Past PSB Survey Results - 2005 Surveys

This page presents the results of surveys I conducted in the year 2005. The results of surveys conducted in 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017 appear on separate pages.

Note: The response in each survey that received the most votes is highlighted in bold red. I usually list the responses in descending order according to the number of votes, but in a few cases I've decided that the results may be clearer or more meaningful if I list them in some other order. Incidentally, I do vote in my own surveys—and, yes, I vote only once. More often than not, what I vote for doesn't come in first place. In the results below, the symbol ¤ appears after the item(s) that I voted for in each survey.


Survey 240 - Week of December 25, 2005
Favorite PSB Christmas card/gift (143 voters)

For many years the Pet Shop Boys have been sending the members of their official Fan Club a Christmas card or gift each December. Whether or not you have that particular item yourself, what is your favorite Pet Shop Boys Christmas card or gift?

51.0% - 1997: "It Doesn't Often Snow at Christmas"CD ¤
17.5% - "I don't feel that I'm familiar enough with these items to make a choice."
04.9% - 2005: Pet Shop Choirboys
04.2% - 1994: Chris and Neil in "DiscoVery" costumes in an ice field
04.2% - 1996: PSB Advent calendar
03.5% - 1993: "A Very Merry Christmas" with snowy "Go West" costumes
03.5% - 2003: "Miracles"-style die-cuts
02.8% - pre-1991 (precise date uncertain): Chris and Neil with dog and Christmas lights*
02.8% - 2004: Battleship Potemkin preview DVD
01.4% - 1992: "Pet Shop Boys wish you a Merry Christmas" (a design inspired by the soon-to-be-released Very)
01.4% - 2000: PSB "Christmas interview"
00.7% - 1998: Christmas tree ornaments with Neil and Chris as angels
00.7% - 1999: "Nightlife-look" headband
00.7% - 2001: "Merry Christmas from Pet Shop Boys"
00.7% - 2002: "Pet Shop Boys Say No to War"
00.0% - 1991: "Merry Christmas from Pet Shop Boys" mobile with roses and "Was It Worth It" dolls of Chris and Neil
00.0% - 1995: "Merry Pet Shop Boys," showing Neil wearing bananas and Chris wearing a wig

Thanks to Mike and Stephen, the respective webmasters of Confidential and So Pet Shop Boys, for providing the original sources of many of the graphic images of Christmas cards shown above. Please visit their sites to see larger images and to read more about many of these cards.

*There were several pre-1991 cards, but I have no firsthand knowledge of them. One voter, however, described a "fake tour pass" 1987 Christmas card, and two told of the 1988 "Introspective Christmas tree card." One of them even sent me a graphic image of this 1988 card, shown here on the right. It bears the actual signatures of Neil and Chris, as opposed to later cards that have mere signature reproductions. I regret that I didn't know about this card in time to include it in the options for this survey.


Survey 239 - Week of December 18, 2005
Return to costumes for Fundamental? (220 voters)

Would you like to see a return to "costumes" (à la Very and Nightlife) for the upcoming Pet Shop Boys album Fundamental and its singles?

35.0% - No.*
26.8% - Yes—a wide variety of costumes as they did for Very.
23.2% - Yes—a fairly consistent look as they did for Nightlife.
15.0% - Maybe—if they're not too outrageous. ¤

*It's important to note, however, that even though a plurality of voters picked the single "No" option, that figure is exceeded by the total of those who picked one or the other of the two "Yes" options. So actually more fans would like to see a return to costumes than those who would not.


Survey 238 - Week of December 11, 2005
Opinions of Fundamental as the next album title (271 voters)

What do you think of Fundamental as the title for the next Pet Shop Boys album, scheduled for mid-April 2006 release?

51.7% - Great album title!
26.2% - I'll reserve judgment until I see how it "fits" the songs on the album. ¤
14.4% - It's OK, but not great.*
05.5% - I don't have any opinions about it one way or the other.
02.2% - Boring and/or stupid title!

*A few voters said that they would have preferred Fundamentally, as in "Fundamentally, Pet Shop Boys."


Survey 237 - Week of December 4, 2005
How many issues of Literally do you own? (192 voters)

How many issues of the Pet Shop Boys Fan Club magazine Literally do you own?*

57.3% - None
08.9% - 2-5 issues
07.3% - 6-10 issues
07.3% - 11-15 issues
06.8% - All 29 of them!
04.2% - 16-20 issues ¤**
04.2% - 21-25 issues
04.2% - 26-28 issues
00.0% - Just one issue

*At the time this question was asked, 29 issues had been published.
** So far I have 17 issues: #13 to #29.


Survey 236 - Week of November 27, 2005
Should Chris provide more vocals? (210 voters)

Do you think Chris should provide more vocals on Pet Shop Boys recordings?

49.0% - "I like the way they've been doing it, with Chris taking the very occasional lead or backup vocal, but no more than that." ¤
19.5% - "Yes, Chris should sing more lead vocals!"*
11.9% - "Speak or rap, yes. But sing, no."
09.0% - "No more lead vocals—but 'background' or 'support' vocals, yes, definitely."
06.7% - "It doesn't matter to me one way or the other."
03.8% - "No, he should quit recording vocals altogether."

*One voter noted that he would love for Chris to sing more—if he took voice lessons. He felt that Chris had a "pleasant but unrefined" voice. But another believed that fans were "just being fans" (that is, just being nice to someone whose music they love) when they said that they wanted more Chris vocals. Of course, it's all a matter of taste, isn't it?


Survey 235 - Week of November 20, 2005
Neil's singing through the years (199 voters)

How would you say that Neil's singing in recent years compares to his singing in the early years of the Pet Shop Boys' success?

23.1% - "I'd say it's about the same. I don't think his singing has changed much at all through the years."
21.1% - "It's hard to generalize. Sometimes or in some ways he's a better singer nowadays, but at other times or in other ways he was better in the early years."
21.1% - "In general, I think he's a slightly better singer now than he was in the early years."
16.6% - "He's a much better singer now than he was in the early years."
08.5% - "I think he was actually a better singer sometime in the 'middle years' than he is now or was at the start." ¤
05.5% - "In general, I think he was a slightly better singer in the early years than he is now."
02.5% - "He was a much better singer in the early years than he is now."
01.5% - "I have some other opinion about his singing."*

*Expressions of other opinions included the following:


Survey 234 - Week of November 13, 2005
Favorite/least favorite post-Alternative b-sides (210 voters)*

What are your favorite and least favorite post-Alternative single b-sides/bonus tracks?**

Favorite
Least Favorite

15.2% - Delusions of Grandeur
08.6% - Always
08.1% - Between Two Islands
07.6% - The Truck Driver and His Mate
07.6% - Hit and Miss ¤
07.1% - Sexy Northerner
07.1% - We're the Pet Shop Boys
06.2% - I Didn't Get Where I Am Today
04.3% - The Boy Who Couldn't Keep His Clothes On
04.3% - Betrayed
03.3% - The View from Your Balcony
03.3% - Girls and Boys
02.4% - The Ghost of Myself
02.4% - Friendly Fire
01.4% - The Calm Before the Storm
01.4% - Lies
01.4% - Searching for the Face of Jesus
01.4% - Nightlife
01.4% - Je T'aime… Moi Non Plus
01.4% - Sail Away
01.0% - Transparent
01.0% - Silver Age
01.0% - Casting a Shadow
01.0% - How I Learned to Hate Rock 'n' Roll
00.0% - Screaming
00.0% - Disco Potential

22.3% - Je T'aime… Moi Non Plus
11.2% - Disco Potential
07.6% - Searching for the Face of Jesus
06.6% - Screaming
06.6% - Transparent
05.6% - Girls and Boys ¤
05.1% - Sail Away
04.1% - Silver Age
03.6% - How I Learned to Hate Rock 'n' Roll
03.0% - Casting a Shadow
03.0% - Between Two Islands
02.5% - We're the Pet Shop Boys
02.5% - The Ghost of Myself
02.5% - Sexy Northerner
02.0% - The Truck Driver and His Mate
01.5% - The Boy Who Couldn't Keep His Clothes On
01.5% - Lies
01.5% - Always
01.0% - Nightlife
01.0% - The Calm Before the Storm
01.0% - Hit and Miss
01.0% - Friendly Fire
01.0% - I Didn't Get Where I Am Today
01.0% - The View from Your Balcony
00.5% - Betrayed
00.5% - Delusions of Grandeur

*Not everyone who participated in this survey voted for both favorite and least favorite track. The number of voters listed here reflects the total number of votes cast in whichever half of the poll received the larger number of votes. But the percentages are based on the number of votes cast in each respective half of the poll.

