Pet Shop Boys reissues, second wave

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Well...that took a while. But it's happening -- a new series of 'Further Listening' editions coming out picking up where the original set left off:

Pet Shop Boys are pleased to announce CATALOGUE: 1985-2012, a very special series of reissues that will include of all their studio albums released on Parlophone. This definitive edition will feature each album from the duo's discography on the label, remastered and accompanied by "further listening" albums of master quality bonus tracks, and demos created in the same period of time as each album, as well as Pet Shop Boys' own remixes of their tracks. Many tracks are being released for the first time. Each album will be packaged with an extensive booklet in which Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe discuss each song, illustrated with many archive photographs. The entire project is designed by Farrow Design.

The reissue series begins on July 28, with the release of three very different-sounding PSB albums: Nightlife, Release, and Fundamental. Each album is available on 180-gram vinyl, as well as on CD and digitally. The pre-order starts today with the track "For All Of Us" from Nightlife / Further Listening available for immediate download.

Nightlife, their darkly orchestrated collaboration with producers Rollo, Craig Armstrong and David Morales, originally released in 1999, is reissued with two "Further Listening" discs, including exclusive, unreleased tracks such as "Tall Thin Men," and "For All Of Us," as well as demo versions of "Vampires," "Call Me Old-Fashioned," and "Radiophonic."

Also seeing a remastered reissue will be the album Release, featuring Johnny Marr on guitar. It also comes with two "further listening" albums of additional tracks, including unreleased songs "Motoring," "The Night Is A Time To Explore Who You Are," "Run, Girl, Run," and "Reunion," as well as previously-unreleased John Peel versions of "A Powerful Friend," and "If Looks Could Kill," as well as previously-unreleased cover version of Gilbert O'Sullivan's "Alone Again, Naturally" featuring Elton John.

The third PSB album to feature in this first batch of reissues is Fundamental, their magnificent Trevor Horn-produced album. As well as the remastered original album, there's a 22-track "further listening" album of additional material including demos of unreleased songs such as "Ring Road," "One-way Street," and "Dancing In The Dusk," alongside previously-unreleased mixes and remixes.

The CATALOGUE: 1985-2012 reissues will continue over the next year until all PSB Parlophone albums have been released with "further listening" albums:

Yes / Further Listening: 2008-2010
Elysium / Further Listening: 2011-2012
Please / Further Listening: 1984-1986
Actually / Further Listening: 1987-1988
Introspective / Further Listening: 1988-1989
Behaviour / Further Listening: 1990-1991
Very / Further Listening: 1992-1994
Bilingual / Further Listening: 1995-1997

The reissues of Please, Actually, Introspective, Behaviour, Very, and Bilingual were originally released with bonus "further listening" albums in 2001 and are being newly remastered with their original track-listings for these projects.

For more information about PET SHOP BOYS, please contact Jessica Giordano in the Rhino Media Relations Department at jess✧✧✧.giord✧✧✧@rh✧✧✧.c✧✧ or 818-238-6403.

Nightlife / Further Listening: 1996-2000
Track Listing:

CD1
1. For Your Own Good
2. Closer To Heaven
3. I Don't Know What You Want But I Can't Give It Any More
4. Happiness Is An Option
5. You Only Tell Me You Love Me When You're Drunk
6. Vampires
7. Radiophonic
8. The Only One
9. Boy Strange
10. In Denial
11. New York City Boy
12. Footsteps

CD2
1. Vampires (Demo)*
2. For All Of Us (Demo)*
3. Call Me Old-Fashioned (Demo)*
4. Friendly Fire
5. Believe/Song For Guy (Featuring Elton John)*
6. Sail Away
7. It Doesn't Often Snow At Christmas (Fan Club Mix)
8. Nightlife
9. Playing In The Streets*
10. Tall Thin Men*
11. Radiophonic (Demo)*

CD3
1. Somebody Else's Business
2. Silver Age
3. Screaming
4. For All Of Us**
5. The Ghost Of Myself
6. Casting A Shadow
7. I Don't Know What You Want But I Can't Give It Any More (The PSB Extension)
8. Was It Worth It? (Live)**
9. Lies
10. Paris City Boy (Full French)*
11. Positive Role Model
12. Somebody Else's Business (Extended Mix)**

* Previously unreleased
**Previously unreleased on CD

Release / Further Listening: 2001-2004
Track Listing:

CD1
1. Home And Dry
2. I Get Along
3. Birthday Boy
4. London
5. E-mail
6. The Samurai In Autumn
7. Love Is A Catastrophe
8. Here
9. The Night I Fell In Love
10. You Choose

