Please 35 years old today

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Drico One
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Re: Please 35 years old today

#16 Post by Drico One »

The great thing about Please is Pet Shop Boys arrived almost fully formed. Not for them the slightly embarrassing record that was subsequently shown up by successor albums that reached the standard that would define them. No, they arrived with their manifesto the very moment they beckoned us not to go home, catch the late train instead, and escape from whatever slightly shady shenanigans that was blighting our lives. How typical of them to announce themselves with a negative: "let's not go home" - albeit an active one. Nevertheless, we all knew deep down that the idea of running away was probably more appealing than the act itself, in much the same way dancing probably was. The only running away and dancing that would happen would occur in the mind.

This is, arguably, the only era where every single track was, essentially, perfectly representative of their world. Each b-sides is to the album what a side street is to a city. A man could get arrested, In the night, Was that what it was?, and That's my impression created a dialogue of their own as if they spoke to each other and continued a secret, shadowy conversation. All of these songs appear in my mind's eye beneath a neon sheen that is reflected in the street puddles that characterise the seedy gloam in which we adventure.

Please has one advantage over all of their subsequent work: its songs speak to the world of hungry young men from the perspective of hungry young men. By Actually, that hunger has been replaced by success, even if the ambition burns brightly. From Behaviour, the perspective changes to reflect experience and, inevitably, regret.

There is little regret on Please. All of our adventures are ahead of us. As a result, it's intoxicating and the possibilities are endless.

Drico.
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OakeyDokey
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Re: Please 35 years old today

#17 Post by OakeyDokey »

Well-said, fella.

I listened to the album tonight while walking through North London streets amidst a fair few puddles and shadows, with the City skyline hovering into view. Not much in the way of nightlife adventure in these uncertain times and I fall between two stools of being far too young in March 1986 (less than 18 months old) and not quite young enough now (36). But I only became a PetHead last year so regret over missed/lost youth has thankfully been out-weighed by the explorative thrill of their first seven years in particular which has been one of my salvations in Lockdown.

Speaking of the Please b-sides, I had fragments of two of them on a constant rewind and play loop for a good ten minutes on the way home - specifically on the "Why don't, why don't we do it now?" coda from the 7" version of A Man Could Get Arrested and the all too brief "I don't need anymore in my life..." bridge in Was That What It Was? (That surely should have been doubled). Both parts are just so damn strong and catchy.
If anyone knows of an app that allows you to loop a specific section of a track over and over, please let me know.

When I got back in tonight I read half of the first Annually book from 1988 that I recently procured on ebay, thus my doffing of the cap to all things Please was complete.

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Drico One
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Re: Please 35 years old today

#18 Post by Drico One »

That's my impression is embryonic ecstasy, throbbing insistently before the climactic explosion reveals torrents of pent-up, propulsive emotion. Neil never sounded angrier, and the rhyming structure is immature by his standards, but it all adds up to a youthful vigour that we rarely hear again. The middle eight is glorious, with Neil giving voice to a sense echoed on Please that "going to a club" is more of a notion than a reality. This nicely mirrors the feeling that the idea of escape is better than actually following through. Neil's reserve is to the fore: he doesn't go to the club, he claims, simply because he's not a member. A convenient excuse. The energy at the end of the song is palpable - this relationship is surely dead. There's a venom here, a definitive conclusion being reached. It's over.

Drico.
The pale kid that hides in the attic behind his PC...

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Drico One
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Re: Please 35 years old today

#19 Post by Drico One »

If Neil is angry on That's my impression, he's positively comatose on Was that what it was?, utterly accepting of the misstep that has blighted two lives. The tunefulness of the stunning chorus is arresting. The orchestrations that would become so central to their sound in later years get a work out, as if Chris is beginning to experiment and stretch the industrial, percussiveness that dominates the crystalline soundscapes that Neil is now sleepwalking through.

Chronologically, it's tempting to view this as the denouement of the fractured relationship from the previous b-side. After all, this was the flip side of Opportunities while That's my impression supported Love comes quickly. By the end, Neil has utterly given up, and his feelings are contextualised by the storm-like fury of Chris's stabs - painful reminders of a tempestuous imbroglio that is finally blowing out.

Drico.
The pale kid that hides in the attic behind his PC...

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Drico One
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Re: Please 35 years old today

#20 Post by Drico One »

OakeyDokey wrote: Sat 27 Mar 2021, 3:24 am But I only became a PetHead last year so regret over missed/lost youth has thankfully been out-weighed by the explorative thrill of their first seven years in particular which has been one of my salvations in Lockdown.
It doesn't get any better than discovering a band - especially this one - and having a catalogue like this - especially this one - to explore and delve into. The earlier stuff is more thrilling, the later stuff more life-affirming.

Drico.
The pale kid that hides in the attic behind his PC...

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y3potential
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Re: Please 35 years old today

#21 Post by y3potential »

Certain debut albums set down a marker. A manifesto or call to arms if you like. I recall as an 11 year old listening to my Dad's copy of the Beatles debut album, Please Please Me on the day after John Lennon's murder and hearing the "1,2,3,4" intro to I Saw Her Standing There and suddenly perking up and wondering 'what the hell is this..?' The same happened in March 1986 when I heard the first few bars of Two Divided By Zero from the recently purchased copy of Please owned by my girlfriends brother.. I just instinctively knew I needed to invest emotionally in this band.. Very few artists have that "classic" first album accolade. The aforementioned Beatles. Our own Pet's. Oasis and Stone Roses are in there for me on a personal level, but very few major bands have such strong debut albums and continue to deliver consistently throughout their careers...
There is beauty in ugliness and ugliness in beauty.

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