Past PSB Survey Results - 2008 Surveys

This page presents the results of surveys I conducted in the year 2008. The results of surveys conducted in 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 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 391 - Week of December 28, 2008
Opinions of Yes as the title of the next album (423 voters)

What is your opinion of Yes as the title of the Pet Shop Boys' next album, scheduled for release in March?

58.4% - "I like it!" ¤
14.4% - "I'll reserve judgment until I hear the album, and then decide whether it 'fits.'"
11.6% - "I have mixed feelings."
09.9% - "I'm neutral about it."
05.7% - "I don't like it!"


Survey 390 - Week of December 21, 2008
Predicting the first letter of the new album's title (210 voters)

With which letter of the alphabet do you believe the title of the next Pet Shop Boys' album will begin?

The Pet Shop Boys announced the album's title, Yes, on December 23, only three days into this poll. So I halted it at that time. Here's how the results stood before the announcement.

04.5% - A
03.6% - B
02.6% - C
05.1% - D
06.6% - E
01.0% - F
02.6% - G
03.6% - H
01.5% - I
00.0% - J
00.0% - K
06.1% - L
10.2% - M
01.5% - N
14.2% - O
06.1% - P ¤
01.5% - Q
02.6% - R
09.7% - S
06.1% - T
01.5% - U
00.5% - V
01.0% - W
02.6% - X
01.0% - Y
01.0% - Z
03.1% - ?**

*So many people chose O because of the widespread belief that the new album would be titled Outstanding.

**Something other than a letter of the Roman/English alphabet, such as a number, a symbol, or a letter from a different alphabet.

Of course, a lot of people couldn't resist voting after the announcement was made. Here are the results at the time I ended the poll, several hours after the announcement. (I managed to end the poll before Y could catch up with O.)

04.3% - A
03.3% - B
02.4% - C
04.8% - D
06.2% - E
01.0% - F
02.4% - G
03.3% - H
01.4% - I
00.0% - J
00.0% - K
05.7% - L
09.5% - M
01.4% - N
13.3% - O
05.7% - P
01.4% - Q
02.4% - R
09.0% - S
05.7% - T
01.4% - U
00.5% - V
01.0% - W
02.4% - X
07.6% - Y
01.0% - Z
02.9% - ?


Survey 389 - Week of December 14, 2008
Are the Boys close to their fans? (288 voters)

In general, do you think the Pet Shop Boys are close to their fans?*

*In this poll, I left it up to each individual voter to decide for themselves how to define "close to their fans."

23.6% - Yes, in some ways—but no, not in others.
18.8% - Yes, I think they've always been very close to their fans!
12.5% - Yes, definitely—although they haven't always been. ¤
11.1% - I'm not at all sure.
07.3% - No—in fact, I think they've always been rather distant.
05.2% - No, not really, although they're closer now than they used to be.
04.2% - I prefer not to speculate about this.
03.8% - Yes, although they're not as close now as they used to be.
03.5% - Yes, although not as close as many other recording artists.
03.5% - No, they're not—and that's the way I like it.
02.8% - No, they're not as close as most other recording artists.
01.7% - No, not anymore, although they used to be much closer.
01.4% - Yes—although sometimes I wish they weren't.
00.7% - I have an opinion about this different from any listed here.*

*Because I received a lot of feedback on this question, it was difficult for me to discern which "different opinions" were expressed specifically by those few voters who chose this option. Some of the more interesting alternate viewpoints, however, included the opinion that Neil was a lot closer than Chris and the facetious (but quite amusing) comment that "they're stalking us."


Survey 388 - Week of December 7, 2008
Opinions of "Joseph, Better You Than Me" (281 voters)

Which of the following statements comes closest to expressing your opinion of the Killers/Elton John 2008 Christmas song "Joseph, Better You Than Be" (the lyrics of which were co-written by Neil and on which he sings one verse)?

27.4% - I haven't heard it yet.
16.7% - It's not bad, but it's not as good as I expected it to be. ¤*
14.9% - It's pretty good—I like it.
12.8% - Neil's part is good, but the rest I can do without.
10.7% - It's not very good—I don't like it.
06.8% - It's awful—I detest it!
05.0% - It's fantastic—I love it!
03.2% - I'm neutral—I have no feelings about it one way or the other.
01.4% - It's a good performance, but I don't like the song itself.
00.4% - The music's good, but I don't like the lyrics.
00.4% - The lyrics are good, but I don't like the music.
00.4% - I have an opinion different from any of those listed here.**
00.0% - The song is good, but I don't like the performance.

*Regarding my own vote, I wavered mightily between the "It's not bad, but…" and "It's pretty good" choices. I do like it. But, to be honest, I don't like it as much as I thought I would. I enjoy the quieter, more contemplative first half of song a lot more than the rowdier, "rockier" second half. So I ultimately went with the "It's not bad, but…" option.

**One voter chose this "different opinion" option, but I couldn't discern from any of the submitted comments a noticeably different point of view.


Survey 387 - Week of November 30, 2008
Songs preferred in a "live" version (233 voters)

Are there any songs by the Pet Shop Boys in which you have preferred a "live" version by them to the "studio" version (that is, the album and, if applicable, single version)? If so, which songs?

Note that since voters could choose more than one song in this poll, the percentage figures add up to considerably more than 100%. The 22 songs (that I know of) that the Pet Shop Boys have performed both live and in the studio but which didn't receive any votes in this poll are not listed below.

12.4% - Young Offender
10.3% - Being Boring
10.3% - It's a Sin
07.7% - Love Comes Quickly
07.3% - Always on My Mind
06.9% - Go West
06.9% - Home and Dry
06.4% - Rent
06.4% - So Sorry, I Said
06.4% - Was It Worth It?
06.4% - West End Girls
05.6% - One in a Million
05.6% - You Only Tell Me You Love Me When You're Drunk
05.2% - Shopping
04.7% - Can You Forgive Her?
04.5% - Dreaming of the Queen
04.5% - Footsteps
04.5% - It's Alright
04.5% - We All Feel Better in the Dark
04.5% - What Have I Done to Deserve This?
03.9% - Only the Wind
03.9% - The Sodom and Gomorrah Show
03.4% - Casanova in Hell
03.4% - Flamboyant
03.4% - How Can You Expect to Be Taken Seriously?
03.4% - Integral
03.4% - Left to My Own Devices
03.4% - Nothing Has Been Proved
03.4% - Paninaro '95
03.0% - Heart
03.0% - I'm Not Scared
03.0% - Sexy Northerner
03.0% - This Must Be the Place I Waited Years to Leave
03.0% - Where the Streets Have No Name (I Can't Take My Eyes Off You)
03.0% - Your Funny Uncle
02.6% - My October Symphony
02.6% - To Speak Is a Sin
02.6% - We're the Pet Shop Boys
02.1% - Birthday Boy
02.1% - Discoteca
02.1% - Jealousy
02.1% - King's Cross
02.1% - Love Is a Catastrophe ¤
02.1% - Numb
02.1% - One More Chance
02.1% - Opportunities (Let's Make Lots of Money)
02.1% - Psychological
02.1% - Suburbia
01.7% - I Don't Know What You Want But I Can't Give It Any More
01.7% - Minimal
01.7% - New York City Boy
01.7% - Positive Role Model
01.7% - A Red Letter Day
01.7% - Se A Vida É (That's the Way Life Is)
01.7% - Shameless
01.7% - So Hard
01.7% - Some other song(s) not listed here*
01.3% - After All
01.3% - Domino Dancing
01.3% - Friendly Fire
01.3% - Somewhere
01.3% - The Theatre
01.3% - Tonight Is Forever ¤
01.3% - Vampires
00.9% - Before
00.9% - Closer to Heaven
00.9% - For Your Own Good
00.9% - Later Tonight
00.9% - Losing My Mind
00.9% - Luna Park
00.9% - Paninaro
00.9% - Philadelphia
00.9% - The Sound of the Atom Splitting
00.9% - Violence
00.4% - Casting a Shadow
00.4% - DJ Culture
00.4% - Do I Have To?
00.4% - God Willing
00.4% - I Wouldn't Normally Do This Kind of Thing
00.4% - I'm with Stupid
00.4% - Indefinite Leave to Remain
00.4% - London
00.4% - The Man Who Has Everything
00.4% - Music for Boys
00.4% - My Girl
00.4% - The Truck Driver and His Mate

*Although a few people chose "Some other song(s) not listed here," no one wrote suggesting any specific additional songs. But several voters told me that they didn't pick any songs—that there are no songs that they've preferred "live" to all studio versions. They may have submitted their votes without choosing any songs, thereby reducing the percentages accordingly.


Survey 386 - Week of November 23, 2008
The song they shouldn't have "given away" (313 voters)

Which song that the Pet Shop Boys have "given away" to another artist do you most wish they had kept strictly for themselves?

