Pet Shop Boys
My Head Is Spinning
Forever In Love
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.