Music of the '80s had so much going on. From the big hair rockers to the eye-lined gothers, there was definitely something for everyone. In the middle of all that, a few synth-pop bands created a whole other scene and sound in which to revel. Among that last class were the Pet Shop Boys.
Comprised of vocalist Neil Tennant and keyboardist Chris Lowe, the duo came together in London, circa 1981. After Tennant met producer Bobby Orlando, the Pet Shop Boys recorded their first single, 1984's “West End Girls.” Though it wasn't a hit, it did enough business to land the Boys a deal with EMI.
After 1985's "Opportunities (Let's Make Lots of Money)" didn't take hold, PSB released a new version of “West End Girls” and the world was suddenly their oyster. Finally, their debut album, Please, came in 1986 and cracked the Top 10. "Opportunities (Let's Make Lots of Money)" even got a second chance and it, too, struck gold.
To capitalize on the momentum, the Disco remix collection was issued while Tennant and Lowe cranked out Actually for 1987. It yielded three more hits in "It's a Sin," a cover of "Always on My Mind," and "What Have I Done to Deserve This?" which featured Dusty Springfield. The It Couldn't Happen Herewas documentary captured all of the action and saw release in '88.
That same year, Introspective also dropped led by the Top 40 single "Domino Dancing." Collaborations then became all the rage with the Pet Shop Boys teaming up with Liza Minnelli and Dusty Springfield to produce their albums. Tennant also ventured into the Electronic project with Johnny Marr and Bernard Sumner.
Making his way back to Lowe, the duo released Behavior in 1990 and Very in 1993. Then, they took another mini hiatus. Bilingual, named to reflect the Latin influences therein, would be the next offering in 1996. In 1999, Nightlife boasted a dance club hit in "New York City Boy" that was popular enough to warrant a U.S. tour.
Pet Shop Boys teamed up with playwright Jonathan Harvey on the Closer to Heaven musical which opened in London's West End in 2001. Their original cast recording score became a UK hit and bought them a bit of time to work on Release, which came in 2002. For the next year, it was the Disco 3 compilation
For their next couple of efforts, Pet Shop Boys got creative. In 2005, they contributed one of the Back to Mine volumes and a score to Battleship Potemkin, a silent film from 1925. The following year, Trevor Horn produced the politically inclined Fundamental for them which preceded the live Concrete: In Concert at the Mermaid Theatre.
For 2009, it was back to the studio, this time with Xenomania, to work on Yes. During the subsequent tour, they culled and release the Party compilation. The tour itself was documented on 2010's Pandemonium, a CD/DVD package. That same year, the Ultimate greatest-hits set also arrived.
The Most Incredible Thing saw daylight in 2011. The double-disc release featured the Pet Shop Boys' score for a London ballet. In 2012, the Format compilation gathered up everything it could that hadn't yet been released from 1996 to 2009.