"Snobbery and Decay" is the first single by Act. It was released by ZTT Records in a number of formats on 5 May 1987 (1987-05-05) and reached #60 in the UK Singles Chart.
According to Claudia Brücken, "The whole idea was based on a programme called Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. That was when we discovered how much we wanted to write about that idea and what a great introduction it would be for Thomas and me to have a duet as a first single. Two characters talking about that whole thing."
The orchestral arrangement for "Snobbery and Decay" was made by David Bedford. A number of remixes were done by Mastermind Herbie for a promotional 12". These mixes have not yet been released commercially.
The single also features a cover of "I'd Be Surprisingly Good for You" from the musical Evita, chosen according to Thomas Leer, because "we both dislike Andrew Lloyd Webber intensely. We wanted to do something from a musical, something that was crap and that we could make great. It also fitted the idea of the package." An additional instrumental mix of the track entitled "I'd be Surprisingly Instrumental for You" surfaced on the band's box set in 2004.