Between Very and Bilingual

For general discussion of Pet Shop Boys topics.
Post Reply
Message
Author
whateverman42
Posts: 1025
Joined: Fri 17 Mar 2006, 7:34 pm
Contact:

Between Very and Bilingual

#1 Post by whateverman42 »

What happened that caused such a drop off in sales and popularity that's highlighted in the discrepancy between the units moved of each album. Very sold some 5 million, Bilingual sold a million and a half. Was it the complete awfulness of Disco 2 that made people think of PSB as horrible? Or was it just Go West that propelled Very to such heights, and without it, Very would have been as successful as Bilingual? I'd like to hear what some of you think, because I don't get what caused such a massive drop, one they haven't recovered from to this day.

User avatar
JSDOUVRES
Posts: 2803
Joined: Fri 05 Dec 2003, 2:31 pm
Contact:

#2 Post by JSDOUVRES »

But they released Alternative between the two albums (1995 if I remember correctly) and I think it got to number 2 in the uk charts so must have sold quite well.
Very was quite a fashionable album but Bilingual didn't seem to be, not at the time anyway.
Go west certainly must have helped and with Can you forgive her? and all the costumes the overall package was quite appealing. The songs were better too IMO.

User avatar
kennym
Posts: 562
Joined: Fri 10 Sep 2004, 10:32 pm
Contact:

#3 Post by kennym »

Much better chart singles..

One of the crowd
Posts: 4585
Joined: Tue 28 Oct 2003, 4:42 pm
Contact:

#4 Post by One of the crowd »

Some say its because of Neil's "Coming Out" interview in Attitude (August 1994).

Whether that as anything to do with it, I dont know.
Fishing

User avatar
i probably would
Posts: 179
Joined: Thu 11 Aug 2005, 8:36 pm
Contact:

#5 Post by i probably would »

Some say its because of Neil's "Coming Out" interview in Attitude (August 1994).

Whether that as anything to do with it, I dont know
I think you may be right - Made no difference to me and probably everyone knew but neil has been quoted saying people see pet shop boys as gay and nothing else. Alot of clubs wont play them because they are gay - or too old. Which is bollox as the music is as good as ever.

PopArt
Posts: 448
Joined: Sun 28 Dec 2003, 5:18 pm
Contact:

#6 Post by PopArt »

I have often pondered this question. I remember being utterly amazed when firstly Se a vida e only made number 8 in the charts (I thought it would be Top 5) and then the album stalled at number 4 before falling like a stone out of the Top 100. After much thought I have come to the conclusion that it had to be a combination of factors. The ones I have identified are:

1. The music scene of 1996 was all guitar Britpop bands. Suddenly, for the first time in their career, PSB seemed really out of place especially given that they were doing the whole Latino thing at the time.

2. They decided against doing any major promotion for the album. This was a huge mistake. There were very few magazine interviews (in fact I only really remember one in Q and one in The Sunday Times. Were there any others?), few TV appearances, no tour (well not until Somewhere in the summer of 1997 and by then it was far too late)

3. 'Before' was a poor first single. Sounded like a PSB B-Side, not a big comeback single. Left a lot of casual fans cold, I suspect.

4. 'Single-bilingual' was a terrible choice for third single. Just not radio friendly. They should have gone with something far more obvious, such as 'A red letter day'.

5. I think a lot of consumers were confused by the whole concept of Bilingual. Was the album in two languages? Was it all Latino? etc

6. Neil coming out in 1994. This shouldn't have had an impact, but I think it did. It was now easier to label PSB as a 'gay band'. Especially given the macho, blokey enviroment of the music industry at the time...

All in all a great shame- 'Bilingual' was a good album.
I'm always waiting...

User avatar
Danger
Posts: 1734
Joined: Thu 10 Aug 2006, 5:30 pm
Contact:

#7 Post by Danger »

Very is been the right thing in the right place, the time was perfect to make an album like it, and the music industry was at the top like sellings and business. They made a pop/dance hi-energy CD in a period in which there was a lot of music like PSB music. And the videos with a massive prpmotions made the rest. In Very every song could be a successfull single while Bilingual is a good album with some good songs but nothing like the masterpieces of Very and when, like someone said, in a era ruled by OASIS, Blur and so on PSB came out with a Latin album while nobody in Europe listened to Latin Music. If Bilingual was been released around 2000 while Ricky Martin, Paulina Rubio and others South American blond singers/dancers ruled all aorund the world, maybe it could become a success 'cos more peopla could undestand this kind of music altough I preffer Nightlife to Bilingual
Image
Image

User avatar
jasonjohn
Posts: 2093
Joined: Mon 27 Sep 2004, 12:10 am
Contact:

#8 Post by jasonjohn »

all that... and very was a return after a hiatus.... with funny computer graphic video clips!

they need to do something a bit left field or camp like Very again

User avatar
glennjridge
Posts: 8020
Joined: Sat 01 Nov 2003, 10:28 pm
Contact:

#9 Post by glennjridge »

I've said it a billion times. to make a comeback,they should do the soundtrack to some cutesy animated movie. sure some of us old timers might consider it a sellout, but the soundtracks to these films with original music tend to be huge and introduce them to a whole new batch of young fans who know nothing of their particular preferences.