**Because they had appeared in previous favorite/least favorite polls, I didn't include "Positive Role Model" and "Break 4 Love" in this list, despite the fact that they, too, served as single b-sides. However, I did include "Sexy Northerner," despite the fact it had also appeared in a previous favorite/least favorite poll, because the version included on the Disco 3 album was so radically different from the b-side version that it seemed unfair not to include it.


Survey 233 - Week of November 6, 2005
Favorite/least favorite non-album singles (225 voters)*

Several Pet Shop Boys songs that were singles didn't appear on one of their regular "studio albums," so they were overlooked in my previous album-by-album favorite/least favorite song polls. But now's their chance. What are your favorite and least favorite "non-album" Pet Shop Boys' singles?

Favorite
Least Favorite

20.9% - Miracles
19.1% - Where the Streets Have No Name (I Can't Take My Eyes Off You)
13.8% - Flamboyant
12.4% - DJ Culture
10.7% - Paninaro '95
08.0% - Was It Worth It? ¤
06.7% - Somewhere
04.4% - Absolutely Fabulous
04.0% - Break 4 Love

24.8% - Break 4 Love ¤
18.0% - Absolutely Fabulous
17.5% - Somewhere
13.6% - DJ Culture
07.8% - Paninaro '95
07.3% - Was It Worth It?
03.9% - Where the Streets Have No Name (I Can't Take My Eyes Off You)
04.4% - Flamboyant
02.9% - Miracles

*Not everyone who participated in this survey voted for both favorite and least favorite track. The number of voters listed here reflects the total number of votes cast in whichever half of the poll received the larger number of votes. But the percentages are based on the number of votes cast in each respective half of the poll.


Survey 232 - Week of October 30, 2005
Should they do solo albums? (229 voters)

Would you like for Neil and/or Chris to release a solo album?

33.2% - "Only if it didn't interfere with creating more music together." ¤
18.8% - "No, definitely not—neither of them!"
14.4% - "I'd prefer if they didn't, but it wouldn't bother me."
10.9% - "It doesn't matter to me one way or the other."
09.2% - "Yes, but only if they both do."
07.4% - "Only if (heaven forbid!) PSB should break up."
03.1% - "Neil, yes—but Chris, no."
02.6% - "Chris, yes—but Neil, no."
00.4% - "Only under some other condition."*

*One person wrote that he would have preferred to vote "Yeah, sure, if either of them feels inspired," but I don't know whether that is the condition that the voter who chose this option would have wanted.


Survey 231 - Week of October 23, 2005
Opinion of Trevor Horn producing next album (232 voters)

Which of the following statements comes closest to expressing how you feel about the fact that the Pet Shop Boys' next album (scheduled for release in Spring 2006) is being produced by Trevor Horn?

41.8% - "It's terrific—I expect a great album!"
30.6% - "It's promising." ¤
08.2% - "I don't have strong feelings about it one way or the other."
06.0% - "Trevor who?"
05.2% - "I don't think the producer matters all that much."
04.3% - "I'd like it better if Horn were producing part of the album but not all of it."
03.9% - "I have mixed feelings about it."
00.0% - "It doesn't bode well."
00.0% - "It's terrible!"


Survey 230 - Week of October 16, 2005
Do you have "Tranquilizer"? (204 voters)

Do you have the Neil Tennant/Superchumbo collaboration "Tranquilizer" and, if so, how did you get your copy?

64.7% - "No, I haven't even heard it yet."
10.3% - "No, I don't have a copy, but I have heard it (at least in part)."
08.8% - "I downloaded 'Tranquilizer' without paying for it."
06.9% - "I bought Superchumbo's album Wowie Zowie."
04.9% - "I purchased 'Tranquilizer' online and downloaded it."
02.9% - "I downloaded it and then bought the album." ¤
01.5% - "I got a copy on tape or CD from a friend."


Survey 229 - Week of October 9, 2005
Disco 3 favorite and least favorite tracks (198 voters)*

What are your favorite and least favorite tracks on the Pet Shop Boys' album Disco 3?

Favorite
Least Favorite

22.7% - Try It (I'm in Love with a Married Man)
18.2% - Here (PSB New Extended Mix)
16.7% - Somebody Else's Business ¤
13.1% - Positive Role Model
08.1% - Time on My Hands
07.1% - If Looks Could Kill
06.6% - London (Genuine Piano Mix)
04.0% - Home and Dry (Blank & Jones Remix)
02.0% - Sexy Northerner (Superchumbo Mix)
01.5% - London (Thee Radikal Blaklite Edit)

49.5% - Sexy Northerner (Superchumbo Mix) ¤
10.6% - London (Thee Radikal Blaklite Edit)
09.6% - Home and Dry (Blank & Jones Remix)
08.0% - London (Genuine Piano Mix)
06.9% - Try It (I'm in Love with a Married Man)
04.8% - Time on My Hands
03.7% - Positive Role Model
03.2% - If Looks Could Kill
02.1% - Somebody Else's Business
01.6% - Here (PSB New Extended Mix)

*Not everyone who participated in this survey voted for both favorite and least favorite track. The number of voters listed here reflects the total number of votes cast in whichever half of the poll received the larger number of votes. But the percentages are based on the number of votes cast in each respective half of the poll.


Survey 228 - Week of October 2, 2005
Release favorite and least favorite songs (229 voters)*

What are your favorite and least favorite songs on the Pet Shop Boys' album Release?

Favorite
Least Favorite

23.6% - Home and Dry
16.2% - Here
15.3% - London
08.7% - Love Is a Catastrophe
08.7% - Birthday Boy ¤
07.9% - I Get Along
07.4% - The Samurai in Autumn
05.2% - The Night I Fell in Love
03.5% - E-mail
03.5% - You Choose

22.7% - Love Is a Catastrophe ¤
21.8% - The Night I Fell in Love
15.6% - E-mail
12.4% - Birthday Boy
10.2% - The Samurai in Autumn
06.2% - You Choose
05.3% - I Get Along
02.2% - Here
01.8% - London
01.8% - Home and Dry

*Not everyone who participated in this survey voted for both favorite and least favorite song. The number of voters listed here reflects the total number of votes cast in whichever half of the poll received the larger number of votes. But the percentages are based on the number of votes cast in each respective half of the poll.


Survey 227 - Week of September 25, 2005
Nightlife favorite and least favorite songs (233 voters)*

What are your favorite and least favorite songs on the Pet Shop Boys' album Nightlife?