This includes songs that they themselves wrote but allowed others to record first as well as covers that they produced for other artists before recording it themselves (if they recorded it for themselves at all). It does not, however, include songs in which the other artists in question probably had as great or an even greater role in writing the song, such as Robbie Williams's "She's Madonna" and their collaborations with Electronic, among others.

15.3% - I'm Not Scared
14.1% - "I can't say this about any song"
09.3% - The Crying Game
08.3% - So Sorry, I Said
05.7% - In Private
05.1% - Falling ¤
04.5% - Confidential
04.2% - The Loving Kind
03.5% - Nothing Has Been Proved
03.2% - Don't Drop Bombs
03.2% - If There Was Love
02.9% - Losing My Mind
02.9% - Occupy Your Mind
02.2% - I Want You Now
02.2% - Jack and Jill Party
02.2% - Love Life
01.9% - I'm in Love with a German Film Star
01.6% - Daydreaming
01.6% - I Can't Say Goodnight
01.3% - All or Nothing
01.3% - Let the Music Play
01.3% - Love Pains
01.0% - Twist in My Sobriety
01.0% - Some other song not listed here*
00.3% - Love to Love You, Baby
00.0% - I Want to Stay Here

*Although three people voted "Some other song not listed here," no one suggested any specific alternate tracks that fall within the parameters of this question. One voter, however, mentioned Cicero's "Live for Today" (which was written by Cicero) and another suggested (perhaps facetiously) "Was It Worth It?" which the Boys didn't "give away" to anybody. I suspect, however, that the latter voter dislikes that song so much that he wishes Chris and Neil had kept it very strictly "for themselves," never releasing it at all.


Survey 385 - Week of November 16, 2008
Farthest traveled to a PSB event (318 voters)

What is the farthest you have ever traveled specifically to attend a Pet Shop Boys concert or some other PSB-related event?*

18.9% - I've never traveled to a PSB concert or PSB-related event
14.5% - 101-250 miles (or 161-400 km)
14.2% - 251-500 miles (or 401-800 km)
11.6% - Up to 20 miles (or up to 32 kilometers)
10.1% - 501-1000 miles (or 801-1600 km) ¤
09.1% - 21-50 miles (or 33-80 km)
08.5% - 1001-2500 miles (or 1601-4000 km)
04.7% - 2501-5000 miles (or 4001-8000 km)
04.4% - 51-100 miles (or 81-160 km)
04.1% - More than 5000 miles (or more than 8000 km)

*When I ran this survey, I didn't specify whether I was asking for one-way or round-trip distances. I greatly regret that oversight. My intention was one-way, which is what I used in making my own determination for my vote. But I know for a fact that at least some—and perhaps many—of the voters were calculating their distances based on the round-trip.


Survey 384 - Week of November 9, 2008
Who will and who should present BPI award to them? (312 voters¹)

Who do you think will and who should present the Pet Shop Boys with their BPI Outstanding Contribution to Music Award at the 2009 Brits Awards?

Will present the award
Should present the award

34.3% - Elton John
20.8% - Robbie Williams
08.3% - Someone else* ¤
06.1% - Madonna
06.1% - Kylie Minogue
05.8% - Trevor Horn
04.8% - David Bowie
02.9% - Bono
02.9% - Rufus Wainwright
01.9% - Chris Martin²
01.6% - Bernard Sumner
01.3% - Johnny Marr
01.3% - Tim Rice-Oxley²
01.0% - Boy George
00.6% - Sting
00.3% - George Michael

21.1% - Elton John ¤
18.1% - David Bowie
09.2% - Madonna
08.6% - Trevor Horn
08.6% - Robbie Williams
06.6% - Kylie Minogue
06.6% - Bernard Sumner
05.3% - Someone else**
04.9% - Bono
03.6% - Johnny Marr
02.3% - Rufus Wainwright
01.6% - George Michael
01.6% - Sting
01.0% - Boy George
01.0% - Tim Rice-Oxley²
00.0% - Chris Martin²

*"Write-in" votes for people who will present the award (if more than one suggested a particular alternate, the number appears in parentheses):

  • Brandon Flowers (2)
  • Girls Aloud (2)
  • "I really don't know, but none of the above." (2) ¤

**"Write-in" votes for people who should present the award (if more than one suggested a particular alternate, the number appears in parentheses):

  • Vince Clarke and/or Andy Bell of Erasure (2)
  • Girls Aloud
  • "Janet" (but Janet who? Janet Street-Porter? Janet Jackson?) (2)
  • Paul McCartney
  • Liza Minnelli
  • Sam Taylor-Wood
  • A group of people with whom they've worked: Kylie Minogue, Patsy Kensit, Matt Lucas and David Walliams, Frances Barber, and Rufus Wainwright
  • "A producer, the head of EMI Parlophone, or Eric Watson" (2)
  • psb-freak
  • Wayne Studer (2) (aw, gosh, I'm honored)

¹Please note that not all of the voters made both a "will" and "should" choice; some voted in only one of the two categories. So the percentage calculations differ slightly between the two.

²And/or members of Chris Martin's and Tim Rice-Oxley's bands, Coldplay and Keane respectively.


Survey 383 - Week of November 2, 2008
Planning to buy "… Film Star" and "The Loving Kind"? (285 voters)

Based on what you know or have heard so far, are you planning to buy or have you already bought "I'm in Love with a German Film Star" and/or "The Loving Kind"?

 
Yes!
Maybe
No!
"I'm in Love with a German Film Star"
46.3% ¤
26.0%
27.7%
"The Loving Kind"
40.7% ¤
33.0%
26.3%

Survey 382 - Week of October 26, 2008
The most "Halloweenish" PSB song (357 voters)

What, in your opinion, is the most "Halloweenish" Pet Shop Boys song?

27.5% - Vampires
14.3% - The Resurrectionist ¤
12.6% - Screaming
12.3% - Psychological
04.8% - Luna Park
04.5% - Heart
04.2% - It's a Sin
03.6% - The Sound of the Atom Splitting
03.1% - The Ghost of Myself
03.1% - Some other PSB song not listed here*
02.8% - We All Feel Better in the Dark
01.4% - I'm Not Scared
01.4% - In the Night
01.1% - My October Symphony
00.8% - Boy Strange
00.6% - Casting a Shadow
00.6% - King's Cross
03.3% - Your Funny Uncle
00.3% - If Looks Could Kill
00.3% - It Couldn't Happen Here
00.3% - Was It Worth It?

*"Write-in" votes included the following (some voters suggested more than one, but I'm only counting the one that seemed to be their first choice):


Survey 381 - Week of October 19, 2008
U.S. Presidential election preference (298 voters)

If you're able to vote in the upcoming U.S. Presidential election (on November 4), for whom are you planning to vote? Or if you're not able to vote, who would you vote for if you could?*

78.2% - Barack Obama (Democratic Party)
08.7% - John McCain (Republican Party)
06.0% - None of the above / I wouldn't vote if I could
02.3% - Cynthia McKinney (Green Party)
02.3% - Undecided
01.3% - Ralph Nader (Peace and Freedom Party)
00.7% - Some other candidate not listed here
00.3% - Alan Keyes (American Independent Party)
00.0% - Bob Barr (Libertarian Party)

*If you're wondering where the usual ¤ symbol is to indicate my own vote, for this particular poll I'm reserving for myself the same privilege of general anonymity that all of the other voters enjoy.


Survey 380 - Week of October 12, 2008
News of writing a song for Girls Aloud (327 voters)

What do you think of the recent news that the Pet Shop boys have co-written a new song, "The Loving Kind," for Girls Aloud?

23.5% - I think it's terrific news!
23.2% - Girls who?
20.5% - It's pretty good news, but I don't feel strongly about it
. ¤
19.9% - I'll reserve judgment until I've actually heard the song.
08.9% - It doesn't matter to me one way or the other.
02.8% - I think it's terrible news!
01.2% - It's not so good, but I don't feel strongly about it.

Survey 379 - Week of October 5, 2008
"My October Symphony" in October? (303 voters)

Now that it's October, have you made a special point to listen to "My October Symphony"?

40.6% - No—I see no reason to listen to it just because it's October.
38.0% - No, I wasn't planning to—but now that you mention it, I probably will.
08.3% - It just so happens that I have already listened to it this month, but not because it's October.
08.3% - Yes, I have listened to it specifically because it's October. ¤
05.0% - I'm planning to, although I haven't gotten around to it yet.


Survey 378 - Week of September 28, 2008
The amount of time devoted to PSB (267 voters)

Which of the following statements comes closest to expressing how you feel about the amount of time you devote to the Pet Shop Boys—that is, to any activity in which they and/or their music are the primary focus of your attention?

67.8% - I think I devote about the right amount of time to the Pet Shop Boys. ¤*
16.9% - I would like to be able to devote more of my time to the Pet Shop Boys.
15.4% - I suspect I devote too much of my time to the Pet Shop Boys.

