What is the best Pet Shop Boys album ever? [UPDATE 2020]

What is the best Pet Shop Boys album ever?

A kind of discography review

To find out which is the best Pet Shop Boys album, I did the work and rated every single album track by track. I sum­mar­ized the res­ult in a rank­ing and would like to present this to you here. At the end of the art­icle, the val­ues are again clearly arranged, shown chro­no­lo­gic­ally in a curve graph.

The best Pet Shop Boys album charts

Pet Shop Boys - Elysium

14. Elysium

Release: 2012
Overall Rating: 3.17
Great tracks: Ego Music, Memory Of The Future
Weak tracks: (None)

What dis­ap­poin­ted me most about this album was the large num­ber of mediocre songs. In prin­ciple, there are no really bad tracks on the album, but there are also no real highlights.

Pet Shop Boys - Very

13. Very

Release: 1993
Overall Rating: 3.25
Great tracks: Can You Forgive Her?, I Wouldn't Normally Do This Kind Of Thing, Yesterday, When I Was Mad
Weak tracks: (None)

I'm not 100% sure, but I guess 'Very' is the most com­mer­cially suc­cess­ful album of Pet Shop Boys. For me the most annoy­ing track is 'Go West' which for many is a radio all-time ever­green. If a drunk­en gun club is roar­ing a syn­thpop song at a dingy corner pub, then that's just wrong. Despite the gen­er­al mediocrity, there are some nice 90s synth tracks here.

Pet Shop Boys - Bilingual

12. Bilingual

Release: 1997
Overall Rating: 3.63
Great tracks: Discoteca, Single, Se A Vida É (That's The Way Life Is), A Red Letter Day, Before, To Step Aside
Weak tracks: (None)

If someone would ask me for a typ­ic­al 90's syn­thpop sound example, this album would surely be one of my first places to go. A good half of the album 'Bilingual' are 4 star rat­ings and there­fore an above-aver­age over­all work. Also the concept of bilin­gual­ism plus the Latin American melod­ies and sounds makes the album espe­cially worth listen­ing to and recommendable.

Pet Shop Boys - Release

11. Release

Release: 2002
Overall Rating: 3.7
Great tracks: Home And Dry, London, E‑Mail, The Samurai In Autumn, Love Is A Catastrophe, Here
Weak tracks: (None)

At the begin­ning of 2000 it seemed really bad with good releases in the Synth Pop genre. The whole scene was in an almost leth­ar­gic state. So it was all the more pleas­ing when Pet Shop Boys released the album 'Release' which is full of many great songs. Incredibly var­ied, cre­at­ive and catchy like in the 80s, but in a new mod­ern style.

Pet Shop Boys - Nightlife

10. Nightlife

Release: 1999
Overall Rating: 3.75
Great tracks: For Your Own Good, Closer To Heaven, I Don't Know What You Want But I Can't Give It Any More, Happiness Is An Option, You Only Tell Me You Love Me When You're Drunk, Radiophonic, Only One, New York City Boy
Weak tracks: (None)

The album 'Nightlife' with the disco hit 'New York City Boy' was one of my high­lights in 1999. The album is full of fant­ast­ic Electropop songs that invite you to dance.

Pet Shop Boys - Please

9. Please

Release: 1986
Overall Rating: 4
Great tracks: Two Divided By Zero, West End Girls, Opportunities (Let's Make Lots Of Money), Love Comes Quickly, Suburbia, Why Don't We Live Together?
Weak tracks: (None)

The place­ments of the albums from here on are really only rel­at­ive. Even this place­ment is an over­all 4‑star album with time­less clas­sics and high-qual­ity com­pos­i­tions. My abso­lute PSB favour­ite song 'Love Comes Quickly' is also on the debut and def­in­itely belongs on every CD shelf of an Electropop fan. A total of four 5 star rat­ings are rep­res­en­ted here. I think this is one of the strongest debut works of all time in the whole Electropop genre.

BTW: I already had this album on the ori­gin­al cas­sette as a child and let it run in a con­tinu­ous loop until it was inaud­ible. I love this album! Despite the nos­tal­gic feel­ings for this album, the last half of the album isn't so strong and is over­taken by oth­er works in the ranking.

Pet Shop Boys - Hotspot

8. Hotspot

Release: 2020
Overall Rating: 4.15
Great tracks: Will O The Wisp, You Are The One, Happy People, Dreamland, Hoping For A Miracle, I Don't Wanna, Monkey Business, Only The Dark, Buring The Heather
Weak tracks: (None)

The album was pro­duced and mixed by Stuart Price and it is the third part of the tri­logy pro­duced by Price, which star­ted in 2013 with ‘Electric‘ and the second part ‘Super‘ was released in 2016. With the album 'Hotspot' the Pet Shop Boys have laid a found­a­tion stone. This is what mod­ern Electropop sounds like in the new dec­ade! Read our album review here.

