How could the imperial phase have been prolonged

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telys
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How could the imperial phase have been prolonged

#1 Post by telys » Wed 19 Feb 2020, 10:11 pm

As you might know I do not consider the imperial phase ended with the release of Domino Dancing but with the release of Paninaro '95. I have now reconsidered and put the end at the release of Yesterday, when I was mad - an egocentric song, pointless beyond the hardcore fanbase.
But could the imperial phase have been prolonged? The answer is yes.

If Girls and boys had been released under the Blur/Pet Shop Boys name (march '94)
If PSB had made a version of One in million with Take That (late '94)
If Ab fab had been properly released as a PSB/Saunders-Lumley collaboration (june '94), remember this was nr 6 on the UK chart.
If Relentless had been released fleshed out with above tracks and Euroboy + Some speculation (some time in 1995)
If they had released another GH instead of Alternative ca beginning of 1996 with a 10 year anniversary version of West End girls (oct '95) and with Se a vida é as a new track released in the beginning of summer '96, Se a vida é was a big hit but would probably been bigger released in may/june instead of august.

After this they could've released Bilingual, Alternative and Somewhere as a tripple whammy before indulging in the musical mishaps and New York city boy as a final spark of greatness in the charts.
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Re: How could the imperial phase have been prolonged

#2 Post by retrofuturist » Wed 19 Feb 2020, 10:46 pm

Those things would not have made a lick of difference. If anything, the tackiness of some of them would have hastened their decline.

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Re: How could the imperial phase have been prolonged

#3 Post by Patrick Bateman » Wed 19 Feb 2020, 10:46 pm

Why on earth would Blur have released their breakthrough single (as chart-friendly Britpop lads) in collaboration with anyone, let alone PSB?

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Re: How could the imperial phase have been prolonged

#4 Post by Luke Colorado » Wed 19 Feb 2020, 10:55 pm

The early 90s was tough for synth bands... the only kind of thing that was getting airplay in the US were Eurodance records. Maybe they could have leaned into that sound... oh wait, they did... it was call Very. I dunno... maybe if Neil had waited a few years to come out?

Also... Bilingual was mostly a horrible album. Maybe if they had made something better?
I sincerely *love* Disco 2 and listen to it straight through regularly.

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How could the imperial phase have been prolonged

#5 Post by PopKid78 » Wed 19 Feb 2020, 11:31 pm

The charts had changed so much by 1995, I think most acts associated with the 80s, were always gonna struggle to have continued success in a Chart dominated by Britpop acts. If anything it was an achievement to have an album of B sides reach number 2 in the charts, and to have 4 Top 10 hits in the Bilingual era. You’ve only got to look at Erasure, in 1992 they couldn’t do no wrong, by 95, and during the Britpop years, they were well and truly down the dumper.


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Re: How could the imperial phase have been prolonged

#6 Post by MikeyC » Thu 20 Feb 2020, 12:45 am

PopKid78 wrote:
Wed 19 Feb 2020, 11:31 pm
The charts had changed so much by 1995, I think most acts associated with the 80s, were always gonna struggle to have continued success in a Chart dominated by Britpop acts. If anything it was an achievement to have an album of B sides reach number 2 in the charts, and to have 4 Top 10 hits in the Bilingual era. You’ve only got to look at Erasure, in 1992 they couldn’t do no wrong, by 95, and during the Britpop years, they were well and truly down the dumper.


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Erasure did have a Number 1 album in 1994, however.

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Re: How could the imperial phase have been prolonged

#7 Post by Luke Colorado » Thu 20 Feb 2020, 1:03 am

And their 1995 album was their best.
I sincerely *love* Disco 2 and listen to it straight through regularly.

