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

1987

An interview with Chris and Neil runs in the U.K. entertainment journal Biz.

1989

The first of three consecutive nights' performances by the Pet Shop Boys at London's Wembley Arena. Derek Jarman observes tonight's show in preparation for filming it over the subsequent two nights. After the show he tells Neil he should tone down his makeup, which Jarman says makes him look like 'a sweaty panda.' Neil will take his advice.

1999

'I Don't Know What You Want But I Can't Give It Any More' is released as a single.

2007

The Pet Shop Boys perform at the famous Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland.

2009

Having traveled to Israel for an upcoming concert and an appearance on the local edition of Pop Idol, the Boys take part in a press conference in Tel Aviv, during which they express their desire while there to get in a little tourism and relaxation.

2010

Chris and Neil resume the U.K. dates of their summer tour with a performance at the Brighton Centre.

2015

Neil goes record-shopping in Berlin this afternoon with Joel Gibb of the band Hidden Cameras, who lives there. They take a 'selfie' on the street that Neil posts two days later on the official PSB website.

Next (1986)