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Tuesday, 21 December, 1999, 12:46 GMT
Libel damages for Pet Shop Boys

Paying their rent: Chris Lowe and Neil Tennant accept damages

Pop duo the Pet Shop Boys have accepted undisclosed libel damages over allegations that they made a minimal contribution to songs recorded in their name.

Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe brought proceedings against academic Roger Scruton and his publisher Gerald Duckworth and Company over claims made in his book, An Intelligent Person's Guide To Modern Culture.

The duo's counsel, Jane Phillips, told Mr Justice Morland that Mr Scruton's book falsely suggested there were strong and compelling grounds for believing songs recorded in the Pet Shop Boys' name were almost entirely the work of sound engineers, and that they had deceived their fans.

The offending passage read: "Sometimes, as with the Spice Girls or the Pet Shop Boys, serious doubts arise as to whether the performers made more than a minimal contribution to the recording, which owes its trade mark to subsequent sound engineering, designed precisely to make it unrepeatable."

The duo have worked with some of pop's biggest names
Ms Phillips said the defendants recognised that the allegations were entirely without foundation, and represented a serious slur on the Pet Shop Boys' professional and personal integrity. It had caused them "considerable upset and distress", she told the High Court in London.

She added the defendants had agreed to pay Mr Tennant and Mr Lowe a sum each in damages and all their libel costs.

Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe, who ended a UK tour at Wembley Arena in London on Monday night, are two of the UK's most respected pop musicians.

They enjoyed a string of hits in the 1980s, starting with their 1986 number one West End Girls, and including their other chart-topping singles It's A Sin, Heart and Always On My Mind.

In recent years they have been less successful commercially in the UK, but they are still popular around the world.

They have also collaborated with a wide variety of acts, including Dusty Springfield and Liza Minnelli in the 1980s, to David Bowie, Robbie Williams and rock band Suede in the late 1990s.

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See also:
25 Oct 99 |  Entertainment
Pet Shop Boys reassure fans
17 Jun 99 |  Entertainment
Pet Shop Boys' arty comeback
10 Oct 99 |  New Music Releases
CD Review: Pet Shop Boys

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