Past PSB Survey Results - 2009 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, 2008, 2011, 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 443 - Week of December 27, 2009
"The Rating Project": Miscellaneous recent tracks (292 voters)

Please rate each of the following miscellaneous songs recently written and/or performed by the Pet Shop Boys on a scale of 0 to 10 as they compare with other PSB songs (0 = "one of the worst PSB songs ever"; 5 = "an average PSB song"; 10 = "one of the very best PSB songs ever").

Song (Listed from Highest Average Rating to Lowest) Average
Rating
% of
voters
rating
10
% of
voters
rating
0
Wayne's
Rating¤
After the Event 7.398 15.4% 0.8% 8
My Girl 6.849 10.9% 0.4%

5

The Loving Kind 6.696 11.8% 1.5% 5
Viva la Vida 6.624 8.1% 2.6% 2
The Performance of My Life 6.217 9.4% 2.2% 5
Up and Down 6.179 4.5% 1.2% 5
We're All Criminals Now 5.611 2.5% 1.2% 3
Gin and Jag 5.322 5.2% 3.4% 6
Baby* 5.240 7.0% 3.0% 4
The Former Enfant Terrible 4.653 3.3% 4.9% 1

*"Baby" has the dubious distinction of being the most "abstained" released song in the history of my "Rating Project." More voters—roughly 64%—abstained from giving it any rating than any other officially released PSB song to date. Only a few officially unreleased songs (notably, not all of them) have had higher rates of abstention. Undoubtedly the song's relative obscurity as a release by the Swedish band Alcazar accounts for this fact.

To see where these tracks fall in relation to other songs in the PSB catalog, please visit the overall "Rating Project" page.

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Survey 442 - Week of December 20, 2009
Judging 2009 as a "PSB Year" (410 voters)

Part 1: How would you rate 2009 as a "Pet Shop Boys year"?

55.4% - Maybe not the best, but certainly one of the best! ¤
30.0% - An above-average PSB year
09.5% - It's been the best PSB year ever!
03.7% - An average PSB year
00.7% - A below-average PSB year
00.5% - Maybe not the worst, but certainly one of the worst!
00.2% - It's been the worst PSB year ever!

Part 2: What, as far as you're concerned, was the highlight of this "PSB year"?

36.5% - The Yes album ¤*
28.4% - Their "Outstanding Contribution to Music" Brit Award and/or the medley they performed on the show
27.2% - The Pandemonium Tour
02.7% - The "Love etc." single
02.0% - The Christmas EP
01.2% - Something else not listed here**
00.7% - Shirley Bassey's recording of their song "The Performance of My Life"
00.5% - The Girls Aloud single "The Loving Kind" (co-written by PSB)
00.5% - The "Did You See Me Coming?" single
00.2% - The Pet Shop Boys Story - 25 Years of Hits promo disc
00.0% - The "Beautiful People" single from Germany
00.0% - The Party album from Brazil

*Personally, I was greatly torn between Yes and their "Outstanding Contribution to Music" Brit Award. If I could vote for two, I'd choose both. But, forced to choose between them, I went with the great new music. Since I had already determined for myself that 2009 was "Maybe not the best, but certainly one of the best" PSB years, I had to ask myself if I would still consider that to be the case if they hadn't put out such a terrific new album. The answer, at least for me, is no. So I went with Yes as this PSB year's highlight.

**But none of the voters clearly indicated any other PSB-related highlight for the year aside from specific shows of the Pandemonium Tour in which they were able to see the Boys perform "live."

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Survey 441 - Week of December 13, 2009
Favorite version of "Did You See Me Coming?" (335 voters)

What is your favorite version of "Did You See Me Coming?"

36.4% - The original album/single version
31.0% - Pet Shop Boys Possibly More Mix ¤
15.5% - "I'm not familiar enough with the song or these versions to make a choice."
05.7% - Unicorn Kid Mix
03.0% - "Some other version not listed here"
02.7% - "I dislike the song so much that I can't choose any version as 'my favorite.'"
01.8% - Ralphi Rosario & Craig J Extended Vocal Mix (aka Ralphi Rosario Club Mix)
01.2% - Pet Shop Boys Possibly More Radio Edit
01.2% - The instrumental version
00.6% - Ralphi Rosario & Craig J Radio Edit
00.6% - Ralphi Rosario & Craig J Dub (aka Ralphi Rosario Dub)
00.3% - Pet Shop Boys Possibly More Dub

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Survey 440 - Week of December 6, 2009
Have PSB been positive role models? (321 voters)

Have the Pet Shop Boys served as positive role models for you? That is, have they and/or their music ever inspired you in definite, concrete ways to improve yourslef or your life in some way? If so, how?

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

40.5% - They've inspired me to become interested in and/or to develop my knowledge of the arts, literature, history, or some other subject.

25.9% - They've influenced my fashion, appearance, and/or image. ¤¹

23.4% - No, I can't say that they have.

22.1% - They've helped me improve my attitudes and/or philosophy.

18.4% - They've been the focus of a hobby or other highly beneficial pastime. ¤

16.8% - They've made me more aware of and/or active in social and/or political causes.

16.8% - They've inspired me as a musician and/or songwriter.

15.6% - They've helped inspire me to come out of the closet and/or to accept myself as a gay person.²

12.1% - They've inspired me to improve my personal behavior, such as toward other people.

11.8% - They've helped, influenced, and/or inspired me in some other way(s) not listed here. ¤³

09.3% - They've helped me develop spiritually.

03.7% - They've influenced my choice of career.

02.5% - They've inspired me to stop some bad or self-destructive habit (drugs, drink, etc.).

¹Wouldn't know from looking at my photos, would you? I'll admit it's subtle, but it's there, primarily in my choice of casual wear.

²If you're wondering why I didn't pick this one myself, I'll have you know that I was "out" and fully accepting of myself as a gay man before Neil and Chris had even met. wink

³Both directly and indirectly they've influenced my "sideline avocation" as a pop-culture analyst and commentator. Among the additional "positive role-modeling" cited by other voters are the following:

Plus Josie provided a list that's both incisive and pretty darn comprehensive:

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Survey 439 - Week of November 29, 2009
The "gayest" and "most heterosexual" PSB albums (415 voters)

What, in your opinion, is the Pet Shop Boys' "gayest" studio album? And which one do you think is the "most heterosexual"?

   "Gayest":

41.4% - Very
23.6% - Bilingual ¤
17.6% - Nightlife
04.1% - Please
03.4% - Release
02.9% - Behaviour
02.4% - Fundamental
02.2% - Yes
01.7% - Actually
00.7% - Introspective

   "Most heterosexual":

20.2% - Release
16.1% - Fundamental
14.8% - Yes ¤
14.4% - Actually
10.7% - Please
09.7% - Introspective
08.5% - Behaviour
02.2% - Nightlife
01.9% - Very
01.5% - Bilingual

It's interesting to note that voters tended to be in much more agreement regarding the "gayest" album as opposed to the "most heterosexual" album. And while the three "gayest" ones also ended up being the three "least heterosexual," the three "most heterosexual" did not match up with the three "least gay." Fascinating.

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Survey 438 - Week of November 22, 2009
Taking the Boys' "temperature" (243 voters)

Metaphorically speaking, how would you describe the Pet Shop Boys' "temperature"? And, whatever you think that temperature is, would you say that it's good for them to have that temperature, bad for them to have it, or mixed/neutral?

 
Good
Mixed/Neutral
Bad
Overall
Hot
12.8%
1.2%
0.8%
14.8%
Warm
23.0%
6.6%
0.4%
30.0%
Tepid
9.1%
3.3%
0.4%
12.8%
Cool
¤ 29.2%
6.2%
1.2%
36.6%
Cold
2.9%
1.2%
1.6%
5.8%
Overall
77.0%
18.5%
4.5%
 

Analysis: A plurality of the voters agree with my own personal assessment that the Boys are "cool" and that it's a good thing. A large majority feel that, whatever their temperature is, it's good. This is probably not surprising coming from PSB fans. I can't speak for anyone else, but I simply relied on the common popular meaning of "cool" as "excellent" or "hip," combined with the fact that I feel that the Boys have generally (though perhaps not always) consciously strived for—and achieved—a relatively "cool," mildly detached image and demeanor. Chris Heath once referred to it as sangfroid, a French term that suggests cold-bloodedness but which more accurately refers to being unshakably calm and collected; that is, cool. I should note that, if I remember correctly, Chris came in fifth place in a UK poll back around 1993 (give or take a year) as the "Coolest Man in Pop." 2 Unlimited's Ray Slijngaard (!) apparently placed fourth; I don't know who else came in ahead of him. But if you think coming in fifth is bad, just consider the vast field of choices. Fifth place out of literally hundreds of possible candidates is nothing to sneeze at.

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Survey 437 - Week of November 15, 2009
Will you buy the latest PSB-related releases? (385 voters)

What are your purchasing plans regarding the following new Pet Shop Boys or PSB-related releases?

Note: Some totals do not equal 100% because not all voters made a choice for all three releases.

 

I have already bought it or definitely will buy it.

I may buy some tracks as downloads (if they're available), but not the whole thing.

I'm undecided.

