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Pet Shop Boys – Actually (1987)

December 2, 2013

[Album 265/1001]220px-PetShopBoysActually

Pet Shop Boys (PSB) are one of the more consistent duos in the business, both musically and aesthetically.

I suppose the music & artwork for Actually may not be as immediately exciting as the hit-filled, orange ‘bumpy’ packaged Very

That being said, the succinct title/indifferent yawning pose is consistent with the memorable album cover/one-word title format employed throughout their discography.

Thankfully, the tunes also live up to expectations.

Perhaps it’s human nature to compare everything to your favourites; in my case, all roads inevitably lead back to The Smiths.

As Johnny Marr & co. did a few years prior with Sandie Shaw, PSB teamed up here with another 60s songstress, Dusty Springfield, on the excellent What Have I Done to Deserve This?

“80s pop” has not always been a desirable label but in each case, the music (and style for that matter) has aged remarkably well.

Though the instrumentation couldn’t have been further from The Smiths: Morrissey famously refused to allow synthesizers on the early records & PSB had no use for guitars!

Now PSB isn’t quite in the same stratosphere but each group has a trio of albums among the 1001.  To be included with my favourite Mancunians in these past several sentences is certainly a credit to PSB.

How do they do it?  Neil Tennant’s description sums up their enduring appeal nicely,  “[The Pet Shop Boys] are in pop but not of it.”

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From → 1980s

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