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

2000

The Pet Shop Boys perform the first of two consecutive nights' concerts in Osaka, Japan.

2002

The Release Tour comes to Athens, Greece.

2009

The Boys bring their Pandemonium Tour to London's O2 Arena—a sold-out performance. After the concert, they host a small party for family and friends, including a number of celebrities. Neil is especially pleased to find that his eight-year-old nephew enjoyed the show.

2011

The second of two PSB/Take That shows in Dublin.

2013

The British Film Institute in London screens the classic silent film Battleship Potemkin, accompanied by the recorded Tennant-Lowe score from 2004—the first public screening of the film with their score in a cinematic venue. Neil puts in an appearance to provide a brief introduction.

Next (1986)