Archive for the ‘Pet Shop Boys’ Category

Japanese Acid House Disco Funk And Pet Shop Boys

Sunday, March 26th, 2017

How’s everyone living? Everyone still living? Guess that’s good enough for now, right?

Been a rough week or so, but I’m glad that the forces of non-evil out there can at least chalk up one win for the increasingly marginalized masses out there. I had severe anxiety that Trump and his shitball league of fuckfaces was actually going to dismantle the least worst American health care act passed in my lifetime. So color me surprised that they actually managed to fall on their collective shit-eating faces for no other reason other than the fact that they couldn’t agree on how evil their revised bill had to be.

It’s been said by others, but I feel the need to say it myself; this was a big deal. If the people of America hadn’t been so outspoken against the evils of Trump(no)Care, then it probably would’ve passed. So while it is easy to be depressed and feel utterly hopeless all the time about the current state of affairs that our world is facing, this should give you some hope. Don’t give up. If we all work together as a team then we can achieve some victories.

So get out there and raise hell in whatever way you see best. Here’s some dance music to help you do it.

Denki Groove
A.C.I.D.I.S.C.O.
I’ve been writing about Japanese electronic dance music for a long time now, but I don’t think I’ve mentioned Denki Groove once. But if name recognition is anything to go on, they’re probably the biggest electronic dance group in Japan. Every Japanese person I talk to knows of them, and most like them. They’ve seemingly been around forever, and have released what feels like countless singles and albums. This summer they’ll be playing Summer Sonic, Japan’s equivalent of Lollapalooza, and will also be opening for the J-Pop megastars Perfume at their own Perfume Fes (that’s not a typo, don’t ask me why the “t” is absent). They’re a big deal.

Here’s the thing; I don’t like them very much.

I’ve really tried. Honestly I have. I have a greatest hits CD and a couple of other albums, but I just can’t get into them. They have plenty of decent tracks, no doubt about that, but something about them always rubs me the wrong way. I think its their vocals. Whenever they use vocals I just zone right out. But whatever, I’m sure they have dozens of amazing songs I just haven’t heard yet. They have to be big for a reason.

While I don’t like much of what I’ve heard, I can vouch for this track, my favorite off their 25 EP that they released a few years back. It combines two of my favorite things, 90s acid house with 70s disco. It’s ridiculous, but pretty amazing.

Pet Shop Boys
I’m With Stupid (PSB Maxi Mix)
I’m With Stupid (Abe Duque Mix)
I’m With Stupid (Melnyk Heavy Petting Mix)
I’m With Stupid (Max Tundra Mix)
Let’s Kickstart a Trump/Pence/Putin porno and make this the title track. I’m sure the Pet Shop Boys would be down.

 

Disco Sulk

Monday, March 20th, 2017

Last week I posted my all-time favorite song of all-time and I didn’t get a single comment and that makes me sad. I don’t normally go fishing for comments but c’mon you motherfunkers, let me know what you all think of “Radio Junk.” That song is my mantra, creed and motto all rolled into one.

Pet Shop Boys
Home & Dry (Blank & Jones Dub Remix)
Home & Dry (Radio Edit – Blank & Jones)
Home & Dry (Ambient Mix)
Home & Dry (Acappella Version)
How Can You Expect To Be Taken Seriously (Momo Mix)
How Can You Expect To Be Taken Seriously (Reggae Zone Mix)
How Can You Expect To Be Taken Seriously (Def Mix)
How Can You Expect To Be Taken Seriously (Eclipse Mix)
I haven’t posted Pet Shop Boys remixes in three fucking years! How is that even possible? This blog was (unofficially) founded solely for me to post obscure remixes by super-gay synthpop artists from the 80s. I feel like I’ve really slipped up here.

It’s really not all my fault. I just don’t see that many Pet Shop Boys singles out here in Japan. Maybe they aren’t really all that popular out here. Or maybe they’re so popular that every 12″ single has already been taken. Who knows.

I actually bought these two singles a while ago if my file history is anything to be believed. I scored the “Home & Dry” single last November, and I got the “How Can You…” 12″ sometime in March of last year. Don’t know why I never got around to posting them. Maybe I just didn’t take them seriously.

Sorry.

 

Sylvester
Mutual Attraction (7″ Edit)
Mutual Attraction (Extended Edit)
True story.

A few weeks ago I was at HMV (aka my second home) and they had a 12″ disco sale. Skimming through it, I found a 12″ single of “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)” featuring an extended remix. Snagged it immediately.

