” Go West ” is a cover by the Pet Shop Boys, the English musical duo. The duo, formed in London in 1981, consists of Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe.
Best known for their huge hit ” West End Girls “, which in 1986, hit the Number One spot on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States. The song also topped the charts in Canada, Finland, New Zealand, South Africa and the United Kingdom, where it spent two weeks at the top of the UK Singles chart.
The Pet Shop Boys have won the Brit Awards on three occasions and are 6x Grammy nominees, they have notched up forty-two singles that have reached the UK Top 30 and twenty-two singles that have become Top Ten hits, which includes four Number Ones.
The Guinness Book of Records lists the Pet Shop Boys as the most successful duo in UK music history with sales of over 50 million records worldwide.
” Go West ” was initially written by Jacques Morali, Henri Belolo and Victor Willis ( Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe have songwriter credit ). All three were involved in the popular and highly successful disco group the Village People.
The group, created initially by Jacques Morali and Henri Belolo, was set up to target disco’s gay audience. The Village People’s popularity quickly grew, and they went on to enjoy mainstream chart success.
This cover version was produced by Neil Tennant, Chris Lowe and Brothers in Rhythm, the English electronic music trio made-up of Steve Anderson, Dave Seaman and Alan Bremner. The trio of remixers, DJ’s and producers have worked with many artists including Lulu, M People, Seal, Janet Jackson, Michael Jackson, New Order, Kylie Minogue, Garbage, Placebo, Alanis Morissette and U2.
” Go West ” was released on the 6th of September 1993 by record labels Parlophone and EMI ( both Universal Music Group ). It was taken from the Pet Shop Boys fifth studio album, Very. The album was placed at number ninety-one on the Q magazine’s ( a UK monthly music magazine ) list of The 100 Greatest British Albums Ever. Very also found it’s way into the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. The album has sold over five million copies worldwide.
The song was selected by Chris Lowe to be performed at an AIDS charity event that was being staged in 1992 at The Haçienda nightclub in Manchester, England. The club opened in 1982, was a former warehouse that became associated with the rise of acid house and rave music. The Haçienda nightclub closed in 1997 and was demolished in 2002.
During the live performance Neil Tennant couldn’t remember the lyrics, despite this, it was decided to record the song and release it as a single.
The Pet Shop Boys version enhanced the original’s chord progression of Pachelbel’s Canon, which has been used by artists from Coolio ( C U When U Get There ) to Oasis ( Don’t Look Back in Anger ) and Ralph McTell ( Streets of London ). The Canon was used to good effect by The Trans-Siberian Orchestra in 1998 for their song ” Christmas Canon “.
Along with the added Canon elements, the song also included a new introduction, to which Chris Lowe later remarked that it ” does sound surprisingly like the former Soviet anthem. ”
There was also an extensive reworking of its instrumental tracks, with Stephen Hague and Mark Stent, the song’s producers, being credited for the mixing. The cover also features the all-male Broadway choir, which was arranged by Richard Niles.
In a change to the Village People’s original, Neil and Chris wrote a new verse ” There where the air is free, we’ll be what we want to be, Now if we make a stand, we’ll find our promised land ”
The accompanying music video was directed by Howard Greenhalgh, the British director of both music videos and advertising. In the early 1990s, Howard came to public attention with his direction of the video for ” Rhythm Is A Dancer “, a hugely successful song which topped the charts in France, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Germany and the United Kingdom. It reached number five on the Billboard Hot 100.
He has also worked with George Michael, Muse and Soundgarden. The video, nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Short Form Music Video in 1995, used computer-generated imagery throughout.
” Go West ” was a commercial success for the Pet Shop Boys. In the United States, the song reached Number One on the Billboard Dance Club Songs Chart, spending twelve weeks on that chart there.
In the United Kingdom, the single entered the UK Singles Chart on the 18th of September 1993 and reached a peak of number two. It spent five weeks in the Top Ten and a total of nine weeks on the UK chart.
BillBoard Hot 100 Highest Chart Position: N/A
UK Highest Chart Position: 2
Other Countries Highest Chart Positions: Australia (ARIA) 10, Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40) 2, Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders) 2, Canadian Dance (RPM) 8, Finland (Suomen virallinen lista) 1, France (SNEP) 2, Germany (Official German Charts) 1, Ireland (IRMA) 1, Italy (FIMI) 7, Japan (Oricon) 9, Netherlands (Dutch Top 40) 5, New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ) 13, Norway (VG-lista) 5, Spain (AFYVE) 4, Sweden (Sverigetopplistan) 2, Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade) 2
Official Website: Petshopboys.co.uk
FaceBook Page: Facebook.com/petshopboys
Wikipedia Page: Wikipedia.org/PetShopBoysGroups go westgo west pet shop boyspet shop boys