“West End Girls” is a song by British pop duo Pet Shop Boys. Written by Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe, the song was released twice as a single. The song is influenced by hip hop music, with lyrics concerned with class and the pressures of inner-city life which were inspired partly by T. S. Eliot’s poem The Waste Land. It was generally well received by contemporary music critics and has been frequently cited as a highlight in the duo’s career.
The first version of the song was produced by Bobby Orlando and was released on Columbia Records’ Bobcat Records imprint in April 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 October 1985, 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. In 2015 the song was voted by the British public as the nation’s 12th favorite 1980’s number one in a poll for ITV.
The song was performed by Pet Shop Boys at the 2012 Summer Olympics closing ceremony and was included as part of the soundtrack of the 2013 game Grand Theft Auto V on the Non-Stop-Pop radio station.
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