diamond geezer

 Friday, January 24, 2020

A new Pet Shop Boys album is released today.
I'd better add it to my collection.

Please (24th March 1986)
Bought from: Our Price Records, Watford High Street, straight after a visit to the opticians. Paid for using a tenner from my very first use of an Abbeylink cashpoint machine. I had to go back and get the cassette replaced because there was a serious wobbly dropout one minute in.
Favourite non-single: Two Divided By Zero [Let's not go home, we'll catch the late train, I've got enough money to pay on the way]

Disco (17th November 1986)
Bought from: W.H.Smith, Paragon Street, Hull. It took me a week to buy this one because my student lodgings were out of town. I also bought a Red Box album, the Utter Madness compilation and five blank cassettes, then walked home rather than splurge money on a bus.
Favourite non-single: Paninaro [Passion, love, sex, money, violence, religion, injustice, death]

Actually (7th September 1987)
Bought from: Woolworths, Peascod Street, Windsor. By coincidence, release day was also my first ever day in full-time employment. I was the only person who turned up in a suit and tie. By coincidence, it was also the day Sylvester McCoy first appeared as Doctor Who.
Favourite non-single: King's Cross [Dead and wounded on either side, You know it's only a matter of time]

Introspective (10th October 1988)
Bought from: Boots, Peascod Street, Windsor. I was going to buy it from Woolworths, but it cost £5.99 there and only £4.99 in Boots. Played the album a lot that evening, before and after Brookside. The last time I bought a Pet Shop Boys album on cassette.
Favourite non-single: I Want A Dog [Don't want a cat, Scratching its claws all over my habitat, Giving no love and getting fat]

Behaviour (22nd October 1990)
Bought from: Our Price Records, Watford High Street, straight after a visit to the dentist. No fillings. I'd had a CD player for over a year, but I was still staggered that this new album set me back £12.49. You get a much better quality insert in a jewel case than a cassette box, but this one merely contained four photos.
Favourite non-single: Nervously [We don't talk of love, We're much too shy, But nervously we wonder when and why]

Discography (4th November 1991)
Bought from: Woolworths, Midland Road, Bedford. Got a lift into town after work so I could arrive just before the shops shut. Used a voucher cut off the back of a cereal packet to get £1 off my purchase. A 'Long Play CD' with 'over 76 minutes of music'. Somewhat early in their career for a Greatest Hits album, but nobody realised this at the time.

Very (27th September 1993)
Bought from: Andy's Records, Harpur Street, Bedford. This is the best-selling one in the knobbly orange box. But I really wanted the limited edition see-through plastic version with the extra 'Relentless' album included. Annoyingly by the time I turned up on Monday afternoon Our Price, Smiths, Boots, Woollies and Andy's had all sold out, and I was well gutted. But Andy's said they might have some more tomorrow, so I put my name down, and they got six and saved one for me and I was well chuffed. It still doesn't fit in my CD rack.
Favourite non-single: Forever in Love [Did you ever walk on a stormy night, Oblivious to the rain?]

Disco 2 (12th September 1994)
Bought from: Andy's Records, Harpur Street, Bedford. Only £9 this time. Went to Safeway afterwards and bought turkey burgers for tea. Didn't get time to listen because I had to go back to work for an evening meeting. Wasn't overly impressed when I finally did.
Favourite non-single: We All Feel Better In The Dark [And now our time has come and I'm feeling really horny]

Alternative (7th August 1995)
Bought from: Woolworths, Midland Road, Bedford. Ahh, the wonderful B-sides album. I arrived in town so early in the morning that they hadn't finished restocking the record racks yet. Decided against buying the special edition this time, because I didn't think the proper holographic cover was worth two pounds extra.
Favourite non-single: Too Many People [A devoted son and family man, Or the wicked uncle who doesn't give a damn, How often these have tempted me]

Bilingual (2nd September 1996)
Bought from: Our Price, Harpur Street, Bedford. This time only two of the record shops in town had a copy, and Our Price was cheapest at £11.49 so I bought it from there. One of my neighbours was serving behind the counter. It's not my favourite album.
Favourite non-single: Metamorphosis [It may not last but here am I, once a caterpillar now a butterfly]

Nightlife (11th October 1999)
Bought from: Our Price, Potter Street, Bishops Stortford. I bought this on the drive home from a weekend away, during the month when my relationship was combusting. After we broke up I played it over and over and over and over again in the car because the songs resonated so much. You Only Tell Me You Love Me When You're Drunk. I Don't Know What You Want But I Can't Give It Any More. Happiness Is An Option. I have never been so obsessed by any other album. I certainly got my £13.99sworth.
Favourite non-single: The Only One [There's so much that you hide from me, The mystery: am I the only one in your life?]

