Best of the worst

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jules
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Re: Best of the worst

#31 Post by jules »

Not real fans, just make the list of the two or three songs you like.

Tom Angel
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Re: Best of the worst

#32 Post by Tom Angel »

Wedding in Berlin is the worst 'song' of their career. An in-joke with no one else around to say it isn't funny. There was always a simmering loneliness and shades of cool on PSB tracks and this song is novelty in a world that is looking the other way. It ruins the mood built up by Hotspot and is exactly why PSB can do all things, but select the right tracks for albums. Wedding.. is just cringe, with a lazy sample sounding like a toddler has been messing around in the studio.

Decide was the perfect closer after the good but severely underproduced Burning the heather (I mean why get in Bernard Butler to play guitar when a strumming sample for 5 minutes would have done - the demo must have been ono-existent), nice trumpet though.
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Pod
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Re: Best of the worst

#33 Post by Pod »

For me, an open mind should have closed Hotspot - cracker of a track.
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Re: Best of the worst

#34 Post by Tom Angel »

Pod wrote: Sun 05 Mar 2023, 10:30 am For me, an open mind should have closed Hotspot - cracker of a track.
YES!! An open mind is better than most of Hotspot. it's like a purple patch in one song. What is god's name was it doing missing from the album?
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TallThinMan
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Re: Best of the worst

#35 Post by TallThinMan »

The one that I really can’t get on with is I Made My Excuses and Left.
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Disco.
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Re: Best of the worst

#36 Post by Disco. »

TallThinMan wrote: Sun 05 Mar 2023, 11:50 am The one that I really can’t get on with is I Made My Excuses and Left.
Love that song ! My favorite track of Fundamental !

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Meebabi
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Re: Best of the worst

#37 Post by Meebabi »

Tom Angel wrote: Sun 05 Mar 2023, 10:59 am
Pod wrote: Sun 05 Mar 2023, 10:30 am For me, an open mind should have closed Hotspot - cracker of a track.
YES!! An open mind is better than most of Hotspot. it's like a purple patch in one song. What is god's name was it doing missing from the album?
I agree with you both! An Open Mind is a fantastic track. Maybe they felt it didn’t fit the overall mood of the album??

Disco.
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Re: Best of the worst

#38 Post by Disco. »

Meebabi wrote: Sun 05 Mar 2023, 12:52 pm
Tom Angel wrote: Sun 05 Mar 2023, 10:59 am
Pod wrote: Sun 05 Mar 2023, 10:30 am For me, an open mind should have closed Hotspot - cracker of a track.
YES!! An open mind is better than most of Hotspot. it's like a purple patch in one song. What is god's name was it doing missing from the album?
I agree with you both! An Open Mind is a fantastic track. Maybe they felt it didn’t fit the overall mood of the album??
That’s exactly the reason, they said that in Literally.

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Markpro
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Re: Best of the worst

#39 Post by Markpro »

This was quite easy for me but wanted to really delve into my history with the boys music to double check but my first thoughts were correct, there are a few other tracks that I "tolerate" or are a bit "meh" to me but the ones below offer absolutely nothing musically to me, and I skip them every single time.

1. Winner
2. Wedding in Berlin
3. New York City Boy
4. Ego Music
5. Legacy
6. You Choose
7. New Boy
8. Searching For the Face of Jesus
9. Silver Age
10. The Forgotten Child
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alternativeformat
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Re: Best of the worst

#40 Post by alternativeformat »

I read a theory of genius once that credited productivity, that great artists and inventors have great bodies of work not because every work they produce is great, but because they try so many things and produce so much. Obviously, talent and inspiration still have to be part of the formula, but some mediocre art is going to happen along the way when you're generating so many keepers.

I'm willing to agree that most of the aforementioned nominees have some kind of shortcoming; I'm not sure anyone has listed a top favorite of mine [until someone brought up "I made my excuses and left"]. But many of them are tracks that I enjoy. I'll defend three in particular:

"Ego music" is a worthy statement at this point in time, has a passel of funny lines, and I like the electronic sounds a lot. I have a fantasy of Stereolab/Laetitia Sadier covering this song.