*A very personal note: At one time I might have thought that I devote too much of my time to PSB. But considering that the activities stemming from my fandom have benefitted me in ways that I would never have imagined—such as leading to my appearance in A Life in Pop—I'd say it's been more than a fair tradeoff. Yes, I do now feel that I devote about the right amount of time to them!


Survey 377 - Week of September 21, 2008
The style(s) of the next batch of videos (246 voters)

Let's say the Pet Shop Boys are going to release three singles from their next album in 2009, each with its own music video. If it were up to you to choose the "style(s)" of these videos, which would you prefer?*

*In this poll, voters had to make at least one but no more than three choices; as a result, the percentages add up to considerably more than 100%, but not as much as 300%. In fact, the total percentage turned out to be about 260%, indicating that the average number of choices per voter was about 2.6.

37.0% - Humorous, as in "Single-Bilingual" and "Flamboyant"
36.6% - Focus on the Boys more or less "as themselves," as in "West End Girls" and "Suburbia"
30.1% - Very "technology-oriented," with lots of special effects, as in "I Wouldn't Normally Do This Kind of Thing" and "Liberation"
¤
26.4% - Focus on the Boys as "costumed characters," as in "I Don't Know What You Want But I Can't Give It Any More" and "Can You Forgive Her?"

21.1% - A "costume drama" that tells a story, as in "It's a Sin" and "Heart"
18.3% - Focus on beautiful young people, as in "Being Boring" and "Domino Dancing"
16.7% - Focus on the Boys performing (or at least miming a performance of) their music, as in "Minimal" and "Absolutely Fabulous" ¤
14.6% - A "domestic drama," as in "So Hard" and "Jealousy"
13.8% - Literally illustrate or "act out" the lyrics of the song, as in "DJ Culture" and "Yesterday, When I Was Mad" ¤
10.2% - A political or social message, as in "It's Alright" and "Integral"
10.2% - Focus on well-known actors or public figures, as in "Heart" and "I'm with Stupid"
09.8% - Very arty and enigmatic, as in "Home and Dry"
08.1% - Very "party oriented," as in "Was It Worth It?"
07.7% - A historical theme or setting, as in "Numb" and "It's a Sin"
02.4% - One or more styles totally different from any of the things described here*

*The only distinctly different alternate "style" proposed by a couple voters was a cartoon or something "cartoonish." A few other voters suggested that music videos themselves may be more or less pointless these days.


Survey 376 - Week of September 14, 2008
Producers to work with PSB (231 voters)

If you could choose three record producers with whom the Pet Shop Boys have never worked before to produce future tracks or even whole albums of theirs, which three would you choose?

42.9% - Brian Eno ¤*
36.8% - William Orbit
24.2% - Stuart Price

17.7% - Someone else not listed here (see the "write-ins" below)
16.5% - Paul Van Dyk
15.6% - Flood

13.0% - Timbaland
09.5% - Jeff Lynne
09.5% - Dave Stewart
08.2% - Stuart Crichton
07.8% - Mark Ronson
07.8% - Armand Van Helden
07.8% - Nellee Hooper
07.4% - Marius de Vries
06.5% - Danger Mouse
06.5% - Rick Rubin ¤*
06.5% - Tim Simenon
06.1% - Dr. Dre
05.6% - Ian Broudie
05.6% - "Mutt" Lange
05.6% - The Neptunes/Pharrell Williams ¤*
04.8% - Gareth Jones
04.8% - Zero 7
03.9% - Max Martin
03.0% - Dallas Austin
02.2% - Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis
02.2% - Will.i.am
01.7% - Jon Brion
01.7% - Mike Chapman
01.3% - Linda Perry
00.9% - DJ Premier
00.9% - Ben Hillier
00.9% - Rodney Jerkins
00.9% - Tom Middleton
00.9% - Stargate
00.4% - Howard Benson
00.4% - Rob Cavallo
00.4% - Danjahandz
00.4% - Dr. Luke
00.4% - Steve Levine
00.4% - Madlib
00.4% - Scott Storch
00.0% - Raphael Saadiq
00.0% - Swizz Beatz
00.0% - David Andrew Sitek
00.0% - J.R. Rotem
00.0% - Jermaine Dupri
00.0% - Delinquent
00.0% - Billy Mann
00.0% - Doug Laurent
00.0% - RJD2

Other producers cited as "write-in votes" include:

  • Richardo Autobahn
  • Glen Ballard
  • Alexander Bard
  • Dieter Bohlen
  • Bernard Butler
  • Vince Clarke
  • Darren Emerson
  • Jam El Mar
  • Ade Fenton
  • Freemasons
  • Dave Fridmann
  • Nigel Godrich
  • Quincy Jones
  • Michael Mayer
  • Giorgio Moroder
  • Stephen Morris & Gillian Gilbert
  • Ken Nelson
  • Offer Nissim
  • Jürgen Paape
  • Pleasure (Fred Ball)
  • Guy Sigsworth
  • Phil Spector
  • Stephen Street
  • Bernard Sumner
  • Tiesto
  • Tony Visconti

*In case you're wondering about my own choices, my rationale is that the three I picked would each do very different things for the Boys:


Survey 375 - Week of September 7, 2008
Ages of site visitiors/fellow PSB fans (399 voters)


How old are you?

The average age of voters turned out to be 34.2, and the single most common age was indeed 34. The oldest voter was 70, and the youngest was "younger than 13." (I wish I had extended the specific ages below that point.) As for me, I was among the "senior" voters, with only nine others (about 2.3%) being my age or older.

00.3% - Younger than 13
00.3% - 13
00.3% - 14
00.3% - 15
00.3% - 16
01.0% - 17
01.8% - 18
01.5% - 19
00.8% - 20
01.0% - 21
01.5% - 22
01.0% - 23
01.5% - 24
02.3% - 25
01.8% - 26
02.5% - 27
02.0% - 28
02.8% - 29
04.0% - 30
05.5% - 31
05.5% - 32
06.3% - 33
08.3% - 34
06.0% - 35
06.0% - 36
06.0% - 37
04.8% - 38
03.5% - 39
04.8% - 40
02.3% - 41
01.8% - 42
02.5% - 43
01.8% - 44
00.5% - 45
00.8% - 46
01.3% - 47
01.5% - 48
01.0% - 49
00.5% - 50
00.0% - 51
00.5% - 52
00.8% - 53 ¤
00.3% - 54
00.3% - 55
00.3% - 56
00.5% - 57
00.0% - 58
00.0% - 59
00.0% - 60
00.0% - 61
00.0% - 62
00.3% - 63
00.0% - 64
00.0% - 65
00.0% - 66
00.0% - 67
00.0% - 68
00.0% - 69
00.3% - 70
00.0% - Older than 70

graph

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


When I previously asked this question in early 2002, the plurality of the voters indicated that they were aged 25 to 29. So it shouldn't be surprising to find that more than half of the voters this time around are in their 30s. And, as before and as illustrated in the graph above, the results adhere fairly well to a standard bell curve—though of course now the "bulge" of the curve has edged up in years accordingly.

Survey 374 - Week of August 31, 2008
PSB and the 2012 London Olympics? (314 voters)

Would you like for the Pet Shop Boys to be actively involved in some way in the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London, such as by performing at the opening ceremonies or composing theme music?

58.6% - Yes, that would be fantastic! ¤
13.1% - I wouldn't mind them active behind the scenes, such as by composing music, but I don't want them to perform live.
09.2% - No, I wouldn't want them involved in something like that at all!
08.9% - I really don't care about it one way or the other.
05.1% - 2012? I can barely think ahead to 2009, much less to 2012.
04.8% - I probably would have liked something like that earlier in their career, but not in 2012.
00.3% - I have a different opinion than any of those expressed here.


Survey 373 - Week of August 24, 2008
Voting in my weekly polls (288 voters)

Since when and how often do you vote in my weekly PSB polls?

 
Every
week or
close
to it
Most
weeks
Many
but not
most
weeks
Now
and
then
Very
rarely
This
is my
first
time
Since
when

totals
Since the start in 2001 or close to it
¤ 6.3%
2.4%
1.4%
2.1%
0.7%
 
  12.8%
Since 2002-2003
6.9%
3.5%
2.8%
1.4%
0.0%
 
  14.6%
Since 2004-2005
  10.1%
7.6%
5.9%
3.1%
0.7%
 
  27.4%
Since 2006-2007
  14.2%
  11.8%
6.3%
3.1%
0.0%
 
  35.4%
Started this year, in 2008
2.4%
2.4%
1.4%
0.7%

0.3%

2.4%
9.7%
How often totals
  39.9%
  27.8%
  17.7%
  10.4%
1.7%
2.4%
100%

back to top


Survey 372 - Week of August 17, 2008
The PSB song with the best "intro" (317 voters)

Which Pet Shop Boys song has, in your opinion, the best "intro"?

