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Format Original recording remastered, Import

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Audio CD, Original recording remastered, Import, May 29, 2012
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1981 - August
On August 19th, Neil and Chris meet by chance in an electronics shop on the Kings Road. Realizing they have a common interest in dance music, they begin to write together. Initially they call themselves West End; later they come up with the name Pet Shop Boys, a name derived from some friends who work in a pet shop in Ealing. "We thought it sounded like an English rap ... Read more in Amazon's Pet Shop Boys Store

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 29, 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Original recording remastered, Import
  • Label: EMI Import
  • ASIN: B007NWCZR4
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,143 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

UK two CD collection of B-sides and rarities from the British Electronic Pop duo. The Pet Shop Boys' 12 UK Top 10 albums and their 40 UK Top 20 singles simply speak for themselves. Their mountain of hit singles also contain a perhaps less well-known but equally exquisite collection of b-sides and bonus tracks. To celebrate this prolific songwriting and recording, an incredible 38 b-sides and bonus tracks have now been collected together from singles released between 1996 to 2009, to create Format. All tracks have been remastered and the box booklet features an interview with Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe by Jon Savage (author of 'England's Dreaming' and 'Teenage'). EMI.

Customer Reviews

A "must have" collection for die hard PSB fans!
Den-Nickolas Smith
Bilingual's B-sides are the most readily available, as they released Bilingual/Further Listening, which contains all it's B-sides on it's Further Listening bonus disc.
It took me a while to find this CD and it is worth it.
Dj Papi

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Music lover "tom" on April 20, 2012
Format: Audio CD
After nearly 25 years of releasing singles and cds, the PET SHOP BOYS are proving once again that they are only getting better as time passes. Listening to FORMAT, I am struck by the number of excellent songs that are as good if not better to some of the tracks that they have released as singles. For example the duet with Elton John "In Private" works really well as an upbeat pop number and "Blue on Blue" is classic Euro Hi-NRG.

Another hidden gem is "We're the Pet Shop Boys" which is their cover of a song first released by My Robot Friend and then most recently by Robbie Williams. What group do you know of, has done a cover of a song that pokes fun or is about themselves done by someone else? You will love this song with all the references to PSB classic hits...

Do not be distracted by the fact that some of these tracks were originally made several years back. For example, "The Boy Who Couldn't Keep His Clothes On" (produced in 1997) could have been played at this year's WORLD MUSIC CONFERENCE in Miami and would have received great praise. It helps of course, that it was produced by Danny Tenaglia and has a great 4/4 House beat.

Die hard fans like myself might not enjoy every single song but with a choice of 38 tracks, there is tons of material to savour.

For me, cd 2 is much stronger. Overall, here you get all the songs that previously were only available as expensive import only cd or dvd or in the case of "We're all criminals now" digital download (Hence the title of the cd - FORMAT) only for the cost of a regular double cd. Well worth it!

I only wished other bands put out such b-side or alternative compilations. But then, how many artists have the creativity, genius and longetivity of the Pet Shop Boys!
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Pet Nemo on April 23, 2012
Format: Audio CD
Format picks up where the previous B sides compilation Alternative left off. Starting with 1996's Bilingual and closing after 2009's Yes, Format again showcases the wealth and depth of material not included in official albums.

If you are looking for variety, you'll be greatly rewarded for buying this:

Signature Pet Shop Boys dance tracks like Delusions Of Grandeur and Sexy Northerner.

Garage disco includes Disco Potential and The Truck Driver And His Mate performed in the Somewhere Pet Shop Boys In Concert DVD.

Girls Don't Cry. A witty reply to The Cure's Boys Don't Cry.

Betrayed, a Bossa Novish piece mixed with a little trance.

I Didn't Get Where I Am Today. A sunny cheery drive away song.

Confidential, originally intended for Tina Turner, is an easy listening piece that grows on you.

Hit And Miss is a melancholic mid tempo ditty with an uncharacteristic guitar. The result is fantastic.

In Private, originally sung with Dusty Springfield in the 80s, turned into a soaring Elton John collaboration.

The Calm Before The Storm. A little gem that will fit very well as a theatre piece.

Beautiful ballads such as Friendly Fire and Between Two Islands really got to me.

One thing to note. On disc one, tracks one to 12 (minus Confidential) can be found on Bilingual Further Listening.

If you are into design, don't download this. Format comes beautifully packaged in a box set with separate envelopes for the discs and a booklet featuring the Boys' commentary on all tracks.

The above are just some worthy mentions. Format contains a total of 38 songs, making this a must have item for fans. As for me, I'm completely enamoured!
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Disco on April 27, 2012
Format: Audio CD
PSB's second B-side compilation is very good, obviously, though not quite as good as Alternative. The biggest difference to me is that the element of discovery is absent here. When I bought Alternative in 1995, nearly every track was new for me. Those B-sides would have been very difficult to find in the pre-commercial internet age, especially in the United States. You would have spent an enormous amount of time and money ordering import singles. So Alternative was just a godsend for PSB fanatics; we were offered two whole discs of songs that many people probably didn't know existed.

But Format covers a different era. I think most PSB fans will already know many if not most of the tracks here. There were only a few that I hadn't heard. With Bilingual in 1996, PSB started a policy of two-disc releases for all new albums that included associated B-sides and remixes on the second disc. Those versions were limited-run, but they were widely available in the US. Certainly not every track on Format was available on a double-CD release, but many were. On the other hand, it's great to have all these tracks in one collection.

Anyway, the music here is mostly great. PSB were quick to point out on Alternative that not every track was good; there were some truly bad songs there, as there are here. But the good-to-bad ratio is high and approximately equal to that album. And like Alternative, the great thing about these tracks is that PSB experimented and stretched out. The best tracks here come from the later years.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews


Topic From this Discussion
What's the difference between the Limited Edition of Format and the...
Its different packaging. the limited comes in a cardboard box. The standard version comes ina jewel case.
Aug 5, 2013 by Mr. Mark R. Nolan |  See all 2 posts
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