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30
4.4 out of 5 stars
Very: Further Listening 1992-1994
Format: Audio CDChange
Price:£39.98+£1.26shipping
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on 4 July 2011
..... "...there are no more lovers left alive. And that's why love has died"...
"Dreaming of the queen", a masterpiece, contains even this philosophical (nominalist)
pearl: the word love means and it is nothing without somebody (in blood and flesh)
who really loves (the lovers), no individual, no real singular person .... no existence,
all the rest is only a "nomen" (name)...hence... "Nominalism". And this world is drowning
in names.........
This album is very delicate and deep. Love it very much, "Actually" remains anyway peerless.
Other P.S.B. maximum expression is the supersingle "Flamboyant".
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on 9 August 2007
An absolute pop masterpiece, the Boys combine energetic production alongside carefully crafted lyrics. I think this album is often dismissed as being a simple euro-dance camp fest, and although it certainly has elements of this (which make it such a fun and uplifting album) many of the songs also have a much deeper level. Each track covers a range of emotions including the hilarious Can You Forgive Her, the bizarreness of Yesterday When I Was Mad and the anxiety of Dreaming Of The Queen. Ultimately, this is not only the PSB's finest album, but undoubtedly one of the finest pop albums ever - seriously!
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I am not sure if this review should appear here covering the 2001 remastered version of Very , but I bought it ( almost new) under this banner from an Amazon supplier .
I couldn't understand the other reviewers comments of the music being overmastered until I double checked and find that my version is indeed an original from 1993 and has superb sound. It is however missing the " hidden" track at the end.
Still a good album to have alongside the essential pet Shop Boys " Discography" and "Alternative " - a 2 CD pet shop boys B sides and rarities
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Pet Shop Boys have released many great albums. Very is their greatest. From the great opening shot of Can You Forgive Her? to the majestic closer Go West you get one pop gem after another. There is not a single track that couldn't have been a hit single.

The lyrics are, as you would expect from Neil Tenant impeccable, ranging from the exuberant love song I Wouldn't Normally Do This Kind Of Thing to the delicate pathos of To Speak is a Sin.

But this time round it is the music that is centre stage. Chris whips up a regular storm on most of the tracks, sending out from the speakers a joyous and irrepressable energy, especially on Young Offender and Yesterday, When I Was Mad, the latter much better in this form than the comparatively flat single version.

Pop just doesn't get much better than this....

And then you get the second CD (Further Listening 1992-1994), a wonderful mixture of B Sides, remixes, demos and even a live track thrown in. The B Sides include the should-have-been-a-single Shameless and the beautifuly poignant Hey Headmaster. The remixes include a wonderful update of Violence (originally on Please). The demos are little gems, the original 1992 12" mix of Go West, the demo of Falling and the workout Forever in Love which ended up, in different form, on the Relentless album which was packaged with some of the initial copies of Very. The live take on Blur's Girls and Boys is a hugely enjoyable romp.

As with all this series of reissues, you also get a generous booklet with an essay about the album, notes on all of the tracks and complete lyrics.

If you have the original single CD version of Very it is worth upgrading to this set.

If you are new to Pet Shop Boys, or perhaps have heard them on the radio over the years, then either this or PopArt are probably your best ways into their world.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 15 June 2013
Dead, the Pet Shop Boys? After the commercial failure of "Behaviour." in 1990, the release of a "Best of" album in 1991, and a year off in 1992 you'd be forgiven to think so.

...but on top of being very talented and very disciplined musicians, Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe are also quite competitive. In a Pop world which is quite thankless in suddenly burying alive bands that it adored some months before, the Boys have attempted and successfully managed to remain in the charts and write magnificent, lasting music.

With "Very" (1993), their seventh album and their fifth with brand new material, PSBs show the versatility of their talent and their ability to keep the public interested. For "Very", they decided to be the producers of the album, with the help of Stephen Hague, who produced the Boys' first album, "Please", back in 1985-1986. Difficult to say if the idea was to go back to some sort of "original" PSB sound - but "Very" sounds much richer than the dry analogic synthesizers of "Behaviour.". It is also much more richly orchestrated with heavy brass, superb orchestral accompaniment by Anne Dudley on three tracks. Members of the family like JJ Belle, Sylvia Mason-James and Pete Gleadall are back on guitars, vocals and programming respectively.

