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Pet Shop Boys
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Alternative Rock, Pop
  •  Track Listings (10) - Disc #1

When they released Actually, their second proper album, in 1987, the Pet Shop Boys proved they were no flash-in-the-pan pop sensation. Neil Tennant wrote about disaffected consumerism ("Rent," "Shopping") with the wry insi...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Pet Shop Boys
Title: Actually
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: Capitol
Original Release Date: 9/15/1987
Re-Release Date: 10/25/1990
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Alternative Rock, Pop
Styles: Dance Pop, Euro Pop
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 077774697224

When they released Actually, their second proper album, in 1987, the Pet Shop Boys proved they were no flash-in-the-pan pop sensation. Neil Tennant wrote about disaffected consumerism ("Rent," "Shopping") with the wry insight only the former editor of a teen pop magazine could have. Often accused of being emotionally bankrupt by their critics, Tennant and his partner, keyboardist Chris Lowe, effortlessly proved them wrong, camouflaging clever commentary ("It's a Sin") behind deadpan attitude and catchy dance music. The jewel in Actually's crown is probably "What Have I Done to Deserve This?," a classic hit for which Lowe and Tennant coaxed '60s pop icon Dusty Springfield out of semiretirement. Actually has aged better than anybody--including perhaps the Pet Shop Boys themselves--could have expected. --Elisabeth Vincentelli

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CD Reviews

One of my Favorite Albums out of the Wonderful 80s
gobirds2 | New England | 02/24/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The Pet Shop Boys were and still are phenomenal. Back then in1987, still enamored with a-ha I was looking for more, something with that 80s sounds yet unique and original. I first heard "What Have I Done to Deserve This?" with Dusty Springfield of all people doing this song with the Pet Shop Boys on the radio. I sought out the Pet Shop Boys album "Actually" and found it to be very good and just what I was looking for. Their very melodic pop dance sounding music with great lyrics, delivered with such deadpan emotion, was just so ironic but very catchy and well as striking a chord of emotion with me. "Actually" is one great classic album and fresh as ever."
Another solid effort
Derrick Jenkins | Hampton VA USA | 01/09/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

"PSB seem to have a knack for coming out with albums that engage you throughout despite critics saying otherwise. On tracks like "It's A Sin" or my fave "What Have I Done To Deserve This" it still feels like i'm hearing the song for the first time even those its been quite awhile. The song and the rest of the cd feels like something you could and should still enjoy to this day. A solid effort after the previous album "Please" and a cool addition to your Pet Shop Boys collection."
Sinfully Delightful
Tim Brough | Springfield, PA United States | 05/02/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Leaving their early critics in the dust, Chris Lowe and Neil Tennant made on of the 80's consummate synthpop albums with their sophomore "Actually." From the detached yawning duo on the cover to the dry wit of such classic singles as "Rent" or "Shopping," this is a slice of the late 80's. But it also marked a maturity in the music that listeners of Please probably would not have expected. "It Couldn't Happen Here" was one of the first pop songs to directly confront AIDS (in 1987) and "Kings Cross" took a withering look at what Britain had become under Thatcher.

In the 2001 reissue of "Actually," Tennant comments that he doesn't feel this holds up as a full album. Ah, but so goes the thoughts of distance from your work; IMHO, the only PSB album that holds together better is their masterpiece from 1993, Very. Perhaps it is the singles that make him think maybe the album is fragmented, but who could argue with the two brilliant hits here? The dance smash "It's a Sin" opens with sacred sounding chords before plunging headlong into guilty pleasure danceland. It's one of the duo's best, yet when they wanted to top themselves, they added a third. "What Have I Done To Deserve This" is - simply - one of the decade's most sublime singles. Luring the late Dusty Springfield out of retirement to play the jilted lover to Neil's miserable ex-boyfriend. It's nothing short of brilliant and it became PSB's US high-water mark.

For the hits alone, "Actually" is worth it. Add the solid songs throughout, and it's as good an album from the Pet Shop Boys as you could ask for."