CD2
1. Between Two Islands
2. Searching For The Face Of Jesus
3. Time On My Hands
4. Motoring (Demo)*
5. Love Life**
6. Transparent
7. Sexy Northerner
8. The Night Is A Time To Explore Who You Are (Demo)*
9. Closer To Heaven (Slow Version)
10. Run, Girl, Run (Demo)*
11. I Didn't Get Where I Am Today
12. Always
13. Home And Dry (Ambient Mix)
14. Bright Young Things (Demo)*
15. Kazak*
16. A Powerful Friend (John Peel Version)*
17. If Looks Could Kill (John Peel Version)*

CD3
1. Try It (I'm In Love With A Married Man)
2. Here (PSB New Extended Mix)
3. If Looks Could Kill
4. A Powerful Friend**
5. Party Song
6. No Excuse (Demo)*
7. Blue On Blue
8. Jack And Jill Party (Demo)*
9. Baby (Demo)
10. Flamboyant (Original Demo)
11. Miracles
12. Flamboyant (7" Mix)
13. Numb (Demo)
14. In Private (Featuring Elton John)
15. Alone Again, Naturally (Featuring Elton John)*
16. Reunion (Electro Mix)*
17. Bright Young Things
18. We're The Pet Shop Boys
19. It's A Sin (Barfly Version)

* Previously unreleased
** Previously unreleased on CD

Fundamental / Further Listening: 2005-2007
Track Listing:

CD1
1. Psychological
2. The Sodom And Gomorrah Show
3. I Made My Excuses And Left
4. Minimal
5. Numb
6. God Willing
7. Luna Park
8. I'm With Stupid
9. Casanova In Hell
10. Twentieth Century
11. Indefinite Leave To Remain
12. Integral

CD2
1. Fugitive (Richard X Extended Mix)
2. Ring Road (Demo)*
3. The Performance Of My Life (Demo)*
4. One-way Street (Demo)*
5. Girls Don't Cry
6. The Resurrectionist
7. The Sodom And Gomorrah Show (Original Demo)**
8. Dancing In The Dusk (Demo)*
9. After The Event
10. The Former Enfant Terrible
11. No Time For Tears (Orchestral Mix)*
12. God Willing (Original Full-Length Mix)*
13. I'm With Stupid (PSB Maxi-Mix)
14. Answer The Phone! (Ringtone)**
15. Where Are You? (Ringtone)**
16. Water (Ringtone)**
17. Numb (Single Edit)
18. One Night
19. A Certain "Je Ne Sais Quoi"
20. Transfer (Visionaire Mix)*
21. Integral (PSB Perfect Immaculate 7" Mix)**
22. Integral (PSB Perfect Immaculate Mix)

* Previously unreleased
** Previously unreleased on CD

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 13 June 2017 14:51 (six months ago) Permalink

So they are re-re-releasing and re-remastering their catalog?

Josh in Chicago, Tuesday, 13 June 2017 14:57 (six months ago) Permalink

They're continuing where they left off a decade ago.

the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 13 June 2017 15:04 (six months ago) Permalink

Those early '00s reissues still sound great, and those liner notes and extra tracks are models of their kind.

the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 13 June 2017 15:04 (six months ago) Permalink

I agree. But it sounds like they are re-reissuing the first few as well:

The reissues of Please, Actually, Introspective, Behaviour, Very, and Bilingual were originally released with bonus "further listening" albums in 2001 and are being newly remastered with their original track-listings for these projects.

Josh in Chicago, Tuesday, 13 June 2017 15:05 (six months ago) Permalink

TS: Pet Shop Boys reissue notes vs. Elvis Costello reissue notes.

Josh in Chicago, Tuesday, 13 June 2017 15:06 (six months ago) Permalink

Oh. Well, I'm not repurchasing them!

the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 13 June 2017 15:06 (six months ago) Permalink

Re-reissued! Re-remastered! Re-repurchased!

Josh in Chicago, Tuesday, 13 June 2017 15:08 (six months ago) Permalink

i recall hearing there was a box coming of earlier stuff.

piscesx, Tuesday, 13 June 2017 15:28 (six months ago) Permalink

Repurchase

Eazy, Tuesday, 13 June 2017 15:38 (six months ago) Permalink

I never did get the Bilingual one at the time so I won't mind getting it this time around. Be nice to have a full run like this of their EMI years. (And I trust the general design will remain the same.)

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 13 June 2017 16:29 (six months ago) Permalink

I'm very excited for these reissues, particularly Behaviour on LP. Does this mean the first 4 albums, including the Further Listening bonus tracks, will be available on vinyl?

brotherlovesdub, Tuesday, 13 June 2017 16:46 (six months ago) Permalink

I wonder if the run-time of the bonus discs would be prohibitive?

