In 2023, the year the new Pet Shop Boys album “Hotspot” was released, the British duo commemorated their first big hit. That was 35 years ago. “West End Girls” has now been released in a lockdown version.
“West End Girls” once required two attempts before it became a world hit. The song was recorded in 1984 with Bobby Orlando at Unique Studios in New York and first released in early April 1984. Orlando produced songs with Divine, the first super tranny in the pop circus, The Flirts and others.
“West End Girls” made it into an underground hit with its hip-hop-like vocal parts, but nothing more. However, the great success only came when it was re-released in 1985 – with a new mix. The Pet Shop Boys had just had a legal dispute with Orlando.
The new release was produced by the razor-sharp British sound inventor Stephen Hague (New Order, Erasure, Holy Johnson and others). The song suddenly made it to number 1 in the USA, Great Britain, New Zealand, Canada and Norway, among others. The hit can be found on the PSB work “Please”.
Inspired by a thriller
By the way: singer Neil Tennant, who is responsible for the sometimes subversive lyrics for the Pet Shop Boys, was inspired in this case by a crime film. The text already says at the beginning: “Sometimes you are better off as a dead person, you hold your pistol in your hand and it points to your head” …
Which version of “West End Girls” do you like better?