23.3% - Left to My Own Devices
08.8% - It's a Sin ¤
06.6% - Being Boring
04.4% - West End Girls

04.1% - Can You Forgive Her?
03.2% - Always on My Mind
02.8% - For Your Own Good
02.8% - This Must Be the Place I Waited Years to Leave
02.2% - I'm Not Scared
01.9% - Delusions of Grandeur
01.9% - Jealousy
01.9% - What Have I Done to Deserve This?
01.6% - Go West

The following songs received four votes (01.3%) each:

These songs got three votes (00.9%) each:

These songs received two votes (00.6%) each:

And one vote (00.3%) went to each of these songs:


Survey 371 - Week of August 10, 2008
Tired of "West End Girls"? (316 voters)

In the U.S. in particular, but perhaps elsewhere as well, it often seems that "West End Girls" is the only Pet Shop Boys song that ever gets played on the radio anymore. Are you tired of hearing "West End Girls" on the radio?

23.7% - No—I hardly ever hear "West End Girls" on the radio.
22.2% - No—I'll never get tired of hearing it!
18.4% - I don't listen to the radio.
14.6% - Yes—but if that's the only PSB song they'll play, then it's better than nothing. ¤
13.6% - No—they play plenty of different PSB songs where I live.
05.4% - Yes—I'd just as soon they not play anything by PSB than play "West End Girls" and nothing else.
02.2% - Yes—although they play plenty of other PSB songs where I live, I'm still tired of hearing "West End Girls."

For the record, a total of 60.4% made a "No" choice, whereas only 22.2% made a "Yes" choice.


Survey 370 - Week of August 3, 2008
Alternate PSB careers (239 voters)

Into what fields do you think Neil's and Chris's careers would ultimately have settled if they had never met and become Pet Shop Boys?

Neil
Chris

56.5% - Journalism / publishing ¤
13.4% - The Arts (other than music)
13.0% - Music (in some other capacity than as a Pet Shop Boy)
11.3% - Education / academia
02.1% - Farming
00.8% - Construction
00.8% - Trades / manufacturing
00.4% - Fashion
00.4% - Business / finance
00.4% - Legal / law enforcement / government
00.4% - Architecture
00.4% - Something else not mentioned here

48.1% - Architecture ¤
29.7% - Music (in some other capacity than as a Pet Shop Boy)
04.6% - Construction
04.2% - The Arts (other than music)
04.2% - Fashion
03.3% - Farming
02.5% - Something else not mentioned here
01.7% - Trades / manufacturing
00.8% - Education / academia
00.4% - Journalism / publishing
00.4% - Medicine / science / technology



Survey 369 - Week of July 27, 2008
How much do they each contribute? (232 voters)

How much, comparatively speaking, do you believe Chris and Neil contribute to the following aspects of the Pet Shop Boys, their music, and their success? Do you believe Chris is almost totally responsible or more responsible than Neil? Do you believe Neil is almost totally responsible or more responsible than Chris? Or are they equally responsible, more or less "balanced" in that respect?

 
Chris is almost totally responsible
Chris is more responsible
They're equally responsible
Neil is more responsible
Neil is almost totally responsible
Melodies
3.4%
33.2%
¤ 61.2%
0.0%
2.2%
Lyrics
0.9%
0.4%
3.9%
33.6%
¤* 61.2%
Musical arrangements
5.6%
43.5%
¤ 45.7%
5.2%
0.0%
Art
0.4%
5.6%
¤ 57.8%
33.2%
3.0%
Intellect
0.0%
1.3%
44.8%
¤ 46.6%
7.3%
Style/image
1.3%
18.5%
¤ 63.4%
14.7%
2.2%
Pop sensibilities
3.4%
¤ 18.1%
57.8%
19.8%
0.9%
Excitement
4.3%
22.0%
¤ 58.2%
11.6%
3.9%
Danceability
¤ 25.0%
57.8%
15.9%
1.3%
0.0%
Technical savvy
14.2%
¤ 55.2%
28.4%
2.2%
0.0%
Business acumen
0.4%
2.6%
44.4%
¤ 44.4%
8.2%
Fun/humor
2.2%
18.1%
¤ 68.1%
9.9%
1.7%

*Chris does indeed write some lyrics, such as in (if I'm not mistaken) "One of the Crowd," "Postscript," and "Lies." But Neil writes not just a majority but the large majority of PSB lyrics. That's why I personally went with the "almost totally" option for Neil with regard to lyrics—with emphasis on the "almost" there. It is also for this reason that I voted for Neil being more responsible than Chris for the Boys' "intellect"—not because I believe Chris lacks intellect (I certainly don't!) but because, in my opinion, the intellectual component is expressed primarily (not exclusively, but primarily) through the lyrics, for which Neil is far more responsible.


Survey 368 - Week of July 20, 2008
Interested in recordings by Neil's old band? (311 voters)

Neil recently noted on the Pet Shop Boys' official website that a few recordings made by his early "hippie folk group" Dust had surfaced. If given the opportunity to do so, would you be interested in hearing and/or purchasing copies of these recordings?

42.8% - I'd like to hear them, but I probably wouldn't purchase copies of them.
28.9% - I'd be interested in purchasing them, but I'd want to hear them first.
19.6% - I'd gladly purchase them without even hearing them first! ¤*
08.7% - No, I'm not the least bit interested.

*One person wrote to me to say, "Whether I would buy it would depend on the price." As I explained to him, I didn't offer that as an option because I simply took it for granted. I mean, I'm obviously a huge PSB fan, but I wouldn't be willing to pay an absurdly high price for copies of those (or any) recordings. For instance, I wouldn't think twice about paying the standard "iTunes rate" of 99¢ per track. I'd also be willing, if necessary, to pay a somewhat higher "premium rate," such as $1.99 or even two or three times that much. But, no, I wouldn't be willing to pay $15-$20 or more per track—although I'd probably be willing to pay $10 for just one of those tracks simply to satisfy my curiosity of what such an early incarnation of Neil sounded like. In short, every fan would be able to name a price that he or she wouldn't be willing to shell out. If Bill Gates were a PSB fan, I doubt even he would be willing to pay a million dollars, despite the fact that he could easily "afford" it. Therefore "It would depend on the price" is, logically, a given.


Survey 367 - Week of July 13, 2008
The most innovative thing they've done (361 voters)

What, in your opinion, is the single most innovative thing the Pet Shop Boys have ever done?

26.9% - Their Performance stage show and tour ¤*
19.4% - Their overall image or "presentation" of themselves
12.7% - The Very album packaging
08.3% - Their Battleship Potemkin film score
06.6% - Their "Can You Forgive Her?" video
06.1% - "West End Girls"
03.2% - The Disco series of albums
01.4% - "Where the Streets Have No Name (I Can't Take My Eyes Off You)"
01.4% - Very (the album itself as opposed to its packaging)
01.4% - Something else altogether not listed here**
01.1% - Introspective
01.1% - "The Sound of the Atom Splitting"
01.1% - "Being Boring" (the song itself as opposed to its video)
01.1% - Some other stage show or tour not listed here**
00.8% - Their "Being Boring" video
00.8% - Their "documentary" books by Chris Heath: Pet Shop Boys, Literally and Pet Shop Boys vs. America
00.8% - Their Closer to Heaven stage musical
00.6% - Please (the album itself as opposed to its cover)
00.6% - The Please album cover
00.6% - Their Somewhere stage show
00.6% - Their Catalogue book
00.6% - Their Literally fan club magazine
00.6% - Some other specific song not listed here**
00.3% - The Actually album cover
00.3% - Their "Go West" video
00.3% - Their "Liberation" video
00.3% - The Bilingual album packaging
00.3% - Some other specific album not listed here**
00.3% - Some other specific video not listed here**

*As I'm sure was the case with many other voters, I found this an extremely tough choice. For me it came down to choosing between three things: the Very album packaging, their Performance stage show and tour, and their overall image or "presentation" of themselves—which, as it turns out, proved to be the three most popular choices overall. After disqualifying the latter because I felt it wasn't "specific" enough, I found my brain and heart battling it out. My brain wanted to go with that wonderful orange "tactile" Very box, but my heart wanted it to be something in which the Boys themselves were much more active and visible. My brain generally rules my life, so to speak, but time and time again I find that, when faced with especially difficult choices, my heart becomes the tie-breaker. So I finally chose Performance.

**The "other things" specifically cited by voters included:


Survey 366 - Week of July 6, 2008
Predominant color of next album packaging (277 voters)

What do you think will be the predominant color of the cover/packaging of the next Pet Shop Boys album?

20.6% - white
12.6% - blue ¤
10.1% - multicolored
09.7% - green
06.9% - red
05.8% - metallic silver
04.3% - transparent
04.0% - purple
03.2% - black
02.9% - metallic gold
02.9% - gray
02.9% - violet
02.2% - beige
02.2% - pink
01.8% - orange
01.8% - some other color*
01.4% - lavender
01.4% - yellow
01.1% - maroon
01.1% - tan
00.7% - brown
00.4% - turquoise

*Strangely, although several voters chose "some other color," nobody suggested any specific alternate color to me.