"Wedding in Berlin" is a toughie to reconcile, especially on such a moody album; I'm failing to think of a less ironic song in their canon (ignoring the ominous bells at the end). But they did make it blend into the overall texture of the album and I enjoy it. I always picture it being a hit during the drunken half of a wedding celebration and I feel they might have hoped that it'd be adopted as a modern wedding playlist standard. I love the puttering beat and the way the rhythm churns back up for the finish. I do wonder if it'd be harder for me to like if I weren't myself married, but then I believe I'd find it helpful remembering that neither of the Boys are themselves married or ever have been.

"Burning the heather" has a gem of a chorus I always believe would have been a popular sing-along pub song in another era and don't know why it couldn't still be.

Throw-in: "Some speculation" is something I loved in my early days of PSB discovery and still think is special. (Is there a music theorist here who can explain why it makes me think of The Beach Boys?) Also: "Lies".

I try never to stray from accentuating the positive, but allowing myself one note of negativity: I'm surprised "Happiness is an option" hasn't been cited. I agree with its sentiment, but I think "Miserablism" was a far more interesting way to say it. The rhythm is so sluggish and the sound is too much a repeat of "Electricity" (a song it seems I'm more amused by than some others are). It's one of their least musical tracks and one of a few I never listen to.

In the full picture, relative to a catalog of hundreds of treasured recordings, it's a paltry handful that are getting singled out in this thread.

When a band repeatedly fulfills sonic wishes you didn't know you had, it's just harder to take when they fall wide, or short, of the usual mark. I am ever grateful so much Pet Shop Boys music has been in my life for so long.

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One of the crowd
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Re: Best of the worst

#41 Post by One of the crowd »

Pod wrote: Sun 05 Mar 2023, 10:30 am For me, an open mind should have closed Hotspot - cracker of a track.
I listen to Hotspot like this...

01: Will-O-The-Wisp
02: Dreamland
03: Happy People
04: An Open Mind
05: Hoping For A Miracle
06: I Dont Wanna
07: Monkey Business
08: Only The Dark
09: The Forgotten Child
10: Burning The Heather
11: You Are The One
12: Decide
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NotInvisible
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Re: Best of the worst

#42 Post by NotInvisible »

Tom Angel wrote: Sun 05 Mar 2023, 9:38 amWedding in Berlin is the worst 'song' of their career. An in-joke with no one else around to say it isn't funny.
I think it's a fun track, and the way the sample never quite resolves is marvelous. Possibly better suited as a b-side than an album closer, but I've never really understood the vitriol.

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Re: Best of the worst

#43 Post by NotInvisible »

alternativeformat wrote: Sun 05 Mar 2023, 4:15 pm"Burning the heather" has a gem of a chorus I always believe would have been a popular sing-along pub song in another era and don't know why it couldn't still be.
Burning the Heather is one of their finest songs, and I'm thrilled it's apparently the template for the next album. Just lovely.

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Re: Best of the worst

#44 Post by Tom Angel »

Having just played an open mind again for first time in ages

it would have made a fine lead single - with Dreamland as the follow up. It's just on a higher pay grade than most of the album, and with Decide as a closer and no wedding in Berlin Hotspot would have been a resounding success as opposed to a middling one.
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Markpro
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Re: Best of the worst

#45 Post by Markpro »

NotInvisible wrote: Sun 05 Mar 2023, 8:13 pm
alternativeformat wrote: Sun 05 Mar 2023, 4:15 pm"Burning the heather" has a gem of a chorus I always believe would have been a popular sing-along pub song in another era and don't know why it couldn't still be.
Burning the Heather is one of their finest songs, and I'm thrilled it's apparently the template for the next album. Just lovely.
I love Burning the Heather, the chorus is lovely and it’s just such a relaxing feelgood track
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