Alternative (album)

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Alternative
PetShopBoysAlternative.jpg
Compilation album by Pet Shop Boys
Released 7 August 1995
Recorded 1985–1994
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
SourceRating
Allmusic4.5/5 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[citation needed].

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", titled "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 tracks written by Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe; except where indicated.

Disc one
No.TitleWriter(s)Featured onLength
1."In the Night" "Opportunities (Let's Make Lots of Money)" (1985 release)4:50
2."A Man Could Get Arrested" (10" 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)" (1986 release)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.TitleWriter(s)Featured onLength
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" (Haçienda 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" (live in Rio; Japanese edition bonus track)Damon Albarn, Graham Coxon, Alex James, Dave Rowntree"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
  • 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

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[4] Silver 60,000^
United States (RIAA)[5] N/A 68,000[6]

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

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. 
  4. ^ "British album certifications – Pet Shop Boys – Alternative". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 28 April 2018.  Select albums in the Format field. Select Silver in the Certification field. Enter Alternative in the search field and then press Enter.
  5. ^ "American album certifications – Pet Shop Boys – Alternative". Recording Industry Association of America. 1 September 1996. Retrieved 14 January 2017.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 
  6. ^ "Ask Billboard". Billboard. 23 May 2006. Retrieved 28 April 2018.