Favorite
Least Favorite

22.3% - You Only Tell Me You Love Me When You're Drunk
20.2% - I Don't Know What You Want But I Can't Give It Any More
14.2% - Closer to Heaven ¤
12.4% - For Your Own Good
07.7% - New York City Boy
06.9% - Radiophonic
05.2% - Footsteps
03.0% - In Denial
03.0% - Vampires
02.6% - Boy Strange
02.1% - Happiness Is an Option
00.4% - The Only One

25.8% - Boy Strange ¤
12.9% - Footsteps
12.0% - Happiness Is an Option
10.7% - The Only One
08.9% - Vampires
08.4% - New York City Boy
08.4% - Radiophonic
06.2% - In Denial
03.1% - For Your Own Good
02.2% - Closer to Heaven
00.9% - I Don't Know What You Want But I Can't Give It Any More
00.4% - You Only Tell Me You Love Me When You're Drunk

*Not everyone who participated in this survey voted for both favorite and least favorite song. The number of voters listed here reflects the total number of votes cast in whichever half of the poll received the larger number of votes. But the percentages are based on the number of votes cast in each respective half of the poll.


Survey 226 - Week of September 18, 2005
Bilingual favorite and least favorite songs (250 voters)*

What are your favorite and least favorite songs on the Pet Shop Boys' album Bilingual?

Favorite
Least Favorite

15.6% - Discoteca
14.4% - A Red Letter Day
13.2% - It Always Comes as a Surprise ¤
10.4% - To Step Aside
08.8% - Se A Vida É (That's the Way Life Is)
07.6% - The Survivors
07.2% - Up Against It
06.8% - Before
06.8% - Single
05.2% - Metamorphosis
02.0% - Saturday Night Forever
02.0% - Electricity

24.1% - Electricity ¤
20.3% - Saturday Night Forever
12.4% - Metamorphosis
11.6% - Before
09.1% - The Survivors
06.2% - Up Against It
03.7% - To Step Aside
03.3% - It Always Comes as a Surprise
03.3% - Discoteca
02.1% - Se A Vida É (That's the Way Life Is)
02.1% - Single
01.7% - A Red Letter Day

*Not everyone who participated in this survey voted for both favorite and least favorite song. The number of voters listed here reflects the total number of votes cast in whichever half of the poll received the larger number of votes. But the percentages are based on the number of votes cast in each respective half of the poll.


Survey 225 - Week of September 11, 2005
Alternative favorite and least favorite songs (226 voters)*

What are your favorite and least favorite songs on the Pet Shop Boys' album Alternative?

Favorite
Least Favorite

14.6% - Shameless ¤
09.3% - Miserablism
07.1% - Your Funny Uncle
05.8% - In the Night
05.8% - Some Speculation
05.3% - Paninaro
04.9% - It Must Be Obvious
04.9% - Hey, Headmaster
04.9% - We All Feel Better in the Dark
04.0% - A New Life
03.5% - Don Juan
03.5% - Bet She's Not Your Girlfriend
03.1% - Too Many People
03.1% - I Get Excited (You Get Excited Too)
02.7% - Decadence
02.7% - Violence
02.2% - Was That What It Was?
01.8% - Jack the Lad
01.8% - That's My Impression
01.3% - Losing My Mind
01.3% - You Know Where You Went Wrong
01.3% - A Man Could Get Arrested
01.3% - The Sound of the Atom Splitting
01.3% - If Love Were All
00.9% - Do I Have To?
00.4% - What Keeps Mankind Alive?
00.4% - I Want a Dog
00.4% - One of the Crowd
00.4% - Euroboy
00.0% - Music for Boys

37.7% - The Sound of the Atom Splitting ¤
13.2% - If Love Were All
09.4% - What Keeps Mankind Alive?
03.8% - Music for Boys
03.8% - That's My Impression
03.3% - Hey, Headmaster
02.4% - One of the Crowd
02.4% - Some Speculation
02.4% - I Want a Dog
01.9% - Euroboy
01.9% - Decadence
01.9% - Was That What It Was?
01.9% - Don Juan
01.4% - Your Funny Uncle
01.4% - Jack the Lad
01.4% - You Know Where You Went Wrong
01.4% - A New Life
01.4% - Losing My Mind
01.4% - Violence
00.9% - We All Feel Better in the Dark
00.9% - I Get Excited (You Get Excited Too)
00.9% - Bet She's Not Your Girlfriend
00.5% - Shameless
00.5% - Miserablism
00.5% - It Must Be Obvious
00.5% - In the Night
00.5% - A Man Could Get Arrested
00.5% - Do I Have To?
00.0% - Too Many People
00.0% - Paninaro

*Not everyone who participated in this survey voted for both favorite and least favorite song. The number of voters listed here reflects the total number of votes cast in whichever half of the poll received the larger number of votes. But the percentages are based on the number of votes cast in each respective half of the poll.


Survey 224 - Week of September 4, 2005
Relentless favorite and least favorite songs (174 voters)*

What are your favorite and least favorite songs on the Pet Shop Boys' album Relentless?

Favorite
Least Favorite

31.6% - One Thing Leads to Another ¤
27.0% - Forever in Love
17.2% - The Man Who Has Everything
09.2% - KDX 125
08.6% - We Came from Outer Space
06.3% - My Head Is Spinning

23.9% - KDX 125
21.4% - My Head Is Spinning ¤
20.1% - We Came from Outer Space
18.9% - One Thing Leads to Another
11.3% - The Man Who Has Everything
04.4% - Forever in Love

*Not everyone who participated in this survey voted for both favorite and least favorite song. The number of voters listed here reflects the total number of votes cast in whichever half of the poll received the larger number of votes. But the percentages are based on the number of votes cast in each respective half of the poll.


Survey 223 - Week of August 28, 2005
Very favorite and least favorite songs (241 voters)*

What are your favorite and least favorite songs on the Pet Shop Boys' album Very?

Favorite
Least Favorite

22.0% - Can You Forgive Her?
12.4% - I Wouldn't Normally Do This Kind of Thing ¤
10.4% - Dreaming of the Queen
10.4% - Go West
09.5% - The Theatre
07.5% - Liberation
06.6% - To Speak Is a Sin
05.8% - Yesterday, When I Was Mad
05.4% - Young Offender
05.0% - A Different Point of View
02.5% - One in a Million
02.1% - Postscript
00.4% - One and One Make Five

24.1% - One and One Make Five
12.7% - To Speak Is a Sin
11.0% - Postscript ¤
09.6% - One in a Million
07.0% - Young Offender
06.1% - Dreaming of the Queen
05.7% - A Different Point of View
05.3% - Liberation
04.8% - Go West
04.4% - Yesterday, When I Was Mad
03.5% - The Theatre
03.1% - Can You Forgive Her?
02.6% - I Wouldn't Normally Do This Kind of Thing

*Not everyone who participated in this survey voted for both favorite and least favorite song. The number of voters listed here reflects the total number of votes cast in whichever half of the poll received the larger number of votes. But the percentages are based on the number of votes cast in each respective half of the poll.


Survey 222 - Weeks of August 14 and 21, 2005
Will you buy The Battleship Potemkin? (248 voters)

Are you planning on buying the CD of Pet Shop Boys' score for the film The Battleship Potemkin?

52.0% - "Yes, definitely, though I haven't placed an advance order for it."
16.5% - "Probably, though maybe not right away."
11.7% - "Yes, of course! In fact, I've already placed my advance order." ¤
09.7% - "I'm not sure yet."
04.8% - "I might buy a DVD of the film and score if it were available, but probably not just the CD."
02.4% - "No—I don't count a primarily instrumental recording as being a 'real' PSB album."
01.6% - "No—from what I've heard, I don't think I'd like it."
01.2% - "No, for some other reason."