User avatar
EricMontreal22
Posts: 237
Joined: Wed 09 Aug 2006, 5:45 am
Contact:

#10 Post by EricMontreal22 »

The boys were slightly ahead of their time too as the Latin pop influence thing became really big on 2-3 years later (as they say on the documentary)

User avatar
so heart
Posts: 280
Joined: Thu 04 Jan 2007, 12:10 pm
Contact:

#11 Post by so heart »

very has very impressive pop-songs, somehow must-be-hits. so it seems the record sells automatically, self-contained.
but could it be essentially different? did they really do more marketing for very and had more budget than for any other album? and could it be, they became a bit marketing-tired and then focused on their musical art-work?

i write this, because i think there are quite a lot of highly talented musicians out there. but they are rather unknown, because they lack a marketing talent, or the energy to stand mass-popularity, or to fight down competing artists...

what do you think?
choose a song when the night's too long

dVTB
Posts: 2714
Joined: Mon 24 Nov 2003, 1:09 am

#12 Post by dVTB »

Neil's coming out may be part of the reason, although PSB were already considered a 'gay band' before he did so. It's not as if people hadn't suspicions after It's A Sin, the Being Boring video, a song like Nervously, Go West (cover of a Village People song), Can You Forgive Her etc.

I think Very was spot on and the album featured a worldwide hit. The music on Very was fashionable at the time; a typical HIT record, full of potential singles. Bilingual was ahead of its time, with its south-american influences, but perhaps less in touch with what was considered hot music at the time.

Before did well enough for a lead single (just like Can You Forgive Her it made #7 in the UK charts), Se A Vida E wasn't as successful as Go West, though. It doesn't make SAVE a bad single, but you have to conclude that it wasn't a Top 5 hit.

Until Bilingual, PSB had Top 5 hits on all of their studio albums. Please had West End girls, Actually had It's A Sin, What have I done to deserve this?, Always on my mind and Heart, Introspective had Left To My Own Devices and It's Alright, Behaviour had So Hard and Streets/Seriously, Very had Go West.

Bilingual didn't have Top 5 hits, but it's pretty ridiculous to blame only the best charting single (Before) for that. I don't think any other single from Bilingual would have done better at the time. If you wanna blame single choices, look at the worst performing one: Single-Blingual; obviously one of PSB's worst single choices ever.

And perhaps - the single choices aside - the whole kind of pop music PSB produce, became less popular in the mid-90's? Paninaro '95 wasn't exactly a hit, the first two Nightlife singles flopped. Where Bilingual had 4 top 10 hits, Nightlife struggled to deliver just one, Release had none.

User avatar
Nightlife
Posts: 2048
Joined: Thu 30 Oct 2003, 12:54 am
Contact:

#13 Post by Nightlife »

Neil's coming out had nothing to do with it, come on! they have always been labled as a gay band. My father worried over my sexuality in 1986/7 for liking the band, his words to my mother were that if he keeps listening to them pair he'll turn into one of them, I think he meant a puff.
You don't have to be beautiful, but it helps!

User avatar
kdx125
Posts: 243
Joined: Tue 14 Jun 2005, 7:04 pm
Contact:

#14 Post by kdx125 »

One thing you also need to take into consideration is that from the 90's onwards it was becomming increasingly important for bands/artists to tour!

They toured Uk in 1989 & 1991 then ...................... 1997! (If you call somewhere a tour!)

If they had toured Very in the UK you can bet that Bilingual would have sold more units. As dVTB said: Can you forgive her? charted the same place as Before.

But have to say I do agree with everything that has been said above too, it's all contributing factors and the "Gay" thing and the "Latin" thing and "Britpop" certainly didn't help!!
Image

User avatar
so heart
Posts: 280
Joined: Thu 04 Jan 2007, 12:10 pm
Contact:

#15 Post by so heart »

so heart wrote:very has very impressive pop-songs, somehow must-be-hits. so it seems the record sells automatically, self-contained.
but could it be essentially different? did they really do more marketing for very and had more budget than for any other album? and could it be, they became a bit marketing-tired and then focused on their musical art-work?
got to quote myself: me idiot forgot, they didnt tour very til 1997!!! so very is really a self-seller, isnt it ?!? radio stations played go west, and that was it!
choose a song when the night's too long

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], Majestic-12 [Bot] and 36 guests