“Brand New Lover” by Dead or Alive (1986)

If Boy George was the cross-dresser you could take home to Mom, Pete Burns was George’s demented cousin. George cooed softly with his eyes averted, Pete looked you directly in the face and sang with authority. He was borderline scary.

“Brand New Lover” is the second best known Dead or Alive single in the U.S., although (in my opinion, of course) it’s better than “You Spin Me Round (Like A Record)”. It lives somewhere in the space between hi-NRG and freestyle and has more than a hint of camp (after all, this was Pete Burns).

I’ve just finished re-reading the awesome book about Sylvester (an obvious style guide for a young Pete Burns), and can’t help but wonder if Pete’s lyrics about finding a brand new lover provided an element of black humor to many of the queer men who were burying partners during this time, as Sylvester himself did the year this song came out.

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