I will definitely not buy it.

Christmas
85.2% ¤
3.9%
6.5%
4.4%
Party
32.2% ¤
4.4%
20.3%
41.8%
The Performance
22.9% ¤
18.7%
28.1%
28.1%

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Survey 436 - Week of November 8, 2009
Ever bought a PSB release simply for the graphics? (320 voters)

Have you ever bought a Pet Shop Boys release simply for the sake of its graphic artwork, regardless of it completely duplicating music that you already own?

40.9% - No, I've never bought a PSB release simply for the sake of its graphic artwork.

22.2% - Yes, once in a while for artwork that I've felt was really special, but I don't make a habit of it. ¤*

21.3% - Yes, I've done so on many occasions.

15.6% - Yes, I've bought PSB releases that are "complete duplications" of the music, but not simply for the graphic artwork. There were other reasons as well.

*My personal examples? I bought the "lenticular image" edition of Alternative in addition to the standard edition, and I've ordered Party (though, as of this writing, haven't yet received it) because I really like that "balloon cover." I'm sure there must be a few other examples, but none come to mind right now. I happened to buy two of the four different Release covers, but it wasn't simply to get more than one of them; rather, I always buy a "backup copy" of PSB albums, so in that case I made a point of getting two different covers. To make a long story short, I'll only occasionally buy something just for the graphics when I already have all the music. On the other hand, I'll always buy something for PSB music that I don't already own, even if it's just a single track.

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Survey 435 - Week of November 1, 2009
Does album track order matter? (344 voters)

Which of the following statements comes closest to expressing how you feel about the importance of the order of the tracks on an album?

39.5% - It's fairly important, but not enough to make the difference between a good album and one that's not so good.

27.3% - It's extremely important! Even if the songs are exactly the same, the order of the tracks can dramatically affect the quality of the album overall! ¤

13.1% - It used to be extremely important. But now, with CDs and digital downloads, it's not very important anymore.

10.5% - In general, it's not important. But once in a while I do find myself wishing the order of an album's tracks were different.

09.6% - The order of an album's tracks doesn't matter to me at all.

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Survey 434 - Week of October 25, 2009
Favorite "side" of each PSB studio album (393 voters)

Which do you think is the "better side" of each of the Pet Shop Boys' studio albums?

The following percentages are of just those voters who voted for each album—not of all voters. Some voters did not make a choice for certain albums, in which case they're not taken into account in the percentages for the albums they "skipped." For this reason, each album's percentages total to 100%.

 
Side 1
Side 2
Please
¤ 78.0%
22.0%
Actually
35.6%
¤ 64.4%
Introspective
¤ 66.7%
33.3%
Behaviour
¤ 65.2%
34.8%
Very
¤ 77.6%
22.4%
Bilingual
¤ 53.4%
46.6%
Nightlife
¤ 89.5%
10.5%
Release
¤ 72.4%
27.6%
Fundamental
¤ 59.7%
40.3%
Yes
¤ 70.3%
29.7%

¤ Astoundingly, the majority opinion coincided with my own personal choices in every single case! I suspect this is the first time this has ever happened in one of my polls in which we could vote for more than one thing!

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Survey 433 - Week of October 18, 2009
Have PSB inspired you to break the law? (294 voters)

Have the Pet Shop Boys and/or their music ever inspired you to break the law? If so, in which ways?

58.8% - No, I've never been inspired to break the law by the Pet Shop Boys and/or their music.

41.2% - Yes, I've been inspired by PSB and/or their music to break the law in the following ways:

The following figures represent the percentages of all voters—not just of those who didn't choose the "No" option. Because voters could choose more than one of the following items, the percentages total to more than the overall "Yes" percentage above.

¤ In this particular poll I'm reserving for myself the same anonymity that all of the other voters enjoy.

*The only other specific illegal act unambiguously cited by voters was purchasing PSB bootlegs, which is illegal in some jurisdictions but not in others. Manufacturing and selling bootlegs is illegal in more jurisdictions than those in which merely purchasing them is against the law.

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Survey 432 - Week of October 11, 2009
Is it difficult to obtain PSB releases? (353 voters)

Is it difficult to obtain Pet Shop Boys releases where you live?

47.6% - I can generally get the "standard" albums quite easily, but "special editions" and singles are difficult to get (except by ordering them online). ¤

21.2% - No, no trouble at all. I can get pretty much whatever I want whenever I want.

13.9% - I can get PSB releases via online stores easily enough, but that's the only way. If it weren't for computers and the Internet, I'd be out of luck.

07.6% - Until recently, no, it wasn't much trouble at all. But lately it's been getting increasingly difficult.

04.8% - Sometimes yes, sometimes no. Availability of PSB releases seems "random" and unpredictable, with no clear pattern to it.

02.3% - Yes. Every PSB release is difficult for me to obtain!

01.4% - It's difficult for me to get them legally—but not illegally.

01.1% - My experience is different from any of those described here.*

*Other experiences described by voters include the following:

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Survey 431 - Week of October 4, 2009
How often do you listen to complete albums? (383 voters)

In this age of computers, CD shuffling, digital tracks, and iPods, how often nowadays do you listen to Pet Shop Boys albums all the way through, from start to finish?

29.5% - Usually not. I generally listen to shuffled or excerpted tracks. Only now and then do I listen to a complete album.

17.0% - Often, but I listen to shuffled or excerpted tracks quite often, too. It's about half-and-half. ¤

15.7% - Always, or close to it. I hardly ever listen to shuffled or excerpted tracks, but instead to complete albums.

14.9% - Usually. I sometimes listen to shuffled or excerpted tracks, but complete albums are my most common pattern.

12.0% - Never, or close to it. I hardly ever listen to a complete album from start to finish anymore.

11.0% - I go through phases. I'll listen only to excerpted songs for a while, and then I'll get into an "album mood," and then it's back to excerpts again, and so on.

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Survey 430 - Week of September 27, 2009
Would you buy an Alternative 2? (432 voters)

In a recent interview, the Pet Shop Boys said that there is serious consideration of a possible upcoming release of an Alternative 2 collection of their single b-sides and bonus tracks that have been released since Alternative in 1995. Would you buy Alternative 2 if it were released? And why or why not?

57.2% - Yes! Although I already have all or nearly all of those tracks, it would be great to have them all together in one official release! ¤

30.1% - Yes! I don't have some of those tracks, so it will be great finally to have them!

04.2% - Yes (for some other reason).*

04.2% - I'm not sure at this time (for whatever reason, such as it depending on the packaging or other factors).

02.5% - No! I already have all of those tracks, so why should I spend more money just to get them again?

01.2% - No (for some other reason).**

00.7% - No! Single b-sides and bonus tracks don't interest me much.

*Among the other reasons provided for buying it were:

**Among the other reasons provided for not buying it were:

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Survey 429 - Week of September 20, 2009
Ranking the PSB studio albums (381 voters)

If you had to rank the Pet Shop Boys' ten official studio albums from #1 to #10—with #1 being your favorite and #10 being your least favorite—how would you rank them?

Key for the results table:

 
Avg
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6
#7
#8
#9
#10
Very *3.88
19.7%
20.2% 12.6% 13.9% 8.4% 8.7% 3.7% 4.7% 4.2% 3.9%
Behaviour *3.94 30.4%
11.8%
10.8% 9.7% 7.3% 6.6% 7.9% 6.3% 4.2% 5.0%
Actually 4.88 8.7% 11.3% 13.9% 15.5% 13.1% 9.2% 9.2%
8.4%
6.6% 4.2%
Yes 4.93 8.4% 11.8% 13.4%
13.9%
10.0% 14.4% 9.2% 8.7% 7.3% 2.9%
Introspective 5.51 7.6% 8.9% 8.7% 14.4% 12.6%
9.7%
11.5% 9.4% 6.6% 10.5%
Please 5.54 5.0% 10.8% 12.3% 8.4% 14.7% 10.5%
11.8%
9.4% 8.4% 8.7%
Fundamental 5.70 5.2% 8.1%
9.4%
10.0% 12.3% 11.8% 16.3% 11.5% 11.0% 4.2%
Bilingual 6.06 6.3% 8.4% 8.4% 6.8%
9.7%
10.0% 12.9% 14.7% 14.4% 8.4%
Nightlife 6.85 3.9% 5.5% 6.0% 3.7% 9.2% 11.5% 9.7% 14.4%
21.5%
14.4%
Release 7.71 4.7% 3.1% 4.5% 3.7% 2.6% 7.6% 7.9% 12.3% 15.7%
37.8%

*If you're wondering how an album that had such a huge lead in #1 votes (Behaviour with 30.4% compared to Very with only 19.7%) could end up in second place in the average rankings, look at the percentages of the other rankings for those two albums. Although Behaviour easily beat out Very for #1 votes, Very beat Behaviour in votes for #2 through #6, which pulled the Very average up. And Behaviour beat Very in votes for #7, #8, and #10 (tying at #9), which pulled the Behaviour average down. That's what allowed Very to edge out Behaviour in the average rankings (just barely). It would seem that Behaviour has a much stronger "you either love it or hate it" factor than Very—though I'm sure "hate" is far too strong a word. Remember: just because someone gives an album a lower ranking doesn't necessarily mean that they dislike that album; it simply means that they like other albums more.

