Please (Pet Shop Boys album)

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Studio album by
Released24 March 1986
StudioAdvision Studios, London[1]
ProducerStephen Hague
Pet Shop Boys chronology
Singles from Please
  1. "West End Girls"
    Released: 28 October 1985
  2. "Love Comes Quickly"
    Released: 24 February 1986
  3. "Opportunities (Let's Make Lots of Money)"
    Released: 19 May 1986
  4. "Suburbia"
    Released: 22 September 1986
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4/5 stars[2]
Christgau's Record GuideA−[3]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music4/5 stars[4]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide4/5 stars[5]
Spin Alternative Record Guide8/10[6]

Please is the debut album by English electronic music duo Pet Shop Boys, released on 24 March 1986 by Parlophone Records in the United Kingdom and by EMI America Records in the United States. According to the duo, the album's title was chosen so that people had to go into a record shop and say "Can I have the Pet Shop Boys album, 'Please'?". Please spawned four singles: "West End Girls", "Opportunities (Let's Make Lots of Money)", "Suburbia", and "Love Comes Quickly"; "West End Girls" reached number one in both the UK and the US.

Background and composition[edit]

Please is musically simpler than but lyrically just as rich as Pet Shop Boys' later work. The instrumentals are comparable to other techno pop of this period. As with many early PSB albums, the lyrics were considered androgynous, the stories they contain being equally applicable to gay and heterosexual relationships. Tennant, in particular, enjoyed this ambiguity and refused to comment on his own sexuality until he came out shortly prior to the 1993 release of Very.

The tiny cover photograph enclosed by a sea of white has been seen by some design observers as a reaction to the traditional album cover. With the new CD cases of the time being necessarily smaller than designs seen on 12" albums, the passport-sized photograph is far removed from standard cover artwork. The actual size of the image is the same size as a 35mm photographic negative. Although some commentators have remarked that "Two Divided by Zero" samples a Texas Instruments Speak & Spell toy from the 1980s, this is a myth. Neil Tennant stated in an interview in the BC Radio documentary About Pet Shop Boys that the sample used on "Two Divided by Zero" was in fact a talking calculator he had bought for his father. The calculator was a Sharp Elsi Mate model EL-640.

Please was re-released on 4 June 2001 (as were most of the group's albums up to that point) as Please/Further Listening 1984–1986. The re-released version was not only digitally remastered but 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 of Please: Remastered. This version contains only the 11 tracks on the original. With the 2009 re-release, the 2001 2CD re-release was discontinued. On 2 March 2018 a new remastered edition of Further listening was released, with 2001 edition content.

"Suburbia" was dramatically remixed for the single release.

"Violence" was later re-recorded by the Pet Shop Boys for a charity concert at The Haçienda nightclub in the early 1990s. This version, known as the 'Haçienda version', was released as one of the B-sides to "I Wouldn't Normally Do This Kind of Thing" and was then made available on the B-sides album Alternative and the 2001 2-disc re-release of the Very album.

The Pet Shop Boys later sampled the Please version of "Love Comes Quickly" for their song "Somebody Else's Business", which appeared on the Disco 3 album.

"Tonight Is Forever" was later covered by Liza Minnelli on the Pet Shop Boys-produced album Results.

Track listing[edit]

All the songs were written by Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe except "Two Divided by Zero" written by Neil Tennant and Bobby Orlando and "Love Comes Quickly" written by Tennant/Lowe & Stephen Hague

  1. "Two Divided by Zero" – 3:32
  2. "West End Girls" – 4:41
  3. "Opportunities (Let's Make Lots of Money)" – 3:43
  4. "Love Comes Quickly" – 4:18
  5. "Suburbia" – 5:07
  6. "Opportunities (Reprise)" – 0:32
  7. "Tonight Is Forever – 4:30
  8. "Violence" – 4:27
  9. "I Want a Lover" – 4:04
  10. "Later Tonight" – 2:44
  11. "Why Don't We Live Together?" – 4:44

Further Listening 1984–1986[edit]

