"When our spelling is perfect, it's invisible. But when it's flawed, it prompts negative associations." - Marilyn vos Savant

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Art review on Pet Shop Boys Alternative and Format.

Alternative(lenticular casing) left
Format (right)

These both B-side sets are a real fascination to me, because of the contrast between light and dark which I really like. Alternative:The darkness where try are wearing fencing masks, really gave me the sense of being trapped or stuck or even suffocating. Where as Format it doesn’t consist of them at all; however, each line represents the albums and tracks on Format, the colors as well as the graphics according to Mark Farrow and the colors and the dominant color is white and it looks like a liberated ideal to me. Both were designed by Mark Farrow, Alternative was with Pete Mauder. Alternative was originally going to be called Besides but then with the Lenticular casing (which I have), Neil’s and Chris’ faces shifted and that’s how it became Alternative instead. I also have the regular one, I keep it because my mother really likes Alternative, but I love the lenticular casing version way better. I don’t really have a favorite they both look really neat and symbolize something unique. Eric Watson done the portraits inside the booklet of Alternative and Richard Burbridge did the photos of them in masks. Format I think if I’m not mistaken was one of the ways a piece of music would be in. Both were B-sides sets have interviews of the band by Jon Savage; I definitely get the sense of Invisibility in Format because there’s no photos of them. Also Format consists of bonus tracks as well as B-sides. The Lenticular casing version is a box but the opening is on the side where the booklet and the CD case are inside. The bootklet have both Neil and Chris and the CD case (interior) have Chris on it. Format have the booklet and the two CDs in a coat cover like Ultimate(deluxe) I heard this version of Alternative is rare, I was blessed to find this version at Amoeba store. There’s a vinyl version with the lenticular casing as well. Again I really love the contrast between the two B-sides. It’s nice to have the better versions of the CD sets because you definitely get your money’s worth. I gotten Format on the UK version of Amazon, I saw the US version of Format, it’s not as good looking as the UK version of Format.

My favorite songs on Alternative~                           My favorite songs on Format~(still testing this out)
"A Man Could Get Arrested"                                   "Blue on Blue"
"In the Night"                                                           "We're All Criminals Now"
"That's My Impression"                                            "Nightlife"
"Was That What it Was?"                                         "No Time For Tears(7-inch mix)
"Paninaro"                                                                "Transparent"
"I Want a Dog"                                                        "Lies"
"Do I Have To?"                                                     "Delusions of Grandeur"
"The Sound of the Atom Splitting"                         "Silver Age"
"One of the Crowd"                                                "Discoteca (new version)"
"Your Funny Uncle"                                               "Gin and Jag"
"We All Feel Better in the Dark"                             "After the Event"
"Losing My Mind"                                                  "We're the Pet Shop Boys"
"Music for Boys"                                                    "Screaming"
"Shameless"                                                            "The Resurrectionist"
"Too Many People"                                                "Party Song"
"Violence (Ha├žienda version)"                                "Sexy Northerner"
"Euroboy"                                                                "Casting a Shadow"
"Some Speculation"

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