45 of 47 people found the following review helpful
on 23 May 2002
The Pet Shop Boys are just 2 people in the long line of inspired muscisians that England has thrown up and yet they are regularly dismissed as one-trick-electronia-ponies.
This is highly unfair as few in the 80s produced the mammoth hooks that the psb's regularily belted out and here they are all collected as evidence.
The first track (west end girls) beatifully captured the cool sterile suave culture of the yuppies while suberbia as the antithesis is just a glorious riot.
Listening to all the tracks together it becomes clear just how eclectic this duo were - everything is here from Dusty Springfield dropping a bomb of hi-energy soul and the obligatory dead-pan rapping to Gloria Estefan inspired Domino Dancing.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
A fantastic album from The Pet shop Boys that i've now owned for over 10 years. I originally started off with the video version, which of course had these songs and the videos. It was fantastic, and I've still got it, as its one of those things that marks a part of your growing up. But I soon got the cd to listen to, and of course the quality is much better.
The songs all just seem to be ordered in just the places, and some have alot of meaning. West End Girls is a good way to start of the album, and I love Love Comes Quickly. I think the other best tracks include Surburbia, Always on my mind, So Hard, Being Boring, and Where the Streets have No Name.
My top track would have to Being Boring, which means so much - the lyrics are fantastic, and it has a great rhythm thats quite emotional, as it makes you think back to your childhood. This was the kind of material the Pet Shop boys played at the madchester club Hacienda, and is the perfect material.
A fantastic album, and not to be missed by anyone who remembers the 80's/90's in style!
35 of 38 people found the following review helpful
I 'came of age' in the 80s, and was working in London when the PSB first began releasing music. 'West End Girls' is a quintessentially London song; I immediately went out and bought their album. I've been purchasing all their albums since.
This collection contains the major songs (the single releases) from their first four albums, plus a few new songs. For anyone who wants to have a good collection of 80s music, this is a must for the collection. The disco is present but not banal nor overpowering; the lyrics are intelligent and neither syrupy-sung nor screamed. The videos which go along with these songs are clever and artfully done.
The playlist includes:
West End Girls -- a number one hit in America, Europe, Britain and Asia
Love comes quickly
Suburbia -- music perhaps inspired by EastEnders
It's a Sin -- another international no. 1 hit
What have I done to deserve this - a collaboration with Dusty Springfield
Always on my mind -- a remake of the classic
Left to my own devices
Being boring - name derived from Gertrude Stein
Where the streets have no name (can't take my eyes off of you) -- a combination of songs cleverly done
DJ Culture -- a new song released with the album
Was it worth it? -- another new song, released later
The PSB don't easily fit into any particular category -- while they are gay performers, they are not exclusively 'gay' performers; their music reached a wide audience and was not preachy (in fact, their song 'How Can You Expect to be Taken Seriously' consciously pokes fun at pop stars who become spokesmen and 'experts' simply for being famous in another field). Unfortunately, due to the limitations imposed upon the length of CDs, this song had to be omitted from this collection (it does appear on the video compilation, however).
Rolling Stone recently described them as being 'the Grateful Dead of the europop scene'. This is rather close to the mark in that they have dedicated followers who devour everything they produce as well as a more general audience who like them without obsessing. There are the major UK hits, and a few US No. 1 hits on this album, as well as songs that were much bigger hits in the broader world as American trends in music (at least as driven by radio and MTV airtime) have changed while the PSB sound is very much the same.
Of course, the over-the-top disco version of 'Always on my Mind' makes me laugh and sing along every time I hear it. Neil Tennant has such a wonderful dead-pan delivery, and Chris Lowe's artful use of brass, string and bass together with backing beats, all from the electronic keyboard, is truly a wonder.
This is an essential CD to have to understand the 1980s, London in the 80s, pop culture in the 80s. Also, to just have a good time! A great discography.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 16 November 1999
I really like the Pet Shop Boys and this release has so many of their best songs up through the early 1990's. I had no idea how prolific they were until I heard this release and realised that quite a few songs had acutally been left off of the album. The Pet Shop Boys have been around for so long and have managed to have so many top ten singles that I have completely lost track. My first memory of the group is West End Girls (which is on this cd) and all of the songs have the same strong memories for me. There really are some good songs here that you would be sure to recognize, remember and love.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 9 April 2012
This album is a chronological presentation of Pet Shop Boys singles from their 1984 debut "West End Girls" through to 1991's "Was It Worth It?", and for the most part, it's a fine body of work.
