Pet Shop Boys

1981-
Neil TennantVocals, keyboards
Chris LoweKeyboards

Pet Shop Boys Artistfacts

  • The English electronic pop duo first met at an electronics store in London and quickly began working together under the moniker West End. The name Pet Shop Boys was inspired by friends who worked at - you guessed it - a pet shop.
  • With more than 50 million records sold worldwide, they were included in the Guinness Book of Records as the most successful duo in UK music history in 1999 (the number would climb to 70 million in the next decade).
  • Tennant was working for the UK music magazine Smash Hits when he took a trip to New York to interview The Police. He used the opportunity to finagle a lunch meeting with American producer Bobby Orlando and pass along a Pet Shop Boys demo. After hearing what would become the hits "It's A Sin" and "Opportunities (Let's Make Lots Of Money)," the producer agreed to work with the duo. They recorded "West End Girls" with Orlando and released it in 1984 on Epic Records, but then had a falling out with the producer. Moving on to EMI, they re-recorded the song with a different producer, Stephen Hague. This time it was a massive hit, getting the group off and running.
  • In the mid-'70s, Tennant worked as an editor for the UK branch of Marvel Comics, where he anglicized spellings and judged whether drawings of female characters were too risqué for British readers.
  • They've become known for their theatrical live shows, but Pet Shop Boys didn't tour until 1989, relying instead on music videos and TV appearances for promotion.
  • After the initial release of "West End Girls," Tennant thought his voice sounded weak and took singing lessons at the record label's suggestion. His music teacher taught him well, but didn't like his music, insisting the drums were overpowering his voice.
  • Lowe studied architecture at Liverpool University and designed a staircase for an industrial complex in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire.
  • In 2011, Pet Shop Boys composed a ballet, The Most Incredible Thing, based on the Hans Christian Anderson 1870 story of the same title. The project was a collaboration with choreographer Javier De Frutos and Britain's leading dance theater, Sadler's Wells. The ballet won an Evening Standard Theatre Award and returned to Sadlers Wells for a second season in 2012.

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