released Mar 23rd, 2010

from the album - Pandemonium/Can You Forgive Her?

YouTube - Pet Shop Boys - Pandemonium/Can you forgive her? Saint-Petersburg

from all music

Postmodern ironists cloaked behind a veil of buoyantly melodic and lushly romantic synth pop confections, Pet Shop Boys established themselves among the most commercially and critically successful groups of their era with cheeky, smart, and utterly danceable music. Always remaining one step ahead of their contemporaries, the British duo navigated the constantly shifting landscape of modern dance-pop with rare grace and intelligence, moving easily from disco to house to techno with their own distinctive image remaining completely intact. Satiric and irreverent — yet somehow strangely affecting — they also transcended the seeming disposability of their craft, offering wry and thoughtful cultural commentary communicated by the Morse code of au courant synth washes and drum-machine rhythms.

Pet Shop Boys formed in London in August 1981, when vocalist Neil Tennant (a former editor at Marvel Comics who later gained some recognition as a journalist for Smash Hits magazine) first met keyboardist Chris Lowe (a onetime architecture student) at an electronics shop. Discovering a shared passion for dance music and synthesizers, they immediately decided to start a band. After dubbing themselves Pet Shop Boys in honor of friends who worked in such an establishment — while also obliquely nodding to the sort of names prevalent among the New York City hip-hop culture of the early 1980s — the duo's career first took flight in 1983, when Tennant met producer Bobby "O" Orlando while on a writing assignment. Orlando produced their first single, 1984's "West End Girls." The song was a minor hit in the U.S. but went nowhere in Britain, and its follow-up, "One More Chance," was also unsuccessful.

Upon signing to EMI, Pet Shop Boys issued 1985's biting "Opportunities (Let's Make Lots of Money)." When it too failed to attract attention, the duo's future appeared grim, but they then released an evocative new Stephen Hague production of "West End Girls," which became an international chart-topper. Its massive success propelled Pet Shop Boys' 1986 debut LP Please into the Top Ten, and when "Opportunities" was subsequently reissued, it too became a hit. Disco, a collection of dance remixes, was quickly rushed into stores, and in 1987 the duo resurfaced with the superb Actually, which launched three more Top Ten smashes — "It's a Sin," a lovely cover of the perennial "Always on My Mind," and "What Have I Done to Deserve This?," a duet between Tennant and the great Dusty Springfield. A documentary film titled It Couldn't Happen Here was released the following year.

Also in 1988, Pet Shop Boys issued their third studio LP, the eclectic Introspective. The single "Domino Dancing" was their final Top 40 hit in the U.S. The following year, the duo collaborated with a variety of performers, most notably Liza Minnelli, for whom they produced the 1989 LP Results. They also produced material for Springfield, and Tennant joined New Order frontman Bernard Sumner and ex-Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr in the group Electronic, scoring a hit with the single "Getting Away with It." Pet Shop Boys reconvened in 1990 for the muted, downcast Behavior, produced by Harold Faltermeyer. 1991 saw the release of their hit medley of U2's "Where the Streets Have No Name" and Frankie Valli's "Can't Take My Eyes Off You," and was followed in 1993 by Very, lauded among the duo's finest efforts to date.

After a three-year absence, Pet Shop Boys resurfaced with Bilingual, a fluid expansion into Latin rhythms. Nightlife followed in 1999 and sparked the dance club hit "New York City Boy," whose success allowed the group to tour the U.S. for the first time in eight years. While on tour, Tennant and Lowe also collaborated with playwright Jonathan Harvey on a musical surrounding gay life and societal criticisms, which the three had been planning since 1997. Closer to Heaven made its West End debut in 2001 and had a successful run for most of the year; Pet Shop Boys' score of the original cast recording was also a hit in the U.K. They still had time to make a record for themselves, too — in April 2002, Tennant and Lowe issued Release, and Disco 3 was compiled for release the following year.

Pet Shop Boys continued releasing material throughout the decade's latter half. In 2005, they put together a volume of the Back to Mine series and released their soundtrack designed to accompany the 1925 silent film Battleship Potemkin, a soundtrack they'd performed a year earlier at a free concert/screening in Trafalgar Square. A year later, they issued Fundamental, a mature, sometimes political album produced by Trevor Horn. The live album Concrete: In Concert at the Mermaid Theatre appeared at the end of the year, and Yes — a collaborative effort with the production crew Xenomania — marked the band's tenth studio effort in March 2009. While playing shows in support of that album, Pet Shop Boys also released a hits compilation, Party, to coincide with the Brazilian leg of their tour. In 2010, the tour was documented on the CD/DVD release Pandemonium.

album review

Some might say that the Pet Shop Boys have released more live documents than any synth pop band has a right to, but fans would wholeheartedly disagree. Joey Sixpack might not notice, but the duo takes great pride in making each tour’s set list unique, plus there are always some surprises for card-carrying fanclub members. Here, on this document of a 2009 concert at London’s O2 Arena, that means rarely heard live numbers like "Two Divided by Zero" and "Why Don't We Live Together?" plus the long-lost B-Side “Do I Have To?” Well-worn numbers like “Suburbia” and “Being Boring” are delivered as if they were fresh and new, while the triumphant performance of “West End Girls” shows that PSB have, shockingly, not grown tired of the tune. Kick it all off with a fantastic new mash-up of "More Than a Dream/Heart" and it’s a must own for the faithful, but when you add a well-shot DVD that captures the whole stage show, it’s the ultimate in PSB live sets. Borrowing an idea from Pink Floyd, the stage set features a wall of white blocks that are deconstructed, rearranged, and scattered as video is projected onto them. The effect is something dynamic and full of change that disappears when the lights come up, leaving nothing but the stark white stage and the fairly motionless duo. Clever, as always.

Track Listing

1."More Than a Dream" / "Heart" - 4:23
2."Did You See Me Coming?" - 3:41
3."Pandemonium" / "Can You Forgive Her?" - 4:05
4."Love etc." - 3:14
5."Go West" - 3:55
6."Two Divided by Zero" - 3:46
7."Why Don’t We Live Together?" - 4:17
8."New York City Boy" - 2:51
9."Always on My Mind" - 3:43
10."Closer to Heaven" / "Left to My Own Devices" - 5:40
11."Do I Have To?" - 3:14
12."King's Cross" - 5:11
13."Suburbia" - 5:12
14."Se a Vida é" / "Discoteca" / "Domino Dancing" / "Viva la Vida" - 6:01
15."It's a Sin" - 5:04
16."Being Boring" - 5:17
17."West End Girls" - 5:15