Music History alert(1986)…

May 1986 to be exact…

Excerpt via Totally 80’s:

“We arrived in the studio, and (famous hi-NRG producer) Bobby O had programmed Michael Jackson’s ‘Billie Jean’ drum pattern,” Tennant said in the book, 1000 UK #1 Hits. “Chris (Lowe) started to play along and I started playing chords. In terms of the lyrics, the inspiration for ‘West End Girls’ came from ‘The Message’ by Grandmaster Flash. I remember once staying at my cousin’s house in Nottingham, and we were watching some kind of gangster film with James Cagney, and just as I was dropping off to sleep, the lines ‘sometimes you’re better off dead, there’s a gun in your hand and it’s pointing to your head’ came into my head, and I thought, ‘that’s quite good,’ so I went off to find a pen.”

The original version of “West End Girls” was released in April 1984, going on to become a underground dance club hit around the world. The song got so big that the group realized it was time to take their music to a major label. Landing a deal with Parlophone Records, Tennant and Lowe re-recorded “West End Girls” with producer Stephen Hague, famous for his work with acts such as New Order and Erasure.

Debuting on the Hot 100 at #71, “West End Girls” peaked at #1 for the week of May 10, 1986. The song held the top spot for a single week, toppled on the following chart by Whitney Houston’s “Greatest Love of All.” The song’s popularity was enough to earn the band a invitation to perform on legendary TV show, Soul Train.

“It was meant to be about class, about rough boys getting a bit of posh. It’s opposites – west/east, lower class/upper class, rich/poor, work/play. And it’s about the idea of escape,” (Neil)Tennant revealed.

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