know what you want but I can’t give it anymore” was released in 1999
as the first single of “Nightlife”, the seventh studio album of the band.
The artwork was designed by Mark Farrow and PSB with photography by Erick
Watson, who returned to work with the band after a few years break. The
look for the first single -as well as the album- was conceptualised ‘as
a distance technique, a way of saying that we’re nothing to do with anything
else that’s happening in pop… and also, not being real, because we’re
more interesting that way’, according to Neil in an interview for ‘the
were designed by the british costume and scenic designer Ian MacNeil,
inspired by Japanese men in samurai trousers fashion and completing the
less naturalistic look with orange wigs, false eyebrows, dark glasses
and heavily layered and flowing clothes… ‘it really wasn’t designed for
daily wear’, according to Neil. The only photo used on the single was
taken on West Central Street in central London and originally included
some bicycles to create some movement in the picture, but the Weimaraner
dogs were a last-minute addition. To complete the ‘movement’ idea, Farrow
used some dot-matrix type with a blur effect for the comercial release,
while the original promo releases used the same regular font as the one
on the back cover. The photo was splitter between the two CD singles so
that the full image could be seen only when placed side by side.
“Nightlife”, Pet Shop Boys started the tradition of release 2 promotional
CDs for each single, the first one with the 7” version and some times
the B-Sides and the second one with remixes, which some of them were
never released commercially. With “I don’t know what you want but I
can’t give it anymore”, the first promo CD were released in a slipcase
with a plastic tray for the disc and included the Radio Edit version
only with track info and “Nightlife” Tour dates on the back cover.
promo CD were released as a Limited Edition with 500 copies only in a
double cardboard sleeve and a plain cover with just text with the title
and included 6 remixes by David Morales and Thee -Felix Da Housecat-.
A double 12” single was released in a gatefold sleeve with the same artwork
as the second promo CD and the same track list. For the comercial releases
, two CD singles were launched in a slim jewel case, the first one with
the Radio Edit version and the B-Sides “Silver Age” and “Screaming”, as
well as the video; the second one included one remix by David Morales
and one remix by Thee -Felix Da Housecat- and the B-Side “Je T'Aime ...
Moi Non Plus”. The comercial 12” Single included the same track list as
the double promo 12” in a single vinyl. The following year an american
release were launched in CD and 12” included a whole new set of remixes:
one by the Pet Shop Boys, three by Peter Rauhofer and two by The Young
Collective, reaching a total of 14 versions of the song. The american
releases used the same artwork as the original UK releases.