release date: 6. February 2012
chart: UK #26, US #-
Pet Shop Boys released a second b-sides compilation on February 6th, 2012, on Parlophone. Entitled "Format", it celebrates the duo's prolific song-writing and recording by collecting 38 b-sides and bonus tracks originally released on singles from 1996 to 2009. The album is available digitally and on double-CD. All tracks have been remastered. "Format" follows on from the 1995 release, "Alternative", which collected the duo's b-sides from 1985 to 1994.
Mark Farrow has designed "Format". The colourful graphics on the lift-off lid card box represents the music contained within, as Farrow explains: "The composition on the box is a graphic representation of all the spines of all 38 of the b-sides and bonus tracks included on the compilation.".
"Every stripe represents the spine of the original release format on which each of the songs was included," he continues, "whether it was a J card, pochette, cassette, DVD jewel box or 7 inch single. The colours are also informed by the original releases."
The graphics on the two inner CD sleeves represent the tracks on each disc. There is a also a booklet included in the box. "The booklet contains a Jon Savage interview with Neil and Chris about the songs," says Farrow. "The booklet cover has the same type treatment as the box but features no graphics," he continues. "We deliberately kept it really simple, it is black and white throughout."