PSB2: Pet Shop Boys rate, 1993-2004. #20 – role model | Page 9 | The Popjustice Forum

PSB2: Pet Shop Boys rate, 1993-2004. #20 – role model

Discussion in 'Charts, rates etc' started by Ray, Feb 18, 2018.


What's your favourite part of this rate?

  1. Very

    14 vote(s)
  2. Relentless

    0 vote(s)
  3. Bilingual

    8 vote(s)
  4. Nightlife

    5 vote(s)
  5. Release

    4 vote(s)
  6. Disco 3

    1 vote(s)
  7. Extras (a- and b-sides)

    1 vote(s)
  1. I seem to remember (Neil, from Literally around the time?) that they parked ‘To speak is a sin’ because they did not want it released too close to ‘It’s a sin’.
  2. I prefer the actual Disco 3 version to the link/demo(?) provided here.

    Nice to hear two different versions though.
  3. Ray


    This is the Peel version, except slightly sped up. I vastly prefer it, because I think their vocoder crimes from that period are monstrosities.
  4. I rated Release today and something tells me Ray won't be happy...
    slurmjunkie, Eric Generic and Ray like this.
  5. Ray


    I can't wait for 'Email' to win this!
    Jóga, Riiiiiiiii and DominoDancing like this.
  6. Count me in @Ray!

    Unlike Rate 1, I don't have an obvious choice for a score of 11 and this is definitely an era of amazing album tracks as much as singles

    Bilingual was my soundtrack to coming out and first falling in love so apols now for some higher than expected scores!
    Riiiiiiiii and Ray like this.
  7. Ray


    Mine too!!! I came out to a girl who was in love with me as SHE was playing Bilingual and 'Metamorphosis' was on. I did not do that on purpose!
  8. Nightlife starts off really strong, it then goes a bit all over the place. The Kylie duet wasn't what I expected but I kinda appreciate them not going for the obvious with it.
  9. @Ray and the bilingual soundtrack of his life trilogy... what happened next?;

    Metamorphosis to the boy who couldnt keep his clothes on to the truck driver and his mate
    Eric Generic likes this.
  10. He went west!
    Eric Generic likes this.
  11. My averages :

    Very : 8,35

    Relentless : 4,33

    Bilingual : 7,25

    Nightlife : 6,04

    Release : 8,4

    The rest (Disco 3, non-album singles and b-sides) : 6,14
    slurmjunkie and JakeMagnus like this.
  12. Ray


  13. Eric Generic and Ray like this.
  14. Ray


    During first part I did my best to use GeoWayne's site as little as possible, because it's such a wonderful source, and y'all should just read all of it yourselves. PSB attract a certain sort of information geeks, and I love that.
    Riiiiiiiii likes this.
  15. Ray


    So far the voting feels exactly like part one. Me: "Well, there's a clear winner". *someone sends Results. in* Me: "Oh."
  16. Right I've finished voting but now I have the "what will my 11 be?" dilemma. It was much easier in Part 1.
    Ray likes this.
  17. That’s the issue with the coveted ‘11’ ... If you used it in part one, then you shouldn’t really have another ...
  18. Ray



    The only time Pet Shop Boys managed to score a number one album was Very. (Apparently U2 did not release an album the same week.) A continuation of the mood set by 'Was it worth it?' was inspired by Neil's coming out (for Attitude magazine); it was a period when Neil fell head over heels in love, and Chris mourned the loss of Pete Andreas (see 'Postscript'). Both are reflected in the album's themes.

    Very seemed to be an upbeat, jolly record. The singles definitely gave this impression, with midtempo 'Liberation' being the slowest song released, and 'Can you forgive her?' the least cheerful. But there were songs about AIDS and homelessness, as well – the two that, in my opinion, aged best. It would be easy for some casual listeners to think 'Dreaming of the Queen' is about a funny dream, and 'The theatre' about, eh, a theatre, I suppose. It sure took me many years to actually listen to those songs. I was busy bopping to 'Go West', adapted from Village People's song (Neil 'wrote' some new lyrics because, as he admitted, he was too lazy to look up the original ones). I didn't know – don't think anybody did – it would become their last hit that people would remember, and redefine the perception of the band. It was adapted as a football anthem, which is rather ironic, and detached from its original meaning. Fittingly, since the Pet Shop Boys were always accused of being ironic and detached.

    The original packaging, designed by Daniel Weil (Pentagram) was one of the most unusual things I have ever seen. To this day, as mentioned earlier in the thread, when you visit an older gay with a 'compact disc' collection, you're very likely to see that orange plastic spine next to Bette Midler's greatest hits live compilation. It was included in 1991 MoMA exhibition 'Mutant Materials', and it might be the most famous visual associated with the band, perhaps second to the Actually cover.

    I'm talking about the packaging and half-arsedly quoting random facts, because to be honest I have never been a fan of Very. The original edition was awfully mastered, and while the 2CD reissue greatly improved matters, I never quite learned to appreciate most of the album. I know some of you hold 'To speak is a sin' in great esteem, but to me it's a cheap Erasure-like parody of the Behaviour sound, and rhyming 'ordering drinks at the bar' with 'ordering drinks at the bar' is the sure-fire way to ensure I won't bother listening to the rest. I found the happyhappyjollyjolly mood difficult to stomach as well. I did, however, adore the costumes. 'Can you forgive her?' video got saturation airplay partly because of how it looked like nothing else you've seen before. 'Liberation', while perhaps a surprising single choice, remains one of my favourites from the album. The line 'there were no more lovers left alive' gives me chills every time, 23.5 years now and counting. It's a much more uneven, complicated album than it seems to be.

    It was the b-sides that I loved the best. The gorgeous soundtrack of 'Decadence' (Pet Shop Boys have been extremely unlucky when writing soundtrack songs, which is possibly why they decided to do their own soundtrack albums they couldn't be kicked off from). The oomph of 'Euroboy'. Darkness of 'Some speculation'. The bombast of 'Shameless'. They make up for the fact that half of the album is skip material for me.

    Very would prove to give them their second, and so far last imperial phase. But it would also mark the most drastic change in the definition of what Pet Shop Boys stood for. The success of 'Go West' would become responsible for middling 'A red letter day', and awful 'New York City boy'. They would attempt to replicate weird costumes for 'I don't know what you are but I can't give it any more'. It is a very (hohoho) 1994 record (even though it came out in 1993...) for me. The music played forever, even if I didn't like it all that much.


    Any fans of Very wishing to tell me how wrong I am? Please do!
  19. I‘d argue that Se A Vida E, New York City Boy and (in the German speaking countries) Love Etc are also songs that people remember or at least recognize.

    And the point of repeating ‚Ordering drinks at the bar‘ is really not about a rhyme..
  20. Well, Actually........
    londonrain likes this.
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