Fundamental (Pet Shop Boys album)

Fundamental (Pet Shop Boys album)

Infobox Album
Name = Fundamental
Type = Album
Artist = Pet Shop Boys

Background = Orange
Released = May 22 2006
Recorded = 2003-2005
Genre = Pop, synthpop
Length = 48:39
50:26 ("Fundamentalism")
Label = Parlophone
Rhino (U.S.)
Producer = Pet Shop Boys, Trevor Horn
Reviews =
* Allmusic Rating|4|5 [ link]
* The A.V. Club (C) [ link]
* BBC (Favourable) [ link]
* CANOE Rating|4|5 [ link]
* CBC (Favourable) [ link]
* "The Guardian" Rating|4|5 [,,1777853,00.html link]
* "Hot Press" rating-10|8 [ link]
* "The Independent" Rating|5|5 [ link]
* "The Observer" Rating|5|5 [,,1777057,00.html link]
* Pitchfork Media rating-10|6.5 [ link]
* Robert Christgau Rating-Christgau|hm2 [ link]
* Pixelsurgeon rating-10|8 [ link]
* PlayLouder Rating|4.5|5 [ link]
* "Q" Rating|4|5 (#239, June 2006, p. 118)
* "Release Magazine" rating-10|7 [ link]
* "Time Out" (6/7) [ link]
* Rating|4|5 [ link]
* Yahoo! Music UK Rating|3.5|5 [ link]
Last album = "Battleship Potemkin"
This album = "Fundamental"
Next album = "Concrete"

"Fundamental" is the sixteenth album, the ninth of entirely new music, by the British band Pet Shop Boys. It was released in May 2006 in the United Kingdom, Europe, Japan, and Canada, and was released in late June 2006 in the United States. The album entered the UK Albums Chart at number five on 28 May 2006 (see 2006 in British music).

The album was produced by the Pet Shop Boys and Trevor Horn and it features eleven new Pet Shop Boys compositions, and "Numb," written by Diane Warren (Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe originally planned to have "Numb" be one of two new tracks on "", but opted instead for "Miracles" and "Flamboyant").

The liner notes show that the album is dedicated to two executed Iranian teenagers, Mahmoud Asgari and Ayaz Marhoni, who were hanged on July 19, 2005. Some reports have suggested the two may have been executed for engaging in homosexual behavior, though others indicate they were hanged for raping a 13 year-old boy. The album was critically acclaimed and went on to sell over 1 million copies worldwide.


ubject matter

The album has been noted for being more political than any other of the duo's albums to date; even the title, in one sense, is a reference to religious fundamentalism — portrayed here in a light, critical manner, which singer Neil Tennant attributes to the relatively relaxed status of religious freedom in the United Kingdom.cite web | author = Skrufff, Jonty | date = June 1, 2006 | url = | title = Pet Shop Boys interview | format = | work = News | publisher = "Trust the DJ" | accessdate = 2006-06-02 | accessyear = ]

Specific contemporary issues discussed in the lyrics include tensions and fears in the United States caused by the War on Terrorism, addressed in songs such as "Psychological" and "Luna Park".cite web | author = | month = November | year = 2005 | url = | title = Interview - Recording | format = | work = | publisher = "Literally" (Pet Shop Boys fanclub magazine) | accessdate = 2006-05-23 | accessyear = ] ("Luna Park" being the name of various amusement parks around the world; see Luna Park for a list of such places). Other songs refer to the politics of the band's home country; "Indefinite leave to remain" refers to an immigration status in the United Kingdom, while "Integral" criticizes the British national identity card plans. (A statement from a band spokesman cites the issue as the reason that Tennant ceased his well-publicized support of Tony Blair's Labour Party.) The lyrics are fully masked and converted to the homage to Yevgeny Zamyatin's legendary dystopian book "We", in which the inhabitants of the future One State try to build The Integral in order to solve the cosmic equation and resolve all the problems in their One State. "I'm with Stupid", meanwhile, touches upon both countries by satirizing Blair's alliance with George W. Bush. (See also special relationship.)cite web | author = Teodorczuk, Tom | date = March 1, 2006 | url = | title = Pet Shop Boys' Labour snub | format = | work = | publisher = "Evening Standard" | accessdate = 2006-05-23 | accessyear = ]

Other subject matters are dealt with as well. "Casanova in Hell" is about the 18th century historical figure Giacomo Casanova, and how he immortalized himself by writing memoirs about his history of sexual seduction of numerous women. Tennant refers to, specifically, the book "Casanova's Homecoming" by Arthur Schnitzler as his inspiration for the song. (It was sung by Rufus Wainwright at its very first live performance, at a private concert recorded for BBC Radio 2 at the Mermaid Theatre on May 8, 2006.)cite web | author = | date = May 9, 2006 | url = | title = PSB and BBC Concert Orchestra concert | format = | work = | publisher = Pet Shop Boys official website news | accessdate = 2006-05-28 | accessyear = ] "The Sodom and Gomorrah Show" references two of the biblical cities of sin, Sodom and Gomorrah, in saying that to learn to 'go where angels fear to tread' (ie. to sin) is to learn to live freely.