Josh in Chicago, Tuesday, 13 June 2017 16:55 (six months ago) Permalink

I'd be satisfied if just the b-sides were included and no remixes, if time was a restricting factor.

brotherlovesdub, Tuesday, 13 June 2017 16:59 (six months ago) Permalink

The re-remastering thing is weird. They had better be good.

skip, Tuesday, 13 June 2017 21:10 (six months ago) Permalink

that's telling'em!

the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 13 June 2017 21:15 (six months ago) Permalink

The tracklistings on these are pretty weird, given how strict the one-disc versions were on the first six – no longer including every PSB mix of songs, but having two versions of the same Integral mix back-to back on the Fundamental disc? When so many demos were left out previously, suddenly going wild with a disc’s-worth on each of Nightlife and Release (as opposed to, say, a couple of three-disc demo sets covering the career). Demos of new songs or b-sides appearing a disc before their “proper” versions?* Some, but not all, of the Disco 3 originals?

I’m super-pleased to see these being picked up again (fingers crossed for a Wish remastered by someone other than Robert Smith to wrap up the Cure’s abandoned reissues too), but it’s strange that the approach has changed for the first two, at least.

(And I trust the general design will remain the same.)

One would hope, but Format wasn’t in the same, er, format as Alternative (light cardboard box vs hefty slipcase), so they’ve precedent for changing, especially with a third disc added here.

These’ll be my first versions of both Nightlife and Elysium!


*I ripped all the previous Further Listenings and made my own iPod “albums” of Twelves / Sevens / Besides / etc last time, so won’t end up listening to these in the disc order either, but it’s curious.

Doubtless they are toss. (sic), Thursday, 15 June 2017 04:25 (five months ago) Permalink

two months pass...

Okay, here's the details on the other two:

--

Yes / Further Listening: 2008-2010
Track Listing:

CD1

1. Love Etc.
2. All Over The World
3. Beautiful people
4. Did You See Me Coming?
5. Vulnerable
6. More Than A Dream
7. Building A Wall
8. King Of Rome
9. Pandemonium
10. The Way It Used To Be
11. Legacy

CD2

1. Gin And Jag
2. This Used To Be The Future (With Phil Oakey)
3. We're All Criminals Now
4. Gin and Jag (Frisky Mix)
5. Beautiful People (Demo)
6. My Girl
7. The Loving Kind (Monitor Mix)*
8. Love Etc. (PSB Mix)
9. Did You See Me Coming? (PSB Possibly More Mix)
10. The Former Enfant Terrible (PSB Bring It On Mix)
11. Up And Down
12. Brits Medley**

CD3

1. I Cried For Us
2. It Doesn't Often Snow At Christmas (New Version)
3. All Over The World (New Version)
4. Viva La Vida/Domino Dancing (Christmas EP Mix)
5. My Girl (Our House Mix)
6. Leaving (Demo)
7. Together
8. Glad All Over (From "Together" CD Single)
9. The Dumpling Song (Demo From My Dad's A Birdman)*
10. Wings And Faith (Demo From My Dad's A Birdman)*
11. Night Song (Fan Club Download 2010)**

* Previously unreleased

** Previously unreleased on CD

Elysium / Further listening: 2011-2012

CD1

1. Leaving
2. Invisible
3. Winner
4. Your Early Stuff
5. A Face Like That
6. Breathing Space
7. Ego Music
8. Hold On
9. Give It A Go
10. Memory Of The Future
11. Everything Means Something
12. Requiem In Denim And Leopardskin

CD2

1. Vocal (Demo)*
2. She pops (Demo)*
3. Inside
4. In slow motion (Demo)*
5. Listening
6. Hell
7. The Way Through The Woods (Long Version)
8. I Started A Joke
9. In His Imagination
10. Leaving (Believe In PSB Mix)
11. Leaving (Side By Side Remix)
12. Leaving (Freedom Remix)
13. Memory Of The Future (New Single Mix)

*Previously unreleased

Ned Raggett, Friday, 1 September 2017 01:20 (three months ago) Permalink

1. Vocal (Demo)*

sproing

shackling the masses with plastic-wrapped snack picks (sic), Friday, 1 September 2017 01:42 (three months ago) Permalink

Gross.

Ned Raggett, Friday, 1 September 2017 01:42 (three months ago) Permalink

whoa I just realized "Did You See Me Coming?" was a double entendre

nice

frogbs, Friday, 1 September 2017 14:06 (three months ago) Permalink

what about She Pops?

shackling the masses with plastic-wrapped snack picks (sic), Friday, 1 September 2017 15:05 (three months ago) Permalink

Someone should poll all the PSB double entendres.

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 1 September 2017 15:24 (three months ago) Permalink

'So Hard' would win.

more Allegro-like (Turrican), Friday, 1 September 2017 15:36 (three months ago) Permalink

2. She pops (Demo)*
3. Inside
4. In slow motion (Demo)*

O_O at this series of titles in general.

more Allegro-like (Turrican), Friday, 1 September 2017 15:37 (three months ago) Permalink

one month passes...