Survey 365 - Week of June 29, 2008
Disagreements affecting fandom? (295 voters)

Have you ever found yourself seriously disagreeing with something that one or both of the Pet Shop Boys have done, said, or expressed in their lyrics, interviews, or some other way? And, if so, did it substantially affect how much of a fan of theirs you are?

43.7% - No, I've never found myself seriously disagreeing with them.
39.0% - Yes, once or occasionally, but it has never affected my degree of fandom. ¤
07.8% - Yes, once or occasionally, and it did affect my degree of fandom, but I got over it.
03.7% - Yes, quite often, but it has never affected my degree of fandom.
02.7% - Yes, quite often, and it has affected my degree of fandom, but I've always gotten over it.
02.3% - Yes, once or occasionally, and it permanently affected my degree of fandom.
00.7% - Yes, quite often, and it has permanently affected my degree of fandom.

*A number of voters commented on the specific disagreements that they've had with the Boys, including:


Survey 364 - Week of June 22, 2008
Lineup of hypothetical future album (213 voters)

Let's say the Pet Shop Boys have tapped you to help produce some future album. They're already decided on the album's concept: songs that they've written in years past but which have never been officially released on disc, or songs that they've written or co-written, usually for others, but for which their own full-fledged "PSB versions" have never been released on disc. They've given you the job of choosing the 12 songs, from the following list of 40, that will be included on the new album. Whenever they deem it appropriate, they will re-record the songs in entirely new versions. Which 12 songs would you pick?

62.0% - Disappointed
51.6% - She's Madonna
47.4% - For All of Us ¤
47.4% - A Powerful Friend ¤
46.9% - The Patience of a Saint
45.1% - Getting Away with It
43.2% - In the Club or in the Queue
40.8% - You've Got to Start Somewhere ¤
40.4% - Call Me Old-Fashioned
38.5% - My Night
37.6% - Don't Drop Bombs
35.7% - A Little Black Dress ¤

35.2% - Bubadubadubadum (aka All My Wasted Time)
34.3% - Something Special
34.3% - Daydreaming¤
34.3% - I Want You Now¤
33.3% - The Living Daylights
33.3% - Run Girl Run!¤
31.9% - It's Just My Little Tribute to Caligula, Darling
31.5% - Occupy Your Mind¤
31.5% - Love Life¤
30.5% - If There Was Love¤
28.2% - Tall Thin Men
27.2% - Out of My System
25.8% - Jack and Jill Party
25.8% - Motoring¤
24.9% - All or Nothing
23.5% - I Can't Say Goodnight
23.0% - Only Love¤
21.6% - Nine Out of Ten
20.7% - Oh, Dear (aka Walking Down the High Street)
20.2% - Tranquilizer
16.4% - The Man on the Television
14.6% - Hedonism
13.1% - All Things to All Men
10.3% - One other song not listed here*
08.9% - K-Hole
08.0% - Here Comes the Bear (aka It's the Bear)
08.0% - Do the Right Thing
07.5% - Blockhead
05.6% - The Noise

*I believe the only other song that was specifically cited by voters was the Boys' cover of the Madness song "My Girl," but that song is "disqualified" because it wasn't written or co-written by Neil and/or Chris.


Survey 363 - Week of June 15, 2008
Biggest obstacle to greater commercial success? (356 voters)

What do you think is the single biggest obstacle or impediment to the Pet Shop Boys being more commercially successful than they are?

20.8% - The fact that they're perceived as an "eighties band"
20.2% - I don't think there is a single biggest obstacle or impediment. There are several that are equally negative. ¤
17.1% - Homophobia (Prejudice against them because of their "gayness")
09.8% - Ageism (Prejudice against them because of their age)
08.4% - Style or fashion (They're simply "out of style")
07.9% - Musical tastes (People simply don't like their music, or they don't like "dance music")
06.2% - I disagree with the premise of the question; I don't think there are any obstacles or impediments to their success.
03.1% - "Rockism" (Prejudice against them because they aren't "rock enough")
02.8% - Anti-intellectualism (They're perceived as too "intellectual" or "arty")
02.0% - Something else not listed here*
01.4% - "Lack of talent" (They're perceived as less talented than they actually are)
00.3% - Their nationality or "Englishness" (Prejudice against them because they're perceived as too "English")

*Among the other impediments suggested by voters included:


Survey 362 - Week of June 8, 2008
"My Girl" on the next album? (313 voters)

Should the Pet Shop Boys include their recent studio/demo cover of the Madness song "My Girl" on their next album?

41.2% - No, but it would make a good single "b-side" or bonus track. ¤
14.7% - Yes, exactly as it is. It's terrific.
12.5% - I can't say because I haven't heard it.
10.2% - Yes, but only if they remix, revise, or re-record it.
08.9% - I guess it would depend on the "theme" or "tone" of the album.
07.0% - No. I think they should stick with songs they themselves have written.
03.8% - No. I really don't like it.
01.6% - I'm undecided.

Also, at least four voters wrote to say that, although they didn't necessarily think it should go on the album, they thought it would make a very good single in and of itself (as opposed to just a b-side or bonus track).


Survey 361 - Week of June 1, 2008
Opinions of PSB working with Xenomania (332 voters)

Which of the following statements comes closest to expressing your opinion of the recent news that the Pet Shop Boys are working on tracks for their next album (scheduled for release in 2009) with Xenomania?

26.8% - I don't know enough abuot Xenomania to say.
14.5% - I'm pleased. Xenomania does good work, and the results should be excellent.
13.9% - I'm intrigued and curious, but I have no idea how it will turn out.
12.7% - I'm cautiously optimistic about it. ¤
10.2% - I really don't care, just as long as they're making new music.
08.1% - It's terrific news! I love Xenomania's work, and the results should be fantastic!
04.5% - I would have preferred they work with someone else, but the results should nevertheless be satisfying.
02.7% - I have mixed feelings about it.
02.4% - I feel pretty neutral about it—really, no feelings one way or the other.
01.2% - I'm a bit disappointed. I don't like Xenomania's work, but the Boys' music will probably still turn out OK.
01.2% - I have an opinion very different from any of those expressed here.*
00.9% - I'm very disappointed. I suspect the new album will suffer for it.
00.9% - I'm appalled! I detest Xenomania, and the results will probably be terrible!

*Among the alternate opinions expressed by voters were:


Survey 360 - Week of May 25, 2008
A song that it seems everyone but you hates? (283 voters)

Is there a Pet Shop Boys song that it sometimes seems everyone but you hates? You love it, you think it's fantastic, so you just don't get it when other people express their dislike of it. If so, which one is it? (And if there's more than one, which one do you feel this way most strongly about?)

08.5% - The Sound of the Atom Splitting
07.4% - "I don't feel this way about any PSB song."
06.0% - Before
04.6% - Love Is a Catastrophe
03.5% - Boy Strange
02.8% - Go West
02.5% - Hit Music
02.5% - Metamorphosis
02.5% - New York City Boy
02.5% - The Night I Fell in Love ¤*
02.5% - Twentieth Century
02.1% - DJ Culture
02.1% - Happiness Is an Option
02.1% - One and One Make Five
02.1% - Was It Worth It?
02.1% - What Keeps Mankind Alive?
01.8% - Birthday Boy
01.8% - Electricity
01.4% - Home and Dry
01.4% - I Want a Dog
01.4% - I'm with Stupid

The following songs received three votes (1.1%) each:

The following songs received two votes (0.7%) each:

The following songs received one vote (0.4%) each:

*Regarding my own choice of "The Night I Fell in Love," please keep in mind that there were two components to this question: songs that "it sometimes seems everyone but you hates" and then, from that subset, the one that you love. There are many PSB songs that I personally like more (sometimes much more) than "The Night I Fell in Love." But the one that I have the strongest sense of an "inverse correlation," so to speak, between how many of my fellow fans intensely dislike it and how much I like it is "The Night I Fell in Love" (with "Electricity"—a song that I've grown to like more now than I did in the early years following its release—coming in a close second). So I figured—rightly or wrongly—that song claimed the greatest "dissonence" between my like and others' dislike. Hence my choice.

**Although one voter chose "Some other song not listed here," no one contacted me regarding what other song he or she may have had in mind.

Incidentally, I'm amazed that certain songs were chosen by some of the voters. I mean, there are certain songs—and I think we know what some of them are, although I won't mention them here by name—that are so popular that I can't imagine anyone thinking, "Sometimes it seems everyone hates it but me." But who am I to speculate about such things?


Survey 359 - Week of May 18, 2008
A single that it seems everyone but you loves? (362 voters)

Is there a Pet Shop Boys single that it seems everyone but you loves? When you hear or read of people raving about it, you just don't get what the fuss is all about. If so, which one is it? (And if there's more than one, which one do you feel this way most strongly about?)