By the way, notice how this discrepancy is paralleled at the bottom of the rankings. Release had the poorest average ranking (7.71), yet more people chose it as their #1 favorite (4.7%) than chose the album with the second-lowest average, Nightlife (6.85 average but only 3.9% picking it as #1).

Results superlatives:

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Survey 428 - Week of September 13, 2009
The best bonus disc accompanying a special edition (340 voters)

What, in your opinion, has been the best bonus disc (not counting Relentless) ever to accompany a special edition of a Pet Shop Boys album?

17.1% - Yes etc., the bonus CD that accompanied the original 2009 special edition of Yes

13.5% - Fundamentalism, the bonus CD that accompanied the original 2006 special edition of Fundamental

12.1% - Further Listening 1995-1997 (which accompanied the 2001 reissue of Bilingual) ¤

10.0% - Further Listening 1990-1991 (which accompanied the 2001 reissue of Behaviour)

10.0% - Further Listening 1992-1994 (which accompanied the 2001 reissue of Very)

08.8% - PopArtMix, the bonus CD that accompanied the special edition of PopArt

06.2% - "I don't know enough about these bonus discs to vote for any of them"

04.7% - Further Listening 1987-1987 (which accompanied the 2001 reissue of Actually)

03.8% - Further Listening 1988-1989 (which accompanied the 2001 reissue of Introspective)

03.8% - The bonus CD that accompanied the original 1997 special edition of Bilingual

03.2% - Further Listening 1984-1986 (which accompanied the 2001 reissue of Please)

02.6% - The bonus CD that accompanied the original 2002 special edition of Release

00.9% - Nightlife Extra, the bonus CD that accompanied the original 1999 special edition of Nightlife

00.3% - The bonus CD that accompanied the special edition of Disco 2

00.0% - Some other bonus disc not listed here

Special bonus response:

35.6% - "If it were offered as an option along with the others listed above, I would have voted for Relentless" ¤

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Survey 427 - Week of September 6, 2009
The best-produced PSB album (429 voters)

What, in your opinion, is the best-produced Pet Shop Boys studio album? – Not necessarily your favorite or the one with the best selection of songs, but the one that has the highest-quality production values, or sounds the best?

21.9% - Behaviour
21.4% - Fundamental ¤*
12.1% - Very
11.7% - Yes
08.9% - Introspective
06.8% - Nightlife
05.6% - Bilingual
04.0% - Actually
03.3% - Release
03.3% - "I don't think I can answer this question (for whatever reason)"
00.9% - Please
00.2% - Relentless

*Comments offered by voters reveal that many of them struggled over this question. I did, too. I was deeply torn over Very, Bilingual, and Fundamental. As you may know, Very is my longtime favorite PSB album, and I feared my great fondness for it might be coloring my perception of its production values. So I decided to "disqualify" it from my own choices. That left Bilingual and Fundamental: essentially a coin-toss for me. I finally settled on Fundamental because it includes at least one track that, in my opinion, does outshine any on Bilingual in terms of production values, that being "The Sodom and Gomorrah Show." Still, even now, I find myself debating whether I should have gone with Bilingual instead. Oh, well—what's done is done.

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Survey 426 - Week of August 30, 2009
Views of the Pandemonium Tour setlist (286 voters)

Regarding the setlist for the Pandemonium Tour, with which of the following statements do you agree?

Note: Because not everyone chose at least one statement from each group, the percentages within each group don't always total to 100%.

54.5% - Aside from a few selections, it's excellent! ¤

22.4% - It's perfect, or close to it! I wouldn't change a thing about it!

14.0% - It's not bad, but if it were up to me I'd change quite a bit of it.

06.6% - I've purposely avoided learning anything about the setlist until I can see the show for myself, or at least I prefer to withhold final judgment until then.

02.1% - I don't much care for it.

00.0% - It's terrible! They should have scrapped the whole thing and started over.

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Survey 425 - Week of August 23, 2009
Comparing Tennant-Lowe to Lennon-McCartney (402 voters)

Which of the following statements comes closest to expressing how you feel about a comparison of Tennant-Lowe to Lennon-McCartney as songwriters?

32.8% - There's no point even trying to compare them. It's like apples and oranges, totally different, and it simply boils down to a matter of taste.

14.2% - Tennant-Lowe are one of the best songwriting teams since Lennon-McCartney. ¤*

13.9% - Don't be ridiculous! Tennant-Lowe are a much better songwriting team than Lennon-McCartney!

12.2% - Tennant-Lowe are the best songwriting team since Lennon-McCartney.

08.2% - Tennant-Lowe are good—but they're not that good.

07.5% - I think Tennant-Lowe may be even better than Lennon-McCartney.

04.0% - They're in the running. With time, Tennant-Lowe may match the Lennon-McCartney achievement.

02.7% - They're pretty much on equal footing as songwriting teams.

02.2% - Are you kidding? Tennant-Lowe aren't even in the same league as Lennon-McCartney! John and Paul are so much better that there's no comparison!

02.2% - The Boys write better lyrics, but the music's not as good.

00.0% - The Boys compose better music, but the lyrics aren't as good.

*Surprised at my choice? This is the one I could pick unreservedly. As tempted as I was to pick "Tennant-Lowe are the best songwriting team since Lennon-McCartney," I just couldn't do it without reservation—not with the likes of certain other favorites of mine, such as John-Taupin, Becker-Fagen, and Andersson-Ulvaeus. But there's no doubt in my mind about them being one of the best; hence my selection.

Several voters (or would-be voters) said that they would have liked another choice: "Not familiar enough with the Beatles to make a choice." The fact that it didn't even occur to me to include such an option reveals what is probably a generational bias on my part. I regret this oversight.

A number of voters also stated that Lennon and McCartney weren't really a songwriting team—that most of their songs were written by one or the other. That's true, but only to a certain extent. They were full-fledged collaborators on many of their early songs. And even later on, when they usually wrote songs "solo," they would each very often make contributions or suggestions that frequently found their way into the other's songs. More Lennon-McCartney songs have at least some contribution from both of them than not. So I still believe they are properly regarded as a songwriting team.

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Survey 424 - Week of August 16, 2009
Choices for "Overlooked 2" (361 voters)

If you were to compile a Pet Shop Boys album titled Overlooked 2 (a companion to Overlooked 1, the subject of the previous week's poll) that would consist of twelve non-singles—in this case, one b-side, bonus song, or other "atypical release" from each of various phases of their career—which twelve songs would you pick?

Note: The totals per album don't always add up to 100% because a few voters didn't vote for any songs on certain albums.

From the Please era:

39.3% - In the Night ¤
17.5% - A Man Could Get Arrested
16.9% - That's My Impression
12.7% - Jack the Lad
08.6% - Was That What It Was?
02.8% - Pet Shop Boys

From the Actually era:

33.8% - I Get Excited (You Get Excited Too)
33.5% - Do I Have To?
17.2% - A New Life ¤
13.6% - You Know Where You Went Wrong

From the Introspective era:

35.5% - Your Funny Uncle ¤
21.6% - Don Juan
13.9% - Nothing Has Been Proved
12.5% - So Sorry, I Said
11.1% - One of the Crowd
03.9% - The Sound of the Atom Splitting

From the Behaviour/Discography era:

27.4% - Miserablism
25.5% - We All Feel Better in the Dark
18.6% - Bet She's Not Your Girlfriend ¤
12.7% - It Must Be Obvious
12.7% - Losing My Mind
01.9% - Music for Boys

From the Very/Alternative era:

33.8% - Shameless ¤
16.3% - Too Many People
15.5% - Hey, Headmaster
10.8% - Decadence
08.3% - Some Speculation
04.4% - Girls and Boys
03.9% - Euroboy
01.9% - What Keep Mankind Alive?
01.9% - If Love Were All
01.7% - Falling

From the Bilingual era:

25.2% - Delusions of Grandeur
15.5% - The Truck Driver and His Mate ¤
14.1% - Hit and Miss
10.8% - The Boy Who Couldn't Keep His Clothes On
07.8% - The View from Your Balcony
06.1% - It Doesn't Often Snow at Christmas
05.5% - Betrayed
04.7% - How I Learned to Hate Rock 'n' Roll
03.9% - Confidential
02.5% - The Calm Before the Storm
01.9% - Disco Potential

From the Nightlife era:

22.4% - The Ghost of Myself
15.8% - Screaming
14.7% - Lies ¤
13.3% - Sail Away
10.2% - Je T'Aime… Moi Non Plus
08.9% - Silver Age
08.3% - Casting a Shadow

From the Release/PopArt era:

21.1% - I Didn't Get Where I Am Today ¤
17.5% - Always
12.5% - We're the Pet Shop Boys
12.5% - Positive Role Model*
10.0% - Between Two Islands
09.4% - Friendly Fire
05.3% - Break 4 Love
03.3% - For All of Us*
02.8% - Nightlife
01.9% - Transparent
01.4% - Searching for the Face of Jesus

*It was an oversight on my part to include "Positive Role Model" in this poll since I had already included it in the preceding week's poll for the album Disco 3. I was also in error to include "For All of Us" since that wasn't officially released during this period aside from its inclusion on the Closer to Heaven cast album. It more properly belonged among those choices, below. But what's done is done. We can only imagine if and how the final results for the Release/PopArt era would have turned out much differently.

