on 1 November 2010
It's been questioned why the Pet Shop Boys have released another compilation album and it is to celebrate 25 years since the release of West End Girls. Their previous compilation Pop Art - had nearly everything (except for Was It Worth It? - which I think personally was!) and after a further two albums of brilliant music we have another one - but with an impossible task. To cram the 'best' of their singles on one CD. Of course there will be ones missing for die hard fans (where is Opportunities, Can You Forgive Her?, So Hard) - but it's difficult to cram so much on one CD.
So who is this CD for? The idea is - it is catered for the casual listener. And if you just want ONE Pet Shop Boys CD - then this is it. Because it is crammed - with every single song a total winner. The best of the best! And it is still seeping out some missing classics - that is how good they consistantly are. And the new song 'Together' is another golden nugget!
So it is worth getting - if you haven't got any Pet Shop Boys CDS and just want one. But for the fan - there is nothing new here (except the new single which is out on 29th November anyway) - but that is why they have compiled a special edition with a fantastic DVD crammed full of TV performances - which is certainly worth the cover price alone) - so if you were there at Glastonbury - and loved the show - get the CD - because THIS IS IT!
on 4 November 2010
Okay, I'm very new to Pet Shop Boys, so I will explain why I think this new release is perfect for new fans. I was obviously aware of hits such as West End Girl, It's a Sin, What Have I Done to Deserve This, Go West and Love etc, but other than these songs I had not heard much by the band. I saw the video for Domino Dancing on a music channel during the summer and I instantly fell in love with the song, leading me to buy PopArt, and as much as I loved the fact the album had 2 discs crammed with hits, I was very confused by the structure of the track listing, I would mainly only play Domino Dancing, Before and New York City Boy because there was a lot of music to get through (don't get me wrong, I love bands with a vast back catalog, hence my desire to discover them).
I soon discovered that this album was being released so I compiled the track listing in a playlist on iTunes and gave it a listen, I thought the album flowed very well, and I enjoyed listening to the songs in chronological order, in a more condensed manner, songs are now popping out as new favourite tracks. I am currently obsessed with Heart (especially the version on this release), Home and Dry, and the new amazing single Together.
I bought the deluxe version because I knew I'd regret it if I didn't. I'm not a casual music listener, I'm a huge music fan! I like to get really deep into a bands discography, so the DVD will be great to watch! When I'm done with this album I'll move on to PopArt and then their studio albums, and then everything else.
So overall, I am really happy with this release, it is perfect for new fans... I can understand any frustration from fans who already have all their albums and previous singles collections, but I've read many reviews saying the DVD is a great feature so the release should satisfy everybody really.
For some reason the track listing here is wrong. The CD contains 19 tracks, not 18 ("Heart" has been omitted). The "PSB BBC DVD" contains the complete 2010 Glastonbury Festival performance +:
1. West End Girls (Top of the Pops 15.12.85)
2. Love Comes Quickly (Top of the Pops 20.03.86)
3. Opportunities (Let's Make Lots Of Money) (The Old Grey Whistle Test 29.04.86)
4. Suburbia (Top of the Pops 02.10.86)
5. It's A Sin (Top of the Pops 25.06.87)
6. Rent (Top of the Pops 22.10.87)
7. Always On My Mind (Top of the Pops 10.12.87)
8. What Have I Done To Deserve This? (The Brit Awards 08.02.88)
9. Heart (Wogan 30.03.88)
10. Domino Dancing (Top of the Pops 22.09.88)
11. Left To My Own Devices (Top of the Pops 01.12.88)
12. So Hard (Wogan 28.09.90)
13. Being Boring (Top of the Pops 29.11.90)
14. Can You Forgive Her? (Top of the Pops 10.06.93)
15. Liberation (Top of the Pops 07.04.94)
16. Paninaro '95 (Top of the Pops 03.08.95)
17. Se A Vida É (That's The Way Life Is) (Top of the Pops 2 02.12.03)
18. A Red Letter Day (Top of the Pops 28.03.97)
19. Somewhere (Top of the Pops 04.07.97)
20. I Don't Know What You Want But I Can't Give It Any More (Top of the Pops 30.09.99)
21. New York City Boy (Top of the Pops 08.10.99)
22. You Only Tell Me You Love Me When You're Drunk (Top of the Pops 14.01.00)
23. Home And Dry (Top of the Pops 29.03.02)
24. I Get Along (Top of the Pops 2 17.04.02)
25. Miracles (Top of the Pops 14.11.03)
26. Flamboyant (Top of the Pops 19.03.04)
27. I'm With Stupid (Top of the Pops 23.04.06)
The CD is a sample of the Pet Shop Boys' singles - some great, well-known ones are missing, such as "Opportunities (Let's Make Lots Of Money)", "Rent" and "So Hard" for example - rather than an "Ultimate" collection. The DVD, however, is an absolute treat for any PSB fan.
Didn't we have a definitive Pet Shop Boys compilation in 2003? And what have they done since then? Two albums, a handful of occasional hits, but no career-definitive huge numbers. One could ask - and quite rightly so - what exactly is the point of this?
In the days when CD's are given away free with newspapers, when an album is now a disposable plastic box parked next to children's toys in the supermarket, and where you can buy them for less than a microwavable meal, is it any wonder that music revenues are dwindling, and thus, the perceived value of the art has shrunk to next to nothing and a record is just another consumer product? Twas ever thus, admittedly, but more now than ever, a record is just one of millions of things competing for our attentions in the strained marketplace.
Beyond this, and the hollow ring of a third "best of", this compilation simply presents most of the bands better-known songs in a chronological order, with a grand finale of the new song "Together". It's a simple hits-and-run release, and one which, to be honest, makes me wonder why this years limited-edition single "Love Life" isn't on it - a token gesture that would have pleased those of us who think a 1,000 only limited 7" single that is now on Ebay for £70 is a bad idea. So, as a best of compilation, it does the job serviceably, and, at the same time, feels a little cheap and exploitative.