Two weeks later, I was at another store and found that they also were having a sale on 12″ singles. At which point I bought the exact same single of “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)” for a second time, completely forgetting my purchase from just a couple weeks prior.

The kicker? I already had that remix of “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real).” It was on a box set I bought years ago. I guess I should be upset or at least annoyed with myself, but whatever now I got that remix on both continents and that’s pretty dope. The only reason I’m not sharing it here is because you can get it easily and legally on most online music stores. I suggest you do so. That song is dope.

Not as dope but still dope in many ways is “Mutual Attraction,” from Sylvester’s 1986 album of the same name. That album was re-issued a few years back with some bonus remixes thrown in, but neither of these were included for some reason. There are actually very few “rare” Sylvester remixes right now, nearly all of his albums and singles are easily available on iTunes.

So, what I’m saying is, if you don’t own “Do Ya Wanna Funk” you have no funking excuse now, there are five different versions on iTunes right this minute waiting for you.

 

Trepidation and Italian Manifestos

Sunday, July 13th, 2014

Today was very long, monotonous, fun, grueling, thrilling, boring and potentially exciting.

I must sleep. But here are two songs that are ruling my life at the moment.

Ryuichi Sakamoto
Broadway Boogie Woogie
I know I just posted some Sakamoto in my last post, but I just discovered this song a few days ago and I would feel remiss if I didn’t post it immediately. The song is from his 1986 album 未来派野郎. According to Discogs and other sites, the English title of it is Futurista, however, according to one of my Japanese co-workers (and the coolest person I met in Japan yet) the direct translation is Futurist Bastard.

Not only is that a way cooler title, it’s also far more descriptive of the album’s overall sound, as it takes elements from the Italian futurist movement of the early 20th century and, well, bastardizes them to fit into a contemporary pop landscape. If that sounds familiar it’s because Art Of Noise did the same thing just a few years earlier. It’s also what Sakamoto compatriot Tachibana did with his insane and utterly brilliant 1984 album Mr. Techie & Miss Kipple.  If you’re curious as to what the hell futurist music really is, wiki that shit. It’s crazy.

While Sakamoto wasn’t the first to incorporate futurist themes into a sample-filled pop landscape, he was the first to build a futurist pop song primarily out of samples from Blade Runner and a radical sax solo that would make that guy from Lost Boys blush, so that’s something.

Pet Shop Boys
It’s Alright (Extended Dance Mix)
And reset the “Number of Days since a Pet Shop Boys Remix was Posted on Lost Turntable” counter back to zero.

It’s actually been four months exactly. Eerie. Even eerier, it’s almost a year to the day since my last post of Pet Shop Boys music that wasn’t a repost. Fucking trippy.

This remix is from a 10″ single, and is not the same as the 12″ dance remix. It’s actually a bit longer than that one.

Highlights of Pet Shop Boys, in Alphabetical Order (Day 3)

Sunday, April 13th, 2014

I’m writing this at work. Blogging in a suit is weird. I feel like I should be writing about the stock market or something.

Pet Shop Boys
One More Chance (New Remix ’86)
Opportunities (Let’s Make Lots Of Money) (Reprise)
Opportunities (Let’s Make Lots Of Money) (Original Dance Mix)
Rent (The Francois Kervorkian Remix)
Was It Worth It (12″)
Was It Worth It (Dub)
West End Girls (Extended Dance Version)
West End Girls (Dub)
What Have I Done To Deserve This (Dub Mix)
Where The Streets Have No Name (I Can’t Take My Eyes Off You) (Extended Mix)
You Know Where You Went Wrong (Rough Mix)
I may have organized these Pet Shop Boys posts in alphabetical order, but it’s pretty obvious that the best is the last. I guess the Pet Shop Boys’ best tunes just coincidentally all start with letters in the tail end of the alphabet. Go figure.

Amazing remixes of “Rent” (probably my second-favorite remix of all-time FYI), “West End Girls,” “Opportunities,” and “Where The Streets Have No Name?” No way I can pick a favorite. Sure, the “Rent” remix is one of my favorite remixes of all-time, but I think that “West End Girls” and “Opportunities” are both better (and certainly more fun) tunes.

I plan on getting at least two more posts up this week, and they’ll probably be the Madonna reposts, as they’re already organized and ready to go. So strike a pose.

 

Highlights of Pet Shop Boys, in Alphabetical Order (Day 2)

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

My unexpected productivity streak continues! Although don’t expect the final installment of Pet Shop Boys mania until next week. Although now that I’ve said that watch me get it up and on the site by tomorrow evening.

