Throwback: Pet Shop Boys-West End Girls

The Pet Shop Boys’ “West End Girls” quickly took its place as one of the most popular songs of 1986. Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe took their love of electronic music and disco and made a pop classic which also resonated with club audiences. Tennant’s lyrics were inspired by T.S. Eliot’s Wasteland poem and a gangster film. The song observed class struggles in a snug production consisting of Tennant’s monotone speaking voice, a muted trumpet, a cowbell, pulsing bass lines, and light snares from a drum machine. The rhythms and reflections on class status were also influenced by Grandmaster Flash’s hip-hop gem  “The Message.” The video became synomous with the ’80s and had iconic shots of their native London with scenes taking place at an anti-apartheid vigil, Waterloo Station and the River Thames. They received an MTV nomination for Best New Artist In A Video as “West End Girls” continued to expand its reach with high chart positions nationally and abroad. The appeal of their debut album Please was partially due to  a “West End Girls” and three other singles including  “Opportunities (Let’s Make Lots of Money)” “Suburbia” and “Love Comes Quickly.”

Please was remastered and re-released in 2001 as Please/Further Listening 1984–1986 with unheard b-sides. Another re-release came in 2009 as Please: Remastered and this version did not have the additional music. The Pet Shop Boys released their 14th studio album Hotspot in 2019.