West End Girls was released as a single twice; once in 1984 under the supervision of Bobby Orlando and again in 1986 after the band signed with Parlophone Records.
Releases and Versions Edit
The Bobby O version was released on vinyl formats in 1984. The concentration was mainly the UK and Germany and contained 7" and 12" versions, as well as several edits. Often the mix names are mislabeled or incorrect. The B-side was most often a eponymous instrumental track simply called Pet Shop Boys.
Since that time, the original production material was every so often repackaged and redistributed, especially since the band left Bobby Orlando to join with Parlophone Records. In 1986, Orlando had his version remixed and re-released in Germany, perhaps as an attempt to cash in on the band's Parlophone single. Then in 1988, a second wave of re-issues, this time incorporating many of the original tracks into megamixes. Finally, in 1992, a German CD single containing the 'Montreal mixes' was distributed.
As for the Parlophone version, its initial release in 1985 was more far reaching than Orlando's. 7" and 12" formats were made around the world, featuring the b-side A Man Could Get Arrested. In the UK, a special 10" disc with an exclusive mix of the single was created. Also, limited edition European 12" editions featured the Shep Pettibone mixes, and an edited version of his mix appears on Disco: The Remix Album.
Becoming one of their signature tracks, it was subsequently remixed numerous times. In 1993, remixes by Sasha were done for the I Wouldn't Normally Do This Kind Of Thing single. 2004 saw the track remixed by DJ Hell for the Flamboyant single and in 2010, Graeme Shepherd of Grum remixed it for the singles of Together.
The song was frequently performed live, often as a finale track, and various live versions have been released on commercial releases over the years.
Design and Packaging Edit
The 1984 releases featured basic and somewhat crude design. The typography and background elements of the cover varied, but a small photo of Neil and Chris which only showed their eyes and leaving the rest of their faces in silhouette was always present. It also featured a stylized text block of the band's name which was later adopted as an element in the Parlophone single cover.
For the 1985 release, a black and white Eric Watson full body photo of the band was used. The sleeve design is credited to XL Design and C.S. Lowe. Set upon a grey and black patterned field, the song title and information was done in red and blue. Other editions of the pressing retained this motif, some versions with die-cut holes featuring the photo on the record label as part of the facing, some without.
The 10" was packaged in a round fold-out picture sleeve, sealed with a circular yellow picture sticker that identifies it as a "collectors edition".
The limited edition Shep Pettibone UK 12" altered the colour scheme of the design slightly and removed all typographical elements from the facings. This pressing was packaged in three configurations: An uncut printed sleeve housing a record with 4" center labels, a die-cut title-stickered printed sleeve housing a record with 6" center labels, and an uncut printed sleeve with a 6" yellow printed center circle, housing a record with 4" center labels.
The video for this single featured the Boys in various locations around London.