From the Fundamental era:

34.9% - Fugitive
24.9% - The Resurrectionist ¤
17.2% - Bright Young Things
09.7% - In Private
03.9% - Party Song
03.0% - Blue on Blue
01.9% - Girls Don't Cry
00.8% - Transfer

From the Yes era:

38.5% - This Used to Be the Future
24.9% - After the Event
10.5% - We're All Criminals Now
10.5% - Up and Down
10.0% - Gin and Jag ¤
01.9% - The Former Enfant Terrible

From Closer to Heaven (but not released by PSB in some other context):

25.8% - My Night
17.2% - Call Me Old-Fashioned
13.0% - It's Just My Little Tribute to Caligula, Darling
09.7% - Something Special
08.0% - Out of My System ¤
07.5% - Run Girl Run!
04.2% - Nine Out of Ten
03.3% - Hedonism
01.7% - K-hole

From Battleship Potemkin:

33.2% - No Time for Tears ¤
30.7% - After All (The Odessa Staircase)
07.5% - For Freedom
03.9% - Nyet
02.8% - Odessa
02.5% - "Comrades!"
02.2% - The Squadron
01.9% - Full Steam Ahead
01.4% - Our Daily Bread
01.1% - Men and Maggots
01.1% - Night Falls
00.8% - To the Shore
00.8% - Stormy Meetings
00.3% - Drama in the Harbour
00.3% - To the Battleship

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Survey 423 - Week of August 9, 2009
Choices for "Overlooked 1" (416 voters)

If it were up to you to compile a new Pet Shop Boys album titled, say, Overlooked 1, consisting of one non-single song from each of their "studio albums" (I'm counting Relentless and Disco 3 for the purposes of this poll), which twelve songs would you choose?

Note: The totals per album don't always add up to 100% because a few voters didn't vote for any songs on certain albums.

From Please:

35.3% - Two Divided by Zero
26.4% - Tonight Is Forever ¤
12.7% - I Want a Lover
10.3% - Why Don't We Live Together?
08.2% - Violence
05.3% - Later Tonight

From Actually:

40.4% - King's Cross ¤
19.0% - One More Chance
16.1% - It Couldn't Happen Here
11.3% - I Want to Wake Up
07.9% - Shopping
03.8% - Hit Music

From Introspective:

73.1% - I'm Not Scared ¤
22.8% - I Want a Dog

From Behaviour:

34.9% - This Must Be the Place I Waited Years to Leave
23.8% - My October Symphony
18.0% - The End of the World ¤
08.4% - Nervously
06.7% - Only the Wind
06.3% - To Face the Truth

From Very:

23.1% - Dreaming of the Queen
21.4% - The Theatre
17.1% - Young Offender
13.9% - One in a Million ¤
11.1% - A Different Point of View
09.4% - To Speak Is a Sin
01.7% - One and One Make Five
01.0% - Postscript

From Relentless:

35.3% - Forever in Love
30.5% - One Thing Leads to Another ¤
10.1% - The Man Who Has Everything
07.2% - My Head Is Spinning
05.8% - KDX 125
05.0% - We Came from Outer Space

From Bilingual:

20.4% - To Step Aside ¤
19.5% - Discoteca
16.8% - It Always Comes as a Surprise
13.7% - Up Against It
13.0% - The Survivors
06.3% - Saturday Night Forever
05.5% - Metamorphosis
03.4% - Electricity

From Nightlife:

29.6% - Closer to Heaven ¤
22.4% - For Your Own Good
11.8% - Radiophonic
09.9% - In Denial
06.3% - Happiness Is an Option
06.3% - Boy Strange
05.5% - Footsteps
04.6% - Vampires
01.4% - The Only One

From Release:

32.7% - Here
15.9% - The Samurai in Autumn
15.6% - Birthday Boy ¤
12.0% - E-mail
09.6% - Love Is a Catastrophe
06.7% - The Night I Fell in Love
05.8% - You Choose

From Disco 3:

26.0% - Try It (I'm in Love with a Married Man)
21.2% - Positive Role Model ¤
19.2% - Somebody Else's Business
18.0% - Sexy Northerner
06.0% - If Looks Could Kill
05.8% - Time on My Hands

From Fundamental:

42.1% - The Sodom and Gomorrah Show ¤
11.5% - I Made My Excuses and Left
11.3% - Luna Park
09.6% - Casanova in Hell
07.9% - Indefinite Leave to Remain
07.7% - Psychological
06.5% - Twentieth Century
01.0% - God Willing

From Yes:

33.9% - The Way It Used to Be
21.2% - Pandemonium
16.8% - All Over the World ¤
07.7% - More Than a Dream
07.0% - King of Rome
03.6% - Building a Wal
03.4% - Beautiful People
03.4% - Vulnerable
01.2% - Legacy

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Survey 422 - Week of August 2, 2009
Creative things related to PSB done by voters (250 voters)

Which of the following "personally creative" things have you done with regard to the Pet Shop Boys and/or their music?

14.4% - I have created my own remix or mashup of a Pet Shop Boys song and have shared it with others (including but not limited to online distribution).

14.4% - I have created original graphic art (such as a drawing or digital adaptation of a photo) that's somehow related to the Pet Shop Boys and have shared it with others. ¤

13.6% - I have composed and performed original music that is strongly inspired by the Pet Shop Boys and have shared it with others—ten or more.

13.6% - I have personally created some other original art that's directly related to the Pet Shop Boys and/or their music that doesn't fit into any of the categories described here.*

13.2% - I have written articles, reviews, fiction, or other text about the Pet Shop Boys and/or their music and have published it online. ¤

11.2% - I have performed a "cover version" of a Pet Shop Boys song live in front of a group of people—say, ten or more.

10.8% - I have written articles, reviews, fiction, or other text about the Pet Shop Boys and/or their music and have had it published in paper/print format. ¤

07.6% - I have created my own original "music video," animation, or other video of some sort related to the Pet Shop Boys and/or their music and have shared it with others.

07.2% - I have recorded my own cover version of a Pet Shop Boys song and have shared it with others (including but not limited to online distribution).

02.4% - I have performed in front of an audience (of ten or more) an artistic dance routine set to Pet Shop Boys music (or have choreographed such a dance routine for others).

*Other types of art related to the Pet Shop Boys created and described by voters include:

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Survey 421 - Week of July 26, 2009
Strongest and weakest opening and closing tracks (398 voters)

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

Strongest opening track:

28.9% - Left to My Own Devices (Introspective)
18.6% - Can You Forgive Her? (Very) ¤*
17.8% - Being Boring (Behaviour)
10.8% - For Your Own Good (Nightlife)
06.5% - Two Divided by Zero (Please)
05.5% - One More Chance (Actually)
05.0% - Love etc. (Yes)
03.5% - Discoteca (Bilingual)
01.3% - Home and Dry (Release)
01.3% - Psychological (Fundamental)
00.5% - Time on My Hands (Disco 3)
00.3% - My Head Is Spinning (Relentless)

*A personal note: Although "Being Boring" is my all-time favorite PSB song, I don't think it makes nearly as good an album opener as "Can You Forgive Her?" I guess I prefer my albums to open more with a bang than a sizzle. As for the top vote-getter, "Left to My Own Devices," it comes in a very close second for me. In fact, I was tempted to change my own vote in its favor midweek, but ultimately decided against it.

Weakest opening track:

27.1% - Psychological (Fundamental) ¤
16.3% - Home and Dry (Release)
12.1% - My Head Is Spinning (Relentless)
10.5% - Time on My Hands (Disco 3)
08.7% - Two Divided by Zero (Please)
07.4% - For Your Own Good (Nightlife)
06.3% - One More Chance (Actually)
05.0% - Discoteca (Bilingual)
02.1% - Left to My Own Devices (Introspective)
02.1% - Being Boring (Behaviour)
01.3% - Love etc. (Yes)
01.1% - Can You Forgive Her? (Very)

Strongest closing track:

24.9% - Integral (Fundamental) ¤
23.6% - Go West/Postscript (Very)
16.6% - King's Cross (Actually)
15.0% - Jealousy (Behaviour)
04.7% - It's Alright (Introspective)
04.4% - One Thing Leads to Another (Relentless)
02.8% - Legacy (Yes)
02.3% - Saturday Night Forever (Bilingual)
02.1% - Why Don't We Live Together? (Please)
01.8% - Footsteps (Nightlife)
01.3% - You Choose (Release)
00.5% - London (Genuine Piano Mix) (Disco 3)

Weakest closing track:

22.7% - Legacy (Yes)
19.5% - Saturday Night Forever (Bilingual)
16.1% - Footsteps (Nightlife)
15.0% - You Choose (Release) ¤
07.1% - Why Don't We Live Together? (Please)
06.9% - London (Genuine Piano Mix) (Disco 3)
03.7% - Integral (Fundamental)
02.9% - It's Alright (Introspective)
01.8% - King's Cross (Actually)
01.8% - One Thing Leads to Another (Relentless)
01.3% - Go West/Postscript (Very)
01.1% - Jealousy (Behaviour)