Release (1st April 2002)
Bought from: HMV, Victoria Walk, Leeds. A group of us from work were at a conference on Merseyside, but I was allowed the day off to go and do some proper work with a former Yorkshire Television announcer. Sneaked in a trip to the shops before catching the train back. First time I'd been to Leeds. Impressed.
Favourite non-single: The Samurai in Autumn [It's not as easy as it was, or as difficult as it could be]

Disco 3 (3rd February 2003)
Bought from: HMV, Trocadero, Piccadilly Circus. Bought it on day one, but only because there was a short gap between going bowling at the Trocadero with work colleagues (I came last) and watching a musical at the Cambridge Theatre with BestMate (and his future business partner). My Mondays weren't normally that manic/memorable/expensive.
Favourite non-single: Sexy Northerner [Says he wants a job, Something interesting like a graphic designer]

PopArt (24th November 2003)
Bought from: Tower Records, Piccadilly Circus. Another compilation album, purchased during my lunch break. I bought the DVD too, but had to take it back because the packaging had broken. These days YouTube functions perfectly as both greatest hits CD and DVD, for nothing.

Fundamental (22nd May 2006)
Bought from: Fopp, Earlham Street, Covent Garden. Another special edition, with a bonus 8-track remix album I may have only listened to once. Grrr, pulling off the price label ripped the surface of the album cover (but I think it's still eBay-able).
Favourite non-single: The Sodom and Gomorrah Show [I'd heard about their way of life, Took it with a pinch of salt]

Yes (20th March 2009)
Bought from: HMV, Oxford Street. My afternoon meeting finished early so I dashed through Mayfair in the pouring rain to the enormous HMV that became the Disney Store. I also bought the new Röyksopp album, but it wasn't as good as the first one.
Favourite non-single: Pandemonium [Is this a riot or are you just pleased to see me?]

Format (6th February 2012)
Bought from: Fopp, Earlham Street, Covent Garden. Another B-sides and rarities album, which proved really hard to find, and during the first week of release I failed to find it at Westfield, along Oxford Street... everywhere really. Hurrah for Fopp, finally. On the way home I also bought a new camera, because my phone wasn't good enough in those days.
Favourite non-single: The Truck-driver And His Mate [Parked inside the lay-by, Their destination can wait, Dancing in the moonlight]

Elysium (10th September 2012)
Bought from: Fopp, Earlham Street, Covent Garden, the day after attending the Paralympic Closing Ceremony. A thin album, both in terms of packaging and musically. Skimming down the tracklisting today, I can't hum a single track.
Favourite non-single: -

Electric (15th July 2013)
Bought from: HMV, Westfield, Stratford City. Thanks to the joys of bespoke streaming I'd been listening to the entire album before it was released, but I still went out and bought it. A return to form.
Favourite non-single: Bolshy [I hesitate (Я не решаюсь) to intrude (вмешиваться)]

Super (1st April 2016)
Bought from: HMV, Westfield, Stratford City. I had been intending to buy this from the PSB pop-up shop at Boxpark, Shoreditch, but when I got there I found they were charging £15 so I went to HMV and bought it for £10 instead. Only one of the dozen shops in which I've bought a Pet Shop Boys album is still trading, and it isn't this one.
Favourite non-single: Happiness [It’s a long way to happiness, A long way to go, But I’m gonna get there]

Hotspot (24th January 2020)
Bought from: Sister Ray, Berwick Street, Soho. London has a dearth of record shops these days - my closest HMV is in Bromley, for heaven's sake. But having traipsed around some survivors, hurrah, Soho's long-standing independent had the new CD at the cheapest price (and were super-friendly with it). Fopp and HMV were a penny dearer at £10, while Rough Trade East wanted one pound more. Next time the Pet Shop Boys release an album, I wonder how many options will be left.
Favourite non-single: Wedding in Berlin [We're getting married because the time feels right, We're doing it without delay]

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