EP Review: Pet Shop Boys – “Disco 3”

Disco 3 is the third installment in the Pet Shop Boys’ Disco series. The first two discs were comprised of remixes of tracks that had already been released. However, only half of Disco 3 is remixes; the remaining tracks are new songs.

The disc opens with “Time on My Hands,” an upbeat track with only a minimal amount of vocals, and all of the vocals are processed. Musically, it has an 80s influenced sound to it, and is quite good; however, the vocals are very redunant. If the vocals weren’t so redundant, this would actually be a really good song; as it is now, it’s only mediocre.

Next is “Positive Role Model,” a song from the Pet Shop Boys’ musical, Closer to Heaven. The song has a disco-like riff over an upbeat 80s synth sound; you can also hear some strings during some sections of the track. The vocals on the chorus and part of the second verse are processed. “Positive Role Model” is one of my favorite songs on this release.

“Try It (I’m In Love With a Married Man)” was written by the Pet Shop Boys’ original producer, Bobby Orlando. This is a midtempo song with an early 80s feel, and is about being in love and having an affair with a married man. Some of the vocals in the chorus are processed. It’s not a bad song, but it’s not one of the first tracks that come to mind when I think about listening to this release.

The first remix on the disc is “London [Thee Radikal Blaklite Edit],” which has a very disco-sounding vibe to it. Only one line of vocals is used from the song (“We were in London”), and this line of vocal is highly processed. If you didn’t have the tracklisting in front of you when listening to this disc, you wouldn’t realize that you were listening to a remix of “London.”

Next is “Somebody Else’s Business,” a mid-to-uptempo track with a very 80s sound to it. The song talks about a woman verbally abusing her man, but he sticks the relationship out. Some of the vocals on this track are processed. “Somebody Else’s Business” is my favorite song on this disc, with “Positive Role Model” running a close second.

The next remix is “Here [PSB New Extended Mix],” which is basically just an extended mix of “Here.” It appears that the intro and the ending were extended, but that not much else was done to change the song. Not that that’s a bad thing, because I personally like the “old school” extended remixes like this that were done back in the 1980s.

“If Looks Could Kill” has an upbeat 80s sound to it, and the lyrics deal with tension in a relationship.

“Sexy Northerner [Superchumbo Mix]” is a very club-oriented remix with a heavy bassline. Musically, the mix is very redundant. Unfortunately, since this is the longest track on the disc, the redundancy really stands out. Also, not many vocals are used on this mix.

“Home And Dry [Blank & Jones Mix]” is a much more upbeat mix of the song designed to make it more “club friendly”; the mix takes about two minutes to get going, but it’s not too bad of a remix.

The disc closes with “London [Genuine Piano Mix],” which strips the track down to just piano and vocal. This is a great mix, but it’s puzzling as to why it was included. The other two Disco releases were totally dance-oriented, and the majority of this release is as well; it makes this mix of “London” stick out like a sore thumb. With that being said, though, this is a really good remix of “London.”

Overall, this is a decent release. However, there seems to be too much reliance on processed vocals on many of the tracks that appear on the disc. Die-hard Pet Shop Boys fans and collectors should pick this up to add to their music collection, in order to have the new songs that were included and for the couple of decent remixes that appear on this release.

I wrote this review after listening to a copy of Disco 3 that my husband and I purchased.

(written by Lesley Aeschliman on March 25, 2003)


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