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This article is about the Pet Shop Boys album. For the album by Amber Smith, see Introspective (Amber Smith album). For the album by John Holt, see John Holt (singer). For other uses, see Introspection (disambiguation).
Introspective (Pet Shop Boys album).jpg
One of CD editions
Studio album by Pet Shop Boys
Released 11 October 1988
Recorded 1987–1988
Genre Synthpop, dance-pop, disco
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
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars[1]
Los Angeles Times 3.5/4 stars[2]
Rolling Stone 2/5 stars[3]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 4/5 stars[4]
Spin Alternative Record Guide 9/10[5]
The Village Voice A–[6]

Introspective is the third studio album by the English synthpop duo Pet Shop Boys. It was first released in 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 worldwide.)

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 six tracks on the album 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.

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.

Track listing[edit]

All the songs were 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" (seven-inch mix) – 4:47
  12. "It's Alright" (ten-inch version) – 4:47
  13. "One of the Crowd" – 3:56
  14. "It's Alright" (seven-inch version) – 4:20
  15. "Your Funny Uncle" – 2:18

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

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1988) Peak
Argentine Albums Chart[7] 1
Australian Albums Chart[8] 44
Austrian Albums Chart[9] 8
Canadian Albums Chart[10] 68
German Albums Chart[11] 2
New Zealand Albums Chart[12] 15
Norwegian Albums Chart[13] 14
Swedish Albums Chart[14] 5
Swiss Albums Chart[15] 2
UK Albums Chart[16] 2
US Billboard 200[17] 34


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


  1. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Introspective – Pet Shop Boys". AllMusic. Retrieved 26 June 2011. 
  2. ^ Hunt, Dennis (13 November 1988). "Dancing and Thinking". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 9 November 2015. 
  3. ^ Coleman, Mark (1 December 1988). "Pet Shop Boys: Introspective". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 13 July 2007. Retrieved 24 September 2015. 
  4. ^ Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian, eds. (2004). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide. Simon & Schuster. p. 630. ISBN 0-743-20169-8. 
  5. ^ Weisbard, Eric; Marks, Craig, eds. (1995). Spin Alternative Record Guide. Vintage Books. p. 307. 
  6. ^ Christgau, Robert (14 March 1989). "Christgau's Consumer Guide". The Village Voice (New York). Retrieved 29 April 2013. 
  7. ^ "CAPIF – Representando a la Industria Argentina de la Música" [CAPIF – Representing the Music Industry of Argentina] (in Spanish). CAPIF. 
  8. ^ "Pet Shop Boys – Introspective". Retrieved 29 September 2011. 
  9. ^ "Pet Shop Boys – Introspective" (in German). Retrieved 29 September 2011. 
  10. ^ "RPM Search". Library and Archives Canada. 
  11. ^ "Charts-Surfer". 
  12. ^ "Pet Shop Boys – Introspective". Retrieved 29 September 2011. 
  13. ^ "Pet Shop Boys – Introspective". Retrieved 29 September 2011. 
  14. ^ "Pet Shop Boys – Introspective". Retrieved 29 September 2011. 
  15. ^ "Pet Shop Boys – Introspective" (in German). Retrieved 29 September 2011. 
  16. ^ "Introspective". Archived from the original on 23 July 2012. Retrieved 29 September 2011. 
  17. ^ "Introspective > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums" at AllMusic. Retrieved 29 September 2011.