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Re: How could the imperial phase have been prolonged

#8 Post by PopKid78 » Thu 20 Feb 2020, 3:04 am

MikeyC wrote:
PopKid78 wrote:
Wed 19 Feb 2020, 11:31 pm
The charts had changed so much by 1995, I think most acts associated with the 80s, were always gonna struggle to have continued success in a Chart dominated by Britpop acts. If anything it was an achievement to have an album of B sides reach number 2 in the charts, and to have 4 Top 10 hits in the Bilingual era. You’ve only got to look at Erasure, in 1992 they couldn’t do no wrong, by 95, and during the Britpop years, they were well and truly down the dumper.


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Erasure did have a Number 1 album in 1994, however.
I was gonna mention their 1994 album, which is probably my favourite album by them. I guess the point I was making was that 92 was such a massive year for them, with a number 1 single and Album.


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Re: How could the imperial phase have been prolonged

#9 Post by Future Lover » Thu 20 Feb 2020, 7:32 am

Pointless... my joke still stands

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Re: How could the imperial phase have been prolonged

#10 Post by TallThinMan » Thu 20 Feb 2020, 8:00 am

telys wrote:
Wed 19 Feb 2020, 10:11 pm
As you might know I do not consider the imperial phase ended with the release of Domino Dancing but with the release of Paninaro '95. I have now reconsidered and put the end at the release of Yesterday, when I was mad - an egocentric song, pointless beyond the hardcore fanbase.

It depends what you mean by imperial phase. Neil means it to mean when they were having number one hit records.

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Re: How could the imperial phase have been prolonged

#11 Post by telys » Thu 20 Feb 2020, 10:00 am

TallThinMan wrote:
Thu 20 Feb 2020, 8:00 am
telys wrote:
Wed 19 Feb 2020, 10:11 pm
As you might know I do not consider the imperial phase ended with the release of Domino Dancing but with the release of Paninaro '95. I have now reconsidered and put the end at the release of Yesterday, when I was mad - an egocentric song, pointless beyond the hardcore fanbase.

It depends what you mean by imperial phase. Neil means it to mean when they were having number one hit records.
Well Very was nr 1 and Go West nr 2.
I forgot that they should've released Dreaming of the Queen as a single.
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Re: How could the imperial phase have been prolonged

#12 Post by Nickname » Thu 20 Feb 2020, 10:03 am

telys wrote:
Wed 19 Feb 2020, 10:11 pm
As you might know I do not consider the imperial phase ended with the release of Domino Dancing but with the release of Paninaro '95. I have now reconsidered and put the end at the release of Yesterday, when I was mad - an egocentric song, pointless beyond the hardcore fanbase.
But could the imperial phase have been prolonged? The answer is yes.

If Girls and boys had been released under the Blur/Pet Shop Boys name (march '94)
If PSB had made a version of One in million with Take That (late '94)
If Ab fab had been properly released as a PSB/Saunders-Lumley collaboration (june '94), remember this was nr 6 on the UK chart.
If Relentless had been released fleshed out with above tracks and Euroboy + Some speculation (some time in 1995)
If they had released another GH instead of Alternative ca beginning of 1996 with a 10 year anniversary version of West End girls (oct '95) and with Se a vida é as a new track released in the beginning of summer '96, Se a vida é was a big hit but would probably been bigger released in may/june instead of august.

After this they could've released Bilingual, Alternative and Somewhere as a tripple whammy before indulging in the musical mishaps and New York city boy as a final spark of greatness in the charts.

- Shameless was a CLEAR hit for those days. If it was a single, the song would be a clear Top 10 (I'm sure of that) and maybe a Top 5 and now it had been considered another PSB hit. It was a clear opener for Very and the best way to introduce the album with Can You Forgive Her like second track. The best mistake for me of the PSB career.
- Somewhere would have an even higher chart position if it was one of the main singles from Bilingual but I understand there was nothing to do with the rest of the album.
- It was obvious a latin album wasn't the best option for European countries (except Spain or Italy) if they wanted to prolong the Imperial Phase. A song like Up Against it or Metamorphosis could have been good singles anyway.