Survey 221 - Week of August 7, 2005
Behaviour favorite and least favorite songs (257 voters)*

What are your favorite and least favorite songs on the Pet Shop Boys' album Behaviour?

Favorite
Least Favorite

40.1% - Being Boring ¤
14.0% - So Hard
13.6% - This Must Be the Place I Waited Years to Leave
07.4% - Jealousy
06.6% - Nervously
05.1% - The End of the World
03.9% - My October Symphony
03.5% - Only the Wind
03.1% - To Face the Truth
02.7% - How Can You Expect to Be Taken Seriously?

19.0% - How Can You Expect to Be Taken Seriously?
15.6% - Only the Wind
13.9% - To Face the Truth ¤
12.6% - Nervously
09.5% - My October Symphony
09.5% - Jealousy
09.1% - The End of the World
04.8% - So Hard
03.0% - Being Boring
03.0% - This Must Be the Place I Waited Years to Leave

*Not everyone who participated in this survey voted for both favorite and least favorite song. The number of voters listed here reflects the total number of votes cast in whichever half of the poll received the larger number of votes. But the percentages are based on the number of votes cast in each respective half of the poll.


Survey 220 - Week of July 31, 2005
Introspective favorite and least favorite songs (271 voters)*

What are your favorite and least favorite songs on the Pet Shop Boys' album Introspective?

Favorite
Least Favorite

39.9% - Left to My Own Devices
21.0% - I'm Not Scared ¤
14.8% - Domino Dancing
13.7% - Always on My Mind/In My House
07.0% - It's Alright
03.7% - I Want a Dog

34.1% - It's Alright
31.0% - I Want a Dog ¤
14.7% - Always on My Mind/In My House
09.1% - Domino Dancing
08.3% - I'm Not Scared
02.8% - Left to My Own Devices

*Not everyone who participated in this survey voted for both favorite and least favorite song. The number of voters listed here reflects the total number of votes cast in whichever half of the poll received the larger number of votes. But the percentages are based on the number of votes cast in each respective half of the poll.


Survey 219 - Week of July 24, 2005
Actually favorite and least favorite songs (236 voters)*

What are your favorite and least favorite songs on the Pet Shop Boys' album Actually?

Favorite
Least Favorite

20.8% - It's a Sin
18.6% - What Have I Done to Deserve This? ¤
18.2% - King's Cross
13.1% - Rent
09.7% - It Couldn't Happen Here
08.9% - Heart
04.7% - One More Chance
03.8% - I Want to Wake Up
01.3% - Hit Music
00.8% - Shopping

35.2% - Hit Music ¤
15.5% - Shopping
12.8% - I Want to Wake Up
07.8% - Heart
07.3% - One More Chance
06.4% - It Couldn't Happen Here
05.5% - It's a Sin
04.6% - What Have I Done to Deserve This?
03.7% - King's Cross
01.4% - Rent

*Not everyone who participated in this survey voted for both favorite and least favorite song. The number of voters listed here reflects the total number of votes cast in whichever half of the poll received the larger number of votes. But the percentages are based on the number of votes cast in each respective half of the poll.


Survey 218 - Week of July 17, 2005
Please favorite and least favorite songs (235 voters)*

What are your favorite and least favorite songs on the Pet Shop Boys' debut album Please?**

Favorite
Least Favorite

19.6% - Love Comes Quickly
19.1% - West End Girls
13.2% - Suburbia
11.5% - Opportunities (Let's Make Lots of Money)
10.6% - Tonight Is Forever ¤
08.9% - Two Divided by Zero
06.8% - I Want a Lover
04.3% - Why Don't We Live Together?
03.0% - Violence
03.0% - Later Tonight

20.6% - Later Tonight
18.8% - Violence
13.5% - Why Don't We Live Together?
11.7% - I Want a Lover ¤
10.3% - Two Divided by Zero
06.3% - Suburbia
05.8% - West End Girls
04.9% - Love Comes Quickly
04.9% - Opportunities (Let's Make Lots of Money)
03.1% - Tonight Is Forever

*Not everyone who participated in this survey voted for both favorite and least favorite song. The number of voters listed here reflects the total number of votes cast in whichever half of the poll received the larger number of votes. But the percentages are based on the number of votes cast in each respective half of the poll.

**For the purposes of this survey, I didn't include "Opportunities (reprise)" among the choices.


Survey 217 - Week of July 10, 2005
Use of background vocalists in concert (177 voters)

Which of the following statements comes closest to expressing how you feel about the Pet Shop Boys' use of background vocalists in their live shows?

55.4% - "I think their use of background vocalists is generally just right."
25.4% - "I don't feel qualified (for whatever reason) to respond to this question."
11.9% - "I think they make too much use of background vocalists."
05.1% - "I don't think they make enough use (or good enough use) of background vocalists."
01.7% - "I have no problems with how they use background singers or how often, but I often don't like their choice of singers." ¤*
00.6% - "I can't generalize about this. It varies quite a bit from tour to tour and from show to show."

*Allow me to add, however, that although I don't particularly care for her in Performance, I've generally enjoyed the Boys' most "regular" background singer, Sylvia Mason-James, in her other appearances with them.


Survey 216 - Week of July 3, 2005
PSB taking part in charity concerts (206 voters)

Which of the following statements comes closest to expressing how you feel about the Pet Shop Boys taking part in charity concerts?

54.4% - "I think their current occasional involvement in charity concerts is about right." ¤
19.9% - "I think they should take part in charity concerts more often!"
14.6% - "In general I would prefer if they didn't take part in charity concerts, but really big events like Live 8 are special, so in those cases it's OK."
11.2% - "I really wish they had stuck with their old policy of not taking part in charity concerts, period."

Note: I had considered including among these choices "It all depends on the charity." But then I decided against it since surely we all can think of certain causes that we would not want the Pet Shop Boys to support. Therefore the nature of the particular charity was a moot point for the purposes of this poll.


Survey 215 - Week of June 26, 2005
"Unpopular" PSB tracks that you like (275 voters)

Not counting a few songs written for others, certain oddities, and some officially unreleased recordings, the following ten Pet Shop Boys tracks ranked the lowest in my "Rating Project." But which of these ten relatively unpopular PSB tracks do you really like? That is, which ones do you genuinely enjoy listening to as much as or perhaps even more than many other PSB songs?

41.8% - Hit Music ¤
37.1% - Vampires ¤
35.3% - Boy Strange ¤
31.3% - The Only One ¤
30.5% - Electricity ¤
30.2% - What Keeps Mankind Alive? ¤
22.9% - If Love Were All ¤
22.9% - The Sound of the Atom Splitting*
16.4% - Transparent ¤
15.3% - Je T'Aime… Moi Non Plus ¤

*As you can see, the only song that I didn't vote for in this poll—the only one of those listed that I dislike—is "The Sound of the Atom Splitting." As I note elsewhere on this website, that and "Love Is a Catastrophe" are the only two PSB songs that I don't like one bit.


