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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Can you forgive her?” was released in 1993 as the first single of “Very”, the fifth studio album of the Pet Shop Boys. By that time, Neil & Chris were tired to look naturalistic on all record sleeves and videos, and they were just finished the Performance Tour, a completely theatrical performance created by David Fielding… So they decided to change the way they presented themselves by doing the opposite everyone else was doing and look ‘artificial’. The artwork was designed by Mark Farrow and PSB using photographs of the costume prototypes created by David Fielding as an extension of the Performance Tour aesthetic, including orange-red jumpsuits with large angular glasses, the famous orange-white striped pointy hats, spray-painted shoes and and an orange glove in one hand and a white glove on the other; by the time they had to start producing the 7” and CD Singles there were nothing else but the prototypes so they decided to use them for the sleeves and weeks later, the 12” Remix Single included real photos of Neil & Chris on the jumpsuits with all the background set created for promotion, photography and video purposes.
So the different sleeve covers used the prototypes photographed against green and blue backgrounds, some times using the two of them and sometimes each one separately and the back cover for all formats was always red-orange coloured; the typography was also completely different, influenced by the work done by ‘Raygun' magazine in America with type bumping into itself. There are two official UK 7” Test Pressings released before the official launching in red and blue vinyl with just 5 copies printed of each color including “Can you forgive her?” Original Version and the B Side “Hey Headmaster”… This UK 7” vinyls are included in the top 5 rare items of PSB collection ever.
The commercial release of “Can you forgive her?” in the UK included one Cassette Tape, one 7” vinyl, one 12” vinyl and two CD Singles. Both CDs were issued in cardboard sleeves and the second part included an outer sleeve designed to fit both parts. The front cover of the first CD showed a green grass-like background with the name of the band and the title in white type centered in the lower half of the cover with a small squared on the top right corner with one of the prototypes sited on a chair over a blue background; the back cover was orange coloured with white type same as the CD and included the original version, two remixes by Rollo Armstrong and Rob Dougan -better know as Rollo- and the B Side “Hey Headmaster”. The front cover of the second CD showed a blue painted-surface-style background with the name of the band and the title in white type centered in the lower half of the cover with a small squared on the top right corner with the other prototype sited on a chair over a green background; the back was also orange with white type but the CD was white with orange type and included two remixes of “Can you forgive her?” made by Mark Kinchen -better known as MK-, a second B Side titled “What keeps mankind alive?” and a new remix of the song “I want to wake up” by Johnny Marr, originally included in the “Actually” album; the outer sleeve included with this CD designed to fit both parts of the single had the same style and color combination as the inner sleeve but instead of showing one of the prototypes in a chair, showed both of them.
For the Cassette Tape and the 7” Single, the front sleeve was the oposite to the CD outer sleeve, green background and blue square showing not prototypes and including the original version with the B Side “Hey Headmaster”. Finally, the 12” Remix Single used a different sleeve with an actual photo of Neil & Chris sited on chairs -similar to the prototype photos- on top of a giant blue egg over white background and the name of the band and title inside the egg; the back cover showed the same image of the egg but without Neil & Chris and included all four remixes included on both CDs. Two promotional 12” Singles were released in die-cut generic sleeves, one with Rollo Remixes and the other one with the MK Remixes but adding the ‘MK Bicycle Dub’ instead of the regular ‘MK Dub’ on one side and the other side with two remixes of “I want to wake up”, the ‘1993 Remix’ and the ‘Groove Mix’. For the international releases, countries like Italy, Spain and the US used an alternative design for the cover with both prototypes sited on their chairs over the green grass-like background for the full sleeve with the title below and included the original version and all four remixes of “Can you forgive her?”. The US promotional CD and Cassette included some Edits of the MK and Rollo remixes, exclusive to these formats.