Dricography: Ranking Introspective

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Disco.
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Re: Dricography: Ranking Introspective

#16 Post by Disco. » Thu 18 Oct 2018, 10:18 pm

Pod wrote:
Thu 18 Oct 2018, 8:51 pm
What’s wrong with It’s Alright?
Sorry but the version of always on my mind on Introspective is bloody brilliant. In my humble opinion.
Yes it is, its absolutely perfect.

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Drico One
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Re: Dricography: Ranking Introspective

#17 Post by Drico One » Thu 18 Oct 2018, 10:37 pm

6. Losing my mind

The bonkers percussion, demented air, and general sense of nuttery makes this a creepy pleasure. This was a standout of the Performance show where all sorts of malevolent activity was taking place under cover of darkness - and bedsheets. It's raw and taut, even a little crass, but great fun nonetheless. Giving it to Liza was suitably hilarious, even in her pre-David Gest period.

5. It's alright

What a metamorphosis! The meandering, indulgent, slightly unhinged album version transmogrifies into a vibrant, effervescent celebration of optimism in the face of impending doom when reimagined as a single. Only the transformation of Suburbia was more effective than this. The album version always bored me to tears, with its jazzy noodlings, earnest backing vocals, and slightly out of tune synths ending the record on a bum note. That said, I find myself enjoying it more as I get older, particularly the insistent rhythm track. Neil singing about the environment still seems incongruous, and it remains a surprise that they chose to release this as a single eight months after Left to my own devices when many assumed they were on hiatus.

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Re: Dricography: Ranking Introspective

#18 Post by Palpatine » Fri 19 Oct 2018, 2:09 am

Drico One wrote:
Thu 18 Oct 2018, 10:37 pm
6. Losing my mind

The bonkers percussion, demented air, and general sense of nuttery makes this a creepy pleasure. This was a standout of the Performance show where all sorts of malevolent activity was taking place under cover of darkness - and bedsheets. It's raw and taut, even a little crass, but great fun nonetheless. Giving it to Liza was suitably hilarious, even in her pre-David Gest period.

5. It's alright

What a metamorphosis! The meandering, indulgent, slightly unhinged album version transmogrifies into a vibrant, effervescent celebration of optimism in the face of impending doom when reimagined as a single. Only the transformation of Suburbia was more effective than this. The album version always bored me to tears, with its jazzy noodlings, earnest backing vocals, and slightly out of tune synths ending the record on a bum note. That said, I find myself enjoying it more as I get older, particularly the insistent rhythm track. Neil singing about the environment still seems incongruous, and it remains a surprise that they chose to release this as a single eight months after Left to my own devices when many assumed they were on hiatus.

Drico.
Were they right to release It's Alright as a single?

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Patrick Bateman
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Re: Dricography: Ranking Introspective

#19 Post by Patrick Bateman » Fri 19 Oct 2018, 12:48 pm

The Introspective version of It's Alright is a karaoke version of Sterling Void's euphoric original and therefore inferior. The single is an excellent pop version and served to get an underground track into the top five.

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Re: Dricography: Ranking Introspective

#20 Post by Lush » Fri 19 Oct 2018, 9:12 pm

When the album came out, I was finding it difficult to get my head around Always on my mind/IMH. Then in the early 00s, at Kasper Lauest's insistence (does anyone remember him?), I listened to it again and realized that it's a career highlight. THAT moment, when Chris Lowe's definitive mega-riff comes blasting out of "In My House" like a Will Smith-piloted space shuttle leaving a an exploding alien mothership is as good as music gets.
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retrofuturist
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Re: Dricography: Ranking Introspective

#21 Post by retrofuturist » Fri 19 Oct 2018, 11:19 pm

Greetings,
Palpatine wrote:
Fri 19 Oct 2018, 2:09 am
Were they right to release It's Alright as a single?
:shock:

What a strange question to ask in relation to a Top 5 single.

Retro. :)

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Re: Dricography: Ranking Introspective

#22 Post by TwizzleUK » Sat 20 Oct 2018, 12:31 am

Fantastic album that I always find myself going back to and loving more and more each time.

What always impressed me with 'Introspective' was the sound quality compared with the reverb-heavy and tinny 'Please' and 'Actually'. When I bought it on vinyl in 1988 it had a clout to it, even back then on my crappy MIDI Hi-Fi system.

It has a marvellous clean and consistent sound from track to track, which is remarkable when you consider that probably every track was recorded in different time periods, with different producers/remixers and in different studios. A remix/compilation album that's a consistent whole. I always wondered if 'I'm Not Scared' was their own extended mix of the demo they did for Patsy/Eighth Wonder, and what the original demo sounded like.

No problem with the album version of 'It's Alright'. I remember thinking it was a bit too long when I first heard it as a 13 year old, but don't find that now, and love all three of the different versions (album/10"/single).

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Re: Dricography: Ranking Introspective

#23 Post by Palpatine » Sat 20 Oct 2018, 7:06 am

retrofuturist wrote:
Fri 19 Oct 2018, 11:19 pm
Greetings,
Palpatine wrote:
Fri 19 Oct 2018, 2:09 am
Were they right to release It's Alright as a single?
:shock:

What a strange question to ask in relation to a Top 5 single.

Retro. :)
Not really. Like Drico wrote, it was surprising that they released it as a single eight months after Left to my own devices. Also, wasn't Tom Watkins adamantly opposed to releasing It's Alright and wasn't that a factor in their dumping him?

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Re: Dricography: Ranking Introspective

#24 Post by Drico One » Sat 20 Oct 2018, 11:53 am

Hey Philby2, you wouldn't be poster Kim Philby who used to post here until around 2009, would you? We had a Dead Pool thread then that he took part in before suddenly disappearing in the manner of a Washington Post journalist in a Saudi Arabian consulate.