In the meantime please check out my review of the new re-release of Cyndi Lauper’s She’s So Unusual. It’s a real shitshow of bullshit.

Pet Shop Boys
I Wouldn’t Normally Do This Kind Of Thing (Club Mix)
I Wouldn’t Normally Do This Kind Of Thing (Extended Nude Mix)

I Wouldn’t Normally Do This Kind Of Thing (Grand Ballroom Dub)
It’s A Sin (Disco Mix)
It’s A Sin (Remix)
Left To My Own Devices (The Disco Mix)
Love Comes Quickly (Shep Pettibone Mastermix)
Love Comes Quickly (Dub Mix)
Love Comes Quickly (Dance Mix)
A Man Could Get Arrested (12″ Version)
Miserabilism (Electro Mix)
Want a vinyl ripping pro-tip? Pick up a copy of the “It’s A Sin (Disco Remix)” 12″ single. It is the end-all be-all of test tracks. If you can hear the high-hats, the bass, and the subtle nuances of the thunder crash at the beginning of the tune, then congrats, your turntable is setup correctly. If not, don’t fret, it took me three years and probably a $1,000 in trial and error to get my shit sounding decent.

If you can’t already tell, my personal favorite of tonight’s tracks is the disco mix of “It’s A Sin,” a monster seven minute and forty-one second take on the already epic dance tune that really opens it up and exposes it for the dramatic, bombastic, ode to self-loathing (and disco dancing) that it is. I’m a fan.

One more post of Pet Shop Boys soon, so check back!

Highlights of Pet Shop Boys, in Alphabetical Order (Day 1)

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

When I embarked on my re-recording marathon before I left the country, the goal was twofold. One was to have high-quality rips of many of my favorite tracks. That mission was accomplished. The second was that, in having high-quality rips of many of my favorite tracks, I would have something to write about and post during my first few months in Tokyo, before I got my turntable and computer set up.

Well, some mental health/physical health/overall busyness of moving to an entirely different country and starting a new job sure put a cramp in that plan. Here it is, four months into my transcontinential move, and I’m only averaging about two posts a month! That’s some bullshit right there.

This changes now! And I mean it this time! I have all these songs that I re-recorded, all these rare and amazing cuts that sound better then ever, so I’m going to get off my ass and start posting them!

Up first, three days of Pet Shop Boys! Now, these posts won’t cover all the Pet Shop Boys I ever posted, I wasn’t able to re-record them all. But it’s still a hefty chunk, I hope you all enjoy.

And in case you’re wondering, up next will be Madonna, followed by Depeche Mode. After that, I plan on a smorgasbord of everything I wanted to repost over the past few months that I didn’t get a chance to. Then finally…new music! As my computer is en route and I should have everything hooked up and ready to go by the end of the month!

Woot!

Pet Shop Boys
Always On My Mind (12″ Version Phil Harding Mix)
Always On my Mind (Julian Mendelsohn 12″ Dance Version)
Domino Dancing (Alternative Mix)
Domino Dancing (Base Mix)
Domino Dancing (Demo)
Domino Dancing (Disco Mix)
Don Juan (Demo)
Don Juan (Disco Mix)
Heart (Disco Mix)
Heart (Dance Mix)
How Can You Expect To Be Taken Seriously (Extended Mix)
A through H tonight. Highlights include an amazing remix (and a shockingly good demo version) of “Don Juan” and 16 minutes of “Always On My Mind” spread across two fabulous takes on the track. Of course, the rest is all good too, ‘Domino Dancing” is a hella dope tune after all.

Pet Shop Boys – Relentless

Sunday, July 14th, 2013

Pet Shop Boys
My Head Is Spinning
Forever In Love
Kdx 125
We Came From Outer Space
The Man Who Has Everything
One Thing Leads To Another
In 1993, the Pet Shop Boys released Very, an amazing album that contained some of their greatest singles, including “Go West,” “I Wouldn’t Normally Do This Kind Of Thing,” and “Can You Forgive Her?”.

Very is one of the band’s most well-known and best-selling albums, and has never gone out of print since its original release. It was put on iTunes at the same time as the rest of their catalog, and was even remastered and re-released in 2001 with an added disc of bonus cuts and B-sides.

However, when the album was first released it was made available in two different versions; the standard single disc edition that most people know, and a limited edition two-disc set that featured a bonus disc called Relentless; this version is often just called Very Relentless.

