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Introspective (Pet Shop Boys album).jpg
One of several CD editions
Studio album by Pet Shop Boys
Released 11 October 1988[1]
Recorded 1987–1988 at Sarm West Studios and Advision Studios, London[2]
Length 48:08
Label EMI Manhattan (US/Canada)
Parlophone (UK)
Producer Pet Shop Boys, Trevor Horn, Stephen Lipson, Lewis A. Martineé, David Jacob, Julian Mendelsohn
Pet Shop Boys chronology
Singles from Introspective
  1. "Always on My Mind"
    Released: 30 November 1987
  2. "Domino Dancing"
    Released: 12 September 1988
  3. "Left to My Own Devices"
    Released: 14 November 1988
  4. "It's Alright"
    Released: 26 June 1989
Vinyl edition
Introspective pet shop boys vinyl edition.jpg
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4/5 stars[3]
Los Angeles Times3.5/4 stars[4]
Rolling Stone2/5 stars[5]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide4/5 stars[6]
Spin Alternative Record Guide10/10[7]
The Village VoiceA−[8]

Introspective is the third studio album by English synthpop duo Pet Shop Boys. It was first released on 11 October 1988 and is the Pet Shop Boys' second-best-selling album, selling over 4.5 million copies worldwide (their fifth studio album, Very, sold more than 5 million copies).

It is so named because "all the songs, although it's a dance album, are introspective". Perhaps the biggest change in Pet Shop Boys' sound evident on this album is an increasing attention to orchestration using real orchestras, particularly on the Trevor Horn-produced "Left to My Own Devices", which took months to produce.


The album was unusual in that it completely reversed the typical process by which pop/dance acts released singles. Instead of releasing an album of regular-length (3–5-minute) songs, then releasing more lengthy remixes of those songs on subsequent singles, Introspective was released as an LP consisting of songs that all lasted six minutes or more. Songs from the album that were released as singles were released as shorter, more radio-friendly mixes. Of the four tracks on the album that were released as singles—"Left to My Own Devices", "Domino Dancing", "Always on My Mind", (which was released prior to the album) and "It's Alright"—none was released as a radio single in the same form that they appeared on the album.

It is also notable that of the seven songs on the album (track five being a medley of two songs), only two were actually written specifically for this project— those being "Left to My Own Devices" and "Domino Dancing". "Always on My Mind" and "It's Alright" are both cover versions, "I Want a Dog" is a song that previously appeared as B-side of the single "Rent" and "I'm Not Scared" is their own version of a song they had previously written for Patsy Kensit's pop group Eighth Wonder. "Always on My Mind" was re-recorded for this album and mixed with "In My House", a new acid-house track on the album which expanded the lyrics to the song.

Introspective was re-released in 2001 (as were the group's first six albums) as Introspective/Further Listening. The re-released version was digitally remastered and came with a second disc of B-sides and previously unreleased material from around the time of the album's original release. Yet another re-release followed on 9 February 2009, under the title Introspective: Remastered. This version contains only the 6 tracks on the original. With the 2009 re-release, the 2001 2CD re-release was discontinued. On 2 March 2018, the 2CD version of the album was re-released again, this time featuring newly remastered versions of the tracks. It was also released as a digital download and on vinyl.

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. It peaked at No. 2 in the UK Albums Chart, behind U2's Rattle and Hum, and was certified Platinum in Spain.[9]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe except "Always on My Mind" (written by Johnny Christopher, Mark James and Wayne Carson) and "It's Alright" (written by Sterling Void)

  1. "Left to My Own Devices" – 8:16
  2. "I Want a Dog" – 6:15
  3. "Domino Dancing" – 7:40
  4. "I'm Not Scared" – 7:23
  5. "Always on My Mind/In My House" – 9:05
  6. "It's Alright" – 9:24

Further Listening 1988–1989[edit]

  1. "I Get Excited (You Get Excited Too)" – 5:35 **
  2. "Don Juan" (demo version) – 4:22
  3. "Domino Dancing" (demo version) – 4:47
  4. "Domino Dancing" (alternative version) – 4:52
  5. "The Sound of the Atom Splitting" – 5:13
  6. "What Keeps Mankind Alive?" – 3:26
  7. "Don Juan" (disco mix) – 7:35
  8. "Losing My Mind" (disco mix) – 6:09
  9. "Nothing Has Been Proved" (demo for Dusty) – 4:51 *
  10. "So Sorry, I Said" (demo for Liza) – 3:26 *
  11. "Left to My Own Devices" (7" mix) – 4:47
  12. "It's Alright" (10" version) – 4:47
  13. "One of the Crowd" – 3:56
  14. "It's Alright" (7" version) – 4:20
  15. "Your Funny Uncle" – 2:18


  • (*) Previously unreleased.
  • (**) Not the same version featured on Alternative.


