” West End Girls ” is by the Pet Shop Boys, the British pop duo made up of Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe.
The song was written by Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe with original production for the single by Bobby Orlando and later by Stephen Hague.
In August 1983 Neil worked as an editor for the then British pop music magazine, Smash Hits. Neil was sent by the magazine to New York and interviewed Sting from the British group, The Police.
While Neil was in New York, he took the opportunity to meet Bobby ‘ O ‘ Orlando, who was his favourite producer and show him some demo’s.
After hearing the tracks and admiring Neil’s knowledge of his work, Bobby offered to produce a session with both Neil and Chris.
Bobby worked with the duo for four hours in the studio where they recorded eleven songs, one of which was to become the first version ” West End Girls “.
Lyrically the song is about class and the pressure of living in the inner city. Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe based the song on the 1922 poem, The Waste Land, by T. S. Eliot. The work is regarded to be one of the most important poems of the twentieth century.
The song was released as a single in April 1984 and became a hit in the clubs of Los Angeles and San Francisco. ” West End Girls ” at this time was only a minor hit in Belgium and France with the release only available in the United Kingdom as a 12″ import.
The Pet Shop Boys severed ties with Bobby Orlando in March 1985 and brought in a new manager by the name of Tom Watkins; he signed them to the record label EMI.
The duo re-recorded ” West End Girls ” with producer Stephen Hague, and the song was re-released later in 1985, Chris Lowe was initially against recording another version of the song. However, Neil Tennant thought it was a good idea as in the United Kingdom the original version was unheard of in the country.
After previous songs failed to make an impact, the re-worked ” West End Girls ” became a hit for the duo. In The United Kingdom, the song was released in October 1985 and entered the UK Singles Chart at number eighty.
After two weeks on the chart, the song had climbed to reach Number One and held the position for two weeks. It spent eight weeks in the Top Ten and a total of seventeen weeks on the UK chart.
Elsewhere in Europe, the song did well. In Norway, it was a Number One and top five in Belgium, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland.
In the United States, the single entered the Billboard Hot 100 at number seventy-one in 1986, finally reaching Number One, which it held for one week. It spent a total of twenty weeks on the chart there.
BillBoard Highest Chart Position: 1
UK Highest Chart Position: 1
Other Countries Highest Chart Positions: Australia (Kent Music Report) 5, Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40) 5, Belgium (VRT Top 30) 3, Canada Top Singles (RPM) 1, Finland (Suomen virallinen lista) 1, France (SNEP) 75, Germany (Media Control Charts) 2, Ireland (IRMA) 2, New Zealand (RIANZ) 1, Norway (VG-lista) 1, South Africa (Springbok) 2, Spain (AFYVE) 3, Sweden (Sverigetopplistan) 2, Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade) 2
Official Website: Petshopboys.co.uk
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