Absolutely loving these new reissues, and to me the interview booklets and bonus discs remain the benchmark for how to re-release an album.

The Nightlife set is pretty good - the original album is still a bit lopsided and that carries over into the bonus discs - a lot of preparatory work for the musical going on here but some good stuff nonetheless. Interesting to read how ambivalent they seem about this period now.

The Release set is astonishing - both for the quantity and range of the material they released at this point. The original album holds up very well, but the bonus discs are remarkable, and interesting to see how closely they were tracking electroclash in their demos and b-sides even when the original LP was (quote unquote) more indie rock-ish.

Fundamental is an album that I don't remember that well first time around, but it's aged magnificently - the lyrics seem very on the money post-Brexit - and Trevor Horn's production sounds like a million dollars. The bonus disc has an incredibly high hit-rate, mostly with the same sound/aesthetic as the main album, but nearly all killer.

Just bought Yes and Elysium - two albums I've barely listened to since they came out, having been underwhelmed at the time, but really excited to revisit them now and get stuck into the extra material.

bamboohouses, Monday, 30 October 2017 18:08 (one month ago) Permalink

Yeah, planning on getting those two later this week if I can. Then all I need is the (eventual) rerelease of Bilingual.

Ned Raggett, Monday, 30 October 2017 18:15 (one month ago) Permalink

how are the liner notes – as good as the original reissues?

morning wood truancy (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 30 October 2017 18:15 (one month ago) Permalink

Possibly even better, as bamboohouses noted. VERY extensive and thoughtful. And more than one amazing Elton John anecdote, including the time Elton told Neil that he and Chris should cover "Smells Like Teen Spirit." (This was around the turn of the century, which is even better, somehow.)

Ned Raggett, Monday, 30 October 2017 18:20 (one month ago) Permalink

but they do cover "Believe" and uh "Song for Guy."

morning wood truancy (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 30 October 2017 18:23 (one month ago) Permalink

Y'know, I was thinking today that while not every post-Very LP has hit the mark, there's quite a lot of them that have. If we take Very as being their peak then their post-peak years have actually been stronger than a lot of artists entire careers.

Gholdfish Killah (Turrican), Monday, 30 October 2017 18:31 (one month ago) Permalink

I mean: Bilingual, Fundamental, Electric and Super are in no way shit records, and the highlights of their post-Very albums (and the B-sides of their post-Very singles) are as good as anything they've ever done.

Gholdfish Killah (Turrican), Monday, 30 October 2017 18:34 (one month ago) Permalink

Is Behaviour getting a vinyl reissue? That's the hardest to find used for me.

brotherlovesdub, Monday, 30 October 2017 18:39 (one month ago) Permalink

A friend asked me to rank their albums after 1999: Fundamental, Electric, Nightlife, Super, Yes, Release, Elysium.

morning wood truancy (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 30 October 2017 18:40 (one month ago) Permalink

That's near enough the way I'd rank 'em, tbh. Maybe I'd place Super ahead of Nightlife. There's very little between Fundamental and Electric.

Release and Elysium are my least favourites by miles, but even this period of PSB had some strong stuff, if not necessarily on the albums.

Gholdfish Killah (Turrican), Monday, 30 October 2017 18:46 (one month ago) Permalink

Electric was absolutely fantastic and more that made up for the WTF of Elysium's worst moments, of which there were many, yet Super does nothing for me at all

Have PSBs said they regret putting Metamorphosis on Bilngual? Such a huge mistake to include such a howler and so early in the tracklisting of what is otherwise a pretty great album

PaulTMA, Monday, 30 October 2017 19:21 (one month ago) Permalink

I used to feel the same about 'Metamorphosis' (and 'Electricity' while we're at it) but both grew on me eventually.

Gholdfish Killah (Turrican), Monday, 30 October 2017 19:26 (one month ago) Permalink

I think Electricity is alright, those in terms of sequencing and album momentum, it's a bit of a disaster

PaulTMA, Monday, 30 October 2017 20:59 (one month ago) Permalink

*tho

PaulTMA, Monday, 30 October 2017 21:00 (one month ago) Permalink

I dunno, I can comfortably listen to Bilingual from front to back now without any complaints, but I'll admit that one of the reasons why this album felt less immediate in comparison to Very was placing stuff like 'Metamorphosis' and 'Electricity' up front and backloading the LP.

I didn't think much of 'Electricity' for a long time - what eventually hooked me was a combination of the groove with the slow throb of that low synth.