Survey 214 - Week of June 19, 2005
Also a fan of my other favorites? (264 voters)

Which of the following recording artists-my favorites other than the Pet Shop Boys-do you also like well enough to consider yourself a fan (or would count among your own favorites)?*

55.7% - Depeche Mode
43.6% - Erasure
38.3% - Madonna
30.7% - ABBA
27.3% - George Michael
25.4% - David Bowie
24.6% - Beatles
20.5% - Queen
20.1% - Elton John
16.7% - Pink Floyd
16.7% - Prince
16.3% - Kate Bush
15.5% - Bee Gees
14.0% - Donna Summer
12.9% - Simon and Garfunkel
11.7% - Fleetwood Mac (the "Buckingham-Nicks edition")
11.7% - Talking Heads
11.0% - Beach Boys/Brian Wilson
10.2% - Carpenters
10.2% - Genesis
09.1% - Billy Joel
09.1% - Stevie Wonder
08.3% - Thomas Dolby
08.0% - Rufus Wainwright
06.1% - Steely Dan
06.1% - Yes
05.3% - Joni Mitchell
05.3% - The Who
04.5% - Joe Jackson
04.2% - Paul Simon
03.8% - Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons
03.4% - Patsy Cline
03.4% - Moody Blues
03.0% - Manhattan Transfer
01.1% - Randy Newman
01.1% - Procol Harum
00.4% - Rickie Lee Jones

*The figures reflect the percentage of voters who chose that artist as among their own favorites. Since voters could make more than one selection, the total adds up to considerably more than 100%. Because of the nature of this question, it would have been nonsensical for me to vote in this poll, so I didn't. Therefore none of the choices here are marked with the usual ¤ symbol denoting my own vote(s).

A number of voters offered their own personal favorites aside from those in my own list. Since there were literally dozens of other voter favorites, I won't list them all here, but I will list those mentioned more than once (in alphabetical order): B-52s, Electronic, Human League, Joy Division, Moby, Morrissey, New Order, OMD, REM, Saint Etienne, and the Smiths.


Survey 213 - Week of June 12, 2005
What vegetable would they be? (162 voters)

If the Pet Shop Boys were a vegetable, what would they be?*

13.6% - asparagus
11.1% - carrots
08.0% - cucumbers
06.2% - tomatoes
05.6% - broccoli
05.6% - peppers
04.9% - olives
04.3% - potatoes
03.7% - mushrooms
03.7% - brussels sprouts
03.1% - celery
03.1% - eggplant
02.5% - artichokes
02.5% - bok choy
02.5% - spinach ¤
02.5% - watercress
01.9% - cabbage
01.9% - cauliflower
01.9% - radishes
01.2% - corn
01.2% - onions
01.2% - pumpkins
00.6% - beets
00.6% - kohlrabi
00.6% - lettuce
00.6% - okra
00.6% - parsnips
00.6% - peas
00.6% - scallions
00.6% - yams
03.1% - Some other vegetable not listed here

*This was an admittedly rather silly poll, but I think it's good to run silly polls every now and then just for the fun of it. Besides, the comments that some of the voters made (which I've excerpted below) show that there was actually some pretty solid rationale behind their choices:


Survey 212 - Week of June 5, 2005
Ever been as much a fan of anyone else? (217 voters)

Have you ever been as much a fan of any other musical artist as you are of the Pet Shop Boys?

51.6% - "No. I'm more a fan of the Pet Shop Boys than I've been of any other musical artist."

35.9% - "Yes. In fact, I'm as much or more a fan right now of one or more other musical artists."

12.4% - "Yes. Before the Pet Shop Boys came along (or before I discovered them), I was as much or more a fan of one or more other musical artists." ¤

Also, because I neglected to include "Girls and Boys," the b-side of the "Paninaro '95" single, in my poll the previous week about b-sides and bonus tracks that my site visitors consider to be better than the corresponding singles, I also asked the following question:

Do you consider "Girls and Boys" to be better than "Paninaro '95"? (176 voters)

79.0% - No, "Girls and Boys" is not better than "Paninaro '95." ¤
21.0% - Yes, "Girls and Boys" is better than "Paninaro '95."

This result would place "Girls and Boys" quite high in last week's list of b-sides that my site visitors consider better than the respective single: in Xth place, to be precise, just below "Your Funny Uncle" and just above "Always."


Survey 211 - Week of May 29, 2005
B-sides better than the single (228 voters)

Which Pet Shop Boys b-sides or bonus tracks are, in your opinion, better than the singles on which they appeared? (Select all that apply.) [The titles of the corresponding singles appear in brackets.]*

35.1% - Miserablism [Was It Worth It?]
32.0% - Hit and Miss [Before] ¤
27.2% - The Truck Driver and His Mate [Before] ¤
23.7% - Sexy Northerner [Home and Dry]
22.4% - Your Funny Uncle [It's Alright] ¤
20.6% - Always [Home and Dry] ¤
19.7% - Delusions of Grandeur [A Red Letter Day] ¤
19.7% - Between Two Islands [I Get Along]
18.0% - In the Night [Opportunities (Let's Make Lots of Money)]
17.5% - Paninaro [Suburbia]
16.7% - Shameless [Go West]
16.7% - I Didn't Get Where I Am Today [Flamboyant] ¤
14.9% - Bet She's Not Your Girlfriend [Where the Streets Have No Name...] ¤
14.9% - Positive Role Model [London]
14.0% - Some Speculation [Yesterday, When I Was Mad]
14.0% - The View from Your Balcony [Somewhere]
13.6% - Too Many People [I Wouldn't Normally Do This Kind of Thing]
13.2% - The Ghost of Myself [New York City Boy]
12.3% - I Get Excited (You Get Excited Too) [Heart]
11.4% - One of the Crowd [It's Alright]
11.4% - The Boy Who Couldn't Keep His Clothes On [A Red Letter Day]
11.0% - Decadence [Liberation]
09.6% - How I Learned to Hate Rock 'n' Roll [Se A Vida E]
09.2% - The Calm Before the Storm [Single-Bilingual]
09.2% - Searching for the Face of Jesus [I Get Along]
09.2% - Friendly Fire [I Get Along]
08.8% - Don Juan [Domino Dancing]
08.3% - Losing My Mind [Jealousy]
08.3% - Music for Boys [DJ Culture]
08.3% - Confidential [Single-Bilingual]
07.9% - Betrayed [Se A Vida E]
07.0% - We're the Pet Shop Boys [Miracles]
06.6% - Casting a Shadow [New York City Boy]
06.1% - It Must Be Obvious [So Hard]
06.1% - Hey, Headmaster [Can You Forgive Her?]
06.1% - Disco Potential [Somewhere]
06.1% - Nightlife [Home and Dry] ¤
05.7% - Was That What It Was? [Opportunities (Let's Make Lots of Money)]
05.7% - That's My Impression [Love Comes Quickly]
04.8% - A New Life [What Have I Done to Deserve This?]
04.8% - Do I Have To? [Always on My Mind]
04.8% - Euroboy [Yesterday, When I Was Mad]
04.4% - I Want a Dog [Rent]
04.4% - We All Feel Better in the Dark [Being Boring]
04.4% - Screaming [I Don't Know What You Want But I Can't Give It Any More]
03.5% - Jack the Lad [Suburbia]
03.5% - If Love Were All [Yesterday, When I Was Mad]
03.5% - Silver Age [I Don't Know What You Want But I Can't Give It Any More]
03.5% - Lies [You Only Tell Me You Love Me When You're Drunk]
02.6% - Sail Away [You Only Tell Me You Love Me When You're Drunk]
02.2% - A Man Could Get Arrested [West End Girls]
01.8% - You Know Where You Went Wrong [It's a Sin]
01.8% - Je T'Aime...Moi Non Plus [I Don't Know What You Want But I Can't Give It Any More]
01.3% - The Sound of the Atom Splitting [Left to My Own Devices]
01.3% - Transparent [Miracles]
00.9% - What Keeps Mankind Alive? [Can You Forgive Her?]
01.3% - Some other b-side/bonus track not listed here**

*The figures reflect the percentage of voters who included that song among their selections. Because voters could make more than one selection, the total adds up to considerably more than 100%.