The real meat, and the clear attraction of this is the huge, weighty, and enormous DVD that goes with it : "Live At The BBC", which covers 48 songs, and a multitude of TV appearances over the past quarter century. In no short order, the main live set is this summer's Glastonbury performance which is a full length, 90 minute revision of the `Pandemonium' set : the band as good as they ever have been, packing in dozens of songs in a concise, efficient, and beautiful arrangement that sees obscure, but brilliant b-sides fold into loved album tracks and greatest hits, in one, undulating texture. Naturally, all the great songs are here. Aside from this, comes every BBC TV appearance (well, almost) from the past quarter century, from such fallen stalwarts as Top of The Pops, and Wogan. (About the only omission is the Glastonbury 2000 TV Broadcast). You should note the TV appearances are often VHS sourced in the early years, and many are 4:3 with black bars on all four sides on certain formats.
All this, and I haven't even mentioned "Always On My Mind", "Go West", "West End Girls", "It's A Sin", (the omission of) "Can You Forgive Her?", "Love Etc", "I'm With Stupid"... tut, tut. The Pet Shop Boys are not just a great pop group, or great artists, but that rarest of things. They are both. Britains finest export.
on 21 November 2010
I know EMI are in financial meltdown but if they must milk a cash cow like the Pet Shop Boys one more time they could've put more thought into it. "Ultimate Pet Shop Boys"? How can it be when it misses off eight of the band's top ten hits (eg, "Rent", "Opportunities", "So Hard", and unforgivably "Can You Forgive Her") in favour of much less successful singles such as "Home and Dry" and "Being Boring"? It's perverse. With the earlier compilation "PopArt" still on sale at half the price anyone with a casual interest in the group would be daft not to buy that (and its video collection) instead of this as "PopArt" has twice as many singles on it. Any Pet Shop Boys singles collection should automatically merit 5 stars; it's a poor reflection on EMI's sloppy compiling that this is getting less than that.
on 22 November 2010
The second disc is worth double the entry price because it contains the amazing Glastonbury version of the Pandemonium show. Matchlessly capturing the happiness of both the Pet Shop Boys and their audience, it powefully demonstrates why everyone regards the performance as not just a high for the band but also a magical moment in the history of Glastonbury.
On the same disc are nearly forty BBC appearances by the Pet Shop Boys taken from Top of the Pops, Wogan, The Old Grey Whistle test and other TV archives. Each track is a treat. However familiar the title, these forgotten versions dish out fresh evidence of the band's consistent originality.
Ultimate is pointless as a CD, repeating the same mixes of the same tracks already released on other Pet Shop Boys compilations. But as a DVD it is a spectacular and emotional treat.
on 21 July 2012
"Ultimate Pet Shop Boys" by the Pet Shop Boys is a fascinating organized set highlighting some of the hits that represent their sound. My two personal favorites from this compilation are "Miracles" and "Together". At the time of this writing, I have not yet seen the "Miracles" video but intend to do so. However, I have seen the "Together" video and feel that it fits perfectly with the song. "West End Girls","It's A Sin", "What Have I Done to Deserve This", "Always On My Mind", "Heart", "Se A Vida E (That's The Way Life Is)" and "Love Etc" are some of the catchy musical tracks on this cd. "Ultimate Pet Shop Boys" by the Pet Shop Boys is a great selection for those who enjoy electronica, synth pop, and/or candid love songs.
Rumour has it that this latest Pet Shop Boys collection fulfills some form of contractual obligation, which is perhaps less of a reason for this release than a celebration of 25 years of Pet Shop Boys hits would be.
Either way, this collection was always likely to raise, shall we say, discussions from die-hard, long-term PSB fans; lets face it if you were to ask PSB fans to list their favourite 17 singles (allowing room for the new track) you would probably get as many different answers from as many different people as you asked. For instance the likes of Suburbia, New York City Boy and I'm With Stuipd wouldn't make "my" list and I'd decry the fact that songs like Can You Forgive Her, So Hard and Minimal haven't made the short-cut but the fact that so many people could have so many different personal preferences shows you just what a consistent act Pet Shop Boys have been. Having somewhere in the region of 40 top 20 hits in the UK alone is testament to their brilliance. Indeed, they even had top 20 hits when you had to sell a decent amount of records to get that honour.
So whilst I could sit here and say this wouldn't be my "ultimate" Pet Shop Boys singles collection, that Pop Art would be a better bet for the uninitated and that's its only the deluxe version with the (fantastic) DVD that makes this an essential purchase for PSB fans you can't argue with a CD that is still packed full of great singles, including 13 top 10 hits, and shows just how (mainly) consistent Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe have been over the last 25 years. In my mind there hasn't been a better British "pop" act during the last three decades in terms of consistent quailty; this set goes someway to proving it.
on 12 November 2010
Says what it does on the tin - it's the ultimate collection from the most successful musical duo this country has ever produced. Time has demonstrated the incredible and innovative contribution the Pet Shop Boys have made to the collective consciousness and they have proven to be immense artists - worthy of being one the all-time greats.
The inclusion of BBC television performances is also very welcome for fans, it's fantastic to have this material all in one resource.
Thank you boys. You are legends, truly.
on 30 March 2011
I am from Brazil, this was the first time I have bought something by internet from another country. My cd/dvd arrived only 3 days after the estimated date. I am very happy my pack has arrived safely and perfect! The cd has all the great hits, the dvd has made me fly back to the 80's and 90's. It is very nice to see Neil and Chris from the begining of their successful journey till now a days.
Thank you Amazon!