Regarding Domino dancing and Heart, my point is that these two songs were less layered in meaning than, say, Rent, and they contributed to a consecutive singles run (with Always on my mind) that suggested Pet Shop Boys were a commercial pop hit machine rather than, say, the slightly left-field subversive wordsmiths of yore that still spoke from the outside looking in. Now, they were very much on the inside. And their success reinforced that.

I agree completely with your point that Latin-flavoured pop music was hardly a master plan for world domination, but I do think that the overall sound of Domino dancing was more polished than, say, the more industrial leanings of the early Please singles. Domino dancing was a natural progression for a pop act that had gone nuclear in the charts. More success meant more money and more polish. Along the way, an edge was naturally lost.

So why do I think it stalled at 7? Well, I can't get away from the idea that six singles in 15 months is saturating the market. They have always benefited from taking a hiatus and coming back when tongues are hanging out for a shiny new pop single. It's alright made number 5 for two reasons, in my view: it was a fantastic, pop reworking of an acquired taste album track, and it came nine months after Left to my own devices. I don't think it's a coincidence that the 1991 singles for Discography suffered similarly to Domino dancing. DJ Culture was the fifth single in just over a year. Saturation point was reached.

The gay stuff I can't really understand. As a 16-year-old, I found the Domino dancing video compelling. Everybody was gorgeous. As a teenager, I think you could only be attracted to that beautiful, sexy video. Maybe only a minority of their audience picked up on the undercurrent of homosexuality that always underpinned their records, but I was always aware of it. The urban legends that surrounded them were there from West end girls, so I have always been a little perplexed that we are to believe that people were turned off PSB because Domino dancing had a sexy video with a girl and two boys when they'd already released Later Tonight, Opportunities, It's a sin, and Rent, collaborated with Derek Jarman, and redefined hamster appreciation.

I'll say this, too. For the Top of the Pops performance they did to promote Domino dancing, they could have picked two good-looking boys to do the backing vocals - yet, they didn't. That performance looked deeply unfashionable to me. I suppose I just don't buy the idea that Domino dancing's supposed overt gayness tipped them over the edge in Europe. I think overexposure is a more plausible reason for their relative commercial slump. And, if I recall correctly, I think it was only in the US where this was posited as an issue by Eric Watson in the South Bank Show. And that country has always been a giant farm with a few pockets of enlightenment on the coasts.

Drico.
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Re: Dricography: Ranking Introspective

#25 Post by Drico One » Sat 20 Oct 2018, 12:57 pm

Always on my mind/in your house does indeed have that thrilling explosive moment, Lush (good to see you, btw). My problem with it - such as it is - is that the utter genius of that moment highlights the plodding nature of much of the rest of the track. You really just want the explosive riff and it keeps you waiting interminably.

Had this come out before the single, I think I would have appreciated it more, but in comparison to the rifftastic thrill of the 7”, this feels elongated for the sake of it. Too much foreplay.

How’s Kasper keeping?

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Re: Dricography: Ranking Introspective

#26 Post by York Minster » Sat 20 Oct 2018, 9:12 pm

I know both of the backing singers in that TOTP performance and they are not happy about the comment Drico.
And tryin' to figure out what happened to 'Germaine Propaine'
"He couldn't have fell off that hard" Ain't no way
"What happened to the way you was rappin' when you was scandalous
That Canibus turned into a television evangelist"
Plus he raps with his regular voice [BOOSH! BOOSH!]
[BOOSH! BOOSH!] (What was that?) Pet Shop Boys

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Re: Dricography: Ranking Introspective

#27 Post by dtraversscott » Mon 22 Oct 2018, 4:21 am

I loved this when it came out; it had a force of cohesive, amazing production lacking from their first two albums (which we would also hear in Behavior and Very). That being said, the criticism I would agree with is that there were much better versions of IA to be had. 10" version might have fit with the sound of the album best, but I love the acid flavor of the Tyree mix. Connects with Sound of the Atom Splitting.
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Re: Dricography: Ranking Introspective

#28 Post by Drico One » Wed 24 Oct 2018, 10:53 pm

4. Your Funny Uncle

This is a very beautiful song, lovingly reflecting the wry incongruousness of very different people gathered together in shared grief. Funerals are always fascinating social events for those who like to observe, bringing together, as they do, people who may not have seen each other in years - or people who may never have crossed paths but who have something they never knew in common: the deceased. Funerals are always things that many people need to get through with dignity, and this song seems to reflect Neil's sense of doing right by his friend and his pride in having that acknowledged by somebody as proper and old-fashioned as the relative in question. Neil and his polar opposite seem to reflect each other's grief, even if they appear to have absolutely nothing in common. It's quite touching. The final verse contains a reading from the Book of Revelations. At my brother's funeral, I was asked to give a reading. Not having any time for religion, and considering the whole notion preposterous, I went for this as a coded message that only my brother would have understood. He had even less time for religion than me, so for me to quote a Pet Shop Boys song from the pulpit under the guise of the Book of Revelations would have given him an irreverent kick. It was the last in-joke we shared.

Drico.
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Re: Dricography: Ranking Introspective

#29 Post by leesmapman » Wed 24 Oct 2018, 10:56 pm

Your Funny Uncle. One of their best. Shows how well they are as serious songwriters.

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Re: Dricography: Ranking Introspective

#30 Post by Andie » Thu 25 Oct 2018, 9:51 am

I love this song, such great & profound lyrics.
In a robot world, machinery is sighing, I thought I heard one crying

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