14.9% - "No, I don't feel this way about any PSB singles." ¤
07.5% - Being Boring
06.9% - New York City Boy
06.1% - West End Girls
05.8% - Before
05.2% - Go West
03.6% - DJ Culture
03.6% - Numb
03.0% - Rent
02.8% - Love Comes Quickly
02.8% - Se A Vida E (That's the Way Life Is)
02.5% - Domino Dancing
02.5% - A Red Letter Day
02.5% - I'm with Stupid
02.2% - Heart
02.2% - It's Alright
02.2% - I Get Along
01.9% - Opportunities (Let's Make Lots of Money)
01.9% - It's a Sin
01.9% - Always on My Mind
01.7% - Where the Streets Have No Name (I Can't Take My Eyes Off You)
01.7% - Can You Forgive Her?
01.7% - Somewhere
01.1% - Suburbia
01.1% - So Hard
01.1% - Jealousy
01.1% - Liberation
01.1% - Paninaro '95
00.8% - Left to My Own Devices
00.8% - I Wouldn't Normally Do This Kind of Thing
00.8% - Home and Dry
00.8% - Flamboyant
00.8% - Some other single not listed here*
00.6% - What Have I Done to Deserve This?
00.6% - Single-Bilingual
00.6% - I Don't Know What You Want But I Can't Give It Any More
00.6% - London
00.6% - Miracles
00.3% - Yesterday, When I Was Mad
00.3% - You Only Tell Me You Love Me When You're Drunk
00.0% - Was It Worth It?
00.0% - Minimal

*Although three voters picked the "Some other single" option, the only other single specifically identified by one of them as their alternate choice was "Integral."


Survey 358 - Week of May 11, 2008
Opinions of "Here Comes the Bear" (335 voters)

Which of the following statements come closest to expressing your opinion of the track "Here Comes the Bear" (aka "It's the Bear")?

59.4% - I haven't heard it yet.
26.6% - I love it! It's a fantastic track!
03.3% - It's OK—worth hearing a few times, but probably no more than that.
02.7% - It really only has its release for a good cause and Chris's involvement to recommend it.
02.7% - I don't much care for it.
02.1% - It's pretty good—I like it.
01.2% - Honestly, it's better than I thought it would be.
00.9% - I dislike it intensely!
00.6% - I'm not sure about it, but it may grow on me.
00.3% - I have mixed feelings about it. ¤¹
00.3% - None of these statements comes close to expressing my opinion.²
00.0% - It's an interesting and worthwhile experiment, but not entirely successful.

¹What is the nature of my mixed feelings? To be honest, I probably would never have heard or even heard of "Here Comes the Bear," and I certainly wouldn't have purchased it on iTunes, if one or both of the Pet Shop Boys hadn't been involved. The first time heard it, I didn't like it. But I forced myself to listen to it repeatedly, and I have to admit that, after the third or fourth hearing, it began to grow on me. It's fun, and it has a certain appeal as a novelty. So I no longer dislike it. And its sales are going for a worthy cause. That being said, however, it would nevertheless rank very low on my list of PSB-related tracks. Hence my "mixed feelings."

²Among the alternate opinions expressed by voters were:


Survey 357 - Weeks of April 27 and May 4, 2008
Which Beatles song should PSB cover? (359 voters)

If the Pet Shop Boys were to record a cover vesion of a song from the Beatles' great "middle period" (late 1965 through early 1968)—the albums Rubber Soul, Revolver, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, and Magical Mystery Tour, along with other songs recorded during the same period—which one would you most like them to cover?¹

15.3% - "I'm not familiar enough with these songs to make a choice."
15.0% - "I wouldn't want them to cover any Beatles song."
05.8% - A Day in the Life
05.6% - Eleanor Rigby
05.0% - Strawberry Fields Forever
05.0% - Across the Universe
04.2% - We Can Work It Out
02.5% - I Am the Walrus ¤²
02.2% - She's Leaving Home
02.2% - Hello Goodbye
02.2% - Only a Northern Song
01.9% - In My Life
01.9% - Penny Lane
01.9% - All You Need Is Love
01.9% - Fool on the Hill
01.9% - Lady Madonna
01.7% - Nowhere Man
01.4% - I'm Only Sleeping
01.4% - Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)
01.4% - For No One
01.4% - Here, There, and Everywhere
01.4% - Tomorrow Never Knows
01.4% - Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds
01.4% - "I wouldn't mind them covering a Beatles song, but not one of these."³
01.1% - Drive My Car
01.1% - Got to Get You Into My Life
01.1% - When I'm Sixty Four
00.8% - Taxman
00.8% - Within You Without You
00.8% - Paperback Writer
00.8% - Getting Better

Each of these songs received 2 votes (00.6%) each:

Each of these songs received 1 vote (00.3%) each:

¹This question was inspired by the fact that Chris and Neil once began working on a cover of "Fool on the Hill," but quickly abandoned it. I narrowed the choices of songs to the Beatles' "middle period" both because it's my own favorite musical phase of the Beatles' career and because it simply made creating and managing the poll much simpler. I listed all sixty-some middle-period songs as choices in this poll, but I'm only listing the ones that received votes here in the results; if a song isn't listed, no one voted for it.

²Regarding my own choice, although "I Am the Walrus" isn't at the top of my list of favorite Beatles song (that distinction goes to "Strawberry Fields Forever," "Penny Lane," and "A Day in the Life"), I am very fond of it, I love imagining what the Boys could do with a song with such bizarre lyrics, and I believe that, musically, it would lend itself very well to "PSB treatment."

³Although five voters picked this option, the only other Beatles song—that is, from their early or late period as opposed to their middle period—that was specifically identified by one of them was "It Won't Be Long."


Survey 356 - Week of April 20, 2008
Favorite PSB album cover art, redux (374 voters)

What is your favorite PSB album cover art/packaging?¹

28.6% - Very (the original "Lego" box)
15.8% - Very/Relentless (special edition with the textured translucent plastic gatefold)
09.4% - Actually ¤²
08.6% - Behaviour
05.3% - Introspective
05.1% - Alternative (including its "lenticular" special edition)
04.5% - Bilingual (original "frosted" cover)
04.3% - Nightlife
04.0% - Release (including all of its variations)
03.7% - Fundamental
01.9% - Please
01.6% - Discography
01.6% - PopArt
01.3% - Disco 3
01.3% - Something else not listed here³
01.1% - Disco 4
00.8% - Bilingual (special edition with Neil seated)
00.3% - Disco
00.3% - Very (later version with a picture of the original "Lego" box)
00.3% - Disco 2
00.3% - Concrete
00.0% - Battleship Potemkin

¹This question was a "rerun" of one that I first asked nearly seven years before, when I had far fewer voters (that is, site visitors) and there were of course fewer albums from which to choose. If you like, you can see the results of that earlier poll.

²As for my own choice, I've long been torn between Actually and the original Very packaging as my favorite. My head says Very (that orange "Lego" box is incredibly innovative and about as distinctive as you can get), but my heart says Actually (with its iconic, absolutely unforgettable tuxedoed shot of Chris half-scowling and Neil yawning). It's a real toss-up for me, but I ultimately decided to go with my heart.

³The other items cited by voters who chose "Something else" were:


Survey 355 - Week of April 13, 2008
Rating the "melancholia" of PSB albums (257 voters)

Throughout their career, commentators have often referred to the Pet Shop Boys and/or their music and lyrics as "melancholy"-so much so that it has become a cliché. On a scale of 0 to 10 (with 0 meaning "Not melancholy at all; in fact, it's downright happy," and 10 meaning "Completely, despairingly, almost suicidally melancholy"), how would you rate the "melancholia" of each PSB studio album?*

*For the purposes of this poll, I counted Alternative among the studio albums.

Album (Listed from "Most Melancholy" to "Least Melancholy"
as Determined by Average Ratings)
Average
Rating of
Melancholy
% of
voters
rating
10
% of
voters
rating
0
Wayne's
Rating¤
Behaviour
7.490
11.3%
0.0%
8
Release
6.718
8.5%
0.8%
8
Fundamental
5.556
2.8%
3.2%
7
Alternative
5.230
3.8%
6.6%
8
Actually
5.199
2.0%
2.4%
7
Nightlife
5.171
4.1%
2.0%
5
Bilingual
4.693
5.7%
4.5%
4
Please
4.650
2.9%
3.3%
6
Very
3.831
3.2%
9.6%
5
Introspective
3.721
2.0%
10.9%
4
Relentless
2.625
3.5%
27.5%
1

Incidentally, the average overall rating—taking every voter's votes for every album and averaging them all together—comes out to be 5.030, which of course is just a hair's breadth past the exact mid-point of 5.000. In other words, the Pet Shop Boys don't seem overall to be "unduly melancholy," at least in the eyes (and ears) of my fellow fans and site visitors! In fact, they appear pretty much average in that department, or maybe just a very little bit more "melancholy than average."