**The voters who chose "Some other b-side/bonus track" not listed here didn't share what their other choice(s) was/were. I carelessly neglected to include "Girls and Boys," the b-side/bonus track for "Paninaro '95," among the choices, so it's possible that's what they were thinking of. However, I attempted to make up for this oversight by including a question about "Girls and Boys"/"Paninaro '95" in the following week's survey.


Survey 210 - Week of May 22, 2005
Most underestimated single (234 voters)

What, in your opinion, has been the Pet Shop Boys' most under-rated, underestimated, or underappreciated single? Or, to put it another way, which single do you feel most deserved much greater commercial and/or critical success than it actually achieved?

21.4% - Being Boring
06.8% - Miracles
05.6% - Before
05.1% - Flamboyant
04.7% - DJ Culture
04.7% - You Only Tell Me You Love Me When You're Drunk
04.3% - Love Comes Quickly
03.8% - I Get Along
03.4% - I Don't Know What You Want But I Can't Give It Any More
03.0% - It's a Sin
02.6% - A Red Letter Day
02.6% - Home and Dry
02.1% - Left to My Own Devices
02.1% - Jealousy
02.1% - Was It Worth It? ¤
02.1% - Liberation
01.7% - West End Girls
01.7% - Rent
01.7% - Go West
01.7% - I Wouldn't Normally Do This Kind of Thing
01.7% - Somewhere
01.3% - What Have I Done to Deserve This?
01.3% - Heart
01.3% - Domino Dancing
01.3% - Can You Forgive Her?
01.3% - Yesterday, When I Was Mad
01.3% - New York City Boy
00.9% - Opportunities (Let's Make Lots of Money)
00.9% - Always on My Mind
00.9% - It's Alright
00.9% - How Can You Expect to Be Taken Seriously?
00.9% - Paninaro '95
00.9% - Some other single not listed here*
00.4% - So Hard
00.4% - Where the Streets Have No Name (I Can't Take My Eyes Off You)
00.4% - Absolutely Fabulous
00.4% - Se A Vida E (That's the Way Life Is)
00.4% - Single-Bilingual
00.0% - Suburbia

*Unfortunately, as far as I can tell, neither of the voters who selected "Some other single" identified that other single—at least not to me.


Survey 209 - Week of May 15, 2005
Preferred Back to Mine disc (196 voters)

Pet Shop Boys' Back to Mine collection of music that they enjoy by other artists consists of two discs: one with tracks selected by Chris and the other with tracks chosen by Neil. Which of the two discs do you prefer?

54.6% - I can't say—I haven't listened to them yet.
21.4% - Chris's
16.8% - Neil's ¤
07.1% - I like them both equally.


Survey 208 - Week of May 8, 2005
The weakest single (267 voters)

What, in your opinion, has been the Pet Shop Boys' weakest single?*

14.2% - I Get Along
13.9% - Before
08.6% - DJ Culture
07.5% - New York City Boy
06.7% - Single-Bilingual
04.9% - Home and Dry
04.5% - Was It Worth It?
04.1% - Paninaro '95 ¤
04.1% - Somewhere
03.7% - Yesterday, When I Was Mad
03.0% - Go West
03.0% - Liberation
01.9% - Love Comes Quickly
01.5% - It's Alright
01.5% - How Can You Expect to Be Taken Seriously?
01.5% - Jealousy
01.5% - Se A Vida E (That's the Way Life Is)
01.5% - Miracles
01.5% - Flamboyant
01.1% - Heart
01.1% - A Red Letter Day
01.1% - You Only Tell Me You Love Me When You're Drunk
00.7% - Suburbia
00.7% - Rent
00.7% - Always on My Mind
00.7% - Domino Dancing
00.7% - Being Boring
00.7% - Where the Streets Have No Name (I Can't Take My Eyes Off You)
00.7% - I Don't Know What You Want But I Can't Give It Any More
00.4% - Opportunities (Let's Make Lots of Money)
00.4% - Left to My Own Devices
00.4% - Can You Forgive Her?
00.4% - I Wouldn't Normally Do This Kind of Thing
00.7% - Some other single not listed here:
     00.4% - Absolutely Fabulous
     00.4% - Do the Right Thing

*Only the singles that received one or more votes are listed above. I left it up to individual voters to define "weakest" for themselves, whether they interpreted it to mean "least favorite," "poorest selling," "least commercial," or anything else. I had listed only the singles released in the U.K. and/or the U.S. and for which a video was created, not counting one-off special cases such as "Absolutely Fabulous" (for which the Pet Shop Boys wasn't listed as the artist) and "Break 4 Love" (by "Peter Rauhofer + Pet Shop Boys = The Collaboration"), although voters were free to cite those or any other singles if they wished using the "Some other single not listed here" option. It's worth noting that the only listed singles that didn't receive any votes as the "weakest" were "West End Girls," "It's a Sin," "What Have I Done to Deserve This?" and "So Hard."


Survey 207 - Week of May 1, 2005
Giving away their songs to others? (160 voters)

In general, which of the following statements comes closest to expressing how you feel about the Pet Shop Boys "giving away" their songs to other artists to perform?

47.5% - "I like it, even if we may never hear the Boys' own version. It shows off their songwriting skills and helps expose their work to more people." ¤

21.9% - "I don't mind as long as the Boys make sure to keep their best songs for themslves!"

17.5% - "It's all right, but only if we eventually get to hear the Boys' own version."

08.2% - "It's OK only if it's a song that the Boys have absolutely no intention of ever releasing in their own version. Otherwise we may never get to hear it!"

03.8% - "I usually don't like it. Other artists never (or hardly ever) do as good a job as the Boys themselves."

01.3% - "I don't like it at all! The Boys should save all of their songs for themselves."


Survey 206 - Week of April 24, 2005
Most ever paid for a PSB-related item (157 voters)

To the best of your recollection, what is the most you have ever paid for any single PSB-related item (one recording, one concert ticket, one collectible, one whatever)?

05.7% - No more than $20 / £10 / €15
37.6% - $21-49 / £11-25 / €16-38
20.4% - $50-74 / £26-39 / €39-57
14.0% - $75-99 / £40-52 / €58-76 ¤
02.5% - $100-124 / £53-65 / €77-95
05.7% - $125-149 / £66-78 / €96-114
03.8% - $150-199 / £79-104 / €115-153
03.2% - $200-299 / £105-157 / €154-229
07.0% - $300 / £158 / €230 or more


Survey 205 - Week of April 17, 2005
Ever dream about PSB? (170 voters)

Have you ever had (or do you recall ever having) a dream-yes, an actual dream while you're asleep-about one or both of the Pet Shop Boys?

54.7% - "No, not that I can recall."
18.8% - "Yes, but only a few that I can recall."
12.9% - "Yes, but only once that I can recall." ¤*
07.1% - "Yes, I used to have dreams about them, but not for quite some time now."
06.5% - "Yes, I have often had (and continue to have) dreams about them."

*In my one and only PSB dream that I can recall (which took place, I believe, in 1996), Neil and Chris paid me an unexpected visit in Minneapolis, where I was living at the time. One of the suburbs there boasts "The Mall of America"—aka the "Megamall," the largest shopping center in the United States. It's four storeys tall and more than a mile in circumference, with an indoor amusement park in the center. It has even become a major tourist attraction. So, like a good host to out-of-town guests, I took the Boys for a visit to the Megamall. Chris seemed rather impressed and started on a huge shopping spree, whereas Neil thought it rather dreary and more than a little crass. And that's all I can remember about my sole PSB dream. I can't help but feel, however, that this dream symbolized the Pet Shop Boys' attitudes toward the United States—or, more accurately, my subconscious perception, rightly or wrongly, of those attitudes.


