Pet Shop Boys have sold more than 50 million records worldwide, and are listed as the most successful duo in UK music history by The Guinness Book of Records. Three-time Brit Award winners and six-time Grammy nominees, since 1985 they have achieved forty-two Top 30 singles and 22 Top 10 hits in the UK Singles Chart, including four UK number ones: “West End Girls” (also number one on the US Billboard Hot 100), “It’s a Sin“, an acclaimed cover of “Always on My Mind” and “Heart“. Other hit songs include a cover of “Go West“, “Opportunities (Let’s Make Lots of Money)” (satire of Thatcherism) and “What Have I Done to Deserve This?” in a duet with Dusty Springfield. At the 2009 Brit Awards, Pet Shop Boys received an award forOutstanding Contribution to Music.
The Pop Kids—-
The Pop Kids [Radio Edit]—-Pretty much what you would expect from a short 3 minute radio edit, there is little new to be offered from this version. It is the infectious synth driven excellence of the track that drove me to buy this…besides as a collector with over 50 releases by PSB…you have to stay complete.
In Bits—-One of the best reasons to buy remixes from this band are the plethora of B-sides you get when you do. This is no exception. Filled with exceptional synth lines that would fit perfect on any release by the band, the vocal enters with a sardonic quality that is classic Neil. I guess it must be a British thing…lol. This is wonderfully sad but happy at the same time…it is that simple contradiction that always brings me back.
One-Hit Wonder—-Light at the onset….almost reminding me of early Depeche Mode, this is wonderfully addictive and poppy. This is a brilliant synth track that makes you smile and bob your head along with the simple lyrics and light- hearted feel of the song. Neil offers little to the track…this is all Chris….and it is fantastic 80’s style synth pop.
The Pop Kids [Deep Dub]—-I have never been a huge fan of dub remixes…but here it is as usual. The piano synth is heavy and laden with a deep feel as you would expect. The pace of the track is slower and fuller…with swirls and catches….mixed with the original for a longer dance floor version, I can see it as wonderful. Standing alone…it becomes a bit monotonous.
The Pop Kids [The Full Story Remix]—-This is a nice remix….seeming to push the vocal very forward in the song. The piano synth is so 90’s dance inspired you can’t help but love it. The breaks are nice for remixing and the tone of the song is very true to the original. It will be the breaks that make this a favorite to DJ’s.
*** out of 5
Twenty-Something [Radio Edit]—-Again, true to the original…this has a few more high hats in the underbelly of the synth line. The melody of the song is damn infectious….after a few listens…..you just fall in love with this.The slight reggae feel to the sound drives it along….my head is still bobbing back and forth.
The White Dress—-Beginning with a deep deep synth line, the song opens up a bit with a melody that makes you smile despite the less than happy feel of the whole thing. There are some nice underlying effects in the track that keep it interesting. The piano is syrupy sweet….Neil finally enters with his sad and forlorn vocal that makes you wonder exactly who he might be singing about. This is brilliant for a B-side. This is the REASON to collect…the surprises are brilliant!
Wiedershan—-The vocal is immediate and the piano is offered with no effects or synth at all. This is sedate….sad and forlorn…leaving you with a slight sadness that is hard to shake. I am so surprised at the tone of the vocal….Neil can still sing in that upper register with no problem what so ever…..just beautiful.
Twenty-Something [Los Evo Jerdis Remix]—-At the onset, this remix sounds more stripped bare…but a few lines in and the reggae infused sound I speak of becomes even more pronounced. The vocal is true to the original…it is the instrumentation that gives the track a larger feel. This sounds like Ace Of Base…lol. Not to say that is a bad thing…I love this remix…..stands alone as an original just fine.And really….it took me a bit to realize how biting this song really is to the younger generation. Classic lines referring to smartphones and issues you care about allow you to understand the point.
Twenty-Something [Konel Kovacs Remix]—-I really don’t much care for this version. Everything I loved about the track is stripped bare and gone from this remix. The sound is much more abrasive and has a slight annoying sound to it….I will pass…..everyone is allowed a mistake or two.
*** out of 5
Say It To Me—-
Say It To Me [New Radio Mix]—-This mix was a bit of a surprise for me…there are nice subtle changes in the synth lines that took me a second to realize. This is wonderfully upbeat and driven by the back drop vocals. I love this…I much prefer it to the album version. Wonderfully classic!
A Cloud In A Box—-Right from the onset of the intro, you are taken in by the ‘house’ synths that drive this track. The blips and the beeps that are spaced through the track make the pace of the song incredible. I love B-side surprises like this. This is as good as any Vince Clarke composition……I will smile for days. This makes me want to jump up and dance like no one is watching….but they might be. The spoken vocal is classic Neil Tennant….this could be on the very first album……
The Dead Can Dance—-The intro to this track is odd….not sounding like the Boys until Neil enters with his vocal. I’m not sure what this song is about, but it is sedate and a bit of a downer. I like it though…I can’t fault anything about it…and underlying in the whole thing, Chris makes his synth apparent. Neil has a nice back track that makes the song a bit larger. Nice.
Say It To Me [Stuart Price Alternative Mix]—-More house oriented than the original, this has Stuart Price written all over it…if you are familiar with his remixes, you can recognize the ebbs and flows that he is known for….stripping the song and making the chorus large and then ebbing back off again. I like this….but prefer the original over this somewhat schizo remix.
*** out of 5