Your choices: the debut album that might have been ...

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CroMagnon
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Your choices: the debut album that might have been ...

#1 Post by CroMagnon »

Hi all,

Hope everyone is well.

I saw a Twitter thread the other day about 'the greatest debut albums of all time', and, as with all such threads, my first instinct was to say 'Pet Shop Boys, Please'.

And then I got to thinking. Please is a great album, but it could have been a truly stupendous debut. It's an intriguing detail of the early PSB era that they held back some of their greatest later hits from appearing on their debut. I know that Neil pushes back against the concept of PSB as career strategists, but isn't this a good example of them being exactly that? It feels like Please could have been a Hot Fuss, with a potentially disappointing Actually to follow. Does anyone know if there was pressure from Parlophone to include It's a sin, Rent, or One more chance on Please, for example?

From memory, here are some of the other songs that could have been on Please - (?) below means I'm not sure!:

- It's a sin
- One more chance
- Rent
- I want to wake up (?)
- What have I done to deserve this (?)
- Jealousy
- To face the truth
- Nervously
- To speak is a sin

... what else?

My question for forum members is: what would your ultimate 10-track version of Please have been? You can select 10 tracks that were written by early 1986.

GO!

... apologies if this is a repeat thread. Would imagine it's been discussed before!
Love comes quickly, but is a catastrophe and a bourgeois construct etc.

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Gabby
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Re: Your choices: the debut album that might have been ...

#2 Post by Gabby »

"Please" is an extremely strong debut album. Right out of the gate you've got "Two Divided By Zero" followed by the 4 singles which (despite the lacklustre charting of Love Comes Quickly) are all bloody amazing.

For me "Violence" is the only song that really lets the album down a bit and that's not really saying much, although the remix in later years is much stronger, but really, there's not much you can fault here.

I don't think adding or removing any of the songs of that same era that you mentioned would have made it necessarily a stronger or better album frankly.
Last edited by Gabby on Fri 17 Apr 2020, 10:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

negative_0ne
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Re: Your choices: the debut album that might have been ...

#3 Post by negative_0ne »

I don't think any of that would have the album any better.

I think it's perfect, and their best album so far.

That being said, it would be interesting to see what other people would have come up with.

I know the early version of 'in the night' might have been a possibility,
and same with 'one more chance', but they saved it for later.
=============

Now actually, is whole other story, as a lot of those songs
could be replaced without any loss.

later
-1
Last edited by negative_0ne on Fri 17 Apr 2020, 11:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

bongsteve
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Re: Your choices: the debut album that might have been ...

#4 Post by bongsteve »

Can't say I'd want to change Please much at all...maybe replacing I Want A Lover with In The Night?

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Mark R.Y.
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Re: Your choices: the debut album that might have been ...

#5 Post by Mark R.Y. »

side one
In the Night
West End Girls
Love Comes Quickly
Tonight is Forever
Two Divided by Zero

side two
Opportunities(reprise) [in this case it would not be a separate track, but the beginning of...]
Opportunities
A Man Could Get Arrested
Violence
Suburbia
That's My Impression (Disco Mix)

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jasonjohn
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Re: Your choices: the debut album that might have been ...

#6 Post by jasonjohn »

They definitely held out for Dusty for the duet.

And I'm glad they did. They could of spun up a duet with anyone, but the final single is glamorous.

Thing about Actually is they had a fresh modern lustre, which was possible after the success of Please. So I'm glad not everything was piled into the debut and risk a Suburbia-like underproduction.

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telys
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Re: Your choices: the debut album that might have been ...

#7 Post by telys »

No, you got it all wrong. Please could've been the 2nd or even 3rd PSB album or even 4th album.

The first album would've been an obscure LP with self produced songs from the Camden studio. Released in 1983. Perhaps this is too contrafactual since they didn't have an album deal yet by then.

The 2nd album is the Bobby O album which we all know exist in some form on those cassettes. Released in 1984.
The 3rd album is the 1985 pre-Hague album with songs like: In the night, What have I done to deserve this? (Allee Willis version), I want a lover (Blue Weaver version), West End girls -85, Opportunities, A man could get and some other 1985 tracks.
Then Please.

And I think they could've made Disco with 8 tracks, adding A man could get and the NYC-mix of Why don't we live.
----
You've got me all wrong

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jasonjohn
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Re: Your choices: the debut album that might have been ...

#8 Post by jasonjohn »

I prefer your version of reality, telys!

Nickname
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Re: Your choices: the debut album that might have been ...

#9 Post by Nickname »

Best album of all time :P

- Two Divided by zero
- What have I done to deserve this (?)
- Love Comes Quickly
- One More Chance
- Jealousy

- Opportunities (reprise+Full Length 7" version)
- West End Girls (album version)
- Suburbia (Intro+7" vesion)
- It's a sin
- Why don't we live together ?

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CroMagnon
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Re: Your choices: the debut album that might have been ...

#10 Post by CroMagnon »

Nickname wrote:
Sat 18 Apr 2020, 3:25 pm
Best album of all time :P

- Two Divided by zero
- What have I done to deserve this (?)
- Love Comes Quickly
- One More Chance
- Jealousy

- Opportunities (reprise+Full Length 7" version)
- West End Girls (album version)
- Suburbia (Intro+7" vesion)
- It's a sin
- Why don't we live together ?
This wouldn’t have been too shabby:

Two divided by zero
It’s a sin
Love Comes Quickly
What have I done to deserve this?
Rent

In the night
West End Girls
Suburbia
Opportunities
Jealousy

... would love to include ‘I want a lover’ and ‘One more chance’ too though.
Love comes quickly, but is a catastrophe and a bourgeois construct etc.

joe stalin
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Re: Your choices: the debut album that might have been ...

#11 Post by joe stalin »

Firstly. Please is still their best ever album. By a long way

Secondly, any notion of leaving out Later Tonight should be dismissed.

Thirdly. This lockdown needs to end soon so we don’t get these silly threads.

Please. Do not Touch

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telys
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Re: Your choices: the debut album that might have been ...

#12 Post by telys »

Hey, you're all basically talking about a condensed version of the It couldn't happen here soundtrack. No way José!
They could've released a debut album with Bobby O because the tracks were recorded, remember they did a gig in Brixton with pre-recorded tracks.
They could've released a 1985 album with 7-8 songs which were already properly recorded.
Anything else was at demo level at the time.
----
You've got me all wrong

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telys
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Re: Your choices: the debut album that might have been ...

#13 Post by telys »

jasonjohn wrote:
Sat 18 Apr 2020, 3:04 pm
I prefer your version of reality, telys!
I'm waiting for the PSB Basement tapes
----
You've got me all wrong

One of the crowd
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Re: Your choices: the debut album that might have been ...

#14 Post by One of the crowd »

Its perfect as it is.
Fishing

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Re: Your choices: the debut album that might have been ...

#15 Post by Lush »

In my opinion, "Please" IS an absolutely stupendous debut and - by some distance - the best debut album of all time (even if I don't consider it the best PSB album). The song writing was top-notch, and the production was fresh and inspired.
"Unprofessional? Us? Sir. Might I with due respect remind you that Mister Vandemar and myself burned down the City of Troy? We brought the Black Plague to Flanders. We have assassinated a dozen kings, five popes, half a hundred heroes and two accredited gods. Our last commission before this was the torturing to death of an entire monastery in sixteenth century Tuscany. We are utterly professional." - Mr Croup

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