On this day in music history: October 11, 1988…

On this day in music history: October 11, 1988 – “Introspective”, the third album by the Pet Shop Boys is released. Produced by the Pet Shop Boys, Trevor Horn, Stephen Lipson, Lewis A. Martineé, David Jacob and Julian Mendelsohn, it is recorded at Advision Studios, Sarm West Studios in London, International Sound Recording Studios and Criteria Recording Studios in Miami, FL from December 1987 – July 1988. Just a few months after the release of their second studio album “Actually”, the Pet Shop Boys start work on their third full length album. As well as working their regular collaborators Julian Mendelsohn and David Jacob, Tennant and Lowe also work with producers Trevor Horn, Stephen Lipson (Frankie Goes To Hollywood), and Expose producer Lewis A. Martineé. PSB also employ the assistance of legendary house music DJ/remixer Frankie Knuckles and former Bee Gees keyboardist Blue Weaver. Along with new collaborators, comes a change in the Pet Shop Boys approach to making an album. Instead of the standard practice of writing and recording material in the radio friendly length of four to five minutes, then making extended remixes for club play after the fact, the duo do just the reverse. And for the first time, rather than using only synthesizers, sequencers and drum machines, live instrumentation in the forum of an orchestra is used on the album. The six songs that appear on “Introspective” run between six and nine and a half minutes, with edited single versions being released after the fact. The track “I’m Not Scared”, originally written for singer and actress Patsy Kensit’s band Eighth Wonder is re-recorded by Tennant and Lowe, as is another version of their recent hit single “Always On My Mind”, in a medley with “In My House”. Though it is another success for the Pet Shop Boys, particularly in Europe, it draws a mixed response from fans not used to extended form format of the material, and the somewhat muted response to the freestyle flavored first single “Domino Dancing” (#7 UK, #18 US Pop), with the homoerotic overtones of its accompanying music video. In all, the album spins off a total of three singles including “Left To My Own Devices” (#4 UK, #48 US Pop) and “It’s Alright” (#5 UK, #70 US Pop). For promotional purposes in the UK and US, the album is pressed as limited edition triple 12" vinyl set. Ten copies of the set are pressed on clear vinyl and given to EMI Records executives. It is remastered and reissued on CD in 2001 as a double CD set, with a second disc titled “Further Listening” that features remixes, edits, B-sides and demo versions of songs associated with the original release. “Introspective” peaks at number two on the UK album chart and is certified 2x Platinum by the BPI, peaking at number thrity four on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.