Search - Pet Shop Boys :: Essential

Pet Shop Boys
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Alternative Rock, Pop
  •  Track Listings (13) - Disc #1

The title Essential is open to interpretation. There is nothing essential on this album in terms of greatest hits, or defining songs. Essential is a collection of remixes, rare singles, and novelties that Pet Shop Boys col...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Pet Shop Boys
Title: Essential
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: Capitol
Release Date: 3/31/1998
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Alternative Rock, Pop
Styles: House, Dance Pop, Euro Pop
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 724349368828

The title Essential is open to interpretation. There is nothing essential on this album in terms of greatest hits, or defining songs. Essential is a collection of remixes, rare singles, and novelties that Pet Shop Boys collectors will consider absolute gems (many of these songs appear on no other album). This is in no way a compilation intended to abridge the full-length albums. Rather, it is useful to any collector filling in the gaps of their Pet Shop Boys discography. --Beth Bessmer

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CD Reviews

FrKurt Messick | Bloomington, IN USA | 10/29/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I like the Pet Shop Boys--I've collected most everything they've produced, video, audio (even the vinyl) and other media, and from that, I'm sure you will gather that I do in fact like them. They were a popular London-based group when I was a teenager coming into adulthood and pop culture in London. The PSB have always been more popular outside of America; they still have a dedicated core of fans in America, but a much more extensive base of fans in Europe, Asia, and South America. Whenever they have a new album or collection come out, I get it, automatically. I don't regret having bought this CD, as, without it, the collection would be incomplete. But I think it is mistitled. Every track on this Essential album is already on another piece I have, and all are less popular remixes of some of their more popular song (unless it is an obscure remix of an obscure song, which makes the title Essential even less applicable). I must confess, I was disappointed. While it is a plus sometimes to have these tracks on one CD (for instance, when driving), it is nothing more than I might have made myself with a CD-R drive and little bit of time. I was a bit irritated, actually, to find that collection I'd purchased is in fact a compilation of tracks I already had, at an inflated price, made so by the fact that it was 'limited' (although, even given its 'limited' status, I notice each time I look that there are still copies available, and thus I ask myself -- limited to what?). I won't go so far as to claim betrayal, but it is a not-so-clever marketing stunt, and I am sorry that it has come to this.As I said, I have all the albums of the Pet Shop Boys, and I do like them. But I can't honestly say I've played this CD since the first few days after I purchased it. And, based upon that, I would have to recommend passing over this one for all save the most devoted of fans. For them, this would be a five-star purchase. For others, there is nothing truly essential here."
Pet Shop Boys; the best years
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This collection was released by the boys' old US label, EMI. Now that they have moved to Atlantic, it's funny that an EMI collection should come out here. The songs are great, and whoever put this collection together has the same PSB favorites as I do. The opening cut, a soft version of Domino Dancing, is perhaps my favorite PSB track ever. I also love the extended version of Love Comes Quickly. I think it's a well thought out collection. The packaging, however, is a huge disappointment. I know the boys would not have approved of this packaging. It's very cheezy and looks like it was done by a designer who has no skills and just wants to impress everyone by making everything so elaborate. It looks junky!!"
Fun Collection for Fans
Westley | Stuck in my head | 06/25/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

"The title, "Essential," can be misconstrued easily - as this CD is not a greatest hits collection. As a result, I agree with other reviews who suggest that a casual PSB fan purchase "Discography" and/or "Alternative" which gather together their hits and b-sides, including most of the original versions found on "Essential." However, PSB completists will likely be satisfied with this CD, although perhaps not finding it a truly indispensable addition.Several terrific remixes are here, such as "Love Comes Quickly" and "Being Boring." In addition, "Opportunities" has a spoken word coda not included on the hit radio version. Best of all is the alternate version of "Domino Dancing," which strips away the Latin percussion of the original and draws out the inherent sadness of the song. Of course, many of these remixes and alternate versions are now available on the remastered versions of the PSB's original six CDs. Nevertheless, I highly recommend "Essential" for hardcore PSB fan. It's just a fun collection. Packaging: The interesting liner notes are by long-time PSB collaborator, Chris Heath, who wrote "Pet Shop Boys, Literally." The cover, unfortunately, is flimsy cardboard that fits inside a sleeve - the CD holder invariably gets stuck when inserted into the cover, leading to inordinate wear."