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Re: How could the imperial phase have been prolonged

#13 Post by tottenhammattspurs » Thu 20 Feb 2020, 1:18 pm

Not prolonged, but "made greater"...

Release What have I done to deserve this?? Two weeks earlier. This would have gone to Number One before Astley pipped them to it. Released Kings Cross rather than Rent. The dire circumstances one month later, along with making the single profits go to the disaster, would have given them their 4th number one. Always on my mind, leave as is, probably would have ended up with two top ten singles in the charts on Xmas week. Released I'm Not Scared as Pet Shop Boys ft Eighth Wonder, then released Heart with a different B-Side. Finally release I Get Excited as a final "Actually Era" non-album single.

Release Devices as the Introspective lead single.

Reckon you have 6 number ones right there...
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Re: How could the imperial phase have been prolonged

#14 Post by telys » Thu 20 Feb 2020, 8:30 pm

tottenhammattspurs wrote:
Thu 20 Feb 2020, 1:18 pm
Not prolonged, but "made greater"...

Release What have I done to deserve this?? Two weeks earlier. This would have gone to Number One before Astley pipped them to it. Released Kings Cross rather than Rent. The dire circumstances one month later, along with making the single profits go to the disaster, would have given them their 4th number one. Always on my mind, leave as is, probably would have ended up with two top ten singles in the charts on Xmas week. Released I'm Not Scared as Pet Shop Boys ft Eighth Wonder, then released Heart with a different B-Side. Finally release I Get Excited as a final "Actually Era" non-album single.

Release Devices as the Introspective lead single.

Reckon you have 6 number ones right there...
Yep, I came to a similiar conclusion a few years ago on this forum
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=30464&p=527188&hili ... ss#p527188

They should've released Being Boring with a different 7'' mix, a slightly more poppier and skipped Jealousy in favour of End of the world as a final Behaviour single.
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Re: How could the imperial phase have been prolonged

#15 Post by the8thark » Fri 21 Feb 2020, 9:24 am

Neil expecting Domino Dancing to be a huge hit is a little arrogant honestly. It's no where near the quality of rest of the hits in the imperial phase. They should have just released Always on My Mind as a single and then what? Introspective and Behaviour are not albums that feel like they'd be potential chart toppers. So the streak was bound to be broken.
The next album to have chart topping potential was Very but that was kind of screwed over by Very/Relentless being classified as a different album by the Music Industry.

Actually survived off the back of the singles. The rest of the album was not at the same level of quality and artistic quality/creativity. Mind you in the PSB's defence, most people buy albums based on the singles they've heard. Very few people who are not already hardcore fans but albums because of non single tracks.

My other opinion is the PSB themselves chose when the Imperial phase would end by making Introspective and Behaviour without and real chart topping potential. I wonder if Neil realises this or not, because he did expect Domino Dancing to do well but it did not.

If we think for a second, not as a PSB fan, but as someone who has no idea who the PSB are and hears a PSB song on the radio or in a music store, something like It's a Sin or Heart or It's a Sin would really make the person go Wow! That's amazing. Nothing on Introspective or Behaviour has that same Wow! factor to non fans. Maybe the Always On My Mind single/version that was released might have Wowed some of the public.
It took Very for the PSB to release some more tracks that could really Wow! the general public again.

Saying you can rework the behaviour singles to hypothetically extend the Imperial phase, I think that's impossible. It's just not a very radio friendly album. Not much to Wow! the general public there.

Finally, even though Behaviour was not going to repeat the success of the Actually singles, I think it was a good move by the PSB. Actually the sequel would have been a bad idea. Probably more comemrcially successful than Behaviour, but not every album has to be a super success. A different direction, with different idea is always the better way to go. To keep the music fresh.

If Neil had really wanted to make another successful album of singles, his bet was to make another hit album, not an Actually the second. I believe the PSB did this with Very, but that's not part of this discussion as it's long after the Imperial phase ended.
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