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Actually [Import]

Pet Shop Boys Audio CD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 15.52 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

Actually + Please + Introspective (Rm)
Price For All Three: CDN$ 52.86

Some of these items ship sooner than the others.

  • Please CDN$ 19.27
  • Introspective (Rm) CDN$ 18.07

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought

Product Details

1. One More Chance
2. What Have I Done To Deserve This?
3. Shopping
4. Rent
5. Hit Music
6. It Couldn't Happen Here
7. It's A Sin
8. I Want To Wake Up
9. Heart
10. King's Cross

Product Description

Product Description


When they released Actually, their second proper album, in 1987, the Pet Shop Boys proved they were no flash-in-the-pan pop sensation. Neil Tennant wrote about disaffected consumerism ("Rent", "Shopping") with the wry insight only the former editor of a teen-pop magazine could have. Often accused of being emotionally bankrupt by their critics, Tennant and his partner, keyboardist Chris Lowe, effortlessly proved them wrong, camouflaging clever commentary ("It's a Sin") behind deadpan attitude and catchy dance music. The jewel in Actually's crown is probably "What Have I Done to Deserve This?", a classic hit for which Lowe and Tennant coaxed 60s pop icon Dusty Springfield out of semi-retirement. Actually has aged better than anybody--including perhaps the Pet Shop Boys themselves--could have expected. --Elisabeth Vincentelli

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars S-H-O-P-P-I-N-G. Sept. 15 2003
Format:Audio CD
The global success of PSB's 1986 debut "Please," was well earned, but let's be honest-- it also put the boys' future in a vulnerable situation. A hugely successful debut album can sometimes spell instant death for a new act, and their landmark novelty single "West End Girls" had "One Hit Wonder" written all over it. Amazingly, they beat the sophomore jinx when they released their followup album the next year: "Actually." The results? More hits and more sales. But even more important, is that "Actually" represents a wise step forward for Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe, who take some smart risks this time around. Themes of Catholic guilt ("It's a Sin), consumerism ("Shopping"), Thatcherism ("King's Cross"), and infatuation ("Heart") pop up throughout the album. However, "Actually" is also remembered as the album that revived the career of the late Dusty Springfield, who duets with the Boys on the still timeless "What Have I Done To Deserve This?" (That single began a working relationship with Springfield, who moved on to record other PSB originals such as the hits "In Private" and "Nothing Has Been Proved.") This album was greeted with little critical acclaim in America upon release (check out the original reviews in "Rolling Stone" and "People" if you don't believe me), but over the years it's been revisited by many fans who now consider it a favorite. You can certainly consider me among those people.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best, Actually... Sept. 7 2003
Format:Audio CD
The Pet Shop Boys made a bit of a splash with their first album 'Please', and their greatest hit song from that album, 'West End Girls' remains the classic Pet Shop Boys song, but it took 'Actually' to establish the duo as a group with credibility and staying power. With this album, the Pet Shop Boys became one of the major groups of the 1980s.
The songs on this album are ironic, witty, urbane--all things would not normally associate with pop/dance music. And, surprisingly, none of this intellectual content seems to interfere with the beat and bop as crowds bounce around on the dance floor.
The magnum opus of this album is probably the collaborative effort the Pet Shop Boys did with Dusty Springfield, entitled 'What Have I Done to Deserve This?' This song showcased Dusty, who had been neglected for years by the music establishment, and brought attention to both Dusty and the Pet Shop Boys as being able to reach just a bit further than anyone had previously realised.
The song 'It's a Sin' was a song very much in tune with the hedonistic, decadent London (and New York/California) nightlife, capturing the bittersweet flavour of life on the wild side. Of course, this was also the 'don't ask-don't tell coming out' song for the Boys (more than a decade before they would 'officially' come out), but then, their music reached different levels so that this never was that much of an issue (people variously heard and didn't hear what they wanted to hear in this song). The Roman Catholic Church even asked Neil Tennant to comment in one of their sectarian magazines, remarking that 'no one talks about sin any more'. Rather reminds me of the US Navy opting to use the Village People's 'In the Navy' for recruiting before realising the undertones (or perhaps, overtones, in their case).
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3.0 out of 5 stars Avoiding the one-hit wonder tag May 7 2004
Format:Audio CD
The Pet Shop Boys stylized Actually to melt the coldest of hearts, and it almost does. Their success of West End Girls was surely a threat to their longevity, considering they were just two guys with synthesizers who wrote pop music. But they duck the pitfall with style.
Some of their best singles are found within, like Heart, It's A Sin, Rent and What Have I Done To Deserve This? And what isn't a single can definitely hold its own to say the least: King's Cross, It Couldn't Happen Here (dedicated to a deceased friend of theirs), and I Want To Wake Up.
But Actually occaisionally lapses into kitchiness as with the silly-sounding anti-capitalist Shopping and the overly-campy Hit Music. One More Chance gives a rough first impression with Neil Tennant's faked enthusiasm ("push me in a corner and I'll scream").
For its faults, Actually is an easily enjoyable album. In one album, the Pet Shop boys simultaneously dodged the sophomore slump AND the one-hit wonder tag. Not everyone can do that.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Timeless 'Hit Music' Jan. 19 2004
Format:Audio CD
This is definately the album that was a catalyst for their career. With the popularity of their first album PLEASE, this album exceeded everyone's expectations and since then they have been known as the band that always has a hit every couple of years. Bands come and go, some flourish for years and then eventually disappear.

