Friday, August 04, 2006

Something Less Decisional

Charting at a disappointing 19 on the UK singles chart this past week it's clear that something went awry with the single release of Pet Shop Boys "Minimal" because it's the duo's worst chart performance for a single since 1991. Maybe it's just a bad case of timing with the post-world cup momentum that the Boys had build up for potential single "Numb", the cover art or the lack of attention they've given the UK as they've been touring Europe but most of the fault lies with the tracklisting. Here is a partial list of mistakes:

  • Putting the radio edit on both cds. PSB are usually good about mixing things up with an "extended mix" on their two disc singles but with a song that has more than enough muscle to be opened up and breathe a bit we are only offered a version that shortens that fantastic final section.
  • "In Private" as the b-side. The song is already on the extra "Fundamentalism" disc that most PSB fans who buy singles for b-sides already own. It may be a shorter mix of the song but if we're doing different mixes why not go to with the Tomcraft mix?
  • Elton John. Scaring away interested younger folks with a "featuring Elton John" on the b-side can't be doing much for sales.
  • Minimizing star power on the remix disc. There are remixes from Tiga and Superchumbo availble online. What's on the cd? M-Factor's dud of a mix.

However, not everything they did is wrong. The DVD single has a great collection with a new electro b-side "Blue On Blue" that isn't far away from vintage material like "That's My Impression" and there is an edit of "No Time For Tears" that was almost released to promote "Battleship Potemkin". Wouldn't sales been better off if they had put those on the "song" cd single?

Fun Fact: On this date in 1990 the Pet Shop Boys made their first live public appearance in the US appearing with Electronic as they opened for Depeche Mode in LA.


Jebb said...

I think you nailed the problem there. When they start burying what should be a proper b-side (Blue on Blue) on a DVD single, someone has gone brain dead. It's a shame such a great song was sabotaged in the charts.

Daft Monk said...

The more I reflect on it the more I think the b-side issue is the core problem with the single's failure to launch. Thanks for the feedback!