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HALL OF FAMEon 28 September 2003
This is the first, and considered by many fans and non-fans, to be the quint-essential Pet Shop Boys album. Anyone familiar with the popular music of the 1980s will know the dominant track on the CD, West End Girls. Still considered their greatest hit, the Pet Shop Boys capitalised on the synthesizer and sample-heavy sound conjured up for this song by producing a slick London-based video that catapulted the PSB into the limelight around the world for the next several years.
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?' continues to agitate (for the mathematically inclined, anything divided by zero becomes problematic). Tied together with the lyric in Opportunities: 'I doctored in mathematics/I could've been a don', the nuances are subtle and interesting. The almost triumphant yet existential-based Tonight is Forever generates images of glory and failure, pleading and confidence, subtle and direct, an interesting paradox.
Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe have continued their collaboration (with the great assistance of many others) to produce ever more complex and interesting albums, not all of which have been successful, commercially or artistically. While Please is not their best album, it is certain a classic, and very much the seed from which all the rest of their sound derives (a dialogue lyric on a later album states 'you've both made such a little go a very long way'). Everything on any future album of the Pet Shops Boys is present in some form here. A must have for any collector of the Pet Shop Boys or of 1980s pop culture and music.
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on 23 February 2013
This is the Debut album of PSBs but the two artists were by no means debutantes when they recorded it. Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe started making music together in 1981 and were "educated" in the tricks of the trade by legendary producer Bobby Orlando in New York City in 1984. After having released their first version of "West End Girls", the band broke up with Bobby O, Neil went on to take singing lessons to give his voice (and his remarkable, very original tone) new depth and the "reborn" band released a new version of "West End Girls" in October 1985, their single "Love comes quickly" in February 1986, both being included in this Debut LP, "Please" (released in March 1986).
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.
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on 5 December 2001
Yep, Please was & still is everything that the Pet Shop Boys started out with to fufil their promise of International Stardom. an excellent album with some high energy beats, mixed with a few ballads. I am a big Pet Shop Boys fan, and still I continue to listen to this album with great enjoyment & the sound that still isn't out of place with today's styles.
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VINE VOICEon 27 September 2008
Barcode: 0077774627122

It only takes one listen to the likes of West End Girls to know you're onto something special with the Pet Shop Boys' debut album - Please. With it's dreamy, melancholy synths, the single at once perfectly captures the duo's sound as well as the mood of the time. This theme is continued in Opportunities, Tennant's typically witty lyrics offering an amusing take on the capitalism of the 80s.

While the production might sound sparse compared to the sweeping orchestral indulgences of future Pet Shop Boys albums, all the crucial ingredients are here, the fact that all four of the albums' singles placed in the UK top 20 testament to that. The songs are catchy and most importantly, not only the sound of two people enjoying themselves immesnely, but also pushing themselves to acheieve the best possible result.

Love Comes Quickly is a beautiful ballad, Tennant's spoken word intro of 'Sooner or later this happens to everyone' leading into one of his best vocal performances. Please works so well as an album because it flows so masterfully between upbeat tracks and more gentler material like this, showcasing the duo's skill at both. Throughout it all, the sheer poeticism of the lyrics holds true, delivered against beautiful synth backgrounds.

The version of Suburbia on here is interesting, far removed from the version released as a single. This one is more stripped back, synth heavy and ultimately lacks compared to the epic masterpiece that is the single version, but the song is still a joy to listen to, the poignancy of its message reinforced by an instantly memorable melody.

In regards to the album tracks, Please is pleasantly consistent, opening track Two Divided By Zero in particular being a highlight. And as the Pet Shop Boys have always strived, pop melodies are combined perfectly with more adventurous elements, such as the sampling of the Speak & Spell toy in the opening track and the footsteps in West End Girls.

Other highlights include Tonight Is Forever while album closer Why Don't We Live Together explores a more conventional disco flavour reminscent of some of Madonna's early material such as Holiday. Later Tonight is the album's 'synth-lite' moment, an enchanting piano ballad that despite its short length is surprisingly moving.