Pet Shop Boys are quoted as one of the first bands that continually keep going regardless of the era or fads that pass through. Their music is original for any decade. This album ACTUALLY is a perfect example of their creative intelligence and wit just beginning.

What makes this album marked as a favorite among fans is not just that half the songs were radio hits, it's more that every song is unique and sounds completely different from the next track. They experiment with numerous types of styles, and often go from electronic to a sudden orchestra of strings and trumpets.

This kind of strange and sudden diversity is their trademark. ACTUALLY is the album that states that this was just the beginning; bringing popular tunes in a more intelligent and sensual manner that goes deep into the soul, and with each new album since they continued to touch listeners through classical, electronic, rock, and even operatic pieces.

An example is the track "Hit Music"--very typical 80's, fun and simple to listen to. In their own blunt way, Pet Shop Boys will go to a slow and romantic pace of action, that lasts for only a few seconds, if not a full minute. But always knowing to bring audiences back to the original sound, they tempt our hearts with quite beautiful, flirtatious chords that wink at you, and stop...and then begin again.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Pet Shop Boys at their best
One of their earliest, and best albums. If you like 80's new wave era, just grab a copy of that classic.
Published on July 11 2011 by Sebastien Clement
3.0 out of 5 stars Actually
Actually~ Pet Shop Boys is ok. It does not sound terrible; then again it is not awesome either. The songs sound a bit mechanical and the lyrics are a bit stupid. Even so 3/5 .
Published on June 22 2004 by B. Viberg
5.0 out of 5 stars My first album ever owned is still the best
I like Pearl Jam and Nirvana and Coldplay, but on buying this album again, I am reminded how the Pet Shop Boys were the stand out band in the 80s.
Published on March 17 2004 by James V D R Hancock
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!
Actually is a wonderful record. A true example of art from the cover to the music. Today, it is still one of my most favorite records from PSB.
Published on Aug. 13 2003 by Jack
5.0 out of 5 stars Quite good, actually
The PSB have long been my favorite group. I first caught a sight of them on MTV, and ordered their first album, and liked it fairly well. Read more
Published on May 21 2003 by Charles Sutherland
5.0 out of 5 stars When New York becomes London
When the Pet Shop Boys were working on the second album their original working title was JEALOUSY but then they changed to the
strangely adverbal "actually". Read more
Published on May 4 2003 by Mars Velvet
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply one of the best albums of the 80's
I wanted to review some albums for the first time here and decided to review my top 3 favorite albums of all time. Read more
Published on March 15 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic PSB Album
This is without a doubt my favorite of all of the PSB albums. Why? Because every song on this baby is great. Read more
Published on Nov. 4 2002 by Shark Frenzy
5.0 out of 5 stars Can it be true
that I still listen to this album 15 years after its publication in 1987. I was 15 years old at that time and this album with its smash-hit singles was sweeping around.. Read more
Published on May 12 2002 by Haris Baki
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