Release (Pet Shop Boys album)

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Release
Studio album by Pet Shop Boys
Released 1 April 2002
Recorded September 2000 – November 2001, Studio PSB, Sony Music Studios, London; Chillout, Berlin
Genre Synthpop, soft rock
Length 44:53
Label Parlophone
Producer Pet Shop Boys, Chris Zippel
Pet Shop Boys chronology
Nightlife
(1999)
Release
(2002)
Disco 3
(2003)
Pet Shop Boys studio album chronology
Nightlife
(1999)
Release
(2002)
Fundamental
(2006)
Singles from Release
  1. "Home and Dry"
    Released: 18 March 2002 (2002-03-18)
  2. "I Get Along"
    Released: 15 July 2002 (2002-07-15)
  3. "London"
    Released: 14 October 2002 (2002-10-14)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[1]
BBC (Unfavourable)[2]
Robert Christgau B+[3]
Drowned in Sound (6/10)[4]
Hour (3.5/5)[5]
NME (4/10)[6]
Now 2/5 stars[7]
PlayLouder (4/5)[8]
Rolling Stone 3.5/5 stars[9]
The Village Voice (favourable)[10]

Release is the eighth studio album by the English synthpop duo Pet Shop Boys. It was first released in 2002.

Background[edit]

After the release of their previous studio album, Nightlife, it was originally planned that they would release a greatest hits collection in the autumn of 2000 with the two new tracks "Positive Role Model" and "Somebody Else's Business".[11] While recording the new songs for the hits collection it was decided to produce a full studio album instead.

Release was the least commercially successful of all Pet Shop Boys albums to date, though still managed to sell 800,000 copies worldwide. In the UK it charted at number 7, in Germany at number 3.[12] On its first release, a limited run of metallic effect embossed sleeves were available in a choice of four colours: grey, blue, pink or red. In the USA, this limited run also came with a bonus CD including remixes and new tracks. The artwork was designed by Greg Foley of the New York design group and magazine publishers Visionaire and was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Recording Package.

The album marked a significant departure from previous work, being apparently guitar—and piano—driven. However the album was made like their previous albums with most tracks mainly programmed on computers; however the sampled or synthesised guitars and drum sounds chosen often sound "real" and the synthesisers always present are sometimes used to sound like guitars (the solo in "Birthday Boy", for instance, or the opening figure of "Home and Dry"). Ex-Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr was brought in later on in the sessions to play real electric and acoustic guitars on seven of the album's ten tracks. Apart from the track "London", recorded in Berlin with producer Chris Zippel, Pet Shop Boys produced the album themselves and then commissioned Michael Brauer (who mixed the first two albums by fellow Parlophone artists Coldplay) to mix it.

The original version of the album had eleven tracks but "I Didn't Get Where I Am Today" was removed from the album before release and later became a bonus track on the 2004 single "Flamboyant". Other tracks recorded during the sessions for the album which ended up as B-sides are "Between Two Islands", "Searching for the Face of Jesus", "Sexy Northerner" and "Always".[11] Another track, "Time on My Hands", appeared on the 2003 release, Disco 3.

The directors for all three music videos for the album's singles are photographers by trade: Wolfgang Tillmans directed "Home and Dry", Bruce Weber directed "I Get Along" (following his previous work on the "Being Boring" and "Se a vida é" videos), and Martin Parr directed "London". The Tillmans video, consisting almost entirely of footage of mice filmed at Tottenham Court Road tube station in the London Underground, is considered by some to have significantly undermined the commercial potential of the lead single, due to being deemed nearly unplayable by MTV and other music video channels.

Perhaps partly because of the modest commercial success of this album, and perhaps partly because of the habit of distancing themselves musically from their most recent work, Tennant and Lowe have since returned to their dance roots. One year after the release of Release, Pet Shop Boys released Disco 3 which included remixes of some of the songs from Release along with new material that they were working on at the time of writing/producing material for Release.

Track listing[edit]

Release[edit]

  1. "Home and Dry" – 4:21
  2. "I Get Along" – 5:49
  3. "Birthday Boy" – 6:26
  4. "London" – 3:46
  5. "E-Mail" – 3:55
  6. "The Samurai in Autumn" – 4:17
  7. "Love Is a Catastrophe" – 4:50
  8. "Here" – 3:15
  9. "The Night I Fell in Love" – 5:04
  10. "You Choose" – 3:10[12]

USA bonus disc[edit]

  1. "Home and Dry" (Ambient mix) – 5:29
  2. "Sexy Northerner" – 3:40
  3. "Always" – 5:06
  4. "Closer to Heaven" (Slow version) – 6:30
  5. "Nightlife" – 3:56
  6. "Friendly Fire" (Studio version) – 3:26
  7. "Break 4 Love" (UK radio mix) (with Peter Rauhofer) – 3:29
  8. "Home and Dry" (Blank & Jones mix) – 6:38[12]

