Friday, March 18, 2022

"Left to My Own Devices" by Pet Shop Boys

Song#:  3781
Date:  01/28/1989
Debut:  92
Peak:  84
Weeks:  3
Genre:  Dance-Pop, Synthpop

Pop Bits:  The first single from the duo's remix-style album Introspective, "Domino Dancing," would reach #18 Pop and #5 Dance. It was a fairly good start, but they needed something better to really help promote the LP. This next track was selected for release, but it didn't quite do the job. While the tune would be the duo's seventh to make the US Dance Top 10 (#8), it fizzled at Pop spending a minor three weeks near the bottom of the chart. Despite the results, the duo's popularity helped the album reach #34 and go gold.

ReduxReview:  Like "Domino Dancing," this single was an edited, remixed version of the lengthy one found on the album. It apparently was also the first time that the duo incorporated an actual orchestra on a track. That may have come about thanks to producers Trevor Horn and Stephen Lipson. The arrangement certainly added new depth to the duo's dance-pop sound and was quite effective. It was an excellent song, but it was really something more geared towards the clubs. I think it may have been a bit too aggressive for US pop radio. For me, Pet Shop Boys hit their peak with 1990's Behavior. They reached a new level of maturity and sophistication in their songwriting and it quickly became one of my favorite albums. It was so underrated on the US chart. Singles failed to do much and the LP only got to #45 and missed the gold mark. It is still widely known as the duo's best album and rightly so. Since they, their albums have been consistently solid with 1993's Very and 2016's Super being standouts. I also dug their commissioned 2005 soundtrack to the 1925 classic film Battleship Potemkin. I loved Pet Shop Boys from day one and have continued to be a big fan since.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  For the Pet Shop Boys, the 80s would be their peak time on the Pop chart in the US. When the 90s came along, they could only manage to place three singles in the bottom half of the chart. However, they remained highly successful on the US Dance chart. Starting in 1990, they would earn sixteen Dance Top 10s including eight #1s. Their albums would continue to chart with their best post-80s effort being 1993's #20 Very, which became a gold seller. Of course the duo would continue to be massively successful in the UK and Europe in the 90s and beyond. All of their studio albums would reach the UK Top 10 and they would add eleven more Top 10 hits to their total. The success made Pet Shop Boys the best selling duo in UK music history.


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