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4.5 out of 5 stars
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4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 1 November 2010
Okay so let's get the objections out of the way first. 2003's two-disc compilation PopArt is (despite criminally including the album version of Heart rather than the wah-wah disco ecstasy single mix) the definitive PSB singles collection until we fans finally get a (no doubt beautifully designed) singles box set. And yet there is a significant proportion of the fanbase who would argue that 1991's Discography is the better album, simply because there is less filler and the roll call of hits from the group's imperial epoch is inexorably sublime.

Ultimate is therefore more akin to an updated version of Discography than PopArt, including as it does most of their biggest hits: West End Girls, It's a sin, What have I done to deserve this?, Always on my mind, Heart, Go West, et al. The first part is basically what's made PSB an unlikely festival headliner over the last decade; a catalogue of classic synth-pop hits to thrill the crowd between costume changes and theatrical set-pieces. That's proved by the Glastonbury performance on the excellent DVD.

The latter tracks on Ultimate are a resume of what they've done in the years since their commercial peak: the New York soul-tinged Before and summer samba vibe of Se a vida e (both from 1996's Bilingual), Nightlife's Village People homage New York City boy (1999), and the electro-rock balladry of Home and Dry from 2002's underrated Release; 2003's gorgeously electronic Miracles, the political satire of I'm with Stupid from 2006's Fundamental, and last year's Xenomania-produced Love etc. The new single Together is exactly how they should sound in 2010; a ravey techno waltz towards mutual destruction.

Yes there's no Opportunities, Rent, So hard, or Can you forgive her? but as a snapshot of what pop music was like in the years B.X.F. it's worth five stars for the first eleven tracks alone.
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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.
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VINE VOICEon 1 November 2010
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.
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VINE VOICEon 1 November 2010
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.
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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.
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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!
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on 29 February 2012
Whilst diehard PBS fans will already own the tracks found here,it really is worth the money just 4 the DVD
Which includes the Glastonbury show& lots of other videos that highlight the longevity of this fine band.the cd is great too,especially for new fans ,overall an excellent purchase
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on 2 November 2010
The closing track "Together" recorded especially for this collection illustrates that the boys are still at the peak of their powers. "Ultimate" is their third greatest hits collection and while it omits some of their classic tracks including "Rent", "Can you forgiver her?" and "Opportunities", still shows just how vital they have been during the past 25 years. With a ballet on the horizon, diehard fans have something special to look forward to. On the other hand, the purpose of this CD is to remind the public just how essential their music is.
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on 14 November 2011
I must confess to not having listened to the Pet Shop Boys before. I do not know what I was doing in the eightes and nineties but I seemed to have missed them. However when I bought this album I was completely blown away by every single track. I am unable to say that one track is better than another because to me they are all equally great. However I feel that this album is a good introduction to PSB and I am now going to purchase a couple of other albums just to see what they are like.
Paul Walker
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on 4 July 2012
Bought this for my hubby who wanted to have their Glastonbury set as a permanent record. Great CD of all The Pet Shop Boys classic songs but the Glastonbury DvD is just superb.
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