CD-ROM content: "Home and Dry" (video)

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (2002) Peak
position
Australian Albums Chart[13] 62
Austrian Albums Chart[14] 15
Belgian Albums Chart (Wa)[15] 21
Danish Albums Chart[16] 9
Dutch Albums Chart[17] 71
Finnish Albums Chart[18] 22
French Albums Chart[19] 53
German Albums Chart[20] 3
Italian Albums Chart 27
Norwegian Albums Chart[21] 33
Swedish Albums Chart[22] 12
Swiss Albums Chart[23] 13
UK Albums Chart[24] 7
US Billboard 200[25] 73

Personnel[edit]

  • Neil Tennant – vocals, guitar, keyboards
  • Chris Lowe – keyboards, drum programming, additional vocals on track 1
Guest musicians
  • Pete Gleadall – programming and engineering on all tracks except 4
  • Johnny Marr – guitar on tracks 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 9 and 10
  • Jody Linscott – percussion on tracks 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 8, 9 and 10
  • Steve Walters – bass guitar on tracks 2, 3 and 9
  • Chris Zippel – keyboards on track 4
  • "Little Mike" – guitar and bass on track 4

References[edit]

  1. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Pet Shop Boys: Release > Review" at AllMusic. Retrieved 30 September 2011.
  2. ^ Hodges, Jacqueline (20 November 2002). "Pet Shop Boys Release Review". BBC Music. Retrieved 30 September 2011. 
  3. ^ Christgau, Robert (11 June 2002). "Down and Alt". The Village Voice (New York). ISSN 0042-6180. Retrieved 30 September 2011. 
  4. ^ Reed, Graham (11 April 2002). "Pet Shop Boys: Release". Drowned in Sound. Retrieved 30 September 2011. 
  5. ^ Burnett, Richard (4 April 2002). "Pet Shop Boys: Release". Hour (Montreal: Communications Voir). Retrieved 30 September 2011. 
  6. ^ Robinson, Peter (5 April 2002). "Pet Shop Boys : Release". NME (IPC Media). ISSN 0028-6362. Retrieved 30 September 2011. 
  7. ^ Liss, Sarah (4 April 2002). "Pet Shop Boys: Release". Now (Vol.21 No.31). ISSN 0712-1326. Retrieved 30 September 2011. 
  8. ^ Bee, Sarah (8 April 2002). "Release: Pet Shop Boys". PlayLouder. Archived from the original on 10 July 2003. 
  9. ^ Walters, Barry (23 April 2002). "Pet Shop Boys: Release". Rolling Stone. ISSN 0035-791X. Archived from the original on 20 February 2008. 
  10. ^ Lim, Dennis (7 May 2002). "October Symphonies". The Village Voice (New York). ISSN 0042-6180. Retrieved 30 September 2011. 
  11. ^ a b "Interviews – Diary Literally 25". Absolutely Pet Shop Boys. petshopboys.net. Retrieved 30 September 2011. 
  12. ^ a b c "Pet Shop Boys discography". Retrieved 1 October 2007. 
  13. ^ "The ARIA Report: Week Commencing 29 April 2002" (635). Pandora Archive. 15 May 2002. Retrieved 6 August 2011. 
  14. ^ "Pet Shop Boys – Release" (in German). austriancharts.at. Retrieved 30 September 2011. 
  15. ^ "Pet Shop Boys – Release" (in French). ultratop.be. Retrieved 30 September 2011. 
  16. ^ "Pet Shop Boys – Release". danishcharts.com. Retrieved 30 September 2011. 
  17. ^ "Pet Shop Boys – Release" (in Dutch). dutchcharts.nl. Retrieved 30 September 2011. 
  18. ^ "Pet Shop Boys – Release". finnishcharts.com. Retrieved 30 September 2011. 
  19. ^ "Pet Shop Boys – Release" (in French). lescharts.com. Retrieved 30 September 2011. 
  20. ^ "Die ganze Musik im Internet" [All the music on the Internet] (in German). musicline.de. 
  21. ^ "Pet Shop Boys – Release". norwegiancharts.com. Retrieved 30 September 2011. 
  22. ^ "Pet Shop Boys – Release". swedishcharts.com. Retrieved 30 September 2011. 
  23. ^ "Pet Shop Boys – Release" (in German). hitparade.ch. Retrieved 30 September 2011. 
  24. ^ "Release". chartstats.com. Archived from the original on 29 July 2012. Retrieved 30 September 2011. 
  25. ^ "Release > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums" at AllMusic. Retrieved 30 September 2011.