AlternativeAlternative

Released - 1995
Chart peak - UK #2, US #103

The Pet Shop Boys released their double-CD collection of b-sides, Alternative, in 1995. Neil says that he had originally hoped they would put out a single disc with just the "best" b-sides, but he and Chris failed to narrow the list down to just those that would fit on one CD. Besides, the fans would have been disappointed with just one disc, so they opted for two. Virtually all of their single b-sides released up to that point are therefore included, appearing in chronological order.

The title is something of a pun on the fact that a b-side of a single is by definition an "alternative" to the a-side, while at the same time playing upon the term "alternative" that was being used generically to refer to the style of pop music dominant at that time among British and American teenagers and young adults. (Author, critic, and literary theorist Ian Balfour has also suggested that it could also be viewed as a sly allusion to the term "alternative lifestyle.")

The album was released in two editions, one of which features a lenticular photo that "alternates" (oh, how they love punning on multiple levels!) between Neil and Chris in fencing masks.

Top Picks by Voter Ratings

  1. Shameless
  2. Miserablism
  3. Your Funny Uncle

Wayne's Top Picks

  1. Shameless
  2. Bet She's Not Your Girlfriend
  3. Your Funny Uncle

Note: The links below for "I Want a Dog" and "Violence" will take you to the sections for the albums Introspective and Please, respectively. Please keep this in mind for "navigational" purposes.