  1. "A Man Could Get Arrested" (twelve-inch B-side) – 4:11
  2. "Opportunities (Let's Make Lots of Money)" (full-length original seven-inch) - 4:36 *
  3. "In the Night" – 4:51
  4. "Opportunities (Let's Make Lots of Money)" (original twelve-inch mix) – 7:00 *
  5. "Why Don't We Live together?" (original New York mix) - 5:14 *
  6. "West End Girls" (Dance Mix) – 6:39
  7. "A Man Could Get Arrested" (seven-inch B-side) – 4:51
  8. "Love Comes Quickly" (Dance mix) – 6:50
  9. "That's My Impression" (Disco mix) – 5:19
  10. "Was That What It Was?" – 5:17
  11. "Suburbia" (The Full Horror) – 8:58
  12. "Jack the Lad" – 4:32
  13. "Paninaro" (Italian remix) – 8:38
  • Track #4 is a previously unreleased mix - different from the actual 12" version released in 1985 (Dance mix) and which reappeared again in 1986 (Original Dance mix).

(*) Previously unreleased.



Pet Shop Boys

  • Neil Tennant – lead vocals and backing vocals, guitars
  • Chris Lowe – synthesizers, programming, sequencers, samplers, computer-generated effects, electric piano and backing vocals

Guest musicians

  • Andy Mackay – saxophone on track 4
  • Helena Springs – additional vocals on tracks 2 & 6

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1986) Peak
Australia (Kent Music Report)[7] 10
Canadian Albums (RPM)[8] 3
Finnish Albums Chart[9] 4
German Albums (Media Control)[10] 38
New Zealand Albums Chart (RMNZ)[11] 2
Norwegian Albums Chart[12] 13
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[13] 21
Swiss Albums (Schwizer Hitparade)[14] 20
UK Albums (Official Charts Company)[15] 3
US Billboard 200[16] 7

Certifications and sales[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Canada (Music Canada)[17] Platinum 100,000^
Hong Kong (IFPI Hong Kong)[18] Gold 10,000*
New Zealand (RMNZ)[19] Platinum 15,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[20] Platinum 300,000^
United States (RIAA)[21] Platinum 1,000,000^
Worldwide 3,000,000[22]

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


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Please – Pet Shop Boys". AllMusic. Retrieved 26 September 2015.
  3. ^ Christgau, Robert (1990). "Pet Shop Boys: Please". Christgau's Record Guide: The '80s. Pantheon Books. ISBN 0-679-73015-X. Retrieved 26 September 2015.
  4. ^ Larkin, Colin (2011). The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (5th concise ed.). Omnibus Press. ISBN 0-85712-595-8.
  5. ^ Hull, Tom (2004). "Pet Shop Boys". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian (eds.). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). Simon & Schuster. pp. 630–31. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
  6. ^ Weisbard, Eric; Marks, Craig, eds. (1995). Spin Alternative Record Guide. Vintage Books. ISBN 0-679-75574-8.
  7. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (Illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 232. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. N.B. The Kent Report chart was licensed by ARIA between 1983 and 19 June 1988.
  8. ^ "RPM 100 Albums". RPM. archived at Library and Archives Canada (Volume 44, No. 10). 31 May 1986. Retrieved 29 September 2011.
  9. ^ Albumit 1986-05 toukokuu – Pomus
  10. ^ Home - Offizielle Deutsche Charts
  11. ^ Hung, Steffen. "Pet Shop Boys – Please". Retrieved 10 August 2011.
  12. ^ Hung, Steffen (15 June 2006). "Pet Shop Boys – Please". Retrieved 10 August 2011.
  13. ^ Hung, Steffen. "Pet Shop Boys – Please". Retrieved 10 August 2011.
  14. ^ Hung, Steffen. "Pet Shop Boys – Please" (in German). Retrieved 10 August 2011.
  15. ^ "Please". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 10 August 2011.
  16. ^ "Please > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums at AllMusic. Retrieved 29 September 2011.
  17. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Pet Shop boys – Please". Music Canada.
  18. ^ "IFPIHK Gold Disc Award − 1988". IFPI Hong Kong.
  19. ^ "New Zealand album certifications – Pet Shop Boys – Please". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved 24 November 2019.
  20. ^ "British album certifications – Pet Shop Boys – Please". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 12 April 2012. Select albums in the Format field. Select Platinum in the Certification field. Type Please in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  21. ^ "American album certifications – Pet Shop Boys – Please". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 12 April 2012. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 
  22. ^ Freeman, Josh (19 May 2011). "A Lot Of Opportunities: Pet Shop Boys' Please Revisited". The Quietus. Retrieved 24 November 2019.

External links[edit]