In 1987, ITV commemorated the 10-year anniversary of the death of Elvis Presley by airing Love Me Tender, a special that featured popular British acts covering songs that were originally made famous by Elvis. Pet Shop Boys’s synth-pop version of Always on My Mind proved to be the unexpected hit of the program and the band released the song as a single. It went on to become the UK’s Christmas number one single for the year.
It was also featured in It Couldn’t Happen Here, a surreal film that starred Pet Shop Boys and which was directed by documentarian Jack Bond, who had started his career with a ground-breaking film about Salvador Dali and who later became famous for his work with The South Bank Show. The subsequent music video was lifted from the film. In the movie and the video, Chris Lowe and Neil Tennant are driving a taxi cab. They stop to pick up a passenger, an older man played by Joss Ackland. (In the movie, there’s an earlier scene in which Lowe and Tennant hear a news report about an escaped killed who matches their new passenger’s description.) While their passenger rambles on, Lowe and Tennant turn on the radio and listen to the song, which leads to several other clips from the film. And while the critics may not have cared much for It Couldn’t Happen Here, the band’s version of Always On My Mind remains a popular classic.