I've also calculated an "overall popularity index" for each track based on the percentage of voters who considered it the strongest album opener or closer minus the percentage of those who considered it the weakest. Here are the results:

Opening track:

 26.8 - Left to My Own Devices (Introspective)
 17.5 - Can You Forgive Her? (Very) ¤
 15.7 - Being Boring (Behaviour)
 03.7 - Love etc. (Yes)
 03.4 - For Your Own Good (Nightlife)
-00.8 - One More Chance (Actually)
-01.5 - Discoteca (Bilingual)
-02.2 - Two Divided by Zero (Please)
-10.0 - Time on My Hands (Disco 3)
-11.9 - My Head Is Spinning (Relentless)
-15.1 - Home and Dry (Release)
-25.8 - Psychological (Fundamental)

Closing track:

 22.3 - Go West/Postscript (Very)
 21.2 - Integral (Fundamental) ¤
 14.7 - King's Cross (Actually)
 14.0 - Jealousy (Behaviour)
 02.6 - One Thing Leads to Another (Relentless)
 01.8 - It's Alright (Introspective)
-05.1 - Why Don't We Live Together? (Please)
-06.3 - London (Genuine Piano Mix) (Disco 3)
-13.7 - You Choose (Release)
-14.3 - Footsteps (Nightlife)
-17.2 - Saturday Night Forever (Bilingual)
-19.8 - Legacy (Yes)

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Survey 420 - Week of July 19, 2009
Where and how have you listened most to PSB? (413 voters)

Over the past year or so, where and how have you most often listened listened to the Pet Shop Boys' music?

19.1% - In my car
18.4% - At home on my computer
17.7% - At home on my stereo/CD player
12.8% - I listen in so many places and ways that I can't choose just one as "most often"
09.9% - Walking, jogging, exercising, or some other physical activity on my iPod or other small mp3 player
07.5% - At home on my iPod or other small mp3 player
06.3% - While on some form of public transit
04.1% - At work/school on my iPod or other small mp3 player
01.7% - At work/school on my computer ¤*
01.5% - On my home entertainment system (DVD player, etc.)
00.5% - In a club or other public venue
00.2% - At work/school using some other device
00.2% - At someone else's home (by whatever means)
00.0% - At home using some other device
00.0% - Some other place and/or means not listed here

*Surprised at my own choice? If so, then we're even: I'm quite surprised more people didn't pick it. If I had answered this question three or more years ago, I would have said "At home on my stereo/CD player." But in recent years my music listening habits have changed dramatically. While I do continue to listen to music on my home stereo, I have to admit that I listen to music even more often on my computer at work, to which I've downloaded hundreds of my favorite songs—PSB included, of course. Whenever I'm dealing with some fairly routine task that doesn't require collaboration with others, intense concentration, or composing original text (from which music distracts me), I put on my headphones and listen while I work.

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Survey 419 - Week of July 12, 2009
Favorite PSB cover redux—plus (358 voters)

What is your favorite "cover song" by the Pet Shop Boys? In fact, you get to vote for two: your favorite as done by the Boys, and your favorite as done by someone else, such as the original artist.

Favorite by PSB
Favorite by someone else

39.2% - Always on My Mind
14.6% - Go West ¤
10.4% - It's Alright
05.1% - Where the Streets Have No Name
04.8% - We're the Pet Shop Boys
03.9% - Try It (I'm in Love with a Married Man)
03.4% - Somewhere
03.1% - Hello Spaceboy
02.3% - Losing My Mind
02.0% - Break 4 Love
02.0% - Girls and Boys
02.0% - My Girl
01.4% - Philadelphia
01.1% - What Keeps Mankind Alive?
00.8% - Can't Take My Eyes Off You
00.8% - If Love Were All
00.8% - Sail Away
00.8% - Alone Again, Naturally
00.6% - Numb
00.3% - Mr. Vain
00.3% - Je T'Aime… Moi Non Plus
00.3% - I Will Survive
00.0% - Rhythm of the Night

Plus "Believe/Song for Guy" added as a write-in vote. Both are Elton John songs that PSB performed with him on a TV special, which has been released on VHS/DVD.

At least two people wanted to vote for "Viva la Vida" and wondered why I didn't include it. As I explained at the outset, I purposely left out those covers that hadn't yet been officially released in CD, VHS/DVD/ or mp3 format. Not including "Believe/Song for Guy" was therefore an oversight, whereas disqualifying "Viva la Vida" was quite intentional.

Not surprisingly, when I first ran a PSB covers poll back in 2001 with far fewer voters and songs to choose from, "Always on My Mind" came out on top then as well.

14.7% - Girls and Boys
14.7% - Losing My Mind
10.0% - Where the Streets Have No Name
06.9% - I Will Survive
06.6% - We're the Pet Shop Boys
06.3% - Hello Spaceboy
05.6% - Somewhere ¤
05.0% - Philadelphia
04.7% - Je T'Aime… Moi Non Plus
04.1% - Rhythm of the Night
03.8% - Mr. Vain
03.4% - Alone Again, Naturally
02.8% - Break 4 Love
02.8% - Can't Take My Eyes Off You
02.5% - My Girl
02.2% - Always on My Mind
01.3% - It's Alright
01.3% - What Keeps Mankind Alive?
00.6% - Sail Away
00.3% - Go West
00.3% - Numb
00.0% - If Love Were All
00.0% - Try It (I'm in Love with a Married Man)

I simply had to pick "Somewhere" as my own personal favorite from among these songs by other artists. This West Side Story song written by Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim will live forever, and I personally love Barbra Streisand's slightly "spacy" rendition on The Broadway Album (even if was produced by David Foster, whom I normally don't care for as a producer). I have to confess, however, that "Can't Take My Eyes Off You" by Frankie Valli and "Where the Streets Have No Name" by U2 were mighty tempting choices, and if it weren't for "Somewhere" I would have had a real struggle on my hands. It would have been another of my "heart vs. mind" debates: my heart would beg for "Eyes," but my mind would demand "Streets." Fortunately, "Somewhere" spared me the turmoil by winning both my heart and my mind.

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Survey 418 - Week of July 5, 2009
A third single from Yes? (425 voters)

Do you think there should be a third single from Yes—that is, do you want there to be one? And do you think there actually will be a third single?

79.1% - Yes, I think there should be a third single. And yes, I think there will be one.
14.4% - Yes, I think there should be a third single. But no, I don't think there will be one. ¤
03.1% - I really don't care about this one way or the other.
02.1% - No, I don't think there should be a third single. And no, I don't think there should be one.
01.4% - No, I don't think there should be a third single. But yes, I think there will be one.

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Survey 417 - Week of June 28, 2009
Versions by other artists that you prefer? (345 voters)

Of the following songs that Neil and Chris have written and/or produced for other artists and which were later also officially released as performed by the Pet Shop Boys, in which cases do you prefer the version by the other artist to the PSB version?

41.4% - "Nothing Has Been Proved" by Dusty Springfield ¤
37.7% - "In Private" by Dusty Springfield ¤
37.7% - "Losing My Mind" by Liza Minnelli ¤
28.7% - "So Sorry, I Said" by Liza Minnelli
21.7% - "I'm Not Scared" by Eighth Wonder
16.8% - "Confidential" by Tina Turner
10.7% - "Falling" by Kylie Minogue
10.7% - "Love Life" by Alcazar ¤

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Survey 416 - Week of June 21, 2009
Opinions of PSB as their own remixers (335 voters)

Compared to other remixers of their work, what do you think of the Pet Shop Boys as remixers of their own songs?

38.5% - They're their own best remixers!
25.4% - It's hard to generalize. Their remixes are a real mixed bag: some excellent, some terrible, some in-between.
22.1% - Their remixes are generally very good, but remixes by others are often even better. ¤
05.1% - I'm not familiar enough with their remixes to have much of an opinion about this.
04.2% - They've steadily improved as remixers. Their earlier remixes weren't so good, but their more recent remixes are terrific!
01.8% - Their remixes are nothing special: not bad at all, but unexceptional and/or hard to distinguish from other remixes.
01.2% - They're their own worst remixers! They should stick to songwriting, recording, and performing.
00.9% - Their remixes usually aren't very good, though not among the worst.
00.9% - I have a different opinion from any of those listed here.*

*Among the alternate opinions expressed were the following:

Plus this additional insight, which I think deserves to be noted:

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Survey 415 - Week of June 14, 2009
Their live cover of "Viva la Vida" (402 voters)

Which of the following statements comes closest to expressing your opinion of the fact that the Pet Shop Boys are performing a cover of Coldplay's "Viva la Vida" in their current live shows?

27.6% - It's an interesting choice. I like it. ¤
25.1% - It's briliant! I love it!
20.6% - I prefer to withhold judgment until I've heard it for myself.
09.5% - I really don't have any feelings about it one way or the other.
06.5% - It's a strange choice. I don't much care for it.
05.2% - It's awful! I hate it!
04.7% - I have mixed feelings about it.
00.7% - I have a different opinion from any of those described here.*

*Among the alternate opinions expressed are the following:

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Survey 414 - Week of June 7, 2009
When were they most attractive/was that a factor? (412 voters)

When do you think Chris and Neil have been most attractive? In other words, when have they been most physically appealing? And was their physical appearance—their "looks"—a factor in your originally becoming a Pet Shop Boys fan?

