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Alternative is a compilation album by English synthpop duo Pet Shop Boys. It was first released in 1995.

Alternative
PetShopBoysAlternative.jpg
Compilation album by
Released7 August 1995
Recorded1985–1994
GenrePop, dance, synthpop
Length134:12
LabelParlophone
ProducerPet 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-star Honorable Mention)[2]

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.

Contents

Track listingEdit

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

PersonnelEdit

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

CertificationsEdit

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

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

ReferencesEdit

  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. Type Alternative in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  5. ^ "Ask Billboard". Billboard. 23 May 2006. Retrieved 28 April 2018.
  6. ^ "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.