 


Survey 354 - Week of April 6, 2008
The PSB "trajectory" (283 voters)

If the Pet Shop Boys were a missile, what would be their trajectory? Or (to be less metaphorical about it), based on whatever criteria that you personally deem most appropriate-commerical success, artistic achievement, image, ambitions, anything else, or any combination thereof-which of these general "trajectories" most closely matches, in your opinion, that of the Pet Shop Boys?

31.8%
Mostly high with the occasional dip ¤
09.9%
Steady high
09.9%
Erratic with no discernible pattern
06.0%
Mostly midstream with the occasional hop or dip
05.3%
Started high, fell quickly, but leveled off only halfway down
04.6%
Started low, then up, down, and now up again
04.2%
Always zigzagging upward
03.5%
Started low, rose quickly, and then leveled off high
03.2%
Steady midstream
03.2%
Forever going in circles
02.1%
Started low, rose quickly, but leveled off only halfway up
02.1%
Constantly up, down, up, down, up, down …
02.1%
Started high, quickly dipped and stayed down a long time, but suddenly rose again
02.1%
Started low, quickly rose and stayed up for a long time, but suddenly fell down again
02.1%
Started high, then down, up, and now down again
01.4%
Always zigzagging downward
01.1%
Started high, fell gradually at first, but then quickly tumbled
01.1%
Ran on an even keel for a long time, and then suddenly dipped to new lows
01.1%
Started high but steadily fell
00.7%
Started low but steadily rose
00.7%
Started high, fell quickly, and then leveled off low
00.7%
Started high, fell quickly, but quickly sprang back
00.4%

Started low, rose gradually at first, but then shot up
00.4%
Ran on an even keel for a long time, and then suddenly rose to new heights
00.4%
Started low, rose quickly, but quickly fell again
00.0%
Mostly low with the occasional hop
00.0%
Steady low

Survey 353 - Week of March 30, 2008
Which version of singles do you most often prefer? (334 voters)

In general, which version of Pet Shop Boys singles do you tend most often to like best?

33.5% - The album version*
31.4% - The single version* ¤
20.1% - "I can't generalize about this (for whatever reason)"
12.6% - An official remix
01.8% - A live rendition
00.6% - An "unofficial" remix

*This of course is in those instances in which the album and single versions are different, regardless of which came first.


Survey 352 - Week of March 23, 2008
Strongest album-openers and -closers (403 voters)

Which Pet Shop Boys studio albums have, in your opinion, the best or strongest opening and closing tracks?

Best opening track
Best closing track
22.6% - Introspective: "Left to My Own Devices" ¤*
20.8% - Behaviour: "Being Boring"
16.4% - Very: "Can You Forgive Her?"
15.9% - Nightlife: "For Your Own Good"
09.4% - Actually: "One More Chance"
07.2% - Please: "Two Divided by Zero"
04.2% - Bilingual: "Discoteca"
01.7% - Fundamental: "Psychological"
01.2% - Release: "Home and Dry"
00.5% - Relentless: "My Head Is Spinning"
00.5% - Disco 3: "Time on My Hands"
24.1% - Fundamental: "Integral"
20.1% - Actually: "King's Cross"
17.1% - Behaviour: "Jealousy"
16.4% - Very: "Go West/Postscript" ¤
05.5% - Introspective: "It's Alright"
05.5% - Nightlife: "Footsteps"
03.5% - Release: "You Choose"
02.5% - Bilingual: "Saturday Night Forever"
02.2% - Relentless: "One Thing Leads to Another"
01.5% - Disco 3: "London" (Genuine Piano Mix)
01.0% - Please: "Why Don't We Live Together?"

*In case you're wondering, although it's no secret that "Being Boring" is my own all-time favorite PSB track, I think "Left to My Own Devices" is even better when it comes to serving the function of "opening" an album. Hence my vote.


Survey 351 - Week of March 16, 2008
Songs to "switch" on Fundamental (361 voters)

If you had to change the Pet Shop Boys' album Fundamental by deleting one of its songs and replacing it with one of its associated b-sides or bonus tracks, which song would you delete and which one would you choose to replace it?

The song to delete … … and the song to replace it with
20.8% - Twentieth Century
17.7% - God Willing
13.9% - Numb
12.7% - Casanova in Hell
08.0% - Psychological ¤
07.6% - I Made My Excuses and Left
06.4% - I'm with Stupid
05.8% - Indefinite Leave to Remain
03.6% - Luna Park
02.2% - The Sodom and Gomorrah Show
00.8% - Integral
00.6% - Minimal
46.3% - Fugitive
26.0% - The Resurrectionist ¤
13.0% - Bright Young Things
07.2% - In Private
03.9% - Girls Don't Cry
01.4% - Blue on Blue
01.1% - Transfer
00.8% - Party Song



Note: I didn't include a "No change" option because it might too predictably have been the top choice.


Survey 350 - Week of March 9, 2008
Songs to "switch" on Release (353 voters)

If you had to change the Pet Shop Boys' album Release by deleting one of its songs and replacing it with one of the b-sides that appeared on its associated singles or on the singles from the next album PopArt, which song would you delete and which one would you choose to replace it?

The song to delete … … and the song to replace it with
27.5% - The Night I Fell in Love
15.6% - Love Is a Catastrophe
14.7% - The Samurai in Autumn ¤*
12.5% - E-Mail
12.2% - Birthday Boy
06.8% - You Choose
04.2% - I Get Along
03.1% - Here
02.0% - Home and Dry
01.4% - London

25.5% - I Didn't Get Where I Am Today ¤
21.0% - Always
19.0% - Sexy Northerner
07.4% - Friendly Fire
07.4% - Positive Role Model
07.4% - Between Two Islands
05.9% - We're the Pet Shop Boys
02.8% - Searching for the Face of Jesus
02.0% - A Powerful Friend
01.4% - Nightlife
00.0% - Transparent

Note: I didn't include a "No change" option because it might too predictably have been the top choice.

*My choice of "The Samurai in Autumn" as the song to cut may be surprising considering my well-known antipathy for "Love Is a Catastrophe," one of only two PSB songs that I actually dislike. But although I vastly prefer "Samurai" to "Catastrophe" on their own separate merits, to me "Samurai" seems out of place on Release, with a totally different style and "sound" from the rest of the album, whereas "Catastrophe" fits in very well. So that's why I would delete a song that I like over one that I don't. As for my choice to add "I Didn't Get Where I Am Today," that's no surprise at all: not only is it one of my all-time favorite PSB b-sides, but I believe its rock style would fit in quite nicely with the rest of Release—and, besides, it would give the album a jolt of upbeat energy that it otherwise pretty much lacks, making what is already (in my opinion) a very good album even better.


Survey 349 - Week of March 2, 2008
Songs to "switch" on Nightlife (360 voters)

If you had to change the Pet Shop Boys' album Nightlife by deleting one of its songs and replacing it with one of the b-sides that appeared on its associated singles, which song would you delete and which one would you choose to replace it?

The song to delete … … and the song to replace it with
22.8% - Boy Strange
16.4% - Happiness Is an Option
16.4% - The Only One
10.0% - Vampires ¤
09.7% - Footsteps
07.8% - In Denial
07.5% - New York City Boy
06.1% - Radiophonic
01.7% - I Don't Know What You Want But I Can't Give It Any More
01.4% - For Your Own Good
00.8% - You Only Tell Me You Love Me When You're Drunk
00.3% - Closer to Heaven
33.1% - The Ghost of Myself ¤
20.0% - Screaming
13.3% - Lies
09.7% - Silver Age
09.7% - Sail Away
08.6% - Casting a Shadow
04.7% - Je T'Aime… Moi Non Plus

 



Note: I didn't include a "No change" option because it might too predictably have been the top choice.


Survey 348 - Week of February 23, 2008
Songs to "switch" on Bilingual (392 voters)

If you had to change the Pet Shop Boys' album Bilingual by deleting one of its songs and replacing it with one of the b-sides that appeared on its associated singles or from the subsequent single "Somewhere," which song would you delete and which one would you choose to replace it?

The song to delete … … and the song to replace it with
27.3% - Electricity
21.4% - Saturday Night Forever ¤
11.0% - Metamorphosis
10.7% - Before
06.9% - The Survivors
06.1% - Up Against It
04.3% - It Always Comes as a Surprise
04.1% - Se A Vida É (That's the Way Life Is)
03.1% - To Step Aside
02.0% - A Red Letter Day
01.8% - Single
01.3% - Discoteca
25.0% - Delusions of Grandeur
18.6% - Hit and Miss
15.8% - The Boy Who Couldn't Keep His Clothes On
15.6% - The Truck Driver and His Mate ¤
06.9% - Betrayed
06.1% - The View from Your Balcony
03.1% - Confidential
03.1% - The Calm Before the Storm
03.1% - Disco Potential
02.8% - How I Learned to Hate Rock 'n' Roll

Note: I didn't include a "No change" option because it might too predictably have been the top choice.