  1. When has Chris been most attractive?

25.8% - The very early PSB years (the mid-1980s)
32.1% - The late 1980s
19.2% - The early 1990s ¤
10.0% - The mid-1990s
04.7% - The late 1990s
02.9% - The early 2000s
01.1% - The mid-2000s
04.2% - Most recently (the late 2000s)

  1. When has Neil been most attractive?

12.6% - The very early PSB years (the mid-1980s)
21.1% - The late 1980s
25.8% - The early 1990s
11.6% - The mid-1990s ¤
05.5% - The late 1990s
04.5% - The early 2000s
03.9% - The mid-2000s
11.6% - Most recently (the late 2000s)

  1. Was their physical appearance a factor in your originally becoming a Pet Shop Boys fan?

71.1% - No, it wasn't. ¤
24.5% - It may have been a minor factor.
03.9% - It was definitely a major factor!
00.5% - I really don't consider myself a fan.

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Survey 413 - Week of May 31, 2009
Patterns and reasons for buying PSB singles (434 voters)

Which of the following statements best describes whether, how often, and/or why you buy the Pet Shop Boys' singles?

24.4% - "I always buy PSB singles because I'm a 'completist.'"
22.1% - "I always (or almost always) buy PSB singles for the 'b-sides' and bonus tracks."
20.7% - "I always (or almost always) buy PSB singles for two or more of the reasons described here." ¤
10.8% - "I seldom if ever buy any singles, period."
06.5% - "I used to buy PSB singles all the time, but I'm pretty much over the whole 'singles thing' now."
05.8% - "I sometimes buy PSB singles, but it's difficult to describe why sometimes I do and sometimes I don't."
02.8% - "I always (or almost always) buy PSB singles because I want to support them and help ensure their chart success."
02.8% - "I buy PSB singles when I like the song(s)—but otherwise, no."
02.5% - "I seldom if ever buy PSB singles, although I sometimes buy singles by other artists."
01.6% - "I buy PSB singles that haven't already been released on an album—but otherwise, no."

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Survey 412 - Week of May 24, 2009
Rating the "Did You See Me Coming?" video (372 voters)

Compared to all the other Pet Shop Boys music videos, how would you rate the "Did You See Me Coming?" video on the following scale of 0-6?

0
1
2
3
4
5
6
Avg Rating
7.5%
29.8%
32.3% ¤
19.1%
8.3%
2.2%
0.8%
2.005

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Survey 411 - Week of May 17, 2009
Comparing Yes to Very (436 voters)

In a song-by-song comparison of the albums Very and Yes, which song from each pairing do you prefer?*

Very
Yes
70.6%
Can You Forgive Her? ¤
Love etc.
29.4%
55.5%
I Wouldn't Normally Do This Kind of Thing ¤
All Over the World
44.5%
72.0%
Liberation ¤
Beautiful People
28.0%
40.5%
A Different Point of View ¤
Did You See Me Coming?
59.5%
67.3%
Dreaming of the Queen ¤
Vulnerable
32.7%
54.2%
Yesterday, When I Was Mad
¤ More Than a Dream
45.8%
72.5%
The Theatre ¤
Building a Wall
27.5%
40.0%
One and One Make Five
¤ King of Rome
60.0%
27.3%
To Speak Is a Sin
¤ Pandemonium
72.7%
24.0%
Young Offender
¤ The Way It Used to Be
76.0%
44.3%
One in a Million ¤
** This Used to Be the Future
55.7%
84.8%
Go West/Postscript ¤
** Legacy
15.2%

Finally, in an overall comparison of Very to Yes, which do you think is the better album?

62.9%
Very ¤
Yes
37.1%

*To explain the origins of this poll: A site visitor recommended a poll question very similar to a little game that a "classic rock" radio station in my area sometimes plays. They take two classic albums and compare them song-by-song (the first song of Album A compared to the first song of Album B, the second song of A compared to the second song of B, and so on). The DJs decide which song in each pair is better. Then, at the end, they decide which is the better album—although the final decision there doesn't necessarily hinge on which album comes out ahead in the track-by-track comparisons. At any rate, since various reviewers, many fans, and even the Pet Shop Boys themselves have compared their latest album Yes to their classic 1993 album Very, I asked my site visitors to play this same comparison game with those two albums.

**Since Very has more tracks than Yes, I was forced to use the Yes etc. bonus track "This Used to Be the Future" in this comparison exercise. And I figured it was much fairer to compare the final tracks of the albums to each other since the final tracks of albums are often meant to be "special" in some way. I therefore asked the voters to compare "This Used to Be the Future" with "One in a Million" so that we could compare "Go West/Postscript" with "Legacy."

An additional observation: We can look at the Very vs. Yes comparison in a couple other ways as well. If you take all the votes for songs from Very and compare them to all the votes for songs from Yes, you get the percentages of 54.4% for Very and 45.6% for Yes. And if you take the simple comparison of the numer of Very songs that "won" compared to the number of Yes songs that "won," you get 58.3% for Very and 41.7% for Yes. The differences in these figures—with the discrepancy between Very and Yes being noticeably greater in the direct vote for one album or the other compared to these other reckonings—suggest that, at least in this case, the whole is indeed even greater than the sum of its parts.

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Survey 410 - Week of May 10, 2009
The most "atypical" PSB single (456 voters)

What, in your opinion, is the most "atypical" Pet Shop Boys single? Or, to put it another way, which PSB single is the least "PSB-ish"?

18.9% - I Get Along
17.3% - Numb ¤
09.9% - Break 4 Love
06.6% - Home and Dry
05.5% - Before
03.5% - Se A Vida E (That's the Way Life Is)
03.3% - DJ Culture
03.1% - You Only Tell Me You Love Me When You're Drunk
02.6% - Absolutely Fabulous
02.6% - Single-Bilingual
02.2% - Love etc.
02.0% - Did You See Me Coming?
02.0% - London
02.0% - Somewhere
01.8% - Miracles
01.8% - To Step Aside
01.5% - Paninaro '95
01.3% - Where the Streets Have No Name (I Can't Take My Eyes Off You)
01.1% - New York City Boy
00.9% - Go West
00.9% - Integral
00.9% - It's Alright
00.9% - Yesterday, When I Was Mad
00.7% - Always on My Mind
00.7% - Being Boring
00.7% - I'm with Stupid
00.7% - Liberation
00.7% - Was It Worth It?
00.7% - West End Girls
00.4% - Domino Dancing
00.4% - How Can You Expect to Be Taken Seriously?
00.4% - I Don't Know What You Want But I Can't Give It Any More
00.4% - Rent

And the following singles each received one vote (0.2%):

Singles that aren't listed here didn't receive any votes.

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Survey 409 - Week of May 3, 2009
"The Rating Project": Yes (410 voters)

Please rate the songs from the Pet Shop Boys' album Yes on a scale of 0 to 10 as they compare with other PSB songs (0 = "one of the worst PSB songs ever"; 5 = "an average PSB song"; 10 = "one of the very best PSB songs ever").

Song (Listed from Highest Average Rating to Lowest) Average
Rating
% of
voters
rating
10
% of
voters
rating
0
Wayne's
Rating¤
The Way It Used to Be 8.727 47.8% 0.3% 9
Pandemonium 7.800 22.8% 0.5% 8
Love etc. 7.563 14.1% 0.2% 4
All Over the World 7.386 15.8% 0.5% 7
This Used to Be the Future 7.132 12.4% 0.3% 3
More Than a Dream 7.094 10.2% 0.5% 9
Did You See Me Coming? 6.864 9.7% 0.7% 7
King of Rome 6.807 12.1% 1.5% 10
Vulnerable 6.543 5.8% 0.5% 5
Building a Wall 6.345 3.5% 1.3% 2
Beautiful People 5.905 2.0% 0.3% 6
Legacy 5.533 6.1% 3.1% 2

To see where these tracks fall in relation to other songs in the PSB catalog, please visit the overall "Rating Project" page.

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Survey 408 - Week of April 26, 2009
"Did You See Me Coming?" as the second Yes single (464 voters)

What do you think of the choice of "Did You See Me Coming?" as the second single from Yes?

27.2% - "It's a great choice for the second single!"
25.4% - "It's a good choice for a single, but not the second one. Another song would have been a better second single."
19.8% - "It's not a good choice—period. Even if it hadn't been 'given away' on the Pet Shop Boys Story promo disc, it still wouldn't be a good choice for a single."
12.1% - "It's not a good choice for a single, but only because it's already been 'given away' on the Pet Shop Boys Story promo disc."
10.3% - "I have mixed feelings about it." ¤*
03.2% - "I'm neutral, or I don't have any feelings about it one way or the other."
01.9% - "I'm undecided."

