Friday, April 19, 2019

"Opportunities (Let's Make Lots of Money)" by Pet Shop Boys

Top 10 Alert!
Song#:  2743
Date:  05/31/1986
Debut:  65
Peak:  10
Weeks:  16
Genre:  Dance, Synthpop

Pop Bits:  The UK duo made quite a splash with their #1 single "West End Girls." The unusual rap/sung tune could have easily made Pet Shop Boys a one-hit wonder act, but luckily this next single would catch on and reach the Pop Top 10. It also got to #3 at Dance. The two hits helped the album get to #7 and it would become a certified platinum seller. This single would also be the only one in the duo's catalog where it did better in the US than in the UK. At home, the single stopped at the dreaded #11 spot.

ReduxReview:  This was just the right tune to follow-up "West End Girls." It was different enough to not be a repeat of that hit and it stood out on its own as a terrific song. I also think folks dug the "let's make lots of money" phrase even though many folks misinterpreted the song's meaning. I even remember back in the day that when my friends and I had and idea of some kind - like throwing a theme party - we'd say something like "you got the looks and I got the brain, so let's do it!" Pet Shop Boys were able to avoid being a one-hit wonder, but they did have a harder task ahead to overcome - the sophomore slump.

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  This was actually the third version of the song. When Pet Shop Boys first did sessions with producer Bobby Orlando in 1983, this was one of the songs they recorded. It would not be released. After signing with Parlophone, they re-recorded the tune with producer J.J. Jeczalik and it became their first single for the label early in 1985. It got to a very low #116 on the UK chart. Despite the song not clicking, the Boys returned to the studio to work with producer Stephen Hague. Their first song with Hague was a re-recording of "West End Girls," which would be the single that would break the duo on the chart. They continued to record the balance of their debut album, Please, with Hague and that included a revamping of "Opportunities." In the UK it would be the LP's third single whereas in the US it would be their second. It took three tries, but the Boys were finally able to make a hit out of the song.


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