Monday, 11 April 2016

Spotted on Spotify: Pet Shop Boys - West End Girls (1984)

Pet Shop Boys are very much in vogue again at the moment what with a new album and no less than 30 years of pop music making under their collective belts. Radio 2 dedicated a special documentary series to them in fact.

On a warm spring day in 1984 I remember, as a student, going into a record shop in Morecambe Lancs., and fishing out a 12" single from the bargain bin. It was the first release by Pet Shop Boys entitled West End Girls - an extended mix by Bobby Orlando on the A side and another song, appropriately called Pet Shop Boys, on the flip. I'd heard of them via Smash Hits - Neil Tennant was famously a former journalist on the fortnightly mag - so I bought it, took it home and listened to it quite a lot. That record, together with Shannon's Let the Music Play and Depeche Mode's People Are people were on heavy rotation during those warm early summer days indoors.

It wasn't until a few months later that pet Shop boys had a hit with the song West End Girls, although it was in a radically remixed form with beefier drums, trumpet and a female backing vocal, which gave it a bit of extra oomph and indeed got them to number one.

I've jealously kept hold of my original West End Girls 12" over the years especially as I'd noticed that it had never been re-released on CD or in digital formats.

Until now. I just noticed that there are two versions of their somewhat obscure and half-forgotten debut (though still not the one I've got!) on Spotify, where PSB are extremely well represented both with albums and singles. Enjoy the original West End Girls and an early version of  One More Chance here on Spotify - also available on digital download platforms.

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