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Actually
Intro
Studio album by Pet Shop Boys
Released 10 October, 1988
Label Parlophone
Producer(s) Trevor Horn, Stephen Lipson, Lewis A. Martinée, David Jacob, Julian Mendelsohn, Pet Shop Boys
Pet Shop Boys chronology
Actually Introspective Behaviour

Introspective was the third studio album released by the band. It featured only six songs, mainly in remix or extended form.

Production and Recording Edit

The idea for this record was to write (or use) songs that were the extremely long, and then edit them down for radio play. This was of course the opposite of what everyone else was doing at the time, which was to write four-minute songs and then expand them for single releases. Neil: "The idea also was to have an album where every track was a single. And in fact five out of the six of them were, because 'I'm Not Scared' was a single for Patsy Kensit, or rather for her group Eighth Wonder."

Two previously released tracks were reinvented for the record. I Want A Dog, the b-side to 'Rent' was remixed in a club style by Frankie Knuckles, and the #1 hit Always On My Mind was remixed and rewritten with a rap at the end of it. The last track, It's Alright was a cover version of a house track written by Sterling Void.

The title for this was going to be 'Bounce' since someone observed the songs had bouncy baselines. There was also an unused song called 'Bounce' written at the time.

Personnel Edit

This album marked the first time they worked with producer Trevor Horn on two tracks 'Left To My Own Devices' and 'It's Alright' which were the second and third singles from the release. They also collaborated with Exposé's producer Lewis A. Martinée to achieve a latin sound on 'Domino Dancing' which was the first single.

Releases and VersionsEdit

'Introspective' was released worldwide in all formats.

There are limited 3-disc record sets, with one track per side which have enlarged center labels that are quite valuable now. An extremely rare 10 copy edition of the 3xLP pressed in clear vinyl is worth well over £700 (US $1,306) at the time of this writing.

TracksEdit

There are no mix names listed on the releases, they are identified here only for reference purposes.

8.16 Left To My Own Devices
6.15 I Want A Dog (Frankie Knuckles Mix)
7.40 Domino Dancing (Disco Mix)
7.23 I'm Not Scared
9.05 Always On My Mind/In My House
9.24 It's Alright

Design and Packaging Edit

The idea for the coloured stripes was designer Mark Farrow's. "He had some book explaining how colours go together," said Neil. "There were pages and pages of stripes. That was probably the first sleeve we designed thinking of it as a CD rather than as a record sleeve." They had hoped the vibrancy of the colours would boost album sales; perhaps when they saw a TV test pattern, they would be reminded to buy this album. The order of the stripe colors vary depending on the format of the record, be it CD, cassette or LP.

Ironically, their biggest selling album to date does not feature the band on the cover.

The name of the dog Neil and Chris hold in the inner photographs is Booblies. Booblies also appeared with the band on the British children's show 'Going Live' where it attacked one of the puppets. These photos were taken by Eric Watson

The original sleeve states that the total length of the album is 50.03 when in fact it is 48.03. Neil admits that this was his error; he added up the song lengths incorrectly.

Reception Edit

Neil Tennant, in a speech he gave to the Oxford Union, said that he regretted releasing Introspective so soon after Actually as he felt that the 12" nature of the songs may have put some fans off the band and that this probably impacted on the sales of Behaviour, the subsequent album which is critically regarded as the Pet Shop Boys' finest album but commercially is one of their least successful.

Nevertheless, Introspective remains, according to Tennant, the best-selling Pet Shop Boys album internationally. Under normal circumstances, its first-week sales should have secured it a number one chart placing. However, it had the misfortune to be released the same week as U2's Rattle and Hum, which sold a massive 360,000 copies -- setting a new record for the highest first-week sales of any album. This continued Pet Shop Boys' run of bad luck with album release dates; just over a year earlier, Actually had been denied a number one placing in similar circumstances by the previous record-holder, Michael Jackson's 'Bad'.

Chart DetailsEdit

  • UK: #2
  • USA: #34
  • Denmark: #2
  • Netherlands: #11
  • Norway: #14

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