What is striking on "Very" is the variety of colors and melodic invention that is being thrown at the listener pretty much on every track. Perversely, if you could argue that some singles on "Behaviour." were more memorable than on "Very", you cannot deny that "Very" is a much more CONSISTENT piece of work. Every single track is aimed at surprising the listener and generating amazement and admiration. Even more, a lot of tracks on "Very" change gear in the middle of the song ("I wouldn't normally do this kind of thing", "The Theatre", "One in a million Years", "Go West") which adds to the beauty of the whole thing.
Some concept songs are just sublime in originality ("Dreaming of the Queen", "Yesterday when I was mad", "The Theatre") and show the "artful" side of PSBs reflected much more successfully than in the previous album. I will particularly take notice of "Yesterday..." as it is one of the most successful rendition of madness in pop music with Queen's legendary "I'm going slightly mad" (despite the former song really being about anger).

Some tunes are really addictive, like "Young Offender", or the beautiful ballad "To Speak is a sin" - the latter quite reminiscent of the magical "Play to the World" by Barclay James Harvest. I have already commented on "Go West", a sublime re-invention of the Village People classic.

So anything wrong on "Very"? The production is "very" much in your face, and there is so much relentlessness in the musical beauties thrown at us that the listening experience can sometimes become a little bit too much and the music can be a bit overwhelming.

Also, in their willingness to produce the ultimate Pop album the Boys can't avoid a little bit of musical emptiness here and there, in particular in the two "One" songs.

But hey - this is a very good LP. 12 years after their beginning, Pet Shop Boys showed they were still on top of the Pop planet.

Also - I recommend the 1993 original ahead of the 2009 remastering: the latter has way too many dynamics, and for an uptempo album that was quite dynamic in the first place, listening to the whole thing can be quite tiring: this problem does not occur with the original CD, so buyers beware!
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on 3 December 2013
Excellent album, the second disc has some hidden gems.'Very'is definitely one of their best and the remixes are very enjoyable.
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8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 3 May 2006
I'm writing a review of this album because I'm so tired of reading that this is the greatest PSB album, or that 'Fundamental is their best work since Very' etc. Very is my least favourite PSB album, and I was disappointed with it from the first time I heard it. They seemed to be on such a fantastic progression at the time, from Please to Actually to Behaviour, then DJ Culture, each time their work becoming more sophisticated, intellectual, personal and musically complex. Then suddenly came Very. It's all major chords, camp disco, predictable tunes and lacking the lyrical depth of much of their other work. I also think it has quite a plasticky techno sound that becomes irritating as the record goes on, and I actually find it quite hard to listen to in one sitting. The only songs I really like are Liberation, Dreaming of the Queen, Go West, and Can you Forgive Her? ..and possibly Young Offender (excepting the dubious lyrics). I was much more impressed with Bilingual, which constantly seems to be referred to as their low point, though it's more artistically cohesive and interesting. I thought Nightlife was even better, and I'm even a fan of the dreaded Release especially if you include the accompanying B-sides and Disco3 which together make for a great period in PSB's career.

What's interesting to me is that PSB's fan base is obviously completely split. Some think Behaviour is their greatest work, others hate it. Some people only want them to repeat their first two albums all over again. Then there's the Very group. I suppose this reflects the fact that despite their distinctive sound, PSB have several styles, from cool dance music, to camp disco, to classic pop; and even accoustic music now. The whole adds up to much more than the sum of its parts, which is why they are such a brilliant group.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 17 December 2011
When CD arrived my first thoughts were that it did not sound right. I have only one other CD being "Ultimate" plus a handful of other songs by the PSB. Therefore it was one of disappointment when I first heard it. However after several listenings it started to grow on me so much so that I liked all the tracks in equal measure. I subsequently put it aside for a few weeks to listen to other music. On returning to it I find that I have the same feelings that I first had and that the sound being not quite right is perhaps to do with the remastering. There seems to be a type of hissing sound coming from the electronics which I suppose to be the synthesizers which I find quite off putting and it is on all the tracks. It is a pity as the singing of Neil Tennant and music of Chris Lowe are great. I am going to try to find a copy of the original recording to see how different they sound. I still think the makeup of the CD is great, it is just a shame about the background noise. Obviously the hissing sound is meant to be there and other people will like it but it is not to my taste. This will not stop me from buying other albums from the PSB but I shall probably avoid the remastered versions.
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on 23 November 2013
VERY pleased with this CD. Haven't stopped playing it, great to drive to. Definitely the Pet Shop Boys finest hour.
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I bought this to replace my original copy which had a broken case. The new CD had a broken spinner. Ugh
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