Top positive review
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One for all PSB fans who didn't buy the singles
on 11 February 2012
The Pet Shop Boys are nothing if not consistent. As most fans will already know (and previous reviewers have already remarked) their B-sides are as good as their A-sides - a lot of them are discarded album tracks which see the band only marginally, if at all, more camp/experimental/humorous than we might ordinarily expect to find them.
Whilst I must admit I am more of a fan of the Pet Shop Boys' earlier work, I might be so bold as to venture that "Format" is an even stronger collection than their previous B-sides compilation Alternative. "Sexy Northerner" and "In Private" are worth the price of admission alone.
As ever, the collection is immaculately presented: 2CDs in cardboard slipcases with a booklet packaged in a thick card box (although, note to anyone reading this in future - PSB releases do tend to revert to jewel cases after a while). The booklet usefully contains the boys' (as interviewed by Jon Savage) comments on each and every track.
My only complaint would be that their awesome cover of Coldplay's Viva La Vida (from 2009's Christmas - now out of print) is not included - I suspect that may be a format limitation issue as both CD's are a 78 minute run-time). Nevertheless "Format" is a comprehensive and entertaining package.