Pet Shop Boys: Please

review pet shop boys x1 cong

We’ve had the later re-releases, now here are the remasters of the early albums, with Please being the debut.

Two things leap out: first, it’s truly majestic pop; second, they’d have to release a lot of terrible albums (which they haven’t) to even partially squander the goodwill albums like this built up.

No wonder people love them. West End Girls was the first hit, and possibly their best-known tune, but it’s not even the second or third best song on the album.

We struggled to get past opener Two Divided by Zero, as it’s so good we kept it on repeat. The core is a talking calculator Neil Tennant had bought for his father, repeating the oddly addictive lines “divided by, divided by”. Aside from making using use of a talking calculator, the lyrics are about planning to run away but never doing it, and the idea two people could not be split up by anything, or by nothing.

West End Girls you all know; the whole album is looking at that Gordon Gekko thing of the 80s, and it all being about money, sex and power, perhaps best illustrated on Opportunities (Let’s Make Lots of Money), a satire of the whole 80s, and based on the characters in Midnight Cowboy, both losers. The sleeve notes make the excellent point that very wealthy rock stars still get away with “we’re doing it for the music” while up and coming acts get accused of selling out.

CD2 is other mixes and things, with some 12” singles. These highlight the best and worst of 12” singles from back in the day: the 12” of Opportunities is great, others not so.

The sleeve notes are again excellent, as good as any you will read: the PSBs are easily as entertaining as the Gallagher brothers.

About jerobear

Weekly newspaper editor in Cheshire, England. I blog my editorials and the CDs I write about. I play drums, drink coffee, play music, meditate. I hate filling in forms.

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