Pet Shop Boys front man Neil Tennant worked for U.K. pop-music magazine Smash Hits and also for Marvel Comics when he met future musical partner Chris Lowe in an equipment shop.
The training in superheroes and teen idols was good for the duo, as their first single, ‘West End Girls’ eventually connected it’s charisma to a worldwide audience.
The song has many disparate influences from Tennant’s rap-like delivery to it’s relative grittiness. the lyrics dealt with the seediness of London’s East End and the interaction of it’s ruffians with the ladies from the post West End.
After there had been a favorable club reaction but poor chart action, the song was reworked a year later by producer Stephen Hague, who lightened the Communist references, fattened up the sounds, and gave the song an overall polish.
the second time around proved to be the charm as the updated version shot to the to of the charts in both America and the U.K., where ‘West End Girls’ was the first of four #1 hits from the album Please.
The song’s title has since inspired the names of at least two bands and a television show, and a steady stream of remixes that have helped keep this 80s dance classic alive in the clubs.
The song was named as the best song of the decade 1985-1994 ahead of a short list of singles by U2, Robert Palmer, Radiohead and Massive Attack.