Gholdfish Killah (Turrican), Monday, 30 October 2017 21:36 (one month ago) Permalink

Saw a copy of the original 1987 Anually book going for in excess of £1,000 on Ebay a few weeks back. I got it 2nd hand in a clothes shop in Derby in around 1994 for 50p.

piscesx, Monday, 30 October 2017 22:22 (one month ago) Permalink

Any word on which reissues they're doing next? I would love to get Very and Bilingual on vinyl to complete the set (this is my version of the set where Release and Elysium don't exist).

kitchen person, Tuesday, 31 October 2017 03:52 (one month ago) Permalink

They're just re-remastering the first six and putting them out, maybe in one lump, maybe in smaller chunks.

jelz at pisces

A friend asked me to rank their albums after 1999: Fundamental, Electric, Nightlife, Super, Yes, Release, Elysium.

I'd definitely put Electric first - it's their third best LP - but basically I figured everyone's going to be close to this order.

but they do cover "Believe" and uh "Song for Guy."

And there's a cover of Alone Again, Naturally done as a duet with Elton.

Electric was absolutely fantastic and more that made up for the WTF of Elysium's worst moments, of which there were many, yet Super does nothing for me at all

Electric coming just nine months (as intended) after Elysium made it obvious that they had deliberately made a contract-ender with the less commercial prospect and held back the bangers for their indie debut.

Super is just doing Electric again, but without that motivation of doing something completely unlike their previous work / proving themselves anew / collaborating with JLC properly. (Yes is similarly kinda doing Fundamental again, but working with the scragged-out remnants of Xenomania, vs renewing a partnership with a valued collaborator.)

Have PSBs said they regret putting Metamorphosis on Bilngual? Such a huge mistake to include such a howler and so early in the tracklisting of what is otherwise a pretty great album

They might discuss this in the liner notes of the old remaster. As I seem to post every year or two, I retagged Bilingual to the original track order when that came out, and it flows much better. (Metamorphosis is 8th, Electricity is 10th)

shackling the masses with plastic-wrapped snack picks (sic), Tuesday, 31 October 2017 05:28 (one month ago) Permalink

I listened to Bilingual this morning and the highlights completely blew me away.

Gholdfish Killah (Turrican), Tuesday, 31 October 2017 07:19 (one month ago) Permalink

Liner notes are just as candid and absorbing as the original 2001 set - and derive real value from (in come cases) nearly 20 years of hindsight. I was struck by how - not bitter, but let's say "sharply worded" Tennant is about the end of PSB as a Radio 1 band in the Nightlife era, and also how frequently he dismissively references fan opinion about some tracks on later albums; I suspect he's lurked on plenty of message boards in his time. (Hello if you're reading this Neil, love your work etc.)

Listened to disc 1 of the Yes reissue (only just starting on the bonus discs) and I think it might be the weakest album to date - PSB and Xenomania should have been a dream collab, but neither of them are bringing their best work. Weirdly, it's the Xeno/PSB co-writes that come off best - Love Etc and The Way It Used To Be are proper top-tier PSB - whereas the rest feels rather like the usual bag of Xeno production tricks bolted onto some weirdly unmemorable songwriting **. I rate all of the earlier albums higher than this one.

** which makes me think that Xenomania's production sound works best in service of their cut&paste songwriting for other artists.

bamboohouses, Tuesday, 31 October 2017 10:51 (one month ago) Permalink

Other than "Love Etc" and "The Way...," Yes still sounds expendable.

morning wood truancy (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 31 October 2017 12:16 (one month ago) Permalink

Liner notes are just as candid and absorbing as the original 2001 set - and derive real value from (in come cases) nearly 20 years of hindsight. I was struck by how - not bitter, but let's say "sharply worded" Tennant is about the end of PSB as a Radio 1 band in the Nightlife era, and also how frequently he dismissively references fan opinion about some tracks on later albums

Let's never forget that Tennant, the former critic, and Lowe conceived of PSB as a pop act. No pop singles on the charts, no matter how much the charts have changed, rankles him. Wasn't "I'm With Stupid" their last top ten?

morning wood truancy (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 31 October 2017 12:17 (one month ago) Permalink

They might discuss this in the liner notes of the old remaster. As I seem to post every year or two, I retagged Bilingual to the original track order when that came out, and it flows much better. (Metamorphosis is 8th, Electricity is 10th)

Yeah, you and me both.

