Pet Shop Boys - 'West End Girls' How to make with DRC
The Pet Shop Boys ‘West End Girls’ wasn’t an instant smash hit, even though ironically, the band’s Neil Tennant wrote it while working as a journalist for the huge UK music magazine at the time ‘Smash Hits’. The original version was in fact recorded by record producer Bobby Orlando after meeting Tennant during a Smash Hits assignment where he was interviewing male solo artist Sting in New York. This is not the popular version we all know and love today though, it's the re-recorded version from 1985 with Stephen Hague on production duties which really made an impact on the music charts.
Of course pop music and the music industry in general was an entirely different landscape back in ‘85, but it may still surprise you that the re-recorded version initially only charted at number 80 - before climbing right up to the number one in an 8 week slog! When does that ever happen these days?! Not bad for a debut single, but a hell of a lot to live up to.
The track’s popularity was undoubtedly aided by the 1980’s London club scene, where it could regularly be heard pumping out of Camden's coolest night spots, somewhere Tennant was a regular till 2-3am, while still managing to keep his day job. Sounds exhausting to us, we’ll leave the raving to the youngsters, and keep making awesome music software instead!
In this week’s DRC Sound Design Tutorial, Lucas takes on the strings and bass sounds from this iconic synth-pop classic.
Click here to download the Ableton project file.
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