Pet Shop Boys/Please


Pet Shop Boys are an English electronic dance music duo, consisting of Neil Tennant, who provides main vocals, keyboards and occasionally guitar and Chris Lowe on keyboards and occasionally backing vocals.

Pet Shop Boys have sold over 100 million records worldwide and are listed as the most successful duo in pop music history.[citation needed] Since 1986, they have achieved 42 Top 30 singles and 22 Top 10 hits in the UK, including four Number Ones: “West End Girls“, “It’s a Sin“, “Always on My Mind” and “Heart“.

At the 2009 BRIT Awards, Pet Shop Boys received an award for Outstanding Contribution to Music presented to them by Brandon Flowers.

Please is the first album by the UK electronic music group Pet Shop Boys, released in 1986. According to the duo, the album’s title was chosen so that people had to go into a record shop and say “Can I have the Pet Shop Boys album, ‘Please’?” The debut album has sold to date in the region of 3 million copies worldwide.

Hits from Please include “West End Girls,” “Opportunities (Let’s Make Lots of Money),” “Suburbia,” and “Love Comes Quickly“. “West End Girls” was a hit in both the UK and the United States. [Wikipedia]

Two Divided By Zero—-From the very first synth produced beats of this song, you know that this is going to be something that you will remember for a long time…it is a underestimation. The synth gives way to nice soundbite or manipulated vocals and then enters Neil. Delivering a vocal that is more talking than singing, you at once notice the detachment and remarkable stoic vocal set to such a danceable synth…yet the passion lies underneath magically. This is classic early 80’s synth music that still manages to sound fresh and magnificent 27 years on!!!

West Eng Girls—-I can remember where I was and little details about my life when I first heard this song for the very first time. Although I have heard this too many times to mention and could go the rest of my life and never hear it again, as I listen back to it now….there is a remarkable fresh feel and a renewed enjoyment. With a dance beat you cannot ignore and an almost rapped vocal, the duo set the world on fire with this release. thank God I got it then….because these two have NEVER let me down.

Opportunities [Let’s Make Lots Of Money]—-The follow-up singles after West End Girls made little if any impression on the US fans and many people are very surprised to know the two are still making music…the best of their career up to now. This is a typical 80’s song with plentiful ideals of excess and a very gay attitude. The synth lines are unforgettable and managed to make me literally crazy for a time as I bought every possible remix of this. I still love this…the mentality and the energy have lasted a lifetime!!!

Love Comes Quickly—-Although the Duo believed strongly in this single, releasing in it numerous formats and numerous times in the ensuing years, this has never been a favorite track of mine. The vocal standsout for me as it finds Neil really singing more than he has thus far on the release. Tennant has a remarkable way of talking his way through a song and leaving you feeling as if you have heard a symphony. This works, but has never been a standout for me.

Suburbia—-One of the songs that I always reach for if I am having a ‘Pet Shop Party’, this track never grows old for me…despite all of the remixes and choices, I always reach for the original mix. It makes me think of the grittier and dirtier parts of England that are left alone by many British bands. And of course, it is all done with a remarkable dose of tongue and cheek. What a damn catchy underlying synth line….it will live in your head.

Opportunities [Reprise]—-With a church organ synth line, this ‘reprise’ was unnecessary but with left over tape at the end of Side A, the boys preformed their predictable pop humor.

Tonight Is Forever—-At once you notice that this is much faster paced….Neil actually sings and when he does it melts your heart… also notice the subtle low hum that runs through the back of the song…something that would become present in just about every song they have made, but making its first appearance on this song. This is wonderful…tender, pretty and delivered with both vocal emotion as well as musical.

Violence—-To me, this is one of the great un-appreciated songs from this band. That magnificent hum gives the song such a melancholy feel, despite the synth line that is rather lively. Combined with the beautifully sung vocal from Tennant and this is only the beginning of a number of songs when the vulnerability and social conciousness is displayed. This remains….fantastic!

I Want A Lover—-Although it would be years before the Duo actually talked about their sexuality, you just knew…if you were cut from the cloth….where these guys were coming from. There was and is just something inherently gay about the music…no matter the form of choice. This is no exception…while remaining incredibly innocuous, you just get that feeling. The track is lively…almost eoic at times. The story line is typical of any night in a Gay Bar…please….this is fantastic!!!

Later Tonight—-Full of lush arrangements and minus most of the synth sounds of earlier songs, this is a huge orchestrated feel that is ripped bare of effects…except for that subtle hum. The vocal delivery from Tennant still gives me goosebumps all of these years on…it can make me cringe with memories of high school and things that should have been and should not have been…life goes on…and so do the Boys. Fantastic.

Why Don’t We Live Together—-Returning to full on synth magic, this is clearly touched by Bobby Orlando…you can feel that vibe all over it. Neil delivers another rap style vocal reminiscent of West End, but the synth lines are much more upbeat and laden with effects. This is a perfect end to a remarkable release…it stands the test of time very well.

****3/4 out of 5


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