dispatches from the pop scene...minus the corn syrup.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Pet Shop Boys 'Format': 1996 - 2009 B-sides Collected For February 2012 Release

One of the best purchases I ever blew my entire weekly allowance on while away at university, in September 1995, was Pet Shop Boys' complete-at-the-time B-sides compilation Alternative. As classic as their singles from that golden age of their career are considered to be, often so to were there equal marvels on the flip sides — and here they were, at last collected on one album! (Well, on two discs, at least.)

And so today, 16 years later, Pet Shop Boys officially announced their forthcoming follow-up to Alternative, which is called Format. It's another two-disc affair that's due out on February 6, 2012 (a day before my birthday).

According to the Boys' official site:
"...it celebrates the duo's prolific song-writing and recording by collecting 38 b-sides and bonus tracks originally released on singles from 1996 to 2009. The album will be available digitally and on double-CD. All tracks have been remastered and the CD booklet features an interview with Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe by Jon Savage (author of England's Dreaming and Teenage)."
Strange that they didn't just extend to 2010 and tack on the B-sides ("I Cried For Us" and "Glad All Over") from last year's Ultimate single "Together."

Anyway, Pet Shop Boys' site also notes that the duo are working on their 11th studio album, which is "due for release in early autumn next year."

Below is the tracklist for Format. The second CD is the clear winner in my book, given "We're The Pet Shop Boys" ("Miracles" B-side), "The Resurrectionist" ("I'm With Stupid" B-side) and the 7-inch version of "In Private" ("Minimal" B-side).

Still, will be good to re-discover some of these gems.

1. The truck driver and his mate
2. Hit and miss
3. In the night (1995)
4. Betrayed
5. How I learned to hate rock 'n' roll
6. Discoteca (New Version)
7. The calm before the storm
8. Confidential (Demo for Tina)
9. The boy who couldn't keep his clothes on
10. Delusions of grandeur
11. The view from your balcony
12. Disco potential
13. Silver age
14. Screaming
15. The ghost of myself
16. Casting a shadow
17. Lies
18. Sexy Northerner

1. Always
2. Nightlife
3. Searching for the face of Jesus
4. Between two islands
5. Friendly fire
6. We're the Pet Shop Boys
7. Transparent
8. I didn't get where I am today
9. The Resurrectionist
10. Girls don't cry
11. In private (7-inch mix): Pet Shop Boys with Elton John
12. Blue on blue
13. No time for tears (7-inch mix)
14. Bright young things
15. Party song
16. We're all criminals now
17. Gin and Jag
18. After the event
19. The former enfant terrible
20. Up and down



  • At 7:26 PM, Blogger Patrick said…

    Fantastic news!!! These B-Sides are some of the most essential songs in their catalog.

  • At 12:53 AM, Blogger Todd said…

    uncergIndeed. I love you. I didn't know this was coming.

    God Bless Chartwhore!

  • At 12:52 PM, Anonymous 17days said…

    i'm dying for the booklet for this... and i think, based on the track-list, this is an even better collection than 95's ALTERNATIVE.

  • At 10:39 AM, Blogger wpmsd said…

    On their last album, Yes, they did the equivalent of a DVD commentary. On iTunes, it's a 45 minute play-through of the album in the background while the PSBs talk about the tracks. It's wonderful. Too bad more artists don't do that. I'd buy more full albums.

  • At 11:53 AM, Blogger D'luv said…

    Just realized, no 7" version of "Fugitive" (which was on the German "Beautiful People" single) :(

    Todd, I do feel blessed, My Chylde.

    17days, yes - eight more songs than that one, too!

    wpmsd, I only listened to that once, and sadly, it got lost when my last computer crashed two years ago. Must find again.

    Patrick, agreed!

  • At 1:25 PM, Blogger jason cawood said…

    the inclusion of "discoteca" (new version) is surprising, since it's more of a-side remix than a b-side. i think i would have preferred to see "fugitive" or "this used to be the future" instead, both of which are conspicuously omitted.

    otherwise, i'm really looking forward to this.


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