Alternative (album)

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Alternative
Compilation album by Pet Shop Boys
Released 7 August 1995
Recorded 1986–1994
Genre Pop, dance, synthpop
Length 134:12
Label Parlophone
Producer Pet Shop Boys
Pet Shop Boys chronology
Disco 2
(1994)
Alternative
(1995)
Bilingual
(1996)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[1]
Robert Christgau (2-star Honorable Mention)[2]

Alternative is a compilation album by English synthpop duo Pet Shop Boys. It was first released in 1995.

Alternative is a 2-disc set, consisting of 30 B-sides in chronological order. The title Alternative was a last-minute change from the title that had been long saved for such an album, Besides, but that title was taken by American rock band Sugar, who released their own B-sides compilation two months prior.

Alternative only really gained popularity among devoted fans of Pet Shop Boys with the exception of the UK, where it entered the charts at #2.[3] A remake of the original 7-inch "Paninaro" entitled "Paninaro '95" was released as a single (which was featured in the later PopArt set) to promote the 2-disc compilation.

The cover of Alternative features photographs of Tennant and Lowe in fencing masks. The first copies of the CD have a lenticular image on the cover which shifts between the two photographs.

Neil Tennant admitted in a radio interview with Absolute Radio that a second B-side album may be released in 2010. This materialised on 11 November 2011 when the duo announced through Varsity that they would release another B-sides album in February 2012 titled Format.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe; except where indicated. 

Disc one
No. Title Writer(s) Featured on Length
1. "In the Night"     "Opportunities (Let's Make Lots of Money)" 4:50
2. "A Man Could Get Arrested" (Bobby Orlando version)   "West End Girls" 4:19
3. "That's My Impression" (disco mix)   "Love Comes Quickly" 5:18
4. "Was That What It Was?"     "Opportunities (Let's Make Lots of Money)" 5:14
5. "Paninaro"     "Suburbia" 4:40
6. "Jack the Lad"     "Suburbia" 4:31
7. "You Know Where You Went Wrong"     "It's a Sin" 5:51
8. "A New Life"   Tennant, Lowe, Helena Springs "What Have I Done to Deserve This?" 4:56
9. "I Want a Dog"     "Rent" 4:58
10. "Do I Have To?"     "Always on My Mind" 5:14
11. "I Get Excited (You Get Excited Too)"     "Heart" 4:54
12. "Don Juan"     "Domino Dancing" 3:54
13. "The Sound of the Atom Splitting" (extended version) Tennant, Lowe, Steve Lipson, Trevor Horn "Left to My Own Devices" 5:12
14. "One of the Crowd"     "It's Alright" 3:55
15. "Your Funny Uncle"     "It's Alright" 2:16
Disc two
No. Title Writer(s) Featured on Length
1. "It Must Be Obvious"     "So Hard" 4:24
2. "We All Feel Better in the Dark"     "Being Boring" 4:00
3. "Bet She's Not Your Girlfriend"     "Where the Streets Have No Name (I Can't Take My Eyes off You)" 4:28
4. "Losing My Mind"   Stephen Sondheim "Jealousy" 4:34
5. "Music for Boys"     "DJ Culture" 3:36
6. "Miserablism"     "Was It Worth It?" 4:10
7. "Hey, Headmaster"     "Can You Forgive Her?" 3:06
8. "What Keeps Mankind Alive?"   Bertolt Brecht, Kurt Weill "Can You Forgive Her?" 3:24
9. "Shameless"     "Go West" 5:02
10. "Too Many People"     "I Wouldn't Normally Do This Kind of Thing" 4:17
11. "Violence" (Hacienda Version)   "I Wouldn't Normally Do This Kind of Thing" 4:58
12. "Decadence"     "Liberation" 3:56
13. "If Love Were All"   Noël Coward "Yesterday, When I Was Mad" 2:59
14. "Euroboy"     "Yesterday, When I Was Mad" 4:27
15. "Some Speculation"     "Yesterday, When I Was Mad" 6:34
16. "Girls & Boys (Pet Shop Boys live in Rio)" (Blur cover, Japanese edition bonus track)   "Paninaro '95" 5:03

Personnel[edit]

Producers
  • Pet Shop Boys – all tracks except disc 1: track 13
  • Phil Harding – disc 1: track 1
  • Bobby O – disc 1: track 2, additional background vocals by Bobby O
  • Shep Pettibone – disc 1: track 7, additional production on disc 1: track 4
  • David Jacob – disc 1: track 8
  • Trevor Horn and Stephen Lipson – disc 1: track 13
  • Harold Faltermeyer – disc 2: track 6
  • Stephen Hague – additional production on disc 2: tracks 7 and 9
  • Jonathon Ruffle – disc 2: track 8
  • Richard Niles – disc 2: track 13
Guest musicians
  • Blue Weaver – Fairlight programming on disc 1: tracks 1 and 11, Hammond organ on disc 1: track 11
  • Adrien Cook – Fairlight programming on disc 1: tracks 5, 6 and 7
  • Helena Springs – additional vocals on disc 1: track 7
  • Stephen Lipson – guitar on disc 1: track 11
  • Shirley Lewis and Dee Lewis – additional vocals on disc 1: track 11
  • Chris Newman – assistant Fairlight programming on disc 1: track 12, additional programming on disc 2: track 4
  • Juliet Roberts – additional vocals on disc 2: track 2
  • Dominic Clarke – programming on disc 2: tracks 2 and 3
  • Gary Maughan – additional keyboards on disc 2: track 3
  • Scott Davidson – programming on disc 2: track 5
  • Harold Faltermeyer – programming on disc 2: track 6
  • Pete Gleadall – programming on disc 2: tracks 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14 and 15
  • Richard Coles – additional keyboards on disc 2: track 8
  • Carol Kenyon, Katie Kissoon and Tessa Niles – additional vocals on disc 2: track 9
  • Bruce Woolley – additional vocals on disc 2: track 10
  • J.J. Belle – guitar on disc 2: track 11
  • Sylvia Mason-James – additional vocals on disc 2: track 11
  • Johnny Marr – guitar on disc 2: track 12
  • Frank Ricotti – percussion and vibraphone on disc 2: track 12
  • Richard Niles – string arrangement and conduction on disc 2: track 12, arrangement and conduction on disc 2: track 13
  • Tony Walthers, Daniel Gaha & Lance Ellington – backing vocals on disc 2: track 13
  • Gerard Presencer – trumpet solo on disc 2: track 13

References[edit]

  1. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Pet Shop Boys: Alternative at AllMusic. Retrieved 30 September 2011.
  2. ^ Christgau, Robert. "Pet Shop Boys". RobertChristgau.com. Retrieved 30 September 2011. 
  3. ^ "Alternative". ChartStats.com. Retrieved 30 September 2011.