ARTIST: Pet Shop Boys
YEAR RELEASED: 1986
CHART ACTION: #7 US, #3 UK
SINGLES: West End Girls (#1 US, #1 UK), Love Comes Quickly (#62 US, #19 UK), Opportunities (Let’s Make Lots of Money) (#10 US, #11 UK), Suburbia (#70 US, #8 UK)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Two Divided by Zero
LINEUP: Neil Tennant, Chris Lowe
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: UK electronic dance duo releases a lush, synth-driven record full of danceable and hook-filled tunes.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: One of the ubiquitous songs of the 80’s is “West End Girls”. That thing is played in supermarkets, on radio stations, as bumper music on TV. It’s still everywhere – and that’s a testament to the Pet Shop Boys’ ability to create memorable hooks and lush arrangements using Lowe’s synthesizers and Tennant’s gifts of vocal and melody.
The rest of the album, while not as memorable, is just as hook-filled. Singles like “Opportunities” show the sarcastic side of Tennant, while “Two Divided By Zero” is inventive by using samples along with the synths.
It’s a darn good debut, and more than just an album of the 80’s. The sound is pretty timeless.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: “Opportunities” and “West End Girls” were originally released a year before the album came out, but in different mixes and recordings that the duo scrapped when they left the producer.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes, a whole second disk of b-sides and remixes.
GRADE: A-: While this definitely is an 80’s album, it sound doesn’t place it in that decade. It was rather forward looking in sound and style.