PSB DESIGNING par Alex Camarillo
Alex Camarillo explore en détail la créativité faite autour des albums et singles des Pet Shop Boys au cours de leur longue carrière ,la personnalisation des différents formats et la participation d'artistes très talentueux , photographes, créateurs de costumes et graphistes tels que Mark Farrow ,Eric Watson ,David Fielding et Jeffrey Bryant parmi ceux qui ont contribué au design des Pet Shop Boys comme une icône visuelle de la culture pop.
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Introspective” is the band’s third studio album, launched on October of 1988 as an unusual format including just 6 extended version tracks with a minimum of 6 minutes length. The artwork was designed by Mark Farrow and PSB and the iconic sleeve appeared when Farrow was looking for colour combinations to use and decided that the colour palette was exactly what he and Christophe Gowabs were looking for.
Every format released uses a different colour combination for the album cover with seven stripes and a rectangular black box with the name of the band and the title of the album, but the vinyl sleeve was always the main combination. The back cover was all in black with tracks and titles at the bottom on white type, same format used in the back cover of the remixed 12” vinyl of “Heart”, early the same year. The inner-sleeve photography by Eric Watson shows Neil & Chris wearing yellow t-shirts matching the background colour and carrying a Yorkshire terrier little dog.
Introspective” was the first album in the history of the band with special editions for collectors. The first, and probably most common edition, it’s a 3x12” limited edition where the artwork contains only six stripes instead of seven, as the regular artwork, matching the number of tracks of the album and an external bellyband with the copy “INTROSPECTIVE / PET SHOP BOYS / LIMITED EDITION” in the front and the copy “A LIMITED EDITION OF THREE 12 INCH SINGLES” in the back.
Each vinyl is housed in a single coloured die-cut sleeve showing the 6” big labels on each disc, each side includes only one track and the labels are personalised according to each song: Side A includes “Left to my own devices” showing the same photo of the single taken by Michael Roberts; side B includes “I want a dog” with an exclusive photo of Chris taken by Eric Watson; side C includes “Domino Dancing” with the same photo used on the 12” Remix Single taken by Peter Andreas during their visit to Miami with the famous “The Carlyle” hotel on the back; side D includes “I’m not scared” with an exclusive photo of Neil taken by Michael Roberts with an historical reference to Shostakovich; side E includes “Always on my mind” with Eric Watson’s photo used on the US promos of the single release; and finally side F includes “It’s alright” with a photo of Neil & Chris holding a baby taken by Cindy Palmano.
There’s another similar and more limited version printed in clear vinyl and made for EMI Music executives, only 10 sets were made and now a days this item is valued in £1,500 and is considered one of the 10 most rare and expensive Pet Shop Boys’ items. Another collector’s edition, limited and numbered, was released in the US and titled “Club Mixes”, including 4 out of 6 tracks of the regular album, 2 exclusive remixes of “Left to my own devices” and 2 exclusive remixes of “Always on my mind” all 4 made by Shep Pettibone, and finally the ‘Base Mix’ of “Domino Dancing”. Most of the international releases used the original artwork with the coloured stripes, the Argentinean version translated the title in the front to spanish so it reads “Introspectivo” and the Colombian version included a bright red coloured vinyl.