Guest musicians

  • Richard Niles – orchestra arrangement and conduction on track 1
  • Sally Bradshaw – additional vocals on track 1
  • Frankie Knuckles – mix and additional production on track 2
  • Josh Milian – piano solo on track 2
  • Fro Sossa and Mike Bast – additional keyboards on track 3
  • Nestor Gomez – guitar on track 3
  • Tony Conception, Kenneth William Faulk, Dana Tebor and Ed Calle – brass on track 3
  • The Voice in Fashion – backing vocals on track 3
  • Blue WeaverFairlight CMI programming on track 4
  • Andy Richards and Gary Maughan – Fairlight CMI programming on track 5
  • Judy Bennett, Sharon Blackwell, H Robert Carr, Mario Friendo, Derek Green, Michael Hoyte, Herbie Joseph, Paul Lee, Gee Morris, Dee Ricketts, Iris Sutherland and Yvonne White – additional backing vocals on track 6

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1988) Peak
Argentine Albums Chart[10] 1
Australian Albums Chart[11] 44
Austrian Albums Chart[12] 8
Canadian Albums Chart[13] 68
German Albums Chart[14] 2
New Zealand Albums Chart[15] 15
Norwegian Albums Chart[16] 14
Swedish Albums Chart[17] 5
Swiss Albums Chart[18] 2
UK Albums Chart[19] 2
US Billboard 200[20] 34


Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Canada (Music Canada)[21] Platinum 100,000^
Finland (Musiikkituottajat)[22] N/A 32,840[23]
Germany (BVMI)[24] Gold 250,000^
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[25] Platinum 100,000^
Sweden (GLF)[27] Gold 50,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[28] Gold 25,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[29] 2× Platinum 600,000^
United States (RIAA)[30] Gold 500,000^

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


  1. ^ "Introspective". Pet Shop Boys. Retrieved 29 December 2016. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Introspective – Pet Shop Boys". AllMusic. Retrieved 26 June 2011. 
  4. ^ Hunt, Dennis (13 November 1988). "Dancing and Thinking". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 9 November 2015. 
  5. ^ Coleman, Mark (1 December 1988). "Pet Shop Boys: Introspective". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 13 July 2007. Retrieved 24 September 2015. 
  6. ^ Hull, Tom (2004). "Pet Shop Boys". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian. The New Rolling Stone Album Guide. Simon & Schuster. pp. 630–31. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8. 
  7. ^ Weisbard, Eric; Marks, Craig, eds. (1995). Spin Alternative Record Guide. Vintage Books. ISBN 0-679-75574-8. 
  8. ^ Christgau, Robert (14 March 1989). "Christgau's Consumer Guide". The Village Voice. New York. Retrieved 29 April 2013. 
  9. ^ "Solo Exitos 1959–2002 Ano A Ano: Certificados 1979–1990". Solo Exitos 1959–2002 Ano A Ano. 
  10. ^ "CAPIF – Representando a la Industria Argentina de la Música" [CAPIF – Representing the Music Industry of Argentina] (in Spanish). CAPIF. 
  11. ^ "Pet Shop Boys – Introspective". Retrieved 29 September 2011. 
  12. ^ "Pet Shop Boys – Introspective" (in German). Retrieved 29 September 2011. 
  13. ^ "RPM Search". Library and Archives Canada. 
  14. ^ "Charts-Surfer". 
  15. ^ "Pet Shop Boys – Introspective". Retrieved 29 September 2011. 
  16. ^ "Pet Shop Boys – Introspective". Retrieved 29 September 2011. 
  17. ^ "Pet Shop Boys – Introspective". Retrieved 29 September 2011. 
  18. ^ "Pet Shop Boys – Introspective" (in German). Retrieved 29 September 2011. 
  19. ^
  20. ^ "Introspective > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums" at AllMusic. Retrieved 29 September 2011.
  21. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Pet Shop Boys – Introspective". Music Canada. 
  22. ^ "Pet Shop Boys" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. 
  23. ^
  24. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Pet Shop Boys; 'Actually')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. 
  25. ^ "Spanish album certifications – SPet Shop Boys – ourney Through "The Secret Life of Plants"" (PDF) (in Spanish). Productores de Música de España.  Select album under "Chart", enter 1988 in the field "Year". Select '' in the field "Semana". Click on "Search Charts"
  26. ^ Sólo Éxitos 1959–2002 Año A Año: Certificados 1979–1990 (in Spanish), Iberautor Promociones Culturales, ISBN 8480486392, retrieved 27 April 2018 
  27. ^ "Guld- och Platinacertifikat − År 1987−1998" (PDF) (in Swedish). IFPI Sweden. 
  28. ^ "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards (Pet Shop Boys; 'Introspective')". IFPI Switzerland. Hung Medien. 
  29. ^ "British album certifications – Pet Shop Boys – Introspective". British Phonographic Industry.  Select albums in the Format field. Select Platinum in the Certification field. Enter Introspective in the search field and then press Enter.
  30. ^ "American album certifications – Pet Shop Boys – Introspective". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH