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The Pet Shop Boys in the 1980s

Updated on November 23, 2016
Pet Shop Boys
Pet Shop Boys | Source

West End Girls | Number 1: 1985

Pet Shop Boys: The Eighties Revisited

Although they continue to record successfully today, the Pet Shop Boys songs of the 1980s were among the best material the duo produced.

Full of great melodies, instant hooks as well as clever and thoughtful lyrics, their hit tracks of the period stand up today as well as they did back in the 80s. The pair also had the knack of creating the most memorable music videos of the decade, each one seemingly better than the last.

While several critics state that The Pet Shop Boys cater or speak to a certain core audience, I believe that their lyrics impact listeners from all walks of life. I have enjoyed listening to their songs for many years now, and I don't fall into that supposed music demographic.

I just like a good song when I hear one, and this duo have recorded many that fit into that category. So, let's travel back to the Eighties and relive great synthpop from one of the UK's finest, The Pet Shop Boys.

Pet Shop Boys: Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe

Pet Shop Boys
Pet Shop Boys | Source

The Pet Shop Boys were formed around 1981 by singer Neil Tennant and keyboard player, Chris Lowe. However, it would not be until late 1985 that the duo would enjoy success with the release and re-recording of its first song West End Girls. Since then, the partnership has gone onto register over twenty Top 10 hits in the UK alone, many of them also hugely successful overseas.

In fact, The Pet Shop Boys have become the most successful duo in British rock music, securing more hit singles than any other. Critically acclaimed, the pair have been nominated for several Grammy Awards and in 2009, they were given a BRIT Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music.


The First Album by The Pet Shop Boys


1986 saw the release of the first album by The Pet Shop Boys, Please. The album introduced the public to the duo's stylized and synthesized form of Europop dance music. Generally well received by critics, the recording has since sold in excess of three million copies, entering both the UK and US Top 10 following its initial release.

Please contained four hit singles, which can be enjoyed below, along with One More Chance. They are:

West End Girls

Opportunities (Let's Make Lots of Money)

Love Comes Quickly



Pet Shop Boys: The Hits 1985-1986

Actually: Released September 1987


All of The Pet Shop Boys' earlier albums have now been remastered and the sound quality is superb. Actually has benefitted from this process and you can enjoy the tracks more clearly than ever.


Pet Shop Boys: 1987

A brand new album from The Pet Shop Boys appeared in 1987. This one was called Actually, continuing the duo's obsession with releasing albums with one word titles.

Again the music from the boys received great critical acclaim, and the recording was soon climbing the charts worldwide. In the UK it settled at Number 2, while across the Atlantic in the US, it brokered the Top 30 at Number 25.

Quite possibly my favourite album from The Pet Shop Boys, it contains four magnificent hit singles, all of which can be heard below:

It's A Sin

What Have I Done To Deserve This? (with Dusty Springfield)



During this period, another highly successful song was released, the excellent cover version of the Willie Nelson/Elvis Presley hit, Always On My Mind, although this was not included on this album.

Pet Shop Boys: The Hits 1987-1988

Introspective: Released October 1988


The Pet Shop Boys final album of the 1980s, Introspective, has also been remastered and includes demos, remixes and alternative recordings of their hits during this period.


Pet Shop Boys: 1988-1989

The Pet Shop Boys' third and final album of the 1980s was Introspective. This release was notable for its inclusion of more instruments than the pair's previous outings. Instead of just their synthesized sound, many of the tracks included the use of an orchestral backing, giving them a richer quality than had been previously heard.

Once again, the album was an astounding success, giving the boys a third Top 3 placing in the UK and another Top 40 entry in the US.

This one also included four of The Pet Shop Boys' biggest hit singles:

Always On My Mind

Domino Dancing

Left To My Own Devices

It's Alright

Pet Shop Boys: The Hits 1987-1989

The Pet Shop Boys Poll

Pet Shop Boys
Pet Shop Boys | Source

Which is your favourite PSB 1980's hit?

See results

© 2011 Richard

What Do You Think of the Pet Shop Boys?

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    • flycatcherrr profile image

      flycatcherrr 3 years ago

      I'd forgotten about the Pet Shop Boys! You're right, one of the better things to come out of the 1980s, musically.

    • Tim Bader profile image

      Tim Bader 3 years ago from Surrey, UK

      I think you need a "a can't decide" option in your poll!

      Good article, taking me down memory lane.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      they are squidoo

    • AlexTedford profile image

      AlexTedford 5 years ago

      Cool lens :-)

    • profile image

      GiftsBonanza 5 years ago

      Now I feel like dusting off their records - thanks :)

    • sockii profile image

      Nicole Pellegrini 5 years ago from New Jersey

      I really love the Pet Shop Boys and have since the 80s. I actually think one of their more recent releases, "Yes", is one of their finest. Great to see a band keep going after all of these years and still being so creative.

    • Paul Ward profile image

      Paul 5 years ago from Liverpool, England

      Well put together tribute to the Pet Shop Boys

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Really pleased to see a tribute to one of the most innovative, intelligent and lyrically audacious bands of the 80s and beyond. How about extending the review into the Very, Bilingual and Fundamental era? Great synthpop never goes out of fashion. A great lens.

    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 6 years ago from Southampton, UK

      West End Gitls is the one song that always comes to mind when I think of Pet Shop Boys. Definitely different and they appeared at the right time. Good memories.

    • Wednesday-Elf profile image

      Wednesday-Elf 6 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

      I love "Always on My Mind". Great review of the Pet Shop Boys! Really enjoy these musical trips down 'memory lane' with you,

    • rdgubaten lm profile image

      rdgubaten lm 6 years ago

      I like PSBs. One of my favorite is the "Rent." The music and the song.

    • TheLittleCardShop profile image

      Malu Couttolenc 6 years ago

      The Pet Shop Boys, have a very unique style and I like them. I liked Go West also but Always on my Mind is a great version. :)