In 1983, a writer for the UK’s Smash Hits magazine, along with a friend he met two years earlier in a music shop, inspired by such disparate sources as a James Cagney film, a T.S. Eliot poem, and Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five’s “The Message,” recorded a rap tune contrasting two parts of London and people’s need to escape the pressures of everyday life.
The song, released on Bobcat Records, got some attention in Los Angeles, Canada, Belgium, and in dance clubs in parts of Europe and North America.
In 1985 the duo rerecorded the song for their new label, EMI. This time around, “West End Girls” became a worldwide pop smash.
Today Neil Tennant turns 61 years old. Tunes du Jour kicks off its weekly dance party with the biggest British rap hit to hit the U.S. charts.
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