Opportunities (Let's Make Lots of Money)

"Opportunities (Let's Make Lots of Money)" is a song by UK duo Pet Shop Boys, released as a single in 1985 and then in 1986, gaining greater popularity in both the United Kingdom and United States with its second release, reaching number 11 in the UK Singles Chart and number 10 in the US Billboard Hot 100.

"Opportunities (Let's Make Lots of Money) (first release)"
Single by Pet Shop Boys
B-side"In the Night"
Released1 July 1985
Format7", 12", cassette
RecordedLate 1984
Length3:45 (7" version), 6:44 (dance mix)
LabelParlophone / EMI
Songwriter(s)Neil Tennant, Chris Lowe
Producer(s)J. J. Jeczalik, Nicholas Froome
Ron Dean Miller ("New York overdubs")
Pet Shop Boys singles chronology
"One More Chance"
"Opportunities (Let's Make Lots of Money) (first release)"
"West End Girls"
"Opportunities (Let's Make Lots of Money) (Second release)"
PSB Opportunities.jpg
Second release cover
Single by Pet Shop Boys
from the album Please
B-side"Was That What It Was?"
Released19 May 1986
Format7", 12", cassette
RecordedLate 1985
Length3:36 (7" edit version)
3:44 (album version)
LabelParlophone / EMI
Songwriter(s)Neil Tennant, Chris Lowe
Producer(s)Stephen Hague
Pet Shop Boys singles chronology
"Love Comes Quickly"
"Opportunities (Let's Make Lots of Money) (Second release)"

The song's indirect attack on its subject matter has come to exemplify the Pet Shop Boys as ironists in their songwriting.[citation needed]



The song was written during the Pet Shop Boys' formative years, in 1983. According to Neil Tennant, the main lyrical concept came while in a recording studio in Camden Town when Chris Lowe asked him to make up a lyric based around the line "Let's make lots of money".[1]

The first version of the song, recorded with the duo's first producer, Bobby Orlando, was not released; upon signing with record label Parlophone, they re-recorded the song with J. J. Jeczalik (of Art of Noise) and Nicholas Froome.

The original single release charted low at number 116 in the UK, to be exceedingly outdone by the number one spectacle of the second release of "West End Girls" in multiple countries. With producer Stephen Hague still on board from that release, a new single version for the duo's debut album, Please, was mixed, with reprogramming done by Hague and re-recorded vocals from Tennant. The second release of "Opportunities", following the album's release, resulted in better chart performance. It is the only single from the band to chart higher in the US than the UK, becoming the duo's second Top 10 single in the US, peaking at #10, and just missing out (#11) in the UK. In Australia, the first version was the one to chart (although outside the Top 40).

Please also included a brief, cacophonic track titled "Opportunities (Reprise)", which was the original middle section to the song proper before it was edited out.


The lyric depicts, in Tennant's words, "two losers". The song is written from the perspective of a man who describes himself as being intellectual and educated. The lyrics are addressed towards another character, identified as having "looks" and "brawn", and who is invited to join the song's protagonist in a scheme to "make lots of money".

Tennant has made it clear that the schemes are doomed to failure. The protagonist's claimed accreditations, a PhD in mathematics from the Sorbonne and knowledge of computer programming, are conceited fabrications. The punchline of the song, he says, is that "the people in it are not going to make any money".

The meaning of the lyric is taken at face value by some listeners, and this subsequent interpretation of the song as a materialistic anthem receives mixed reactions. The satirical interpretation, on the other hand, has cemented the Pet Shop Boys' reputation as ironists to many, to the chagrin of the band as the result is often their more sincere songs being ignored.[1]

A notable change between the original and re-recorded versions of "Opportunities" is the omission of the spoken outro "All the love that we had / And the love that we hide / Who will bury us / When we die?" According to Tennant, the lyrics were removed from the second version of the song as the duo feared the passage would be construed as "too pretentious". The first two lines of the outro, however, are sung within the lyrics of "Why Don't We Live Together?" from the Please album. The original single version of "Opportunities" was unavailable on compact disc until the 1998 U.S.-only Essential compilation album, and was subsequently published on compact disc in the U.K., in a longer edit of the mix, on the 2-disc expanded 2001 remaster of Please.


12-inch remixes for the 1985 release were produced by Ron Dean Miller of Nuance, while those for the 1986 release were produced by noted 1980s producer Shep Pettibone. Some of Miller's overdubs went on to be incorporated into the 1986 single version.