*My own mixed feelings are that, while I think "Pandemonium" would make a stronger second single (maybe they're saving it for last), I believe "Did You See Me Coming?" is indeed excellent single material—a terrific "summer song." The fact that "Coming?" appeared on the Story promo disc, however, may seriously harm its commercial appeal. I suspect a new "single mix" might have helped (possibly counteracting the negative side-effects of that promo release), but apparently the Boys have decided against a distinct single mix. Of course, dedicated fans will buy it even without a new single mix, primarily to get the previously unreleased bonus tracks. And since it appears that, these days, the principal audience for purchasing PSB singles are the members of their core fan base, any single is probably as good any other as long as it indeed offers those new bonus tracks. In the long run, it probably doesn't make a lot of difference one way or the other. For me, it almost boils down to this: which song would I most like to appear on a future hits or video collection? See how "mixed" my feelings are?

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Survey 407 - Week of April 19, 2009
Opinions about the PSB Story promo (406 voters)

There was some controversy a few weeks ago when a career-spanning promo disc, Pet Shop Boys Story: 25 Years of Hits, was released as a "free bonus" with copies of the U.K. newspaper The Mail on Sunday. This newspaper is regarded by many PSB fans as a somewhat right-wing, anti-gay publication. So I'm wondering—Which of the following statements comes closest to expressing how you feel about this promo release?

32.5% - "It's business. It was a good, smart commerical move."
16.0% - "I don't have any feelings about it one way or the other."
12.3% - "I don't think it's fair that fans in the U.K. could get it so easily, but not fans elsewhere."
07.9% - "It was OK—no big deal."
07.6% - "I got my copy, and that's all I care about."
07.4% - "I think it was wonderful—an excellent idea!"
04.4% - "I have very mixed feelings about it."
03.2% - "I think it was hypocritical and/or a 'sell-out'!"
03.0% - "I think it was a terrible idea, but I wouldn't call it 'hypocritical' or a 'sell-out.'"
03.0% - "I have an opinion very different from any of those listed here."*¤
02.7% - "I don't think it was a very good idea."

*Among the alternate opinions expressed were the following:

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Survey 406 - Week of April 12, 2009
Matching the Yes cover colors to songs (222 voters)

The check/tic mark on the cover of Yes is made up of eleven squares, each a different color: one for each of the eleven songs on the album. You might think of each square representing a different song. If that's the case, how would you match the color squares with the songs on the album?

First off, here are the complete, "raw" results:

 

eastern
blue

safety
orange
dark
blue
green
torch
red
blue
gem
seletive
yellow
cornflower
blue
scarlet christi indigo
Love etc. 22.5% 4.5% 1.4% 1.8% 22.5% 3.2% 4.1% 5.0% 25.7% 1.4% 2.7%
All Over the World 9.5% 28.8% 6.3% 9.0% 2.7% 4.1% 13.5% 8.1% 5.0% 4.5% 5.4%
Beautiful People 9.0% 9.0% 22.5% 8.1% 7.2% 1.8% 9.5% 10.8% 5.0% 9.9% 3.2%
Did You See Me Coming? 5.4% 13.5% 4.1%

22.5%

10.8% 2.7% 16.7% 4.5% 6.8% 5.9% 4.5%
Vulnerable 6.8% 7.7% 6.8%

10.8%

24.3% 9.9% 5.9% 8.1% 1.4% 5.9% 8.1%
More Than a Dream 9.9% 6.8% 7.7% 5.9% 5.9% 27.9% 7.7% 11.3% 2.3% 7.2% 4.1%
Building a Wall 8.1% 7.2% 10.8% 12.6% 2.7% 10.8% 20.7% 5.9% 3.2% 9.0% 4.1%
King of Rome 8.1% 2.7% 10.4% 8.1% 3.2% 9.0% 5.9% 24.3% 4.5% 8.1% 12.6%
Pandemonium 2.7% 11.7% 5.0% 2.7% 11.7% 4.5% 6.8% 5.4% 35.6% 5.9% 4.1%
The Way It Used to Be 7.7% 3.2% 9.9% 5.0% 4.1% 16.7% 3.2% 9.9% 2.7% 27.0% 7.7%
Legacy 7.7% 2.7% 11.3% 7.7% 1.8% 4.5% 2.3% 4.5% 4.1% 11.3% 39.2%

The top vote-getters per song, as well as Wayne's own personal choices—which matched up with the plurality in only one instance ("Pandemonium")—are as follows:

Songs Top choices Wayne's choices ¤
Love etc. 25.7% - scarlet torch red
All Over the World 28.8% - safety orange green
Beautiful People 22.5% - dark blue blue gem
Did You See Me Coming? 22.5% - green safety orange
Vulnerable 24.3% - torch red selective yellow
More Than a Dream 27.9% - blue gem cornflower blue
Building a Wall 20.7% - selective yellow christi
King of Rome 24.3% - cornflower blue indigo
Pandemonium 35.6% - scarlet scarlet
The Way It Used to Be 27.0% - christi dark blue
Legacy 39.2% - indigo eastern blue

Here's where it gets awfully complicated. Notice that scarlet was the top choice for two songs, "Love etc." and "Pandemonium." Since, however, there should be a one-to-one correlation between the songs and the colors, I figure I ought to assign scarlet to the song for which it received the higher number of votes. That would be "Pandemonium." So then "Love etc." would get the color that received the next higher number of votes. That would be a tie between eastern blue and torch red. But since more voters picked "Vulnerable" than "Love etc." for torch red, I'll leave torch red with "Vulnerable." Therefore eastern blue—which didn't receive a plurality of the votes for any song, but for which more voters picked "Love etc." than any other—gets "Love etc." So the final outcome would be:

Love etc. eastern blue
All Over the World safety orange
Beautiful People dark blue
Did You See Me Coming? green
Vulnerable torch red
More Than a Dream blue gem
Building a Wall selective yellow
King of Rome cornflower blue
Pandemonium scarlet
The Way It Used to Be christi
Legacy indigo

The final pattern is unmistakable: the order of songs corresponds precisely with the left-to-right order of the colors on the cover of the album. Clearly, to a plurality of the voters, the order of the squares was far more significant than their colors.

And, as it turns out, that also corresponds with how the colors and songs match up in the limited multi-disc vinyl collector's edition of Yes, in which each song gets its own disc (with the song on one side and its instrumental version on the reverse). Amazing!


Survey 405 - Week of April 5, 2009
Ideal concert set list for their Yes tour (328 voters)

If you could put together your ideal live set list for the Pet Shop Boys' upcoming world tour, what would it be? To keep it practical, however, there are two restrictions: (1) You can choose a total of no more than 20 songs, and (2) exactly five of them—no more, no fewer—have to be new songs from the "Yes era."

Note: In highlighting the top choices in bold red as I always do, I'm adhering to the same rules as for the voting: that exactly five songs from the "Yes era" are allowed. Thus although some those songs received enough votes to rank them within the 20 most popular choices overall, I'm disallowing them from the "final set list" because five other Yes-era songs ranked higher. Also—because I personally find this particular aspect of the results especially interesting—the top seven "pre-Yes" songs that the Boys have never performed live in a concert setting as of the date of this survey appear in bold blue. (It would have been just the top five, but there was a three-way tie for fifth place.)

"Yes era" songs:

79.3% - Love etc. ¤
73.5% - Pandemonium ¤
72.6% - All Over the World ¤
58.5% - The Way It Used to Be ¤
54.3% - Did You See Me Coming?

38.4% - More Than a Dream ¤
21.3% - This Used to Be the Future
20.1% - Building a Wall
19.5% - Vulnerable
16.5% - Beautiful People
16.5% - King of Rome
10.7% - The Loving Kind
08.5% - We're All Criminals Now
05.8% - Legacy
04.6% - Gin and Jag

"Pre-Yes" songs:

52.4% - Being Boring¹
48.8% - Always on My Mind ¤
47.0% - It's a Sin ¤
42.4% - Can You Forgive Her? ¤
40.5% - Go West ¤
38.1% - West End Girls ¤
²
36.6% - Flamboyant
34.1% - Integral
33.5% - Left to My Own Devices ¤
31.7% - Minimal ¤
27.7% - A Red Letter Day
27.1% - Heart
24.4% - Domino Dancing
23.8% - I Wouldn't Normally Do This Kind of Thing
22.0% - Suburbia

20.1% - So Hard
19.2% - Rent
18.9% - King's Cross
18.6% - Miracles
18.0% - Home and Dry
16.5% - Love Comes Quickly
16.5% - The Sodom and Gomorrah Show

