1986 Pet Shop Boys – Opportunities (Let’s Make Lots of Money)
Neil Tennant went to a store in 1981 to buy a Korg MS-10 synthesizer. Chris Lowe began talking with him about the purchase. That developed into a friendship and led to the two working together on their own music. They had friends who worked at a pet shop that they referred to as “Pet Shop Boys” and they began using that as the name of their band.
Bobby Orlando had become an important producer of hi-NRG music by 1983. He owned his own record label and had written and produced music for multiple artists. Neil met with Bobby and convinced him to sign the Pet Shop Boys to a recording contract.
The release of their first album came in 1984. The album had a minimal impact since their single (the first version of West End Girls) only climbed to #133 on the UK chart. They recorded eleven songs with Bobby’s label.
In 1985, they reached an agreement with Bobby to terminate their contract by assigning him a large percentage of their future royalties. They then signed with London-based Parlophone Records.
The band updated their initial version of Opportunities (Let’s Make Lots Of Money) and released it as a single that did marginally better; it reached #116 in the UK.
The band then worked with American producer Stephen Hague to record a new mix for West End Girls. The single rapidly went to number one in both the UK and the US. After that success, a remix of their single Opportunities (Let’s Make Lots of Money) followed.
In a surprise development, Opportunities (Let’s Make Lots of Money) charted higher in the US than in the UK; while the single reached #10 in the US, it stalled at #11 in the UK.
It remains the only record released by the Pet Shop Boys that reached the Hot 100 to hold that distinction.
More than twenty top ten singles followed in the UK.
While the band never again reached the top forty on the US Hot 100 after 1988, they continued scoring top ten hits on the US Dance chart through 2019.
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