Happy Anniversary: Pet Shop Boys, Please
Today marks the 28th anniversary of the release of the debut album by a former editor for Smash Hits and the UK branch of Marvel Comics and an occasional architect. You may know them better as Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe, respectively, but still more know them simply as Pet Shop Boys. And the album in question? Please.
We’re not just being polite. That’s actually the name of the album...although the band did reportedly name it that because they couldn’t resist the idea of consumers strolling into their local record stores and asking, “Can I have the Pet Shop Boys album, Please?”
And, yes, those really were their occupations before they became pop stars. Indeed, in Pet Shop Boys: Catalogue, the book by Philip Hoare and Chris Heath which explores the visual side of the band, it’s said that Tennant’s department from Smash Hits to pursue his musical aspirations led the magazine to write an “obituary” for their departing editor, in which his cohorts can be found “bidding him a sad adieu and predicting that in a matter of weeks Neil’s pop duo ‘will be down the dumper and he’ll come crawling back on bended knees, ha ha ha.’” (We also heard that Smash Hits predicted a landslide victory for Michael Dukakis in 1988, but that may only be a vicious rumor.)
As a debut album, you certainly can’t complain about the effectiveness of Please in putting Pet Shop Boys on the map: all four of the album’s singles – “West End Girls,” “Love Comes Quickly,” “Opportunities (Let’s Make Lots of Money),” and “Suburbia” – making their way into the top 20 of the UK charts.
If you haven’t listened to it in awhile, now’s as good a time as any to revisit it, especially given that it’s been expanded to include the B-sides of the era as well as several remixes. Won’t you give it a spin?