The album is Pet Shop Boys' first collaboration with Trevor Horn since the 1988 single "Left to My Own Devices". Its sound bears the producer's heavily orchestral style (also present on that song), most frequently associated with the 1982 ABC album "The Lexicon of Love" as well as the 1984 Frankie Goes to Hollywood single "Two Tribes" and subsequent album "Welcome to the Pleasuredome". Horn was also musical director for the Radio 2 concert, which featured the BBC Concert Orchestra.

The album's personnel included many of Horn's frequent musical collaborators, including Anne Dudley, Tessa Niles, Jamie Muhoberac, Phil Palmer, Steve Lipson, Lalo Creme, Tim Pierce, Earl Harvin, Frank Ricotti, Luis Jardim, Lucinda Barry.cite web | author = Potts, Henry | date = June 2, 2006 | url = | title = "Fundamental" | format = | work = | publisher = Yescography | accessdate = 2006-09-06 | accessyear = ]


"In Private", here presented as a duet with Elton John, was originally a Dusty Springfield song written and produced by the Pet Shop Boys. First released as a single in 1989, it was later included on the 1991 album "Reputation".

Track listing

:"all songs written by Neil Tennant/Chris Lowe except where noted."


#"Psychological" — 4:10
#"The Sodom and Gomorrah Show" — 5:19
#"I made my excuses and left" — 4:53
#"Minimal" — 4:21
#"Numb" — 4:43 (Diane Warren)
#"God willing" — 1:17
#"Luna Park" — 5:31
#"I'm with Stupid" — 3:24
#"Casanova in Hell" — 3:13
#"Twentieth Century" — 4:39
#"Indefinite leave to remain" — 3:08
#"Integral" — 3:53


#"Fugitive" (Richard X extended mix) — 6:06
#"Sodom" (Trentemøller remix) — 7:24
#"Psychological" (Alter Ego remix) — 7:13
#"Flamboyant" (Michael Mayer Kompakt mix) — 7:58
#"I'm with Stupid" (Melnyk Heavy Petting mix) — 6:07
#"In Private" (Stuart Crichton club mix) (featuring Elton John) — 5:07
#"Minimal" (Lobe remix) — 4:47
#"Gomorrah" (Dettinger remix) — 5:39
#"I'm with Stupid" (PSB maxi-mix) (Japan bonus track) — 8:12
#"Minimal" (Tiga's M-I-N-I-M-A-L remix) (Japan bonus track) — 5:40
#"The Sodom and Gomorrah Show" (demo version) (iTunes Store bonus track) — 5:02
#"I'm with Stupid" (demo version) (iTunes Store bonus track) — 3:38

"Fundamental" (original track listing)

On December 22 2005, the official Pet Shop Boys website announced an early track listing for the album and gave a release date of April 17 2006 with new single "Minimal" arriving a few weeks beforehand. This was quickly followed up on December 23, when pop music fansite Popjustice gave the first review of the album [] .On February 13 2006, it was announced that the release date of "Fundamental" had been pushed back to May 22, because EMI needed "more set-up time". At the same time "I'm with Stupid" was announced to be the revised lead single. This was followed on April 4 2006, with news that there would be a limited edition of the new album that would include a bonus CD called "Fundamentalism".


*"Psychological" — In December 2005, a limited 12-inch white label of "Psychological" was released. This one-track promo single featured an instrumental mix of the track, clocking in at 4:05.
*"I'm with Stupid" — the first commercially available single from "Fundamental" released 8 May 2006 in the UK.
*"Minimal" — released 24 July 2006, "Minimal" was announced by the Pet Shop Boys on 6 May as the second commercially available single from "Fundamental" in the UK.
*"Numb" - released on 16 October 2006, announced on the official website on 4 September.
*"Integral" - a new version of this song was released to promote the album "Disco 4".

B-sides and other released songs

#"Fugitive" ("Fundamentalism")
#"In private" (featuring Elton John) ("Fundamentalism" remix and "Minimal" original b-side)
#"The Resurrectionist ("I'm with Stupid" b-side)
#"Girls don't cry ("I'm with Stupid" b-side)
#"Blue on blue ("Minimal" b-side)
#"No time for tears ("Battleship Potemkin" original, "Minimal" b-side)
#"Party song ("Numb" b-side)
#"Bright young things ("Numb" b-side)
#"Psychological (Ewan Pearson remix) ("Fundamental" original, "Numb" remix)

Unreleased songs

These were written/recorded during the writing for Fundamental and are yet to be released:
#"Ring road"
#"The former enfant terrible"
#"Dirty tricks"
#"One way street"
#"The performance of my life"
#"After the event"
* There is also a demo of a song called "Dancing in the Dusk" that Sondre Lerche asked them to record.

Release details

The album was released in various countries:

Chart information

Notes and references

External links

* [ Pet Shop Boys Official Website]

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