|Pet Shop Boys
In the beginning of their career, English musicians Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe could hardly imagine that they would be listed in The Guinness Book of Records as the most successful duo in UK music history.
Pet Shop Boys released their first album in March 1986. It was called «Please», in order that buyers would come and ask: «Can I have the album by Pet Shop Boys, «Please»?» The album quickly became popular, entering the top ten of the albums both in the UK and the USA. Its track «West End Girls» won the charts and became the first in a row of successful singles of the duo. Some time later «Please» was certified platinum at home and abroad.
A year later the band released their second album «Actually»which yielded one of the most popular and controverial songs of Pet Shop Boys «It’s a Sin», reflecting Tennant’s studying in a Catholic school. To the present day «Actually» is in the top three of the most successful albums of the band. Apart from «It's a Sin», its singles also included «Rent» and «What Have I Done to Deserve This?». In 2001 the album was released one more time and had some new previously unheard material alongside with digital versions of old songs.
In 1988 album «Introspective» came out with new songs and covers of popular hits like «Always On My Mind» by Elvis Presley. The album was executed in an experimental format and included longer tracks instead of usual 3-5 minute long songs. The album yielded the following singles: «Always on My Mind», «Domino Dancing», «Left to My Own Devices», «It's Alright». The success of «Introspective» let Tennant and Lowe go on their first tour across the UK, China and Japan.
«Behaviour» (1990) also turned out to be experimental. When working on it, Pet Shop Boys decided to temporarily change their producer that allowed them to choose new direction and new sound for their album. «Behaviour» got very warm reviews and till now is considered to be one of the best albums of the band. Financial performance of the album didn’t show it, though. Whether it was the experimental character of «Introspective», or some other reasons, but the album wasn’t as successful as its authors hoped it to be.
In album «Very» (1993) the duo dot back to their producer, but changed their sound again, moving from electronic pop-music to dance tracks. The album sold over five million copies worldwide and presented to the audience a couple of recognizable tunes: «Can You Forgive Her?», «Go West», etc.
After «Very» the interest to the band started gradually fading away, but Pet Shop Boys didn’t give up and kept on doing what they liked: released new albums, experimented with sound, launched new music projects and cooperated with other stars. For example, «Bilingual» (1996) concurred with band’s tour in South America and was largely focused on local beats. «Nightlife» (1999) in its turn paid a lot of attention not only to performance of «In Denial» with Kylie Minogue, but also to visual support of the album, originating from punk culture. A part of this support one can see in music video for «I Don’t Know What You Want But I Can’t Give It Anymore».
For various reasons the band couldn’t make it back to the mainstream. Albums Release (2002), Fundamental (2006) and Yes (2009) were less successful commercially than previous ones, and Pet Shop Boys gradually delved into touring and other projects. However, there is still hope for their comeback – in January 2012 Tennant and Lowe announced they’d started working on a new album.