Please serves as a perfect introduction to the Pet Shop Boys' music, the duo already showcasing a variety of sounds that the duo would go on to develop into a diverse but continually consistent catalogue.
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on 18 June 2001
Classic album, now remastered with beautiful packaging and excellent sleeve notes. A great bonus CD with several re-mixes and unreleased tracks. Even if you are just a small fan of the PSB, this is an essential purchase !!
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on 9 May 2001
"Please" was the first PSB album, and in itself is a rare gem of classy, moody tracks far removed from the "Go West" anthems of recent years. However, this re-release (along with their next 5 studio albums) comes with a new 2nd CD with B-sides, unreleased or until now never released on CD tracks and remixes. This makes it one of the most worthwhile times to buy PSB albums as you can not only sample their old material if you are unfamiliar with it, but also hear their much rarer output over the last 15 years some of which is superior to their better known singles. "Please" is much more raw than their later albums, but doesn't carry too much of that embarrassingly 80's sound. These are songs that are still strong today, and as relevent as ever. This is a classic album not only of the 80's but of the 20th century.
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VINE VOICEon 16 April 2012
A more polished, assured and potent debut you couldn't hope to find.

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. What I really like is the three part nature of the song - starting with the chorus before going into "You can tell I'm educated / I studied at the Sorbonne / Doctored in Mathematics / I could have been a don" but I love the "Oh there's a lot of opportunities" and of course the crashing rhythms formed of thunderous stabs on an "orchestra" preset. Yeah, it's about Thatcherism, a subject Tennant and Lowe would return to, but doesn't it sound great.

Love Comes Quickly a sweet and tender meditation on the subject of love a great single but bridging to the wonderful Suburbia which I would again rate as iconic - particularly in the light of our recent riots! Still relevant and full of truth in the line "I only wanted something else to do but hang around". Again, the boys use those sound affects - the sounds, the distant rioting, the sirens but creating a soundscape, not a polemic.

What was "Side Two" perhaps not as gobsmackingly brilliant, but great songs in here to with "I want a lover" really a dance floor classic and "Why don't we live together" ( sooner or later, this happens to everyone, to everyone ) a sing out loud kick your shoes off slice of joie de vivre.

The Pet Shop Boys had arrived. They were not going away and they were about to give us some of the smartest cleverest and most enjoyable pop music anyone could hope to have.
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on 5 August 2010
This album was for it's time,(and still is), fantastic!

It was perfect to announce their arrival to the world and would form a sequence of great material from the late eighties through to the nineties and beyond.

If you think they are just all pretty synth ditty's, try listening to some of the lyrics : some of the most thought provoking and cutting words around.

You wait till later, 'till later tonight.............
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on 24 February 2013
This is the Debut album of PSBs but the two artists were by no means debutantes when they recorded it. Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe started making music together in 1981 and were "educated" in the tricks of the trade by legendary producer Bobby Orlando in New York City in 1984. After having released their first version of "West End Girls", the band broke up with Bobby O, Neil went on to take singing lessons to give his voice (and his remarkable, very original tone) new depth and the "reborn" band released a new version of "West End Girls" in October 1985, their single "Love comes quickly" in February 1986, both being included in this Debut LP, "Please" (released in March 1986).
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.
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on 27 February 2011
I adore this album this is without a doubt the greatest PSB album ever
two divided by zero - great song for tavelling and just a stylishly cool song
suburbia - this is the original version i think and its more stripped down and simple yet very effective, incredible
west end girls - wow...its impossible to explain how amazing this song is
Why dont we live together - "there comes a time in everyones life, when all the parties every night, there not enough, you want something more...I want you...I want you" and after that line I am in love with Neil tennant, this song is a great example of just how good Tennants vocals are, they are sensational and this song shows them off brilliantly (best song on album) Every PSB fan must own this album.
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