Pet Shop Boys - Behaviour

7. Behaviour

Release: 1990
Overall Rating: 4.15
Great tracks: Being Boring, This Must Be The Place I Waited Years To Leave, How Can You Expect To Be Taken Seriously?, Only The Wind, My October Symphony, So Hard, The End Of The World, Jealousy
Weak tracks: (None)

When bit­ter­sweet mel­an­choly meets nos­tal­gia, the song 'Being Boring' by Pet Shop Boys is the anthem to it. This spe­cial fea­ture packed into an easy-sound­ing Electropop song can't be achieved as well as by Neil and Chris. The sound of the album is also very spe­cial. It still has many typ­ic­al sounds, instru­ments and samples from the 80s, but it also fits won­der­fully into the 90s.

Pet Shop Boys - Super

6. Super

Release: 2016
Overall Rating: 4.17
Great tracks: Happiness, The Pop Kids, Twenty-Something, Groovy, The Dictator Decides, Undertow, Sad Robot World, Say It To Me, Burn, Into Thin Air
Weak tracks: (None)

I imme­di­ately fell in love with the song 'The Pop Kids'. I knew a fant­ast­ic Pet Shop Boys album was com­ing and I wasn't dis­ap­poin­ted. It felt like the Pet Shop Boys were gain­ing momentum again with this album. The album sounds almost like a 'Best of'. All songs are super catchy and sound fresh like nev­er before. Read our album review here.

Pet Shop Boys - Yes

5. Yes

Release: 2009
Overall Rating: 4.18
Great tracks: Love Etc., All Over The World, Beautiful People, Did You See Me Coming?, Vulnerable, More Than A Dream, Building A Wall, Pandemonium, The Way It Used To Be
Weak tracks: (None)

Electropop music at its finest is also fea­tured on the 2009 album 'Yes'. The min­im­al­ist­ic album title and the cov­er art­work let the Electropop fan imme­di­ately recog­nize that it is a typ­ic­al Pet Shop Boys work. And that's exactly how it behaves with the con­tent. Romantic and dreamy would be the gen­er­ic terms if I had to describe the album briefly. And espe­cially recom­mend­able to raise the mood. Read our album review here. The album 'Yes' is also part of the art­icle '20 Synth Pop mile­stones and col­lec­tion must-haves'.

Pet Shop Boys - Fundamental

4. Fundamental

Release: 2006
Overall Rating: 4.21
Great tracks: Psychological, The Sodom & Gomorrah Show, I Made My Excuses And Left, Minimal, Numb, Luna Park, I'm With Stupid, Casanova In Hell, Twentieth Century, Indefinite Leave To Remain
Weak tracks: God Willing

The album offers so much vari­ety. From the clas­sic radio hot rota­tion track to the dance­able club hit and up to the extremely emo­tion­al bal­lad that brings tears to your eyes. So beau­ti­ful and power­ful is almost every song com­posed on 'Fundamental'. If Electrozombies had already been online as a magazine in 2006, this would have been a sure can­did­ate for the album of the year.

Pet Shop Boys - Electric

3. Electric

Release: 2013
Overall Rating: 4.22
Great tracks: Bolshy, Love Is A Bourgeois Construct, Fluorescent, Inside A Dream, The Last To Die, Shouting In The Evening, Thursday, Vocal
Weak tracks: (None)

The album 'Electric' now doesn't have as many 5 star rat­ings as the albums before, but also has less weak tracks to offer. Of course, this raises the over­all score a lot. Especially note­worthy is the song 'Vocal', which I have enclosed deep in my heart. The album cov­er com­pletely does without typo­graphy. And what should I say? It works! This is a first-class Pet Shop Boys album in terms of con­tent and design. Read our album review here.

Pet Shop Boys - Actually

2. Actually

Release: 1987
Overall Rating: 4.5
Great tracks: One More Chance, What Have I Done To Deserve This, Shopping, Rent, Hit Music, It Couldn't Happen Here, It's A Sin, I Want To Wake Up, Heart, King's Cross
Weak tracks: (None)

Seen as a com­plete work the 'Actually' is my favour­ite album by Pet Shop Boys. The songs on this mas­ter­piece get only 4 and 5‑star rat­ings from me. For me, this is the per­fect Electropop album with cult status and it still doesn't rank first in this list. It feels like the album is ranked first for me, but only the relent­less track by track rat­ing counts for com­par­is­on. And yes, at the 'Great tracks' all songs of the album are listed.

Pet Shop Boys - Introspective

1. Introspective

Release: 1988
Overall Rating: 4.58
Great tracks: Left To My Own Devices, I Want A Dog, Domino Dancing, I'm Not Scared, Always On My Mind/In My House, It's Alright
Weak tracks: (None)

The mini-album 'Introspective' with 6 gor­geous tracks in the 4 to 5‑star range makes the race for the best Pet Shop Boys album ever. At least from the ration­al track by track point of view. Also here all songs are lis­ted at the 'Great tracks' because this album presents itself almost flawless.

All Pet Shop Boys albums in a chart overview

Chart by Visualizer

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  • Which Pet Shop Boys album do you like at most?
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Bonus – Electrozombies Pet Shop Boys tribute compilation 'Prism'

To hon­our the band, we have released a trib­ute com­pil­a­tion in 2016. If you might have missed it, go and get it now:

Prism (A Tribute To Pet Shop Boys)
Prism (A Tribute To Pet Shop Boys)