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History

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.

1985 July

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

1995

Chris and Neil fly to New York to work with Danny Tenaglia.

2000

The Pet Shop Boys perform at the Glastonbury Festival.

2002

The Boys perform in Munich.

2004

Neil is one of many celebrity guests attending the 6th Annual White Tie and Tiara Summer Ball to benefit the Elton John AIDS Foundation at Elton’s estate in Windsor, U.K.

2006

The Boys perform at Spain’s Santander Festival.

2009

The Pandemonium Tour comes to the Palladium in Köln (Cologne), Germany.

2011

The third and final Glasgow PSB/Take That concert takes place this evening.

2014

Working in Berlin, Chris and Neil spend the whole day writing a new song titled ‘Monkey Business.’

2017

They perform this evening at the Tinderbox Festival in Odense, Denmark. Afterward, Neil describes it on their website as a ‘great night… (if a little chilly).’

2019

Neil and Chris work on newly corrected German lyrics for ‘Ich bin Musik,’ and then, with Pete Gleadall, discuss the mixes of the tracks for My Beautiful Laundrette.

2022

The Boys perform a charity concert at the Electric Ballroom in London.

2023

They perform at the First Direct Arena in Leeds.