“Relentless” & the KLF

For general discussion of Pet Shop Boys topics.
Message
Author
OakeyDokey
Posts: 67
Joined: Sun 04 Oct 2020, 10:05 pm
Contact:

Re: “Relentless” & the KLF

#31 Post by OakeyDokey »

More on Pulp/Neil. I think his view on Pulp became more appreciation than jealousy. He named This Is Hardcore as one of his favourite records of 1998 a couple of years later.

I also think Pulp took heart from the Pets early success. During the recording of their independent breakthrough single My Legendary Girlfriend, they asked the producer to make them sound like a cross between Barry White and Pet Shop Boys.

Seeing as they're two of my favourite groups, other quotes...From Pulp's fanclub magazine Autumn 1998 in response to a question if the group are fans of PSB:

"Mark's not a fan of their music but found their book 'Literally very enjoyable. Candida couldn't think of the song of theirs that she really liked - the lyric "Left to my own devices" is definitely in it though. Jarvis confessed to liking them at the time, his favourite song being 'Suburbia' but he doesn't listen to them a lot these days".

The last bit is interesting as Pulp wrote a song called Nights Of Suburbia in 1985.

OakeyDokey
Posts: 67
Joined: Sun 04 Oct 2020, 10:05 pm
Contact:

Re: “Relentless” & the KLF

#32 Post by OakeyDokey »

PopKid78 wrote: Mon 29 Mar 2021, 12:22 pm Stephen Hague was considered as the producer for Different Class, because they liked his work with PSB. I think they even met up with him.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
That's interesting. They spoke to Mickie Most as they wanted to make a solid pop album. Chris Thomas had his arm in a sling and had just done The Lion King when they approached him. I think Jarvis said something like "He seemed like our kind of person".

Eleven
Posts: 65
Joined: Sun 27 Oct 2019, 3:58 pm
Contact:

Re: “Relentless” & the KLF

#33 Post by Eleven »

All I can think of now is The KLF Justified and Ancient with Neil on vocals being the xmas number 1 december 1991
https://www.officialcharts.com/charts/s ... 1222/7501/

I love to look these charts, you can see there was really great songs no matter their position

And also Discography doing much much better than it did
https://www.officialcharts.com/charts/a ... 1110/7502/

Look at those albums, you cant get much better than that

Dog
Posts: 1726
Joined: Thu 30 Oct 2003, 11:41 pm
Contact:

Re: “Relentless” & the KLF

#34 Post by Dog »

Drico One wrote:
Dog wrote: Mon 29 Mar 2021, 12:01 pm
I think Bilingual does make sense in this context and has already been framed by Neil as a reaction against Britpop. If you feel you are struggling to compete then changing the game makes sense, and obviously looking overseas immediately gives a different and less insular perspective. Interestingly Pulp went on the pretty much the same journey but ended up at This Is Hardcore - with Jarvis retreating further inward still.

I can see the same parallel with Hotspot as a reaction to Brexit.
I don't think Bilingual is a credible reaction to Britpop, though, even if Neil intended it as one. It's far too half-arsed to be the "Latin" album that it was sometimes presented as. The first single, Before, is fairly nondescript, and the second is uninspired, even if it at least does present the much-trumpteted Latin vibe. Let's face it, when the record's "South American percussion" was provided by a gang of Scottish lesbians, we weren't really setting sail too far from Dover. That said, there are some good songs on that album, but the best cut, A Red Letter Day, is hamstrung in a commercial sense by reprising the male voice choir trick that made Go West so instantly huge. For whatever reason, I think they'd lost a little spark at this time, a sense of their own commercial touch. They seemed...tired.

Drico.
Like most Pet Shop Boys’ concepts it’s applied loosely and unevenly. I think the Scottish percussion and Russian choir help enforce the notion of an international record. There’s enough there to suggest they were looking outwardly for their inspiration. It’s not my favourite album of theirs by a long shot but there’s plenty of interesting stuff on there even if it’s short on obvious singles.
Woof.

User avatar
Drico One
Posts: 5611
Joined: Tue 16 Sep 2003, 8:56 pm
Contact:

Re: “Relentless” & the KLF

#35 Post by Drico One »

Yet, they've always looked outwardly for their inspiration: from Detroit and New York on Please to Berlin on Hotspot via Domino Dancing and Paninaro - and Neil's predeliction for history has always meant Russia has had a say. I can't help thinking that any bigging up of an "international" influence on Bilingual was merely window dressing for a lack of genuine inspiration. If Bilingual was, in any way, a response to Pulp, they didn't really hit back. It's unfocused and, at times, incoherent. I think this era is arguably the second major crisis of their career, if you take the end of 1990 and chart diminution as the first. I think there were other things at play at this time and the Jarvis paranoia was a symptom of that rather than anything more. I think Neil's reference on Discoteca to "going out and carrying on as normal" is apposite. That they managed to do this and muddle through the next decade before redefining their purpose is one of their greatest achievements.

Drico.

PS I still think It Always Comes As A Surprise is a gorgeous track and hugely underestimated. Though I like Single, it was only ever a single in name. I'd have gone for a nice edit/remix of Surprise to showcase the romantic sincerity that is such a central though underappreciated theme of their work. Perhaps only Liberation, to this point, did that.
The pale kid that hides in the attic behind his PC...

OakeyDokey
Posts: 67
Joined: Sun 04 Oct 2020, 10:05 pm
Contact:

Re: “Relentless” & the KLF

#36 Post by OakeyDokey »

Always Comes... is also my favourite on Bilingual even though the piano motif in the chorus is partially recycled from a bit in the bridge of So Sorry I Said.
Last edited by OakeyDokey on Wed 31 Mar 2021, 1:47 am, edited 1 time in total.

