Thursday, March 24, 2011


Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe took the world by storm with the synthesized techno pop of their literate and courteous debut album. Originally called West End after their favorite section of London, they changed their name to the Pet Shop Boys after some friends who owned a pet store. Tennant was a journalist for British pop music magazine 'Smash Hits' and Lowe studied architecture and played trombone in jazz band One Under the Eight. Their music used technology to express distance and desire with wit and sincerity and made lots of money.

Their first single 'West End Girls' topped the charts in the US, the UK, Canada, Finland, Hong Kong, Lebanon, Israel, New Zealand and Norway. The urban existential angst of the lyrics were inspired by Grandmaster Flash's 'The Message' and T.S. Eliot's 'The Wasteland'. Helena Springs sings background vocals.

"Too many shadows, whispering voices
Faces on posters, too many choices
If, when, why, what?
How much have you got?
Have you got it, do you get it, if so, how often?
And which do you choose, a hard or soft option?
(How much do you need?)"

'Opportunities (Let's Make Lots Of Money)' satirized the materialism of the 80's. It made it to number three on the US pop chart.

"I've got the brains, you've got the looks
Let's make lots of money
You've got the brawn, I've got the brains
Let's make lots of money"

'Love Comes Quickly' peaked at number ten on the US charts and features Roxy Music's Andy Mackay on saxophone.

"Sooner or later, sooner or later, this happens to everyone
To everyone
You can fly away to the end of the world
But where does it get you?"

Borrowing its title from the film by Penelope Spheeris, 'Suburbia' addresses the violence that often springs from teenage boredom and poverty. It was a top five hit all over continental Europe. The music was inspired by Madonna's 'Into the Groove' and Chuck Mangione's 'Feels So Good'.

"Let's take a ride, and run with the dogs tonight in Suburbia
You can't hide, run with the dogs tonight in Suburbia
I only wanted something else to do but hang around"

'Tonight Is Forever' was not released as a single.

"We're out again another night
I never have enough
It will be like this forever
If we fall in love"

full album:

All the songs were written by Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe

"Two Divided by Zero"
"West End Girls"
"Opportunities (Let's Make Lots of Money)"
"Love Comes Quickly"
"Opportunities (Reprise)"
"Tonight Is Forever"
"I Want a Lover"
"Later Tonight"
"Why Don't We Live Together?"

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