25 years of Can You Forgive Her

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panda magic
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Re: 25 years of Can You Forgive Her

#16 Post by panda magic » Fri 01 Jun 2018, 12:01 am

I still remember seeing the video premiered on Much Music in Canada like it was yesterday. I recorded it onto vhs and watched the f*** out of it that day - it was the most excited I'd ever been about any new song up until that point in my life, and I wouldn't really re-capture that feeling again (at least with PSB) until I'm With Stupid 13 years later.

The CD single was initially very perplexing for me, since the Canadian release was basically the UK CD2. So, no Rollo mixes, no Hey Headmaster, and most frustrating of all, no actual single version of the single. And of course no internet to explain why this was.

Eventually I tracked down the US maxi single at an HMV in Calgary and I breathed a sigh of relief. I can see why some people aren't fond of the remixes - I've always thought it's a little awkward to put club/DJ mixes on formats that are primarily intended for home play. Having said that, the Rollo remix is one of my favorite PSB remixes ever. And Johnny Marr's I Want To Wake Up hasn't lost any of its brilliance 25 years later.

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retrofuturist
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Re: 25 years of Can You Forgive Her

#17 Post by retrofuturist » Fri 01 Jun 2018, 6:01 am

Greetings,
panda magic wrote:
Fri 01 Jun 2018, 12:01 am
The CD single was initially very perplexing for me, since the Canadian release was basically the UK CD2. So, no Rollo mixes, no Hey Headmaster, and most frustrating of all, no actual single version of the single. And of course no internet to explain why this was.
There was a similar issue here in Australia with only CD2 being available in the store for the first few weeks, and then from that point you would pretty much only ever see CD1 available in the stores.

By then the Australian shops (other than import stores) had pretty much phased out vinyl, and they were even cutting back on cassette-singles.

This curious delay regarding CD1 wasn't all bad though, because it resulted in a "slow burn" in the sales which kept it in the charts for longer. It was also nice in a way, because this was the first time that more than one CD for a Pet Shop Boys single had actually been released in Australia, rather than just available on import for twice the price. Even now I wonder if, perhaps, CD2 was an accidental release. (The next time we'd see two CD singles in Australia was for Liberation)

Retro. :)

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Re: 25 years of Can You Forgive Her

#18 Post by ArtHist » Fri 01 Jun 2018, 5:39 pm

No better time to include an extract from an ongoing project.....imo Chris's most memorable look. Epic single and video.
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spooky
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Re: 25 years of Can You Forgive Her

#19 Post by spooky » Fri 01 Jun 2018, 9:20 pm

i used to work at a music store and would receive promo copies of CD's and cassettes all the time. i got a promo cassette of Can You Forgive Her. when i heard the first few notes of it, i remembered asking myself "is this a joke?" i just couldn't accept the idea of them releasing a song like this, right after the greatness that was Behaviour. up til that point for the PSB's, i liked nearly everything they put out, including all the artwork for their albums and singles. i didn't like the artwork for Very at all. when the full album was released, the only songs i didn't care for were Can You Forgive Her, and Go West.

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Re: 25 years of Can You Forgive Her

#20 Post by PopArt » Sat 02 Jun 2018, 2:01 pm

It was a truly defining moment in PSB history. After the diminishing chart returns of 1991 and then the complete silence throughout 1992 I thought PSB were heading down the dumper. I first heard Can you forgive her? being played on Radio 1 (I think it was Simon Bates) and was blown away. It had everything a defining PSB single needed and I think- alongside It's a sin- is the best opening single from an album campaign. The costumes also brought a sense of occasion to the release and it just felt like PSB were still firing on all cylinders despite the rocky end to the Behaviour period. People were talking about them again and they were getting crossover appeal in a way that they have never since. And as a huge PSB fan this felt quite rewarding.

The Very period is perhaps my favourite PSB era. A near flawless album backed up with brilliant artwork and visuals.
I'm always waiting...

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Re: 25 years of Can You Forgive Her

#21 Post by lucienchardon » Sat 02 Jun 2018, 7:02 pm

One of my favorite PSB tracks and in my opinion one of their very best lead singles. I still remember the day I got the CD single and played it in my room. I loved it instantly and couldn't believe how good it was! It was obviously PSB and yet it sounded different from anything they had done. Everything about it is great, loved the lyrics, the video and sleeve design.

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Re: 25 years of Can You Forgive Her

#22 Post by Hamlet » Sun 03 Jun 2018, 12:52 am

Best memorys. I heard it on the radio while my mother was on the phone and I thought of the intro before the voice started, hopefully it's the pet shop boys ... as Neil's voice started I was thrilled. It was the only time where neighbors complained about the volume of the CD and offered to give me their headphones. I didnt know until 1995 that there was a b-side called What keeps.... Never get the second CD in Germany at that time.

