CLASSIC: Pet Shop Boys - "West End Girls"

West End Girls fun facts:

Neil Tennant: "In terms of the lyrics, the inspiration for West End Girls came from The Message by Grandmaster Flash. I remember once staying at my cousin's house in Nottingham and we were watching some kind of gangster film with James Cagney, and just as I was dropping off to sleep, the lines 'sometimes you're better off dead, there's a gun in your hand and it's pointing to your head' came into my head and I thought 'that's quite good' so I went off to find a pen."

Recorded in one take, this originally missed the UK Top 40 in 1984, though it made #1 in Belgium. The song was re-recorded with producer Stephen Hague. As Stephen explained, "I heard the Bobby O version and thought it had potential. I felt it should be slowed down and the story told a little clearer. Neil and Chris agreed once they'd heard it." The above 2 quotes are also from 1000 UK #1 Hits.

Nitsuh Abebe from Pitchfork Media, in a review of their compilation album PopArt: Pet Shop Boys - The Hits commented that in the song "we meet Tennant not as a singer, but as a speaker", adding that "he mumbles the verses to us not like a star, but like a stranger in a raincoat, slinking alongside you and pointing out the sights"

In Canada, where the original recording of "West End Girls" had already been a minor hit in 1985, the re-recorded version was issued as a single in early 1986. The re-recorded song entered the chart in March 1986, peaking at number one for one week on 17 May 1986. In the United States, West End Girls debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 at number 71,reaching the number one position on 10 May 1986, and remained on the chart for 20 weeks. The song also peaked at number one on Billboard's Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart for two weeks.

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