West End Squirrels

Call the police, there’s a madman around…

You’ve gotten used to hearing what DJ Scratchy wants to play for you on Monday mornings over the past few years… but we’ve sent our equine platter pusher on a 30 week sabbatical to Graceland so that the real “brains” behind The Nest can play what it wants!  And we’re doing it countdown style!  This is the Top 30 Songs We Just Feel Like Playing!  I’ve made quite a few changes already to my original list I wrote up a few weeks ago as hardly a day goes by when I don’t hear another song I wish I’d included.  This week’s entry is the first one you’ll hear that was a late replacement…. so late, in fact, that it’s not the song I thought I’d be playing when I featured #29 last Monday!  I’ve got the songs, you’ve got the ears, let’s make lots of music…

#28. “What Have I Done To Deserve This” – Pet Shop Boys, featuring Dusty Springfield

The synthpop duo Pet Shop Boys hit the ground running in the US during the latter half of the 80’s with five Top 10 hits in a two year span, starting off with their lone American #1 hit “West End Girls.”  The Boys’ lead singer Neil Tennant would always be front and center in their quirky music videos, singing along to the song… while his partner Chris Lowe would always be seen lurking silently in the background like a very weird stalker.  Here’s Tennant and Lowe doing one of their usual Penn and Teller acts in the video for their 1987 hit “What Have I Done To Deserve This”…

A lot of people have bellyached about getting unexpectedly dumped by their significant other, but none of them made a song about “Why me?” that I enjoy as much as this lost to the ages hit by Pet Shop Boys.  “Deserve” reached #2 on both the US and UK charts… getting held back in the US by the equally underrated and forgotten “Seasons Change” by Expose, and it was Rickrolled from the top spot in Britain by “Never Gonna Give You Up.”

What did we do to deserve THAT?

Though they had written “What Have I Done To Deserve This” in time for it to have been included on their 1986 smash debut album Please, it had to wait for 1987’s Actually to be recorded because there was only one singer the Pet Shop Boys wanted to recruit to sing the female lead… and that was 60’s sensation Dusty Springfield, who was a bit difficult to get ahold of.  But she did a fantastic job with her role, especially since being 15 years older than Tennant made her out to be a cougar…

They’re not my children. They’re my boyfriends…

This is also officially Dusty Springfield’s biggest hit in the US, topping the #4 equally-a-mouthful-to-say “You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me” from 1966.  She got a surge in popularity after the song, and hit it off with Pet Shop Boys so well, that they helped produce her 1990 comeback album Reputation.  Springfield would make it to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1999, sadly, just a few weeks after her death due to complications from breast cancer.  Pet Shop Boys….. well, they haven’t made it to the Hall just quite yet.

But they’ll always have plenty of opportunities

So I’ve touched on the 70’s, 90’s, and now 80’s so far in this countdown.  Will I have yet another different decade on tap next week?  You bet!  Well, if I don’t make anymore changes before next Monday….

About evilsquirrel13

Bored former 30-something who has nothing better to do with his life than draw cartoon squirrels.
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18 Responses to West End Squirrels

  1. You’re having fun digging around in the treasure chest of “stuff I just wanna play” – this is one I’d kind of forgotten about including the fact Dusty Springfield made an appearance. Good stuff – keep ’em coming!

    Pam

  2. love them!!! he weird thing was as soon as a dj played their songs everybody jumped on the dance floor no matter what the lyrics said (but that is probably a normal thing the people before us freaked out and partied to the Israelites although that was no song about fun&sun)

  3. I loved the Pet Shop Boys and I remember this song too. I love Dusty Springfield as well, she was so underrated here in the US. Thanks for digging this one up, I’d almost forgotten about it.

    • Pet Shop Boys have pretty much been pared down to West End Girls these days, which is a shame because I like a lot of their other songs. And I was surprised Dusty Springfield hadn’t had a Top 3 hit back in her heyday…

  4. Good job Dusty. Wow Dusty looks like a good friend of mine in this video. Just change the hair to a highlighted brown and presto. Could it be she moved to my old neighborhood and changed her name… no, I’ve heard my best gal pall sing. Anyway…

    Good choice. I’d listen to this just because I feel like it. The 80’s station needs to play this one more.

  5. Ally Bean says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever heard this one before. It’s… unique.

  6. Trisha says:

    Apparently Gary didn’t recognize these synth sounds as music because he barked his crazy head off through the whole song. This was a fun trip down memory lane but my favorite part was the mama cougar and caption!

    • Man, Gary would have hated the 80’s! Mama Cougar knows all about the 80’s even if her boyfriends were just gleams in some cat’s eye back then…

      • Trisha says:

        Now I have another mental image to crack me up whenever I hear the term cougar. There’s a nearby park called Cougar Park and whenever I drive by I imagine a bunch of older women wearing leopard print and high heels lurking around, waiting for their young prey.

  7. Always enjoyed the Pet Shop Boys but don’t recall that vid. Nice offering! It almost sounds like Sheila E is playing backup drums. 🥁

  8. draliman says:

    I have a couple of their albums knocking around somewhere… I saw them live in Stuttgart many many years ago.

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