Thirty years ago: When the Pet Shop Boys were actually “Very” good!
Having released their first best of collection in 1991 (“Discography”), Chris and Neil spend most of 1992 writing and preparing for their second studio album of the 1990’s. Unlike all the previous albums, this one was solely produced by the duo themseves and used the latest in technology and equipment to keep just that one step ahead of the rest. Recording was spread from London to New York into the early Spring of 1993 and by then the duo had enough songs to put together album number five.
The lead single needed to kick a punch, and it certainly did that. “Can You Forgive Her?” was the PSB sound but new and updated upon what had gone before. With a video that used that latest state of the art computer graphics and their now iconic cone hate, the Pet Shop Boys announced their return to one and all and in a big way. The track was a smash hit as was the follow up in the late Summer of 1993, a cover of the Village People’s “Go West“, which could even be better than the original(!) The song became their biggest hit thus far of the decade and their highest charting since “Heart” in 1988.
The album itself, “Very”, followed at the end of September 1993 and would prove their most fruitful, topping the UK chart, their first to do so, as well as being a number one across most of Europe, and a top twenty success in America, perhaps thanks to “Go West”, and would eventually go on to sell over four million copies.
“Very” featured three further chart hit singles with “I Wouldn’t Normally Do This Kind Of Thing”, “Liberation” and “Yesterday, When I Was Mad”, all of which were UK top twenty successes. “Very” has been re-issued on a number of occasions in both expanded form, and with different covers and CD casing with the raised profile of the cover art most prominent. As Chris and Neil prepare to release their most comprehensive anthology yet with “Smash” this Summer, they have been refreshing and upgrading the videos to many of their earlier hits with all from the “Very” period now available in HD.
Now thirty years old, “Very”, like any PSB album, loses none of its charm or quality and still sounds great three decades later. Have you made time for it recently? I guess that depends on whether you’re behind the cricket pavillion or the bicycle sheds…!
“Can You Forgive Her?” UK No.7, US Dance No.31
“Go West” UK No.2, US Dance No.25
“I Wouldn’t Normally Do This Kind Of Thing” UK No.13, US Dance No.36
“Yesterday, When I Was Mad” UK No.13, UK Dance No.27
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