Pet Shop Boys – Actually

ARTIST: The Pet Shop Boys                 PetShopBoysActually

TITLE:  Actually

YEAR RELEASED: 1987

CHART ACTION: #25 US, #2 UK

SINGLES: It’s a Sin (#9 US, #3 Dance, #1 UK), What Have I Done to Deserve This (#2 US, #1 Dance, #2 UK), Rent (#8 UK), Heart (#1 UK)

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Shopping

LINEUP: Neal Tennant, Chris Lowe

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Second album by the dance pop duo is a world-wide smash, and solidifies their claim to be the leaders of dance pop.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Sometimes sounding like they’d rather be somewhere else, the Pet Shop Boys make another album that filled turntables and dance floors in 1987. It still sounds fresh today, even if everyone knows the main songs.

Tennant and Lowe’s pop craft is on display with the big hit “What Have I Done to Deserve This”, while many of the other cuts pair their dance sounds with more serious lyrics and themes. It’s not all sunshine and parties on this album.

That serious element doesn’t make it as ear candy fun as their first album, as a couple of the slower cuts aren’t as successful musically. It’s still fun for the most part, though the US market didn’t rush out to embrace it as they did their debut.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: Dusty Springfield, featured on the big hit “What Have I Done to Deserve This”, had a career renaissance after this was released.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes, a version with remixes and extended cuts.

GRADE: B+: I prefer their debut. This is OK but the tone shift on a couple tracks leaves me unsatisfied.

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