As far as I can tell, this version, the most complete and comprehensive version of the album, was only released once, right when the album first came out. In the 20 years since, none of the songs on it have ever been remastered or re-released at all. Not on a greatest hits, not on a rarities or b-sides compilation, and not as a standalone release. You cannot get the songs on iTunes, you cannot get the songs on Amazon, you simply cannot get the songs.

If there was ever an example of a record label/artist forcing you to steal their music, this would be one.

I feel like it happens a lot though, whenever an album is released in multiple versions with different tracks, the most basic, cheapest one is the one that becomes part of their official discography. The versions with more tracks, with added video content, or extra-cool packaging, they’re the ones that vanish into the bargain bins of time.

It makes no sense, like the record labels are actively telling you that they don’t want your money, but whatever, makes it easier for me to pick tracks to share here.

Relentless is a great collection of tunes that would work fine as a standalone Pet Shop Boys release. It’s just six tracks long, but with an average track length of around six minutes, the album still fills out to a hefty 37 minute running time.

Musically, the album is a bit different than Very. Both are dance albums for sure, but while Very is a pop record you can dance to, Relentless is a dance record through and through, one that I suspect was influenced heavily on the growing dance scene that was spreading across the UK at the time of its release

Like I said before, the songs on Relentless are long, and they don’t conform to the typical pop structure that Pet Shop Boys usually operate in. Don’t expect at lot of Neil Tennant’s trademark vocals here. Sure, he pops up from time to time, but this is largely an instrumental affair, focused instead on hard-driving, pulse-pounding beats made to make people get up and dance.

I don’t know how different Relentless is when compared to the entirety of the Pet Shop Boys discography (I collect their singles more than their albums) but as someone who has always liked their remixes and dance versions more than their short single edits, I love this record.

Additionally, it is the ultimate synthpop workout record.

What Have You Done To Deserve These Remixes?

Monday, March 4th, 2013

I have written so much about these three artists that I literally have nothing else to day about them other than that I think they’re rad and that these remixes are equally rad so you should download them.

Pet Shop Boys
Rent (The Francois Kervorkian Remix)
What Have I Done To Deserve This? (Dub Mix)
First of all, the official title of the 12″ single that I got this from is “What Have I Done To Deserve This/Rent.” I totally read that as “What have I done to deserve this rent?” which is something I often thought before I bought a house. Now you can just replace the word “rent” with “mortgage” and really nothing has changed.

Okay, now for some comments on the actual music. The “Francois Kevorkian Remix” of “Rent” is in my opinion the definitive version of the song. Kevorkian transforms the once brief three-minute pop number into a seven-minute epic, but he adds relatively little to the song’s already sparse sound. He just stretches it out with some added breakdowns and instrumentals, and that somehow makes the already sad tale of a loveless relationship even more heart-wrenching. Amazing work.

Kevorkian is a legendary remixer by the way. That awesome mix I put up of “Lips Like Sugar?” That was him. I’ve also shared his mixes of Depeche Mode, Erasure and Gus Gus songs. Dude is prolific.

Madonna
Sorry (PSB Maxi-Mix)
Sorry (Paul Oakenfold Remix)
Sorry (Green Velvet Extended Remix)
What It Feels Like For A Girl (Above And Beyond 12″ Club)
What It Feels Like For A Girl (Paul Oakenfold Perfecto Mix)
Some of these mixes are on Amazon/iTunes, but they’re “remix edits” and not the full uncut versions. Because someone is stupid and didn’t realize that if a fan is going to shell out $5 for a remix EP then they probably want the full uncut versions and not shortened edits. Isn’t that why people listen to remixes in the first place?

Anyways, in case you can’t figure it out, the PSB in “PSB Maxi-Mix” is Pet Shop Boys, so I got some nice accidental consistency with tonight’s post (aside from the typical “songs you’d hear in the best gay club ever” consistency that I have whenever I post dance music). Also, the best mix of this bunch is the “Green Velvet Extended Remix” because it basically takes “Sorry” and transforms it into a 90s acid house track. That’s the kind of shit I can get behind.

Erasure
Who Needs Love Like That (Mexican Mix)
Push Me Shove Me (Tacos Mix)
Love a 12″ single that has remixes with themed titles. Of course, there is nothing Mexican, mariachi, salsa, or otherwise Latino about these mixes. The “Mexican Mix” of “Who Needs Love Like That” is just an extended mix with some very slight alterations, and the “Tacos Mix” of “Push Me Shove Me” is…well…to be honest I don’t know how it’s different because I’m a bad Erasure fan and I don’t own Wonderland. I own 46 Erasure singles, but only half of their proper albums. Sometimes I’m weird.

