This is the first song from Pet Shop Boys ever heard by my ears. It was the year 1989, just weeks before our communist regime to fall down. Back then we had about 3 hours of TV program on our only national television, most of the shows were about our leader, Nicolae Ceausescu. But from time to time (and now, when i know more, it's pretty amazing for me), they were showing some foreign songs also (besides our songs). I was only 10 and music wasn't a passion for me, but when i heard this song (and it was a live version, go figure), I was almost hypnotized by the rhythm and by that voice. Of course, being just a kid, the song just passed through my mind like an arrow and after a day or two, it was forgotten. It was only after the Comunists went down, and MTV was a part of our daily life, many years later, I heard the song again, and this time it came to stay :). Even if I don't recall it very well, that was the moment when the Pet Shop Boys became my Number One :). Still, because of our lack of musical industry from that period, trying to get cassettes tapes (yes, that was the method) was a hard thing, and even harder to locate some PSB tapes. But, that's another story :)
The real story of the play is much more older. The song was written at around 1980, and the lyrics were influenced by the Grandmaster Flash rap hit "The Message" It was released in 1984 as a single and in 1986 with the album "Please". The title and refrain refer to London's divide between the traditional and working class East End and the cosmopolitan, consumer-driven West End. The single was first released in April 1984 through writer/producer Bobby Orlando's label, and although not a hit in the United Kingdom, it was a minor dance hit in The Netherlands, Belgium, France and the USA.
"West End Girls" won the Ivor Novello Award for song of the decade 1985-1994. It was preselected by the critics together with "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" (U2), "Addicted to Love" (Robert Palmer), "Creep" (Radiohead) and "Unfinished Sympathy" (Massive Attack), also great songs.