In 1986 Pet Shop Boys peaks to No.1 on the U.S Hot 100 with “West End Girls”

The synthpop classic remains of Pet Shop Boys greatest hits

In 1986 Pet Shop Boys peaks to No.1 on the U.S Hot 100 with “West End Girls”

Written by Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe, the two members of the Electronic Pop duo Pet Shop Boys, “West End Girls” was released in 1984 and became one of the band’s earliest hits. The song is influenced by hip-hop music, with lyrics concerned with class and the pressures of inner-city life and features the already distinctive Pet Shop Boys synth Pop sound that they would use during the rest of the 1980’s decade. The first version of the song was released on Columbia Records’ Bobcat Records imprint in April 1984, becoming a club hit in the United States and some European countries. The lyrics of the song are filled with literary references or historical ones, as for example “From Lake Geneva to the Finland Station” that refers to the train route taken by Vladimir Lenin when he was smuggled by the Germans to Russia during World War I, a pivotal event in the Russian Revolution. Indeed, it is highly likely the lyric was inspired by the book To the Finland Station by Edmund Wilson, a famous work on the history of revolutionary thought and Socialism that Tennant would have at least heard of, if not read, as a student. The Bobby Orlando-produced version of the single included another line, “All your stopping, stalling and starting/Who do you think you are, Joe Stalin?” which was removed for the 1985 version. On May 10, 1986, two years after it’s original release in the U.S, the song peaked at No.1 on the Hot 100 where it remained on the chart for 20 weeks.

Look back at the iconic 1985 music video for “West End Girls” by the Pet Shop Boys

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