Survey 347 - Week of February 17, 2008
Songs to "switch" on Very (386 voters)

If you had to change the Pet Shop Boys' album Very by deleting one of its songs and replacing it with one of the b-sides that appeared on its associated singles or another non-album track recorded around the same time, which song would you delete and which one would you choose to replace it?

The song to delete … … and the song to replace it with
30.6% - One and One Make Five
13.5% - One in a Million
11.1% - To Speak Is a Sin ¤
10.6% - Young Offender
07.5% - A Different Point of View
07.5% - Go West
06.5% - Liberation
04.4% - The Theatre
03.4% - Dreaming of the Queen
02.3% - Can You Forgive Her?
01.6% - Yesterday, When I Was Mad
01.3% - I Wouldn't Normally Do This Kind of Thing
46.4% - Shameless
17.9% - Too Many People
11.4% - Hey, Headmaster ¤*
09.1% - Decadence
06.7% - Some Speculation
03.4% - Euroboy
02.3% - Falling
01.6% - What Keeps Mankind Alive?
01.0% - If Love Were All

 

Note: I didn't include a "No change" option because it might too predictably have been the top choice. I purposely didn't include a number of songs among the possible choices (such as "Postscript" among Very's tracks and "Absolutely Fabulous," "Confidential," "Girls and Boys," "Violence," "I Want to Wake Up," and the tracks from Relentless) for various excellent reasons (at least in my opinion) that would take several paragraphs to describe here, so I won't.

*My own choice of the b-side I would add to Very may be surprising since I note elsewhere on this website that "Shameless" is my all-time favorite PSB b-side. But I just wouldn't feel right adding "Shameless" unless I were to cut "Go West," which strikes me as very—almost too—stylistically similar. They seem to "clash," in my opinion. They work well as different sides of the same single, but not so much (to my ears) as "fellow album tracks." Yet I couldn't bear to cut "Go West" from Very. So I chose the song that I would most be willing to delete, which is "To Speak Is a Sin"—as superb as it is—and then picked another ballad-ish song to replace it, that being "Hey, Headmaster."


Survey 346 - Week of February 10, 2008
Songs to "switch" on Behaviour (368 voters)

If you had to change the Pet Shop Boys' album Behaviour by deleting one of its songs and replacing it with one of the b-sides that appeared on its associated singles or on the singles from the subsequent non-studio album Discography, which song would you delete and which one would you choose to replace it?

The song to delete … … and the song to replace it with
23.6% - How Can You Expect to Be Taken Seriously?
15.5% - To Face the Truth ¤
13.0% - Nervously
13.0% - The End of the World
10.3% - My October Symphony
08.7% - Only the Wind
06.8% - So Hard
03.5% - Jealousy
03.3% - This Must Be the Place I Waited Years to Leave
01.9% - Being Boring
38.9% - Miserablism
20.4% - We All Feel Better in the Dark
14.7% - Bet She's Not Your Girlfriend ¤
13.6% - It Must Be Obvious
09.0% - Losing My Mind
03.5% - Music for Boys

 



Note: I didn't include a "No change" option because it might too predictably have been the top choice. For this poll in particular, a large number of potential voters specifically stated that they wouldn't be voting because they simply couldn't choose any songs to delete from Behaviour. Also, a number of voters said that what they would really like to do is to replace the album mix of "How Can You Expect to Be Taken Seriously?" with the single mix, heard (with some slight variations) in the music video. Personally, I would concur with that.


Survey 345 - Week of February 3, 2008
Songs to "switch" on Introspective (325 voters)

If you had to change the Pet Shop Boys' album Introspective by deleting one of its songs and replacing it with one of the b-sides that appeared on its associated singles or another non-album song that they recorded around the same time, which song would you delete and which one would you choose to replace it?

The song to delete … … and the song to replace it with
39.7% - I Want a Dog ¤
25.5% - It's Alright
18.2% - Always on My Mind/In My House
10.2% - I'm Not Scared
04.9% - Domino Dancing
01.2% - Left to My Own Devices

28.0% - Don Juan
17.8% - One of the Crowd ¤
18.2% - Do I Have To?
15.1% - Your Funny Uncle
09.8% - Nothing Has Been Proved
06.2% - So Sorry, I Said
04.9% - The Sound of the Atom Splitting

Note: I didn't include a "No change" option because it might too predictably have been the top choice. For this particular poll, because of the special "extended dance mix" format of Introspective, I suggested that voters should feel free to use their imaginations when choosing the "replacement" song, considering either those that already exist in extended versions (such as "Don Juan"), those they think might make good extended remixes (such as "Do I Have To?"), or those that might serve as good intentional contrasts to the format (such as "Your Funny Uncle").


Survey 344 - Week of January 27, 2008
Songs to "switch" on Actually (343 voters)

If you had to change the second Pet Shop Boys studio album, Actually, by deleting one of its songs and replacing it with one of the b-sides that appeared on its associated singles, which song would you delete and which one would you choose to replace it?

The song to delete … … and the song to replace it with
56.0% - Hit Music ¤
15.2% - I Want to Wake Up
08.2% - It Couldn't Happen Here
05.5% - One More Chance
03.8% - Shopping
03.5% - Heart
02.6% - It's a Sin
02.0% - King's Cross
02.0% - What Have I Done to Deserve This?
01.2% - Rent
43.0% - I Get Excited (You Get Excited Too)
25.1% - A New Life ¤
17.5% - You Know Where You Went Wrong
14.3% - I Want a Dog



 

Note: I didn't include a "No change" option because it might too predictably have been the top choice.


Survey 343 - Week of January 20, 2008
Songs to "switch" on Please (338 voters)

If you had to change the first Pet Shop Boys album, Please, by deleting one of its songs and replacing it with one of the b-sides that appeared on its associated singles, which song would you delete and which one would you choose to replace it?

The song to delete … … and the song to replace it with
26.6% - Violence
19.5% - Why Don't We Live Together?
17.5% - Later Tonight
11.8% - I Want a Lover ¤
10.4% - Two Divided by Zero
05.3% - Suburbia
03.6% - Tonight Is Forever
02.7% - Opportunities (Let's Make Lots of Money)
01.5% - Love Comes Quickly
01.2% - West End Girls
34.9% - In the Night ¤
25.4% - Paninaro
13.0% - A Man Could Get Arrested
12.1% - That's My Impression
08.9% - Jack the Lad
05.6% - Was That What It Was?



Note: I didn't include "Oppportunities (Reprise)" among the choices to delete because it barely qualifies as a song and would almost certainly have been chosen by the plurality (if not majority) of voters, rendering the results too predictable and uninteresting. I also didn't include a "No change" option because it, too, might very predictably have been the top choice.


Survey 342 - Week of January 13, 2008
What if they'd had greater U.S. success? (190 voters)

What direction(s) do you think the Pet Shop Boys' career would have taken if they had achieved and sustained far greater commercial success in the United States?

Note: Because voters could make more than one choice, the percentages total to more than 100%.

42.6% - Little if anything would be different. ¤
21.6% - They would have a number of Grammy Awards to their credit by now. ¤
15.8% - They, not Madonna, would be the all-time #1 dance artists in the U.S.
12.6% - Neil wouldn't have publicly "come out" as early as he did (1994), if at all.
10.5% - They would have been far bigger for a time, but then would have collapsed precipitously into has-beens by the new millennium.
07.4% - They would be guaranteed entry soon into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. ¤
06.8% - They would have branched off into other media and activities, such as film, even more than they have.
06.3% - They would have been less experimental and adventuresome in their musical scope and ambitions.
05.3% - They would have soon "retired" more into songwriting, production, and other non-performing roles.
04.2% - They would have gone "more rock."
03.2% - They would have gone in a "poppier" direction.
03.2% - They would put out albums less often.
02.6% - They would put out albums more often.
02.6% - They would have broken up by now, with one or both going solo or joining other bands.
02.6% - They would have moved from the U.K. to the U.S. or perhaps elsewhere.
02.6% - They would have become even more experimental and adventuresome in their musical scope and ambitions.
02.6% - They would have been less successful in the rest of the world.
02.1% - They would have descended into decadent, drugged depravity.
02.1% - One or both of them would have become "show business casualties," perhaps achieving post-mortem legendary status in the process.
01.6% - They would have retired and vanished by now into fabulously weatlhy seclusion.
00.0% - I have some other idea of what would probably have happened.*

*Although, interestingly, no one selected the "other idea" option, a few were nevertheless expressed by voters:


Survey 341 - Week of January 6, 2008
Was PSB your first music of 2008? (365 voters)

Was the first music that you listened to in 2008 by the Pet Shop Boys?

63.8% - No ¤
18.9% - Yes
15.3% - I'm not sure / I don't remember
01.9% - I haven't listened to any music yet in 2008