Josh in Chicago, Tuesday, 31 October 2017 12:26 (one month ago) Permalink

Five years earlier, a PSB/Xenomania collaboration could have been stupendous. They just didn't get around to it until the core team was burnt out & about to split, and Higgins was too busy pouring his focus & money into trying to run a factory.

shackling the masses with plastic-wrapped snack picks (sic), Tuesday, 31 October 2017 15:40 (one month ago) Permalink

I think Yes is quite alright, I like that they sorta pared things down a bit and made a simpler batch of pop songs without all the fluff that marked the three previous LPs (in my opinion, of course). Also think that the band Yes should return the favor and release an LP called Pet Shop Boys.

frogbs, Tuesday, 31 October 2017 15:44 (one month ago) Permalink

Interesting about Xenomania, I'd clocked that they'd gone off the boil a bit in the last few years, but it sounds like the problems were more serious. Is there any further reading on this anywhere?

bamboohouses, Tuesday, 31 October 2017 16:23 (one month ago) Permalink

Turrican I think you said what I failed to type badly on my phone about the Bilingual sequence, except that I think the placement of those two songs there does a lot of damage beyond the overall quality of the album.

PaulTMA, Tuesday, 31 October 2017 16:29 (one month ago) Permalink

It is what it is, really... given the existence of Release and Elysium, I find it difficult to be hard on Bilingual.

Gholdfish Killah (Turrican), Tuesday, 31 October 2017 17:22 (one month ago) Permalink

Yeah, it's a great one. Just frustrating.

PaulTMA, Tuesday, 31 October 2017 18:45 (one month ago) Permalink

Five years earlier, a PSB/Xenomania collaboration could have been stupendous. They just didn't get around to it until the core team was burnt out & about to split, and Higgins was too busy pouring his focus & money into trying to run a factory.

― shackling the masses with plastic-wrapped snack picks (sic), Tuesday, October 31, 2017 3:40 PM (three hours ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

This is OTM - PSB and peak-era Xenomania could have been a magical combination. I think they used all of their best ideas on Girls Aloud.

Gholdfish Killah (Turrican), Tuesday, 31 October 2017 19:04 (one month ago) Permalink

Is there any further reading on this anywhere?

Nick Coler and Tim Powell both left around 2010 (Powell worked with PSB again on Together, and they both did a little bit on Words And Music by St Etienne). I don't know that Cooper ever left formally, but she doesn't seem to have worked with Higgins for about five years now. This Q article goes into some detail about how much time and money Higgins was sinking into turning Xenomania into a combination management / label / production house, just before the others bailed; he sold the house a few years later and by 2013 was holding open casting calls for teenagers in London.

shackling the masses with plastic-wrapped snack picks (sic), Tuesday, 31 October 2017 19:26 (one month ago) Permalink

i think Love Etc was originally for GA tho may be mistaken. they talk about this on the album commentary.

piscesx, Tuesday, 31 October 2017 19:40 (one month ago) Permalink

Got Introspective cranked up this morning... fuck, I love this band. One of the all-time greatest, IMO.

Gholdfish Killah (Turrican), Wednesday, 1 November 2017 06:49 (one month ago) Permalink

Love Etc. was originally a Higgins/Cooper track intended for an undisclosed project. For those who are curious abt the details...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=scRkGqB0jyM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rOIxXVigpvY

daavid, Wednesday, 1 November 2017 16:03 (one month ago) Permalink

Okay both of those freeze frames are almost categorically designed to make Tennant seem like a stereotypical "Yes well YOU wouldn't understand but I'll try to explain" type.

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 1 November 2017 16:08 (one month ago) Permalink

The Yes bonus discs are a bit more of an odds’n’sods collection than their predecessors, but there’s some terrific stuff on there that I like way better than the album - especially This Used To Be The Future and Up & Down. The covers are great fun, esp My Girl and Glad All Over. And I think Together might be one of my absolute favourite PSB tracks oddly - it feels like the kind of thing they were aiming for with Yes but missed. Overall, a patchy album but a decent collection.

Tomorrow, onto Elysium, an album I’ve never actually heard in its entirety...

bamboohouses, Wednesday, 1 November 2017 18:02 (one month ago) Permalink

probably should keep it that way

frogbs, Wednesday, 1 November 2017 18:05 (one month ago) Permalink

The only PSB album I'd say, please throw in the trash.

morning wood truancy (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 1 November 2017 18:09 (one month ago) Permalink

Elysium still has 'Leaving' on it, though, which is great! I like the production on Elysium, too.

I'd love to have been at the meeting where they were all like "Yeah, 'Invisible', that totally works as the second track on the LP... it in no way kills the momentum completely..."

