Saturday, 28 March 2009

"You need more than the Gerhard Richter hanging on your wall..."

And so FINALLY I get my copy of Yes etc. (the bonus disc version of Yes) through the post from HMV this morning. For the first time ever, I have a disc that actually warrants its DELUXE status. From the deluxe varnished gloss packaging with a deluxe fragrance to the deluxe dub versions of 6 Yes tracks and the major-deluxe new track This used to be the future, Pet Shop Boys have created a truly classic album. Neil has said in recent interviews it's his favourite, and it's easy to see why.

The packaging, as ever, is an art form in itself, inspired by Gerhard Richter's 4900 Colours: Version II. Mark Farrow, PSB's longtime Art Director says: "Although the Richter paintings look stunning on a gallery wall, as an idea for a CD cover it felt a little tired and we felt we had ‘been there’. The tick was obviously inspired by the album’s title Yes. Reducing the title to a symbol that encompassed the other elements the band had requested just seemed to work; it’s instant and memorable and pop.". Go here to Creative Review for a small featurette on the ideas and execution of the design for Yes.

Track by track, here are my thoughts on etc. For my original Yes album review, go here.

This used to be the future

A clever mix of PSB and Human League circa Travelogue musically and lyrically. This is a MAJOR track; a PSB classic, stomping and urgent and sweeping at the same time. Chris Lowe has a great voice. I thought it was Phil Oakey at first, who sounds very at home here.

More than a dream (Magical dub)

A future Ibiza choon. The cathedral-like chord stabs would sound fantastic in an open-air club in the summer, like an old school Perfecto mix. Neil's "aaahs" never sounded sweeter (fnar fnar).

Pandemonium (The stars and the sun dub)

Johnny Marr's harmonica is given star billing in this thumping track. The glam rock backing could mix easily into a bit of Sweet...

The way it used to be (Left of love dub)

My favourite track on Yes gets a treatment dripping in even more pathos leaving you crying at the discotheque as Neil plaintively repeats "What is left of love?"

All over the world (This is a dub)

The least successful of the dub versions here. It still has the grandeur of the original whereas the dub could have given it a lighter feel. The synth brass in the last minute or so should have been the building blocks for this track.

Vulnerable (Public eye dub)

Brooding and menacing, this is actually BETTER than the original. Without the verses, the "So vulnerable without you" refrain takes on a stalker-like status. I'm scared.

Love etc. (Beautiful dub)

After the multitude of mixes already out there, a different track from Yes would have been a better choice. But this version is an accomplished and highly listenable Xenomania effort.

And last week I posted a competition to win a copy of the Love etc. CD single - still shrinkwrapped in their original state from the Trocadero HMV store in London and two contributing sales to PSB number 14 placing on the UK singles chart. Thanks to everyone who took the time to take part. Your names were put in a hat and drawn by an independent ajudicator - as they say on the National Lottery. The two lucky winners are... *drum roll*

Jason Schafer
John Gannon

They correctly answered the question, "What is the CD single's b-side?" which was: Gin and Jag. I'll be getting in touch for your addresses today. Well done!

1 comment:

xolondon said...

I am fizzing at the slit for the 12" box set. Not that I even own a turntable anymore.