As far as their career is concerned, the Pet Shop Boys are not dissimilar to Abba, in that they were initially dismissed by both the critics and the public as a flash-in-the-pan one-hit-wonder that would duly disappear, never to be heard from again. But just as was the case with Abba, appearances proved deceptive with the Pet Shop Boys. For after the rather fey boy-band stylings of their debut, "West End Girls" and the 'usual' inconsequential follow-up "Love Comes Quickly" - instead of disappearing, the Pet Shop Boys subsequently hit their stride with "Opportunities", and after that there was no looking back.
The key to the duo's success was their happy knack for creating memorable synth-pop/dance tracks, combined with world-weary lyrical themes delivered with the kind of wry detachment that lent their singles a timely post-modern sensibility, resulting in music with surprising depth and durability. For example, "Suburbia" is both a dance track, and a social commentary that discusses the underlying causes of petty vandalism and suburban neurosis, pivoting around the lyric "I only wanted something else to do but hang around ...". Likewise "It's A Sin", a dance epic to individualism in the face of social pressures to conform. Such lyrical themes resonated deeply with dance-club punters, who were spending their Saturday nights intent on escaping the very same things the Pet Shop Boys were complaining about.
Overall, this is an excellent overview of the band's early career.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 6 October 2011
After seeing PSBs performing live at Wembley Stadium as a support act to Take That in July, I was delighted to hear all their greatest hits again. I was reminded of the innovative brilliance of their music and bought the incredibly priced CD of their greatest hits. An outstanding collection of the iconic duo of the eighties, Discography provides a comprehensive collection of all the singles produced by the Boys. Thoroughly delightful to renew my enjoyment of their creation.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 29 September 2005
I have the cassette and its about worn out. I play it alot and will never get tired of it. I lived in England for 5 years and lived there when alot of these songs hit No. 1. It would be great to have a US tour.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 26 May 2013
This "greatest hits" album rightly celebrates the first ten years of PSBs, from this chance encounter between Chris Lowe and Neil Tennant in a music shop in Kings Road in August 1981, to the release of "Discography" in November 1991. Even if the first single on the CD, "West End Girls", was only released in October 1985, a first version of it was produced in 1983 and "Jealousy", one of the latter singles of the band in this time period, was effectively written in 1982.
Therefore it is fair to say that this album covers ten years of music-making by the Boys.
I am not going to replicate what has been repeated endlessly in these reviews, bar to say that these songs are all TIMELESS, and represent some of the best music-making in any genre. The addition of two new songs, especially written for this release, "DJ Culture" and "Was it worth it?" are both very good additions to the PSB canon and absolutely deserve to be here. My only complaint is the absence of "How can you expect to be taken seriously" - particularly the single version which had been brilliantly remixed by Brothers in Rhythm.
But what is probably even more incredible is that this first "best of" album could have easily been extended to a 2-CD or even a 3-CD set. There was amazing music written by the Pet Shop Boys then which could/should have been here: the Liza Minnelli singles from "Results", the two singles for Dusty Springfield, or "Paninaro" (a single in its own right in Italy) and so many other tracks by PSBs that didn't make it as singles: "Kings Cross", "It couldn't happen here", or B-sides like "We all feel better in the dark", "Miserablism" and "Bet she's not your girlfriend".
In light of all these riches coming from a band that has always been working very hard and has never stopped being relevant on a 30-year period, let's pay tribute to these two music geniuses who, more than twenty years after the release of this, manage to produce "Elyseum" and "Axis" back-to-back in barely twelve months!
The adventure continues!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 27 March 2009
When I was young back in the 80s the Pet Shop Boys were probably at the height of their fame.
Strangely I never owned any of their music during this period, although lots of it I did like.
However given the revival of the 80's bands and the number of tours taking place by the old guard it's sort of made me realise that I should purchase some of this music for enjoyment, reflection, and to show that I am old.
So I purchased this via MP3 download on Amazon.
Firstly the MP3 download process with Amazon is painless, I downloaded the client, and when i purchased the album it started dragging itself onto my pc in quick time, before you know it I was having an 80's revival right here in my office.
The album itself is overall very good, a lot of the songs I know as they were singles and well played during my youth, there are a couple that I know less well, but they have the same distinctive sound that is the Pet Shop Boys.
It's a good album, if you like the Pet Shop Boys, or your having an 80's nostalgia trip then you need to purchase it.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 5 January 2011
I have really enjoyed listening to Discography: the Complete Singles Collection by The Pet Shop Boys. The tracks are presented in order as they were released and I found it interesting how their music developed over time and how the complexity for the tracks changes in their career.
Brought back many memories of that era.