Praise be

Years & Years release moving cover of ‘It’s A Sin’ to tie in with new AIDS drama


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British synth pop band Years & Years have today released a stirring, stripped-back version of the Pet Shop Boys song, ‘It’s A Sin’.

Years & Years are fronted by gay singer Olly Alexander, who also takes one of the lead roles in the new Russell T. Davies-penned AIDS-era drama, also entitled It’s A Sin.

The five-part season will premiere this evening in the UK on Channel 4, followed by HBO Max in the US (although the transmission date has not been announced).

Related: 80s gay life revisited in trailer for new TV drama, It’s A Sin

Alexander will play 18-year-old Ritchie Tozer, one of three young men who move to London at the start of the 1980s. The drama will follow the impact of AIDS on the lives of young gay men in London. The other two leads, Roscoe and Colin, are played relative newcomers, Omari Douglas and Callum Scott Howells.

You can watch a two-minute clip from the show below, in which Alexander’s character, Ritchie, expresses skepticism to news of a new disease impacting gay men.

Also appearing in the drama will be Neil Patrick Harris and Stephen Fry.

Writer, Davies is the original creator of the UK version of Queer As Folk. He is also known for the 2005 revival of Doctor Who and 2018’s A Very British Scandal (with Hugh Grant).

On Twitter and Facebook, the band posted a 37-second portion of the song and wrote: “To celebrate the launch of It’s A Sin tonight, we are excited to share our own version of the song #ItsASin by our faves the Pet Shop Boys 🥰 A portion of the proceeds for this release will be donated to George House Trust – an important charity that have been providing HIV support, advice and advocacy services to improve health outcomes since 1985. Go check them out and hope u enjoy the song

It includes a link to streaming services where you can hear the whole song. The George House Trust is a long-running HIV support non-profit located in Manchester, England.

‘It’s A Sin’ was originally released by the Pet Shop Boys in 1987. The track, a slice of ecclesiastical hi-nrg that found singer Neil Tennant reflecting on his Catholic upbringing, reached number nine on the Billboard Hot 100. It went to number one in the UK and several other European countries, becoming the biggest-selling single in Europe that year.

Related: Neil Patrick Harris says it’s “sexy” to cast straight actors in gay roles