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West End Girls
Song

West End Girls

Pet Shop Boys
Album:
Please

Song Meaning and Background of West End Girls by Pet Shop Boys


West End Girls, is a song by English synth-pop duo Pet Shop Boys written by Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe.


The song's lyrics are concerned with class and the pressures of inner-city life which were inspired partly by T. S. Eliot's poem The Waste Land.


The first version of the song was produced by Bobby Orlando and was released on Columbia Records' in 1984, becoming a club hit in the United States and some European countries.


After the duo signed with EMI, the song was re-recorded with producer Stephen Hague for their first studio album, Please. In 1986, the new version was released, reaching number one in the United Kingdom and the United States in 1986.


In 1987, the song won Best Single at the Brit Awards, and Best International Hit at the Ivor Novello Awards. In 2005, 20 years after its release, the song was awarded Song of The Decade between the years 1985 and 1994 by the British Academy of Composers and Songwriters.


A critic's poll in 2020 by The Guardian selected "West End Girls" as the greatest UK number-one single

In 1983, Neil Tennant met producer Bobby Orlando, while on an assignment in New York interviewing Sting for Smash Hits. After listening to some demos, Orlando offered to produce for the duo.

Orlando played most of the instruments on "West End Girls", including the jazz riff at the end. Lowe played one chord and the bassline.


It included a drum part lifted from Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean", and an arrangement involving what Tennant called "Barry White chords".


Orlando was thrilled by the song's production; his idea was to make a rap record in a British accent.

Tennant started to write the song when he was staying at his cousin's house in Nottingham while watching a gangster film. Just when he was going to sleep he came up with the lines: "Sometimes you're better off dead, there's a gun in your hand and it's pointing at your head".


The lyrics were inspired by T.S. Eliot's poem The Waste Land, particularly in the use of different narrative voices and arcane references.


The song's lyrics are largely concerned with class, inner-city pressure.


Tennant later said that some listeners had assumed the song referred to prostitutes, but was actually, "about rough boys getting a bit of posh."


Lyrics of West End Girls by Pet Shop Boys


Sometimes you're better off dead

There's gun in your hand and it's pointing at your head

You think you're mad, too unstable

Kicking in chairs and knocking down tables

In a restaurant in a West End town

Call the police, there's a madman around

Running down underground to a dive bar

In a West End town

 

In a West End town, a dead end world

The East End boys and West End girls

In a West End town, a dead end world

The East End boys and West End girls

West End girls

 

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?)

 

In a West End town, a dead end world

The East End boys and West End girls

In a West End town, a dead end world

The East End boys and West End girls

West End girls

West End girls

 

(How much do you need?)

 

In a West End town, a dead end world

The East End boys and West End girls

Oooh West End town, a dead end world

East End boys, West End Girls

West End girls

 

You've got a heart of glass or a heart of stone

Just you wait 'til I get you home

We've got no future, we've got no past

Here today, built to last

In every city, in every nation

From Lake Geneva to the Finland station

(How far have you been?)

 

In a West End town, a dead end world

The East End boys and West End girls

A West End town, a dead end world

East End Boys, West End girls

West End girls

 

West End girls

 

West End girls

(How far have you been?)

 

Girls

East End boys

And West End girls

And West End girls

(... forever)

And West End girls

(How far have you been?)

 

East End boys

The West End girls

The West End boys

And West End girls

 

The West End girls

The West End boys

The West End girls

Release Date

1985

Songwriter/s

Neil Tennant, Chris Lowe

Producer/s

Bobby Orlando

Label/s

Unique, EMI

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