Pet Shop Boys - PopArt: The Hits

NME.COM feature on Pet Shop Boys - PopArt: The Hits album including album review, artwork, tracks, listen now, tour dates, discography and more.

Release date: 10 October 2006

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Pet Shop Boys - PopArt: The Hits: Wikipedia Album Entry

PopArt: Pet Shop Boys – The Hits is the fourteenth album by the UK electronic music duo Pet Shop Boys. It was released in 2003. PopArt is a compilation of Pet Shop Boys' top-20 UK singles along with two new tracks, "Miracles" and "Flamboyant" which have subsequently also been singles.

The most notable exclusion was "Was It Worth It?" (which was included as a brand new song on Discography) because it only peaked at #24, while "How Can You Expect to Be Taken Seriously?" (part of a double a-side with the U2 cover) was again omitted (it was not on Discography either).

Chartwise the album reached number 30 in the UK Albums Chart on original release and re-entered the UK Charts in 2009 at #18. It kept on selling steadily, and proved a strong seller in other countries (With its best chart position in Norway, peaking at #2). Pet Shop Boys stated on their website they were happy with sales. The weekend after the Pet Shop Boys received the Brit award for Outstanding Contribution to Popular Music in February 2009, PopArt re-entered the UK Albums Chart at number 19, advancing to number 18 the week after.

Contrary to most "best of" compilations (including the earlier Discography), the tracks on the discs are not arranged chronologically, but split into two categories. Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe split the tracks into ones they thought were pure pop music ("Pop") and the ones that they thought were more creative/experimental ("Art").

A special limited edition was released with a third Compact Disc (CD), "Mix", appropriately featuring Tennant and Lowe's favourite remixes from their career.

The album edit of "Heart" was used on PopArt instead of the single edit. Whether this was by design or by accident remains unclear. A previously unreleased version of "I wouldn't normally do this kind of thing", using the structure of the seven-inch mix but with some elements of the album version, was also used instead of the version that had appeared on the 1993 single release. Several of the other tracks on the album appear in slightly different edits from their original single versions. Again, it is not clear whether or not this was deliberate. A similar incident occurred with the Brazilian compilation Party in 2009. The US version of PopArt included the single versions of these tracks, but still omits the same tracks as the UK release.

After three years of its release in the rest of the world, PopArt was finally released in the USA in October 2006. The delay was due to legal problems caused by the fact that since Pet Shop Boys began, they have been with four different record labels in the USA: EMI (1985-1995), Atlantic (1996-1998), Sire (1999-2001) and Sanctuary (2002-2003). The album didn't chart in the US but has sold almost 100.000 copies still.

The album was re-issued on Monday 26 November 2007 in the UK as a box set with the corresponding DVD intact.

A DVD was released at the same time as the CD editions. The sleeve artwork is the same, but the tracklisting is chronological.

There are bonus videos including: both videos for "Opportunities (Let's Make Lots of Money)"; "Paninaro", which was released as a single in Italy; "Was It Worth It?", which doesn't appear on the CD; "London" which was only released as a single in Germany; and extended videos to "Domino Dancing", "So Hard" and "Go West". The only other video that is missing is the 1994 Comic Relief single "Absolutely Fabulous", which remains unavailable on DVD due to licensing hurdles.

The videos to "Miracles" and "Flamboyant" were not ready when the DVD went to press, so they were not included. They were released along with the videos for "I'm With Stupid", "Minimal" and "Numb" on the A Life in Pop documentary DVD. The latest video, "Integral", also isn't included.

The DVD also features a commentary by Neil Tennant, Chris Lowe and Chris Heath.

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