Pet Shop Hats

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

Hey, it’s a post with a couple of bands from the 80s. I’ve never done that before!

Pet Shop Boys
Se A Vida É (That’s the Way Life Is) (Mark Picchiotti’s Deep And Dark Vocal)
Se A Vida É (That’s the Way Life Is) (Deep Dish Liquid Remix)
To Step Aside (Ralphi’s Disco Vox)
To Step Aside (Hasbrouck Heights Mix)
To Step Aside (Davidson Ospina Dub)
To Step Aside (Ralphi’s Old School Dub)
To Step Aside (Brutal Bill Mix)
To Step Aside (Ralphi’s House Vox II)
I have 50 Pet Shop Boys singles now. That’s insane. I’m insane. Want to know something even crazier? I only own three or four proper Pet Shop Boys records! What the hell is wrong with me? I’m a remix addict, that’s what’s wrong with me.

Men Without Hats
Pop Goes The World (Dance Mix)
Pop Goes The World (Dance Edit)
Pop Goes The World (Dub)

Where Do The Boys Go (Extended Version)
Eurotheme
Insert obligatory “you can dance if you want to” comment here.

I posted two of these remixes six years ago (HOLY SHIT THIS BLOG IS OLD!) but I felt the repost was neccessary for a few reasons. First of all, no one read this blog six years ago. Secondly, those rips sounded like ass. And thirdly, Men Without Hats kick ass and I wish I had more opportunities to post their stuff.

Both “Pop Goes the World” and “Where Do The Boys Go” are infinitely superior to “The Safety Dance,” with catchy choruses, fun lyrics and amazing melodies. And “Eurotheme” is Kraftwerkian brilliance, I wish it was longer than its scant 2 minutes and 42 seconds.

How were these guys a 1 and a half hit wonder? Pop isn’t fair!

Transgendered Cabin Boys, Religious Symbolism and Gay Dance Duos – Just Another Day in 80s Pop Music

Tuesday, January 17th, 2012

Seriously, the musical landscape of the 90s didn’t have shit on the randomness of the 80s.

Kate Bush
Alternative Hounds Of Love
The Handsome Cabin Boy
I’m going to level with you,I don’t know what’s so “alternative” about this mix of “Hounds Of Love’ aside from the fact that it’s about 50 seconds longer than the original album version. It has the “do-we-do-do do-we-da-da” and those awesome drums still, so it still kicks ass.

The real star here is the B-side, “The Handsome Cabin Boy.” I had never heard of this tune before, but after some quick online research, I’m now absolutely fascinated by it. This is a traditional folk song…about a woman who tries to pass as a man on a ship, only to have an affair with the captain and his wife (and possibly some of the crew as well) before she ends up pregnant. Bisexuality, transgender issues and the prevalence of homosexuality on the seas! That’s a mighty progressive traditional folk song! Anyone out there now how old this tune is?

Bush’s treatment of the song is absolutely haunting, its nothing more than her voice and some very subtle synthesizers-as-chorus melodies. Its haunting, and it leaves the message and meaning of the song bare for your to take in. It was completely the right way to go. Any attempt at “mainstreaming” this song as a single would probably just make it come off as a joke in poor taste. Best to let the lyrics and the message speak for themselves.

Book Of Love 
Counting The Rosaries (Full Confession Mix)
Counting The Rosaries (Full Confession Dub)
Counting The Rosaries (Happiness & Love Mix)
Counting The Rosaries (Crying Angels Mix)
Sunny Day (Heal Your Positive Body Mix)
I rarely wish I was a religious person. Okay, scratch that, I almost never wish I was a religious person. The only times I do is when it could help my understand of pop culture with religious overtones. For example, I hear songs like this and am left with absolutely no clue as to what it is about due to my blissful ignorance. Anyone care to fill me in? Regardless of what this song is actually about, these remixes are pretty great. Best dance tune about…something religious(???) that I’ve heard all week.

Pet Shop Boys
Always On My Mind (12″ Verision Phil Harding Mix)
I somehow had this 12″ single in my “to record” bin for two years and never got around to it. Stupid me. Now that I have it recorded and filed, however, it brings my Pet Shop Boys singles collection to an even 40. I think that gives me an official ranking of “fabulous.”