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panda magic
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Re: 25 years of Can You Forgive Her

#23 Post by panda magic » Sun 03 Jun 2018, 2:11 am

PopArt wrote:
Sat 02 Jun 2018, 2:01 pm
It was a truly defining moment in PSB history. After the diminishing chart returns of 1991 and then the complete silence throughout 1992 I thought PSB were heading down the dumper.
well, hold on - in 1992 PSB did a legendary show at the Hacienda, did The Crying Game with Boy George & Disappointed with Electronic, released Performance on video, and did The South Bank Show (which remains the best documentary about them to this day.) Not bad for a completely silent year!

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Re: 25 years of Can You Forgive Her

#24 Post by Drico One » Sun 03 Jun 2018, 1:06 pm

It was the first year they didn't release a single - and this on the back of the flop performances of half of their 1991 singles and the compilation. Everything is relative, but in PSB terms, 1992 was non existent.

That South Bank Show special talked openly about the problems they would now have in the future. Discography, which came out three months earlier, was effectively a career retrospective. Was It Worth It? missed the top 20. Performance came out ages after it should have. Go West was cancelled.

Nah, 1992 was, by the standards of the day, forgettable. Of course, compared to today, it was a golden era. But then, nobody in 1992 really thought they'd still be "around today" when today is 2018. So, compensations.

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Re: 25 years of Can You Forgive Her

#25 Post by panda magic » Sun 03 Jun 2018, 5:24 pm

oh yeah I fully realize it was a major dip in activity coming after the previous six or seven years. I was mostly just adding some nuance to the phrase "completely silent" which broadly glossed over two of my absolute favorite PSB and PSB-adjacent things (Disappointed and the South Bank Show.)

Interestingly, Depeche Mode and New Order also released nothing in 1992 so perhaps there was just something in the air that year.

The fan base's tendency to consider 1992 a total write-off does indicate a kind of entitlement that followed so many years of being absolutely spoiled. Like, only 3 or 4 things in one year instead of the usual 8 or 9? Why even bother, right? If anything, their supposed "year off" was completely necessary following the juggernaut of activity of their imperial phase. The radical departure in sound & visual presentation of the Very era was probably the result of having that comparatively uneventful year to re-group and re-evaluate their creative direction. I wish they'd taken such mini-breaks more often throughout their career, to be honest. It may have given them the space to reconsider decisions that they would later openly regret (ie - choosing certain tracks for single release over others, relegating other tracks to b-sides which ought to have been on the albums proper, etc.) Perhaps if they'd, say, put Release aside for six months and then returned to it later with fresh ears, Always would have made it on in lieu of The Night I Fell In Love, and maybe they would have realized taking I Didn't Get Where I Am Today off the final album tracklist was indeed the mistake they would later recognize it to be . . .

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Re: 25 years of Can You Forgive Her

#26 Post by Drico One » Sun 03 Jun 2018, 6:59 pm

Yeah, they definitely needed 1992 off. I think people were fairly sated by them at that point and everyone needed to reboot. Saturation point had been reached with an album, six singles, a world tour, and a greatest hits inside 15 months from September 1990.

I’m not sure taking longer with the likea of Release would have helped. At that point, they were three years between albums. Anything more and they’d turn into Peter Gabriel.

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Re: 25 years of Can You Forgive Her

#27 Post by ZiggyPSB » Sun 03 Jun 2018, 9:23 pm

Yeah its obvious that after Behaviour, it was the death of the old routine and the start of the new one, where we fans would get albums every 3 years or so. Only the gap between Elysium and Electric was a blip but they had big plans.
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Re: 25 years of Can You Forgive Her

#28 Post by Joemoz » Sun 03 Jun 2018, 9:36 pm

I still remember buying the Can You Forgive Her? on 7" single on a sunny day in my home town, while studying for my high school exams, and going home to play it over and over and over again. I must have listened to it at least 20 times that first day and to this day I am still excited to hear it every time.
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Re: 25 years of Can You Forgive Her

#29 Post by Ewok » Sun 03 Jun 2018, 10:03 pm

I bought the CD-single the day I finished school. Listened to it on repeat when I got home, surely more than 20 times :wink: Still my favourite PSB-single.

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Re: 25 years of Can You Forgive Her

#30 Post by SynthMan Wales » Sun 03 Jun 2018, 11:31 pm

I remember Can You Forgive Her? coming out just prior to my sitting GCSEs.

Like others here, it made a big impact on me and helped revitalise my interest in PSB.

Everything about the release was perfect. The song, the video, the artwork.

It was probably the most successful Very era single in terms of universal excellence (a-side, b-side, video, sleeve design and video). The other 4 (or 5, including Absolutely fabulous) had some element that let it down (Go West had poor remixes in the UK, I Wouldn't Normally Do had a cheap looking video, Liberation was weak a-side choice IMO, and Yesterday When I Was Mad had a dull sleeve design (although all had excellent qualities about them).

Can You Forgive Her? is definitely one of PSB's high watermarks, creatively and from my perspective, for all these reasons.

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