Survey 204 - Week of April 10, 2005
Did you listen to "Dreaming of the Queen"? (192 voters)

Think back to when you first heard the news of the death of Princess Diana. Did you feel the urge shortly thereafter to listen to the Pet Shop Boys' song "Dreaming of the Queen"?

57.8% - "No, I didn't. The song didn't come to mind at the time."*
18.2% - "Yes, and I did listen to the song very shortly after."
13.5% - "Yes, but I didn't listen to the song until some time later." ¤
10.4% - "I'm afraid I don't remember."

*The "No, I didn't.…" choice includes those voters who weren't PSB fans (or at least weren't familiar with "Dreaming of the Queen") at the time of Diana's death.


Survey 203 - Weeks of March 27 and April 3, 2005
Best songwriting method? (204 voters)

Of the three primary ways in which Neil has said that he and Chris write songs together (described in a little more detail elsewhere on this website), which of these three methods do you think tends to produce the best songs?

51.0% - I don't think I can choose between these methods (either because I like them equally, because I lack enough information to decide, or for some other reason). ¤

29.9% - Neil and Chris play together in the studio, writing songs in the process. Songs written in this way include "Rent," "Domino Dancing," "Being Boring," "This Must Be the Place I Waited Years to Leave," "How Can You Expect to Be Taken Seriously?," "One and One Make Five," "Before," and "Disco Potential," among others.

12.3% - Chris writes music at home and then Neil puts words to it and maybe adds a middle bit. Songs written in this way include "I Want to Wake Up," "Only the Wind," "Jealousy," "Can You Forgive Her?," "Dreaming of the Queen," "Young Offender," "Up Against It," and "Confidential," among others.

06.9% - Neil writes more or less complete songs and then Chris makes modifications, such as to the rhythm. Songs written in this way include "Do I Have To?," "So Sorry, I Said," "Don Juan," "To Face the Truth," "Nervously," "I Wouldn't Normally Do This Kind of Thing," "Liberation," and "Hit and Miss," among others.


Survey 202 - Week of March 20, 2005
How would you rate Neil as a singer? (207 voters)

On a scale of 0 to 10-with 0 meaning "one of the absolute worst in pop music history," 5 meaning "average," and 10 meaning "one of the all-time greatest"-how would you rate Neil Tennant as a singer?

00.0% - 0
01.0% - 1
00.0% - 2
01.0% - 3
04.3% - 4
07.7% - 5 ¤
14.5% - 6
25.1% - 7
23.2% - 8
06.3% - 9
16.9% - 10

The average rating: 7.3


Survey 201 - Week of March 13, 2005
Will they hit those peaks again? (200 voters)

Do you believe that any future release by the Pet Shop Boys will reach or even surpass the artistic peak (admittedly debatable) of the Behaviour and Very days, and do you believe that any future release of theirs will reach or even surpass the undoubted popularity peak (at least in much of Europe and North America) of the Please and Actually days?*

64.5% - "I believe they will reach that artistic peak again, but never again that peak in popularity." ¤
26.5% - "No, I don't believe they will ever reach those artistic and popular peaks again."
07.5% - "Yes, I believe they will reach those peaks again—both artistic and popular!"
01.5% - "I believe they will reach that peak in popularity again, but never again that artistic peak."

*I asked that voters who disagree that the period of Behaviour and/or Very represented the Pet Shop Boys' "artistic peak" should base their response to this question on whatever they do regard as the Boys' artistic peak. By the same token, voters who live in places where the Boys' popularity peak occurred at some other time should have based their response on their peak of popularity where they live. Finally, please don't consider a possible failure ever again to reach a "peak" as a failure, period. Obviously, artists very often continue to create great and/or popular work despite having passed their "peak."


Survey 200 - Week of March 6, 2005
How many more albums? (224 voters)

How many more albums of new material do you think the Pet Shop Boys will release before ultimately calling it quits?

49.1% - "I think they probably have two or three more albums in them." ¤*
22.3% - "I think they'll release a half-dozen or more new albums in the years ahead!"
20.1% - "I think they'll release another four or five."
07.1% - "I suspect this next one will be their last."
01.3% - "I'll be surprised if they manage to complete even one more!"

*Personally, I suspect that Chris and Neil will get to a point sometime within the next ten years when they will decide no longer to record and release albums under the name "Pet Shop Boys" but instead will focus strictly on songwriting and perhaps producing for other artists. Given the rate at which they have recently been releasing albums of all-new material (a three-year gap between Nightlife and Release, and a four-year gap between Release and next year's album), I figure this would come to two or three albums of new material. Of course, only time will tell whether this or any similar speculation will prove correct.


Survey 199 - Week of February 27, 2005
Neil's comments about the next album (232 voters)

Neil has said that their next album, which they're currently working on and are planning to release in 2006, could be their "first purely electronic album" with lyrics that are "funnier and cynical." He also says that he's "in the mood to write frivolous pop songs." What do you think of this?

79.7% - "I like the sound of it!" ¤
10.8% - "I don't have strong feelings about it one way or the other."
06.5% - "I have mixed feelings about it."
03.0% - "I don't like the sound of it!"


Survey 198 - Week of February 20, 2005
Their single greatest achievement (232 voters)

What, in your opinion, is the Pet Shop Boys' single greatest career achievement?

31.3% - Their status as the most successful duo in U.K. chart history ¤
16.5% - The Very album
11.3% - The Behaviour album
09.6% - I believe their greatest achievement is yet to come
07.8% - Their live Peformance shows
07.8% - "West End Girls"
05.2% - "Being Boring"
02.6% - Some other song or album not mentioned here:*

02.2% - Their Battleship Potemkin film score and concert
02.2% - Their 2000 Ivor Novello Award for Outstanding Contribution to British Music
01.7% - Some other specific achievement not mentioned here:

01.3% - Their stage musical Closer to Heaven
00.4% - Their live DiscoVery shows
00.0% - Their 2003 World Arts Award
00.0% - Some other award that they've received
00.0% - Their status as the fourth most successful act in U.S. dance chart history

*Only two of the six voters who chose "Some other song or album not mentioned here" shared the song or album that they consider the Boys' greatest achievement.


Survey 197 - Week of February 13, 2005
PSB album-buying habits (184 voters)

What are your buying habits regarding Pet Shop Boys albums? (Please select all of the choices that are true for you.)*

96.7% - CD format ¤
50.5% - Some international albums
45.1% - All domestic albums ¤
41.8% - Some U.K. albums
33.2% - All U.K. albums ¤
29.9% - Some domestic albums
29.6% - "I buy regular editions of PSB albums and I buy special editions, but only if the special edition includes tracks that I don't already own"
28.8% - "When I know there will be a 'special edition,' I buy only the special edition instead of the 'regular edition'"
24.5% - "I buy duplicate copies of PSB albums if they have unique artwork or packaging that I don't already own"
23.4% - Vinyl format ¤
21.2% - "I buy regular editions of PSB albums and I buy special editions even if I already own all of the tracks" ¤
20.1% - No international albums ¤
14.1% - "My PSB album-buying habits are somewhat inconsistent, varying from one album to another"
10.3% - No U.K. albums
10.3% - Cassette format
05.4% - "I buy only regular editions of PSB albums"
05.4% - No domestic albums
04.3% - All international albums
04.3% - Digital/mp3 format
00.5% - "I don't buy PSB albums"

*Note: Because voters could choose more than one option, the percentages total to more than 100%. In this poll "domestic" refers to those singles released in the voter's own country; "international" refers to those released somewhere other than the U.K. and the voter's country; thus, for U.K. voters, singles released there would be both U.K. and "domestic."