Dog
Posts: 1726
Joined: Thu 30 Oct 2003, 11:41 pm
Contact:

Re: “Relentless” & the KLF

#37 Post by Dog »

My favourites from Bilingual are Up against it, Discoteca and The Survivors. Against the grain I know, but I also really like Metamorphosis, Electricity and Saturday night forever. The singles are pretty pedestrian by their standards. It always comes as a surprise is probably my least favourite, along with To step aside.
Woof.

User avatar
Drico One
Posts: 5611
Joined: Tue 16 Sep 2003, 8:56 pm
Contact:

Re: “Relentless” & the KLF

#38 Post by Drico One »

The Discoteca/Single opening act is astonishingly dark and aggressive. It's a compelling introduction - and a great example of the sum being greater than the constituent parts, because neither is single-worthy despite one getting that honour and one being seriously considered for it.

Metamorphosis is, in its own way, quite sweet. It's also very lightweight and is, therefore, a slightly incongruous counterbalance to the dystopian vision painted at the outset. Electricity is banal, a weirdly catchy curio that sits as uneasily on this record as, well, just about everything else so far. Se A Vida E is uninspired. It Always Comes As A Surprise is lovely, and arguably the best of the "Latin-influenced" tracks, though To Step Aside is engagingly reflective and, in some ways, every bit as dark as Discoteca. I like them dark.

A Red Letter Day is a classic, the outstanding track of the second half of this decade in my book. The Survivors is too schmalzy for me, a little trite and middle-of-the-road. I've always liked Up Against It. It has energy, something that's in scarce enough supply here. Before is catchy, but the most disappointing lead single to date - and only surpassed since by the ineffable Winner. Saturday Night Forever is merely risible, a desperate shriek of underwhelming mediocrity.

Still, the b-sides were often tremendous. Hit and Miss was glorious - the best track never to make Release. Delusions of Grandeur was a romp. The Boy Who... was the best of the "Latin" tracks, full of mischievous fun, even if its dark heart ensured you could never quite lose yourself in the tale. The View From Your Balcony was another hefty slab of throwaway pleasure, even if Somewhere, which it backed, was a tad joyless.

Listening to these tracks - and there were plenty of good ones in this era, despite the peculiarity on display - I'm struck by a weighty sadness that seems to lurk behind nearly everything. Looking back, "I don't speak the language, I don't understand a word" was as much a commentary on Neil's place in the UK pop scene in 1996 as it was anything more coded or profound. I don't think Jarvis was the problem. No, everything had utterly changed. Erasure, Kylie, and SAW were swept away. Even Madonna struggled for a hit. No winder he was lost. Thankfully, he didn't step aside and kept doing what he did. It saw me through, if nobody else.

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

Dog
Posts: 1726
Joined: Thu 30 Oct 2003, 11:41 pm
Contact:

Re: “Relentless” & the KLF

#39 Post by Dog »

I definitely agree with that sadness / darkness. It’s probably my least favourite period for b-sides with only really The view from your balcony and The truck-driver and his mate standing out.
Woof.

User avatar
Andie
Posts: 1191
Joined: Fri 08 Feb 2013, 9:41 am
Contact:

Re: “Relentless” & the KLF

#40 Post by Andie »

I still love Bilingual. My favourite from the album has always been Discoteca/Single & I love the video!! My second favourite (almost a tie) is A Red Letter Day.
Don’t be scared, for only the dark can show you the stars

User avatar
Patrick Bateman
Posts: 9045
Joined: Sat 12 Apr 2008, 4:35 pm
Contact:

Re: “Relentless” & the KLF

#41 Post by Patrick Bateman »

Bilingual is two-thirds of a great album but is let down by Metamorphosis, Electricity and Saturday Night Forever. As has been observed countless times before, having two of those tracks at 3 and 4 really spoils the flow. It is an incredibly melancholy album, and even on tracks which have a degree of optimism, it's hopeful rather than certain ("I'm always waiting for a red letter day"; "I will try to forget all the tears I'll have cried") or stoic ("Life is much more simple when you're young"; "But somehow we're alive").

User avatar
Synthrobot
Posts: 219
Joined: Fri 15 Sep 2017, 9:42 pm
Contact:

Re: “Relentless” & the KLF

#42 Post by Synthrobot »

Dog wrote: Mon 29 Mar 2021, 11:42 am
tottenhammattspurs wrote:Jarvis has now joined The Jams.
I could very well imagine the four of them sitting down to reinterpret Kylie Said To Jason, given this was originally in their style anyway.
Kylie Said To Jason is my favourite KLF track. I love this idea, and I have to say I am very pleased it has finally had a ‘proper’ release now on Solid State Logik 2.

Dog
Posts: 1726
Joined: Thu 30 Oct 2003, 11:41 pm
Contact:

Re: “Relentless” & the KLF

#43 Post by Dog »

Synthrobot wrote:
Dog wrote: Mon 29 Mar 2021, 11:42 am
tottenhammattspurs wrote:Jarvis has now joined The Jams.
I could very well imagine the four of them sitting down to reinterpret Kylie Said To Jason, given this was originally in their style anyway.
Kylie Said To Jason is my favourite KLF track. I love this idea, and I have to say I am very pleased it has finally had a ‘proper’ release now on Solid State Logik 2.
Definitely. Everything crossed the Trance remixes will make an appearance in a future chapter as well.
Woof.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 41 guests