Gholdfish Killah (Turrican), Wednesday, 1 November 2017 18:10 (one month ago) Permalink

i'm really looking forward to the VERY reissue, that album was a life-changer for me.

drejelire, Wednesday, 1 November 2017 18:15 (one month ago) Permalink

I remember standing up for Elysium when it came out for some reason. It is indeed the low point of their career by some distance. Winner, Give It A Go, Hold On and Ego Music would all be in my top five least favourite PSB songs. Leaving is brilliant. Invisible and Breathing Space are both nice, but hardly essential. Memory Of The Future is pretty decent too even if it's the kind of title that Noel Gallagher would use for one of his High Flying Birds albums. I'm surprised they managed to make a worse album than Release. I'm still in shock how quickly they turned it around with Electric.

kitchen person, Wednesday, 1 November 2017 18:38 (one month ago) Permalink

will the older albums have reissues which are different to the 2001 reissues?

not sure if yers read this, it's a couple of years old

https://www.popmatters.com/pet-shop-boys-behaviour-25-years-later-2495474918.html

piscesx, Wednesday, 1 November 2017 18:42 (one month ago) Permalink

"Winner" is one of the most embarrassing songs ever recorded, IMO

the Hannah Montana of the Korean War (DJP), Wednesday, 1 November 2017 19:07 (one month ago) Permalink

Aw, I like 'Ego Music' and 'Your Early Stuff', not because they're great songs (they aren't) but I like it when Tennant gets bitchy.

Gholdfish Killah (Turrican), Wednesday, 1 November 2017 19:14 (one month ago) Permalink

"Ego Music" is funny, at least.

the Hannah Montana of the Korean War (DJP), Wednesday, 1 November 2017 19:33 (one month ago) Permalink

Winner was a shocker, Pet Shop Boys A-sides are meant to be something special, especially lead singles from albums. (I remember being very disappointed by Before and finding it incredibly bland, yet it sounds great to me today) But I could hardly believe that in the form of Hold On, there was a song that was even worse.

PaulTMA, Wednesday, 1 November 2017 20:38 (one month ago) Permalink

the video was good.

piscesx, Wednesday, 1 November 2017 20:39 (one month ago) Permalink

Yeah, 'Before' wasn't instant love for me either - it grew on me a hell of a lot.

Gholdfish Killah (Turrican), Wednesday, 1 November 2017 21:15 (one month ago) Permalink

Since it came out, I've not seen one single person defend Winner. I can't think of a song so universally hated by a band I love. What the hell were they thinking making that the lead single? I honestly thought it was a joke at first.

Totally agree about Before. A massive grower, just like the album.

kitchen person, Thursday, 2 November 2017 01:42 (one month ago) Permalink

Winner was as if they set themselves a challenge to have their worst single ever be self-written

shackling the masses with plastic-wrapped snack picks (sic), Thursday, 2 November 2017 04:34 (one month ago) Permalink

'Winner' isn't even the worst thing on the LP either.

Gholdfish Killah (Turrican), Thursday, 2 November 2017 06:01 (one month ago) Permalink

oh hello

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BDP6eAckTqM

piscesx, Thursday, 2 November 2017 13:06 (one month ago) Permalink

lol KP you named the only three songs on the album I like (and Winner)

frogbs, Thursday, 2 November 2017 13:30 (one month ago) Permalink

"A Face Like That" was good live.

the Hannah Montana of the Korean War (DJP), Thursday, 2 November 2017 13:42 (one month ago) Permalink

Ah, I don't mind that one either.

Gholdfish Killah (Turrican), Thursday, 2 November 2017 14:30 (one month ago) Permalink

Been listening to Bilingual again this week of the back of this thread. I know I keep banging on about the sequence, but I'm now into the idea of Electricity as a closer. Would work for me, anyway.

PaulTMA, Thursday, 2 November 2017 14:45 (one month ago) Permalink

Call it performance
Call it art
I call it disaster if the tapes don't start

Gholdfish Killah (Turrican), Thursday, 2 November 2017 15:01 (one month ago) Permalink

Contrarian that I am, I rather liked Elysium, and would rate it considerably higher than Yes. Some of the songwriting is a bit underpowered in parts, but I like the production sound and the downbeat, hazy feel. It also feels like it achieves what it set out to do rather more effectively than Yes, which is full of wannabe pop bangers that don't really ignite.

Leaving is gorgeous and the best thing on it; Invisible's really nice; Memories of the Future has a fantastic chorus; the spoken word bits in Ego Music are hilarious.

Also *ducks pre-emptively* I don't mind Winner too much. The idea of them writing an X-Factor winner's song and giving it the most literal lyrics ever ("I'm a winner / Enjoy it while it lasts") struck me as really slyly funny - I'm inclined to thing there's a little more irony bubbling away under the surface. I recall the marketing trying to tag it to the Olympics which seems an attempt to play the song at face value and therefore ruins it. I dunno, I might be reading too much into it, but it made me laugh.

The cupboard's pretty bare regarding the bonus disc, but all of the extra tracks are pleasant, including the Leaving remixes, and the Vocal demo is really interesting - still considerably more "up" than most of Elysium, but a long way from the banger it became.

