IntrospectiveIntrospective

Released - 1988
Chart peak - UK #2, US #34

Visitors' rating (plurality): ★★★★★
Visitors' rating (rounded average): ★★★★☆
Wayne's rating: ★★★★☆

These star-ratings reflect how PSB albums compare to each other—not how they compare to albums by other artists.

Neil has suggested that the Introspective album was their "kiss of death" in terms of massive popularity in the United States. The fact that it consisted solely of lengthy dance remixes despite American consumers' expectation that it would have included the familiar "single versions" of the two U.S. hits it featured, "Always on My Mind" and "Domino Dancing," may have alienated many. And the "Domino Dancing" video itself (as noted in the song's entry here) probably also had something to do with it. Nevertheless this album remains very much a fan and critics' favorite. The title refers to the album's blatantly introspective lyrics, which provide a dramatic and perhaps ironic counterpoint to the highly danceable, "extroverted" music.

As for the cover design, its multi-colored "rainbow" stripes are suggestive of the "Gay Pride" flag, but this was probably not intentional; for one thing, the colors don't match up with those of the "official" flag. As it turns out, the pattern was designer Mark Farrow's idea, simply based on a page in a book of "testcards" with adjacent stripes of complementary colors. The Boys have commented on the irony, however, that this, the album that in the long run has proven to be their biggest seller—more than 4½ million copies worldwide—doesn't have their picture on the cover.

Neil has also noted that they wanted to create a studio album in which every song was a hit, and they very nearly achieved it with Introspective. If you count the Eighth Wonder version of "I'm Not Scared," which the Boys wrote and produced, then the only song on the album (not counting the medley-snippet "In My House") that wasn't a hit is "I Want a Dog." He also observed that their record company initially balked at allowing an album with only six tracks to count toward their contractual obligations. But then they pointed out that David Bowie's classic Station to Station album also had only six tracks, so the record company relented.

Top Picks by Voter Ratings

  1. Left to My Own Devices
  2. Always on My Mind
  3. Domino Dancing

Wayne's Top Picks

  1. I'm Not Scared
  2. Left to My Own Devices
  3. It's Alright