - on a cover of Pet Shop Boys' 1987 single “It’s a Sin.”
John provides piano and co-vocals on the track, which begins as a soft ballad before exploding into an electronic dance party roughly one minute in. The duo debuted their rendition during a powerful performance at the Brit Awards, before releasing the track as a stand-alone single.
You can watch footage of the performance and hear Elton John and Years and Years’ recorded rendition of “It’s a Sin” below.
The Pet Shop Boys' original became a worldwide hit in 1987, released on the group's sophomore album Actually. The single reached No. 1 in the U.K. and No. 9 in America. The synth-heavy track was inspired by frontman Neil Tennant’s memories of attending a Catholic high school, though he admittedly thought of the song more as a tongue-in-cheek joke than a scathing rebuke.
“It was quite interesting, because people took it really seriously,” Tennant recalled to The Atlantic in 2009. “The song was written in about 15 minutes, and was intended as a camp joke and it wasn’t something I consciously took very seriously. Sometimes I wonder if there was more to it than I thought at the time.”
Proceeds from the new John and Alexander version of “It’s a Sin” will go to the Elton John Aids Foundation.
Alexander recently starred in the British TV show It’s a Sin, available to American viewers via HBO Max. The series followed a group of friends living through the AIDS epidemic in 1980’s London.