Interesting note in the booklet regarding the intended producer for this album which was news to me but I won't spoiler unless requested.

bamboohouses, Thursday, 2 November 2017 20:49 (one month ago) Permalink

Also, interesting that a lot of Electric seems to have been written alongside Elysium, meaning that Electric isn't so much a u-turn from a 'failed' album and more just the flipside to what they were doing at the time (rather like all the electroclash stuff on the Release bonus disc).

bamboohouses, Thursday, 2 November 2017 20:50 (one month ago) Permalink

that was absolutely part of the narrative/marketing of Electric (note the pairing of the titles, and, again, that it was intended to come out less than a year later).

shackling the masses with plastic-wrapped snack picks (sic), Thursday, 2 November 2017 23:32 (one month ago) Permalink

Yeah, but putting the narrative and marketing aside, Electric and Elysium are poles apart in terms of quality.

Gholdfish Killah (Turrican), Friday, 3 November 2017 07:15 (one month ago) Permalink

I guess it doesn't surprise me too much - to me Elysium just sounded like what someone who dislikes the band imagines all their albums to sound like. The talent was still there, they could still write songs, there was clearly a lot of effort put into it...it just doesn't push the right buttons

frogbs, Friday, 3 November 2017 13:22 (one month ago) Permalink

The only fan defense of Elysium I've read:

Elysium [Astralwerks, 2012]

The music may well seem too restrained, presumably because Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe figured that on an album where 11 songs find 11 different ways to mock, rue, ponder, and accept their professional mortality, the entitled glee of their full-on disco productions is off the table. Even the explicit "Your Early Stuff" and the valedictory "Requiem in Denim and Leopardskin" keep a lid on it, the better to fit in with the ones that go "Look at me, the absentee," "Say it's not so/That you'd rather lose me," "Our love is dead/But the dead don't go away," and everything else except the pounding "A Face Like That," which also boasts the only lyric that doesn't follow the program. Whether metaphysical ("Everything means something") or bitchy ("There's got to be a future/Or the world will end today"), they're at peace with the fate of their fame and their retirement accounts. And the understated beats suit their elysian equanimity. A-

morning wood truancy (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 3 November 2017 13:23 (one month ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

As a birthday present to me, a buddy got me Nightlife. I hear no notable differences between it and the original release. I own many of the b-sides thanks to the comp released several years ago. The liners are a hoot. Tennant is sad and resentful recalling how this marked the last time PSB got Radio 1 play.

morning wood truancy (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Sunday, 19 November 2017 19:01 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Shame about Radio 1.. sad and resentful Neil is not my idea of fun. Mind you he should look on the bright side they had a good run.

Any guesses what might be in the re-re-reissue sets from 85-95? A box set called Imperial Phase would be better than yet more double CDs. IMHO.

piscesx, Sunday, 19 November 2017 19:20 (three weeks ago) Permalink

There's no need to guess; they're just putting the Further Listening sets back in print.

shackling the masses with plastic-wrapped snack picks (sic), Sunday, 19 November 2017 19:25 (three weeks ago) Permalink

I think we've said this several times on the thread! Those rereleases are scheduled to be straight represses of the original reissues.

Ned Raggett, Sunday, 19 November 2017 19:25 (three weeks ago) Permalink

I would defend 'Elysium' over 'Release'. 'Elysium' has a few tracks on it that I enjoy whereas 'Release' has literally none.

yesca, Sunday, 19 November 2017 20:36 (three weeks ago) Permalink

(not totally straight represses - the albums themselves, at least, have been lightly re-remastered. but Tennant says not to waste your money if you already own them, and as far as pisces' question, the song content will be the same.)

shackling the masses with plastic-wrapped snack picks (sic), Monday, 20 November 2017 01:14 (three weeks ago) Permalink

I would defend 'Elysium' over 'Release'. 'Elysium' has a few tracks on it that I enjoy whereas 'Release' has literally none.

Release reminds me a bit of REM's Reveal album in that I enjoy a lot of the individual tracks but the album listened to from beginning to end is kind of soporific? I love E-Mail, The Samurai In Autumn, Love Is A Catastrophe and You Choose though, and there's lots of great tracks from that era that didn't end up on the album

soref, Monday, 20 November 2017 11:37 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Looks like Release doesn't include the Felix Da Housecat "London" remix/new-thing from Disco 3.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y3-lmIylbvg

... (Eazy), Monday, 20 November 2017 14:43 (three weeks ago) Permalink

A big difference between Reveal and Release is that I can make it through Reveal from beginning to end.

Gholdfish Killah (Turrican), Monday, 20 November 2017 15:19 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Looks like Release doesn't include the Felix Da Housecat "London" remix/new-thing from Disco 3

The Further Listenings have never included remixes that aren't done by the PSB themselves.

shackling the masses with plastic-wrapped snack picks (sic), Monday, 20 November 2017 20:26 (three weeks ago) Permalink


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