Radio 51, side B, track 1: “West End Girls” by Pet Shop Boys, #81 on The Top 90 of the ’80s

Pet Shop Boys - West End GirlsOh, Pet Shop Boys, so many different emotions were going on when this song showed up on the countdown.  For one thing, you’ll notice that this is the first track on Side B of the tape.  And usually, while there was some anxiety trying to gauge how much time there was left on Side A to see if I could squeeze in one more song, this time the anxiety was increased a hundred-fold.  Because if I ran out of room on a tape on any other day, sure it would suck if I didn’t capture the whole song, but there was always going to be another opportunity to record it later.  Usually.  But THIS, this was the Top 90 of the ’80s.  This was a once in a lifetime event, so if I missed a song on this one, that moment would be lost forever.

So after the last song I recorded, I had to act quickly.  I had to make a judgement call if I had enough room on Side A to fit one more song, and I decided I didn’t.  So I had to fast forward to the end of Side A, open the cassette deck, twirl the cassette around and jam it back in the deck and press Play/Record again.  Knowing that with every second I was missing out on precious radio history.  It’s probably the fastest I ever worked in my life, those few seconds switching from Side A to Side B of the cassette tape.

Plus there were several seconds at the beginning of every tape that didn’t record anything.  So as I’m sure you can imagine, I was twisted in all kinds of knots when I got to the end of the side of a tape.  And this was just the first tape, Pet Shop Boys.  What happened when it was time to take one tape out and put another one in?  Well, I’ll tell you one thing, Pet Shop Boys, if there was such a thing as a cassette slinger, I was the fastest draw in the Midwest.  I could change out a tape in two seconds.  I’m guessing.  I never timed it or anything.  But if there was ever a timed event for radio tapers, I would win.  Since I would be the only entrant.

Anyway, this was the first time I’d heard this song, Pet Shop Boys, so besides all my anxiety, there was also excitement at getting yet another awesome song added to my tape collection.  And there was also some righteous indignation to be had since the DJ says at the end of the track that we hadn’t heard much from you since 1986.  Which is complete and utter nonsense.  By the time this song showed up, I’d already recorded plenty of awesome music by you.  One of the very first songs I recorded was by you, and it’s still one of my favorite songs of all time.  So while I’d bonded with Mark Chase over our mutual love of Chicago, he was going to have to be careful about what he said.  We were going to be spending the night together, and any relationship that involves someone dissing the Pet Shop Boys is not going to end well.

“West End Girls”

<awesome Pet Shop Boys jam>

Sometimes ya better off dead, there’s a gun in ya hand and it’s pointing atcha head
Ya think ya mad
Too unstable
Kicking in chairs and knocking down tables in a restaurant
In a West End town
Call the police, there’s a madman around
Running down
Underground to a dive bar
In a West End town
In a West End town, a dead-end world
The East End boys and West End girls

In a West End town, a dead-end world
The East End boys and West End girls

West End girls

Too many shadows, whispering voices, faces on posters, too many choices
If, when, why, what
How much have you got

Have ya got it, do ya get it, if so, how often, which do ya choose, a hard or soft option
(How much do you neeeeeeed)
In a West End town, a dead-end world
The East End boys and West End girls

In a West End town, a dead-end world
The East End boys and West End girls

West End girls

West End girls

<awesome Pet Shop Boys jam>

(How much do you neeeeeeed)
In a West End town, a dead-end world
The East End boys and West End girls

Ooo, West End town, a dead-end world
East End boys, West End girls

West End girls

You got a heart’a glass or a heart’a stone
Just you wait ’til I getchoo home
Got no future, we’ve got no past
Here today
Built ta last in every city in every nation from Lake Geneva to the Finland station
(How far have you beeeen)
In a West End town, a dead-end world
The East End boys and West End girls

West End town, a dead-end world
East End boys, West End girls

West End girls

West End girls

West End girls

(How far have you beeeen)
Girls

East End boys

And West End girls

West End girls
(How far have you beeeen)

The West End girls

The West End girls

The West End girls

The West End girls

The West End girls

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One thought on “Radio 51, side B, track 1: “West End Girls” by Pet Shop Boys, #81 on The Top 90 of the ’80s

  1. […] but for some reason felt that it was a less-than-successful recording.  This time, it was because I’d cut off the intro because it was the beginning of a new side of the tape.  Just think of the next week as a […]

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