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Top Customer Reviews
The music of the Pet Shop Boys defies easy explanation. The lyrics are witty and urbane, very much a product of the disco and consumer-big-money culture of the 1980s. Songs like Opportunities/Let's Make Lots of Money became a sort of capitalist anthem, spawning two different video versions and countless remixes for the disco environments.
Taking a cue from the popular television of the time, the song Suburbia has a piano overlay that sounds similar to the then massively-popular Eastenders, and the lyrics recount a East End-esque storyline which sparks familiarity with those immersed in the pop culture.
The song Love Comes Quickly highlights both synthesizer effects and masking as well as simple and elegant poetic lyric. No base or screaming lines in this disco, no banal or forced words simply to serve as fronting for a drum-machine-produced rhythm, this song perhaps shows the Pet Shop Boys at their early height in development of words to music (that was finally fully developed in the album Behaviour).
Two other songs of note on this introductory album include the first track, Two Divided By Zero, which has a simple introduction and simplistic development that ends up gradually increasing in sound complexity while the sense of 'what does this song mean?Read more ›
Because the two artists were not really beginners (having done the job for almost five years by then), the album sounds amazingly mature and well thought-of. Out of the 10 songs there, one can be critical of one, maybe two tracks but that's about it. The rest is simply exceptional. What makes PSB very special is first, an amazing sense of melody (move on Schubert, Mozart and The Beatles) making the tunes memorable and eternal ("Opportunities", "Later Tonight", "Love comes quickly" and "West End Girls" of course), great arrangements and the overall polish of the production (and here it is clear that the band had not the resource nor the money to be as sophisticated as they would later be). The contagious dance rhythm in "Two divided by zero", "Suburbia" and "Why don't we live together" is also great and one will listen with interest to "Tonight is forever" and compare this draft with the diamond that Neil and Chris will manufacture for Liza Minnelli just three years later - with the same song.
In any case a wonderful, memorable first effort.
On this, their first album, Tennanat and Lowe lay down a blueprint for their career. Played with variations and shades admittedly but it's all here and what wonderful listening it is too.
What we used to call "Side One" is nigh on perfect, featuring as it does four fine singles with two and arguably three of them iconic.
The album bursts out of the traps with the enigmatic and cinematic "Two Divided By Zero" - rhythm to the fore modulated with those rarefied Tennant tones. The trick the Boys pulled time after time was to never make synths sound cold but melodic and organic.
What can you say about "West End Girls". The track that put them on the map and as Tennant said, when he dies, his tombstone will probably read "Here Lies ... the composer of 'West End Girls'". Again the PSBs create that sense of space, with the moody traffic noises, the snatches of dialogue and that simple but infectious bassline. The words are wonderful - we come in with "Sometimes you're better off dead / There's a gun in your hand and it's pointing at your head" -it's literary really - Chandler couldn't have done any better. And the world took them to its bosom - the man with the voice of a dyspeptic tax inspector and the one who specialized in never smiling.
Opportunities, their first single is I believe iconic in the way it represents the 80s - with indescernible irony. "I've got the brains, you've got the looks, let's make lots of money" - I'm not sure anyone ever put it quite that simply before. At another level, it's a statement of intent, and one they lived up to.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
love the music and some catchy songs.a band that was good in the 80s and still isPublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
30 years old and still sounds fresh, ground breaking synth pop at its best forget the singles great as they are the real gems are two divided by zero, later tonight and tonight is... Read morePublished 6 months ago by D. Carter
"Pet Shop Boys" have been my favourite group from the 1980's, I have all their albums.
I saw them for the first in concert back in 2009, and again for the second... Read more