"In the Night"Edit

The B-side of the 1985 release, "In the Night", is about the subculture known as the Zazous, which appeared in France during the German occupation of France in World War II; concerned with fashion and music, and allied with neither the Nazis and Vichy France nor the French Resistance, they were distrusted by both sides. Tennant, having read about the movement in a book by David Pryce-Jones, asks, in the song, the question of whether this apathy essentially amounted to collaborationism.[2]

The Arther Baker remix from Disco became the opening theme music of the BBC fashion programme The Clothes Show from the second season in 1987 (the original 1986 theme was Five Star's "Find the Time (Shep Pettibone Remix)").[3] This continued for a decade until 1995 saw a fully instrumental re-recording of the song, "In the Night '95", for the purpose of replacing the old theme.[4]

Track listingEdit

7" (UK) (1985 release) (Parlophone R6097)Edit

  • A. "Opportunities (Let's Make Lots of Money)" – 3:45
  • B. "In the Night" – 4:50

12" #1 (UK) (1985 release) (Parlophone 12R6097)Edit

  • A. "Opportunities (Let's Make Lots of Money)" (Dance Mix) – 6:44
  • B. "In the Night" – 4:50

12" #2 (UK) (1985 release) (Parlophone 12RA6097)Edit

  • A. "Opportunities (Let's Make Lots of Money)" (Version Latina) – 5:29
  • B1. "Opportunities" (Dub for Money) – 4:54
  • B2. "In the Night" – 4:50

7" (UK) (1986 release) (Parlophone R6129)Edit

  • A. "Opportunities (Let's Make Lots of Money)" – 3:36
  • B. "Was That What It Was?" – 5:18

12" (UK) (1986 release) Parlophone (12R6129)Edit

  • A1. "Opportunities (Let's Make Lots of Money)" (Shep Pettibone Mastermix) – 7:18
  • A2. "Opportunities" (Reprise) – 4:27
  • B1. "Opportunities" (Original Dance Mix) – 6:45
  • B2. "Was That What It Was?" – 5:18


Music videosEdit

First versionEdit

The music video for the first single release was directed Eric Watson and Andy Morahan. It depicts Lowe in an underground parking garage; a Cadillac pulls up to him and stops, whereupon Tennant materialises in front of it, dressed in a hat, glasses, and a suit by British fashion designer Stephen Linard, and standing inside a rectangular hole in the ground while singing the song while his face continually twitches suggesting missing frames and inflates in similar fashion to a frog. The video ends with Tennant disintegrating into dust and the car driving away. Lowe appears as the driver of the car in this video.

Watson was partly inspired by the images of preachers in Wise Blood, the film adaptation of the Flannery O'Connor novel of the same title, in designing Tennant's appearance.[23]

Second versionEdit

For the re-release, prestigious Polish director Zbigniew Rybczyński was recruited. In the video, Tennant is again dressed in a suit and hat, while Lowe wears the hard hat, jeans, soiled shirt, and work gloves of a construction worker, depicting the two roles spoken of in the lyrics. The camera pans over a background of city skylines and clouds rendered in neon lines as Tennant and Lowe appear duplicated repeatedly, passing to each other symbols of the different statuses they represent — including a top hat, a trophy, a brick, and a sledgehammer.

Notes and referencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "Pet Shop Boys Interview". RememberTheEighties.com. Retrieved 15 January 2007.
  2. ^ Heath, Chris (2001). "In the Night Archived 14 September 2005 at the Wayback Machine". In Please / Further Listening 1984–1986 [CD liner notes]. London: Pet Shop Boys Partnership.
  3. ^ "BBC One - The Clothes Show 1986 - YouTube". Retrieved 30 March 2016.
  4. ^ "Trivia". Cult - Classic TV - The Clothes Show. BBC. Retrieved 19 June 2006.
  5. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. p. 232. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  6. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  7. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 0673." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 30 April 2020.
  8. ^ "European Hot 100 Singles" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 3 no. 29. 26 July 1986. OCLC 29800226. Retrieved 30 April 2020 – via American Radio History.
  9. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Opportunities". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 30 April 2020.
  10. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Pet Shop Boys" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40. Retrieved 30 April 2020.
  11. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Pet Shop Boys – Opportunities (Let's Make Lots of Money)" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 23 June 2012.
  12. ^ "Charts.nz – Pet Shop Boys – Opportunities (Let's Make Lots of Money)". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 30 August 2019.
  13. ^ Salaverrie, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (in Spanish) (1st ed.). Madrid: Fundación Autor/SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2.
  14. ^ "Pet Shop Boys: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 9 November 2016.
  15. ^ "Pet Shop Boys Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved 30 April 2020.
  16. ^ "Pet Shop Boys Chart History (Dance Club Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved 30 April 2020.
  17. ^ "Pet Shop Boys Chart History (Dance Singles Sales)". Billboard. Retrieved 30 April 2020.
  18. ^ "Cash Box Top 100 Singles – Week ending May 10, 1986". Cash Box. Retrieved 30 April 2020.
  19. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Pet Shop Boys – Opportunities (Let's Make Lots of Money)". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 30 April 2020.
  20. ^ "Top Selling Singles of 1986". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved 30 April 2020.
  21. ^ "Dance Club Songs – Year-End 1986". Billboard. Retrieved 30 April 2020.
  22. ^ "The Cash Box Year-End Charts: 1986 – Top 100 Pop Singles". Cash Box. 27 December 1986. Retrieved 30 April 2020.
  23. ^ "Interview with Eric Watson". Literally (Pet Shop Boys fanclub magazine). May 1992. Retrieved 19 June 2006.

External linksEdit