Survey 196 - Week of February 6, 2005
PSB single-buying habits (206 voters)

What are your buying habits when it comes to Pet Shop Boys singles? (Please select all of the choices that are true for you.)*

94.2% - CD singles ¤
54.4% - Some international singles ¤
50.5% - Only if they have tracks that I don't already own
42.7% - Some U.K. singles
42.2% - All U.K. singles ¤
36.9% - 12-inch vinyl singles ¤
35.4% - Some domestic singles
35.0% - All domestic singles ¤
23.3% - 7-inch vinyl singles
16.5% - No international singles
15.0% - If they have graphic artwork that I don't already own
12.6% - Cassette singles
11.2% - All international singles
11.2% - No domestic singles
07.8% - Digital/mp3 singles**
07.3% - No U.K. singles
05.3% - "I don't buy PSB singles"

*Note: Because voters could choose more than one option, the percentages total to more than 100%. In this poll "domestic" refers to those singles released in the voter's own country; "international" refers to those released somewhere other than the U.K. and the voter's country; thus, for U.K. voters, singles released there would be both U.K. and "domestic."

**I have bought digital/mp3 singles, but none yet by the Pet Shop Boys. I'm not averse to doing so; it's just that I haven't yet felt the need. If, however, they were to release a single in digital/mp3 format a significant period of time before releasing it in other formats, I would almost certainly (in a manner of speaking) "take the bait."


Survey 195 - Week of January 30, 2005
Who would you credit: Chris or Neil? (227 voters)

Which of the following ratios most closely matches the degree to which you would credit Chris and Neil individually with whatever it is about the Pet Shop Boys that makes you a fan?

00.9% - 100% Chris / 0% Neil
00.9% - 90% Chris / 10% Neil
00.9% - 80% Chris / 20% Neil
01.8% - 70% Chris / 30% Neil
11.5% - 60% Chris / 40% Neil
51.1% - 50% Chris / 50% Neil
18.5% - 40% Chris / 60% Neil ¤
06.6% - 30% Chris / 70% Neil
03.1% - 20% Chris / 80% Neil
02.6% - 10% Chris / 90% Neil
02.2% - 0% Chris / 100% Neil

The average of these results turns out to be 46.3% Chris / 53.7% Neil —maybe not a "statistical dead heat," but close to it.

A bit of explanation and analysis — For perhaps obvious reasons, it shouldn't be surprising that the 50/50 choice received by far the largest number of votes. In fact, the results almost perfectly follow the standard bell curve for distribution, with the "center" receiving far more votes than the extremes.

Part of my inspiration for this poll was my recollection of a PSB concert review some years back in which the writer disdainfully referred to Chris as a "fifth wheel," suggesting that he was somehow unnecessary. As ignorant as this is, it made me wonder how many other people—perhaps even some fans—might think along similar lines. I chose, however, to frame the question in terms of what "makes you a PSB fan" as opposed to "what makes them a success" because I felt that the results would then be more meaningful. In other words, not every voter may know enough about the Pet Shop Boys' "inner dynamic" to use it as the basis of an accurate choice, but every single voter is an expert in why he or she is a PSB fan. And, in fact, a few voters did indeed choose "0% Chris / 100% Neil," suggesting that they might also regard Chris as a "fifth wheel." As much as the rest of us might disagree with that choice, it's perfectly valid given the subjective framing of the question.

My own choice (40% Chris / 60% Neil) comes from the fact that Neil is almost wholly responsible—not entirely, but almost—for the Pet Shop Boys' lyrics. It's also probably safe to say that he's about 50% responsible for their music. Personally, I weigh lyrics and music equally (not everyone does), so that would result in a ratio of around 25% Chris / 75% Neil. However, Chris may have the upper hand, so to speak, in terms of their musical arrangements, and Neil has conceded that Chris is the dominant partner when it comes to their "image" or "style," so Chris earns extra points in those areas. That's why I boosted him to 40%.

But please note—just because I chose a 40/60 split myself doesn't mean that I regard Chris as "unimportant." Hardly. If my car were running at only 60% efficiency, it would be running quite poorly. And if I had only 60% of my blood, I'd be dead. Chris is absolutely essential to the mix. I may personally regard Neil as slightly "more essential," but it's only an opinion and only a matter of degree. The Pet Shop Boys are Neil and Chris, without whom they wouldn't be the great band and songwriters that they are.


Survey 194 - Week of January 23, 2005
Quintessentially English? (195 voters)

A number of critics and commentators-most of whom I suspect are not themselves British-have referred to the Pet Shop Boys as being "typically" or even "quintessentially" English. Do you agree with this description of them?

59.5% - "Yes, I do agree, even though I'm not English myself."
24.6% - "Yes, I do agree, and I'm English myself."
12.8% - "No, I don't agree, even though I'm not English myself." ¤*
03.1% - "No, I don't agree, and I'm English myself."

In short, the vast majority (84.1%) of voters—both English and non-English alike—feel that the Pet Shop Boys are indeed typically or even quintessentially English.

*Perhaps in this case I should explain my own vote. Actually, one of the comments submitted by another voter reflected my sentiments almost exactly: I want to avoid stereotyping the English and, besides, I think the Pet Shop Boys are unique unto themselves. So even if there were such a thing as being "typically" English, I really don't think the Boys are "typically" anything. (Well, "quintessentially brilliant," perhaps.)


Survey 193 - Week of January 16, 2005
Favorite "special edition"/reissue album artwork (195 voters)

What is your favorite "special edition" or reissue Pet Shop Boys CD-format album packaging/artwork?

42.1% - Very Relentless "bubble package"
22.1% - Alternative box with the lenticular image ¤
09.2% - Bilingual two-disc Special Edition
04.1% - Release Japanese edition
03.6% - Relentless
03.1% - Nightlife two-disc Special Edition
03.1% - Actually 2001 reissue
02.6% - Very "Version 2"
02.6% - Bilingual 2001 reissue
02.1% - Introspective 2001 reissue
02.1% - Some other special CD album packaging not listed here*
01.5% - Very 2001 reissue
01.0% - Please 2001 reissue
01.0% - Behaviour 2001 reissue

*Unfortunately, the voters who chose this option didn't report what other special CD album packaging they preferred.


Survey 192 - Week of January 9, 2005
Favorite "original issue" PSB album cover (255 voters)

What is your favorite "original issue" Pet Shop Boys album cover? ("Special editions" and reissues don't count for this poll.)

25.5% - Very
16.1% - Behaviour
13.7% - Actually ¤
08.2% - Introspective
06.7% - Nightlife
05.9% - Disco 3
04.7% - Please
04.7% - Discography
03.5% - PopArt
03.1% - Alternative
03.1% - Bilingual
02.7% - Release
02.0% - Disco
00.0% - Disco 2

I asked a nearly identical question in a previous poll more than three years before, when there were fewer albums to choose from and fewer regular participants in my weekly surveys. If you like you can check out the results of that earlier poll.


Survey 191 - Week of January 2, 2005
PSB ring tone? (165 voters)

Do you use a Pet Shop Boys song as the ring tone on your telephone?

42.4% - No, but I may someday.
31.5% - No, and I probably never will. ¤
17.6% - Yes, I do.
08.5% - No, not now, but I did at one time.

I invited voters to submit the titles of the PSB songs that they were using or had used as ring tones. The songs identified as such were: