Here’s part 2 of the Pet Shop Boys singles review; for Part 1 (West End Girls), click here.
Similar to West End Girls, Opportunities (Let’s Make Lots Of Money) was released twice, once in 1985 and again in 1986, after the big success of the re-release of West End Girls. Opportunities was the first major label single released with Parlophone, and gained a much greater popularity on the second release. The song was written around 1983, and a first, never-released version was produced by Bobby Orlando. The 1985 released version was recorded by J.J.Jeczalic of the Art Of Noise, and the second, more successful one by Stephen Hague. It got into the top-10 in the US and just missed out in the UK where its highest score was at No. 11.
The idea for the song came when Chris Lowe asked Neil Tennant to make up a lyric based around the line “Let’s Make Lots Of Money“. Tennant has said that he was somewhat inspired by 1969 movie Midnight Cowboy, starring Dustin Hoffman and Jon Voight. The lyrics circle around two people who may have the “looks”, the “brawn” and the knowledge for a scheme to make lots of money, but are doomed to fail. Many interpretations see the song as a materialistic anthem, but as so often, one shouldn’t oversee the Pet Shop Boys‘ ironic approach to the matter.
The B-Side of the 1985 release, In The Night, tells about the subculture of the Zazous that appeared during the German occupation of France in World War II, and showed once again the interest of Tennant in historical events. The 1986 release of Opportunities came with a new B-side, Was That What It Was.
For both single releases, a music video was made. The first one was directed by Andy Morahan and Eric Watson (who became the boys’ longtime photographer afterwards), and the second one by Polish director Zbigniew Rybczynski. You can watch both videos below.
– Opportunities (Reprise), which was on the album Please, is an outtake from the original 1985 single
– According to Neil, it took only three weeks to record the first version of the song
– The original outro of the song was cut out for the album version because the boys felt it was too pretentious
To end this post, here are some of the many versions of Opportunities (Let’s Make Lots Of Money), and both B-Sides.
Opportunities (Let’s Make Lots Of Money) – Original 7″ Version
Opportunities (Let’s Make Lots Of Money) – Shep Pettibone Mix
Opportunities (Let’s Make Lots Of Money) – Razormaid Mix
Opportunities (Let’s Make Lots Of Money) – Larkeros Mix
Opportunities (Let’s Make Lots Of Money) – Latin Rascals Mix
In The Night – Remix
Was That What It Was?
Video Version 1 (1985):
Video Version 2 (1986):
The next feature will be on Love Comes Quickly, and I might make a small entry on One More Chance as well!