Would you give a record deal to these guys? Would you predict that this deal would last for more than three decades and include sales of over a hundred million albums?
Like all good demos, the first Pet Shop Boys tape has just three tracks on it. The first is called Bubadubadubadum, or occasionally All My Wasted Time. It’s not great, and that’s probably an understatement. But what it does show is a lot of promise. You certainly wouldn’t predict a 30+ year career based on it, but you can see that they have a good understanding of what pop music is, and how it works.
The second track is Dead of Night, which seven years later would emerge as Jealousy. This is the real surprise. It’s raw, a bit discordant and rough sounding, but it has all the charm and power of the finished track. If I’d been a record company executive in the early eighties (I wasn’t – for some reason toddlers don’t often achieve that kind of position) then I’d like to think this would have made me prick up my ears and listen.
Finally, you arrive at the charming plinky plonk of Oh Dear. Indeed. Well, certainly somebody had been listening to a lot of Depeche Mode at this stage, and maybe hadn’t noticed that they were already going out onto building sites and hitting things rather than multitracking monophonic synthesizers. Oh Dear probably is the worst of the three, but again you can’t help but love its charm, and it certainly has a lot of potential.
To think, it was only a year later that West End Girls came out for its first low-key outing! Quite astonishing. Here’s how it all began: