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Bilingual: Further Listening 1995-1997

Bilingual: Further Listening 1995-1997

2 Sep 1996
4.3 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

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Bilingual
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Vinyl, 6 Sep 1996
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  • Sample this album
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Disc 2
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2:48
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Album Only
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
In the XIXth century, Spain (or more accurately the conception that the world had of Spain at the time) became a source of inspiration for many composers: Carmen (by Bizet), the Capriccio Espagnol (by Rimski-Korsakov), Alborada del Gracioso (by Ravel) are but a few examples of the importance of "Latinita" for these European composers.
To be fair, this interest in Latin music has continued over the decades - and, in light of the triumph of their Discovery tour in Latin America in 1994, it shouldn't come as a suprise that "latinita" would form the core of a Pet Shop Boy album sooner or later. Their only experience with such music was limited to the excellent single "Domino Dancing" in 1988 and there was every reason to believe that the Boys would succeed in mixing their pop/dance music with this particular culture.

And let's face it: I think that "Bilingual" is not far from being a triumph. It sounds like a postcard from this glorious 1994 tour (in particular the magical Rio de Janeiro concert, reviewed here - Pet Shop Boys: Discovery - Live in Rio [VHS]) and it sounds sunny, cool, and almost improvised at times. But let's not be lured by the obvious here: the Boys have the gift to make you believe that tracks are much simpler than they are in reality.
The production here is as sophisticated that on "Very" but clearly less noisy, more delicate and more relaxed. The best example of this is the beautiful "It always comes as a surprise" with its delicate guitars, drums and saxophone solos.

But what makes this album priceless is the fact that Pet Shop Boys remain...Pet Shop Boys.
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Format: Audio CD
Every time I listen to this fantastic album it makes me yearn for those hot summer days, sitting outside drinking chilled Chardonnay and watching the world go by. This is simply the coolest record I have and puts me in such a positive mood every time I hear it. If only they'd played this during the warm summer evenings of my younger years. Sit back, relax and enjoy.
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Format: Audio CD
I got this album around this time last year on amazon, and I have really enjoyed going back to listen to it. I've noticed this isn't exactly every fans favourite PSB album, but it might be mine, or maybe my 2nd favourite.

This album was after their huge success of Very, so there was probably a lot expected of them. There is a sort of latin feel to this album, and I like it. I'm not entirely sure what latin is but I'm guessing it's in the first two tracks discoteca and single, they have loud snare drum rolls to them. That continues on the se vida e track, which is a song I have always loved from them for 12 years now, when I was 7 I loved the song but never knew the name of the artist or track.

It varies a little through the album, after the first two songs comes metamorphisis, a song which connected with me instantly. It's fantastic a great house music feel to it, the chord changes and brass improvisation. What's also great is that Neil tries rapping on the song, which I think really works, a song where he reveals his sexuality, hence the title metamorphisis. His rapping continues through the catchy rap style beats of electricity, quite a catchy small chorus to it 'its the greatest show with the best effects since disco tex and the sexelettes'.

The latin feel definitley comes back on the album when you hear it always comes as a suprise, a beautiful slow love song which moved me right away, Neil in great voice, and a hypnotic tune to it. Possibly their best song in my opinion, or perhaps the next track A red letter day, absolutely brilliant. It has a choir of voices singing the tune, and then it breaks into their trademark disco sound, a lovely chorus, it should've been no. 1 when it was released as a single.
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By A Customer on 21 Jun. 2001
Format: Audio CD
The new release of "Bilingual" is an absolute must have because of the inclusion of a second disc of B sides and remixes. Some of PSB's greatest songs are found here, and if you've not heard "Delusions of grandeur" or "The view from your balcony" you haven't heard the best PSB have to offer. "Bilingual" is also a vastly underrated album that sounds better now than it did on first release; I hope the same thing will be said for their more recent "Nightlife", but "Bilingual" now sounds as creatively vibrant as "Nightlife" sounds exhausted.
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Format: Audio CD
This is an album that people either love or hate; I fall into the former category. I think Neil and Chris did their most consistent, accomplished songwriting here (better than the great "Behavior" and certainly the overrated "Very") but, because of the Latin flavor, the album was misunderstood and ignored by many fans. Don't make the same mistake. Wit, melody, humor, references to Beckett and Pinter, all set to relentless dance beats. What more could you want?
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Again the Pet Shop Boys played their little trick on their fans. The album Very was released in 1994, and didn't do very well commercially or critically, and while the Pet Shop Boys shortly thereafter toured, it had the feeling (partly due to the rumour mill) that this was in fact a farewell series of performances. The next year, when the dual-disc set Alternative was released, the question was largely, 'Alternative to what?' -- a real album, a continuation (Alternative was made up of all the non-album b-sides that had been released during the Pet Shop Boys career, once again fueling speculation that this was a tying-up-of-loose-ends at the end of a career).
Then, in 1996, the album Bilingual was released, again following the by-then-well-established pattern of releasing a single, then follow-up with the album. This was an 'out' album; while most people always knew the alternative sexuality of the group, it had never been made explicit in the group's official publicity. Now, it had been. No surprise to anyone really (does anything coming from any band from the 80's really surprise anyone?).
The Pet Shop Boys managed to release an adequate album, alas, not their best work, and indeed some commentators, remembering the speculation that they were ready to retire, opined that retirement would have been better than this.
Not so, to be sure -- this is a perfectly serviceable album, good in many respects; the first single, Before, was released with a CD-movie of the video (very useful for those without Euro-MTV, American MTV long since having left the genre of the Pet Shop Boys behind and thus unlikely to carry their videos even when they win Euro-MTV awards).
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