March 1985

They sign to Parlophone Records after long negotiations with Bobby O', who relinquished his contractual rights over them in return for a substantial royalty on future record sales.

April 1985

On April 5th, Neil leaves Smash Hits. In the next issue an 'obituary' is written, bidding him a sad adieu and predicting that in a matter of weeks Neil's pop duo, the Pet Shop Boys "will be down the dumper and he'll come crawling back on bended knees, ha ha ha". "I spoke to my mum on the telephone and said how we'd signed with EMI and she said "But you're not going to give up your job, are you?" and I said, actually I did last week".

July 1985

On July 1st, the first version of 'Opportunities' is released. It reached #116 in the UK.

July 1985

August 1985

They play a short set as part of the ICA Rock Week in London, Chris showing off his skills on the trombone. Neil and Chris are interviewed on stage by Max Headroom. They re-record 'West End girls' with producer Stephen Hague the same month.

October 1985

'West End girls' is released on October 28th and goes to #1 in the UK in January. It is subsequently #1 in USA, Canada, Finland, Hong Kong, Ireland, Israel, New Zealand and Norway, selling 1.5 million copies. "People endlessly ask us what it's like having a #1" says Neil at the time. "But what it feels like is vaguely nothing. It feels like having a cup of tea".

On This Day

1992

The Sun reports that the Pet Shop Boys are breaking up—an assertion that they immediately deny.

2005

Chris and Neil finish writing a new song, 'The Performance of My Life' (which they will ultimately turn over to Shirley Bassey), and then attend Simon McBurney's show A Minute Too Late.

2010

The Boys are working on a new song titled 'Heaven Is a Playground,' which will eventually evolve into 'Leaving.'

2012

They work with Andrew Dawson on the song 'Ego Music.'

2015

As Chris works on a new song (which one specifically is unknown), Neil goes through old recordings in search of tracks that might be included as 'bonuses' on upcoming album reissues.

Next (1986)