16.2% - Fugitive
15.9% - Paninaro '95
15.5% - I'm Not Scared
14.9% - I Don't Know What You Want But I Can't Give It Any More ¤
14.6% - It's Alright
14.3% - What Have I Done to Deserve This? ¤
14.0% - Se A Vida E (That's the Way Life Is)
13.1% - Delusions of Grandeur
12.5% - New York City Boy
12.5% - We're the Pet Shop Boys
12.2% - Closer to Heaven
12.2% - Opportunities (Let's Make Lots of Money)
11.9% - Liberation
11.9% - You Only Tell Me You Love Me When You're Drunk
11.6% - The Resurrectionist
11.3% - I Didn't Get Where I Am Today ¤
11.0% - Dreaming of the Queen
10.4% - Jealousy
10.4% - Young Offender
10.1% - Was It Worth It?
09.8% - DJ Culture
09.8% - How Can You Expect to Be Taken Seriously?
09.8% - Yesterday, When I Was Mad
09.5% - Paninaro
09.5% - Shameless
09.1% - Tonight Is Forever ¤
08.8% - For Your Own Good
08.5% - Before
08.2% - A Different Point of View
08.2% - I Made My Excuses and Left
08.2% - It Always Comes as a Surprise
¤
08.2% - Discoteca
08.2% - One More Chance
07.9% - One in a Million
07.9% - Sexy Northerner
07.6% - I'm with Stupid
07.6% - London
07.6% - Positive Role Model
07.3% - Bet She's Not Your Girlfriend ¤
07.3% - In the Night
07.0% - In Private
07.0% - Two Divided by Zero
06.7% - Bright Young Things
06.7% - I Want a Lover
06.7% - I Want to Wake Up
06.7% - Indefinite Leave to Remain
06.7% - Nervously
06.4% - Here
06.4% - Luna Park
06.4% - The End of the World ¤
06.4% - This Must Be the Place I Waited Years to Leave
06.1% - The Theatre
05.8% - Casanova in Hell
05.8% - It Couldn't Happen Here
05.8% - Try It (I'm in Love with a Married Man)
05.5% - Hit and Miss
05.5% - I Get Along
05.5% - My October Symphony
05.5% - Where the Streets Have No Name (I Can't Take My Eyes Off You)
05.2% - The Survivors
05.2% - To Step Aside
05.2% - We All Feel Better in the Dark
04.9% - Do I Have To?
04.9% - Losing My Mind
04.6% - Between Two Islands
04.6% - Miserablism
04.6% - She's Madonna
04.6% - Too Many People
04.6% - Your Funny Uncle
04.3% - Birthday Boy ¤
04.3% - Hey, Headmaster
04.3% - I Get Excited (You Get Excited Too)
04.3% - The Truck Driver and His Mate
04.0% - A Man Could Get Arrested
04.0% - Decadence
04.0% - Single
04.0% - Somebody Else's Business
03.7% - Absolutely Fabulous
03.7% - Break 4 Love
03.7% - Call Me Old-Fashioned
03.7% - Friendly Fire
03.7% - One Thing Leads to Another
03.7% - Some Speculation
03.7% - The Samurai in Autumn
03.7% - Up Against It
03.4% - After All
03.4% - Later Tonight
03.4% - Metamorphosis
03.4% - Only the Wind
03.4% - Somewhere
03.4% - The Boy Who Couldn't Keep His Clothes On
03.0% - Always
03.0% - E-mail
03.0% - Euroboy
03.0% - I Want a Dog
03.0% - Radiophonic
03.0% - To Face the Truth
02.7% - A New Life
02.7% - Betrayed
02.7% - Don Juan
02.7% - Nothing Has Been Proved
02.7% - That's My Impression
02.4% - Blue on Blue
02.4% - Happiness Is an Option
02.4% - Numb
02.4% - Psychological
02.4% - Violence
02.1% - Electricity
02.1% - Falling
02.1% - Footsteps
02.1% - Forever in Love
02.1% - In Denial
02.1% - No Time for Tears
02.1% - Shopping
01.8% - Don't Drop Bombs
01.8% - It Must Be Obvious
01.8% - Love Is a Catastrophe
01.8% - Music for Boys
01.8% - Twentieth Century
01.8% - Why Don't We Live Together?
01.5% - A Little Black Dress
01.5% - Boy Strange
01.5% - For All of Us
01.5% - Girls and Boys
01.5% - Hit Music
01.5% - If Looks Could Kill
01.5% - Jack the Lad
01.5% - My Night
01.5% - One of the Crowd
01.5% - Party Song
01.5% - Saturday Night Forever
01.5% - So Sorry, I Said
01.5% - Was That What It Was?
01.5% - You Choose
01.2% - Girls Don't Cry
01.2% - If Love Were All
01.2% - KDX 125
01.2% - Lies
01.2% - Nightlife
01.2% - Screaming
01.2% - The Calm Before the Storm
01.2% - The Ghost of Myself
01.2% - The Man Who Has Everything
01.2% - The Night I Fell in Love
01.2% - The Only One
01.2% - To Speak Is a Sin
01.2% - Vampires
00.9% - Confidential
00.9% - It Doesn't Often Snow at Christmas
00.9% - Love Life
00.9% - One and One Make Five
00.9% - Run Girl Run!
00.9% - Time on My Hands
00.9% - You Know Where You Went Wrong
00.6% - Disco Potential
00.6% - God Willing
00.6% - Jack and Jill Party
00.6% - Je T'Aime... Moi Non Plus
00.6% - Nine Out of Ten
00.6% - Occupy Your Mind
00.6% - Postscript
00.6% - Sail Away
00.6% - Searching for the Face of Jesus
00.6% - The Sound of the Atom Splitting
00.6% - The View from Your Balcony
00.6% - Transfer
00.6% - We Came from Outer Space
00.6% - What Keeps Mankind Alive?
00.3% - Baby
00.3% - Casting a Shadow
00.3% - For Freedom
00.3% - How I Learned to Hate Rock 'n' Roll
00.3% - K-Hole
00.3% - Out of My System
00.3% - Tranquilizer
00.3% - Disappointed³
00.0% - Daydreaming
00.0% - Hedonism
00.0% - I Can't Say Goodnight
00.0% - I Want You Now
00.0% - If There Was Love
00.0% - It's Just My Little Tribute to Caligula, Darling
00.0% - My Head Is Spinning
00.0% - Silver Age
00.0% - Something Special
00.0% - Transparent

¹In case you're surprised that some of my favorite PSB songs—such as "Being Boring" and "I Wouldn't Normally Do This Kind of Thing"—are not among my own "ideal set list" choices (¤), it's because I think those songs generally don't come across nearly as well live as they do in their studio versions. And, particularly in the case of "Being Boring," I've heard live versions of it enough for the time being (either in person or on their live DVDs/VHSs). I'd much rather hear some songs that I really like that I've never heard live, such as "It Always Comes as a Surprise" and "The End of the World." But I'm objective enough to realize that a mere list of my own favorite PSB songs probably wouldn't make an ideal concert set list—at least not for many people other than myself.

²As tired as I am of "West End Girls," it's simply not practical to put together a PSB tour set list that doesn't include it. They will play it—essentially, they must play it—so why fight the inevitable? The best ideals take reality into account. Otherwise they're just pipe dreams. You may quote me on that. wink

³A "write-in" vote.


Survey 404 - Week of March 29, 2009
What should be the next single from Yes? (591 voters)

Neil recently stated in an interview that the next single from Yes will be "All Over the World." But on a different occasion recently he said that "Did You See Me Coming?" would be the next single. What do you think should be the next single?

32.5% - All Over the World
19.6% - Pandemonium ¤*
17.9% - Did You See Me Coming?
12.4% - The Way It Used to Be
05.9% - "It should be a 'double single' with both 'All Over the World' and 'Did You See Me Coming?'"
03.2% - More Than a Dream
02.5% - This Used to Be the Future
02.0% - Vulnerable
01.9% - Beautiful People
01.0% - King of Rome
00.5% - Building a Wall
00.5% - Legacy

*About my opinion: I do love "All Over the World" and certainly think it should be a single. It's just that I personally feel it should be the album's third single, coming after "Pandemonium." But I wouldn't be terribly disappointed if it should prove the other way around, with "Pandemonium" following "All Over the World."


Survey 403 - Week of March 22, 2009
Buying the new releases? (513 voters)

What are your purchase plans regarding each of the following new releases? Have you already bought or ordered them, are you planning to buy them, are you undecided, or are you not planning to buy them?

 

Already bought
(or ordered)
Planning
to buy

xxx
Undecided

Not planning
to buy

"Love etc." (single)

56.8% ¤
15.0%
8.6%
19.6%

"Love etc. - The Remixes"

53.0% ¤

13.7%

7.7%
25.5%

Yes (basic one-disc)

40.6% ¤
19.3%
5.8%
34.3%

Yes etc. (2 discs)

61.0% ¤
30.0%
4.3%
 4.7%

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Survey 402 - Week of March 15, 2009
Were Yes tracks intentionally leaked? (466 voters)

It's no secret that some—but, notably, not all—of the tracks from the Pet Shop Boys' new album Yes were leaked online about two weeks in advance of the album's March 23, 2009 release date. Do you believe that this leak was intentional on the part of the record company, "orchestrated" as a marketing strategy?

52.7% - Yes, I do. ¤*
47.3% - No, I don't.

*Shortly after I posted these results, I received a message from a trusted contact within the Pet Shop Boys organization, informing me that the record company definitely did not intentionally leak tracks from the album. So, as it turns out, the majority of my site visitors—and I—were wrong about this. C'est la vie!


Survey 401 - Week of March 8, 2009
Potential favorite song from Yes (455 voters)

Based on what you have heard so far (such as preview excerpts) and/or have read (such as reviews or even "leaked" lyrics), which track from the Pet Shop Boys' new album Yes do you think will ultimately prove to be your favorite?

24.6% - "I haven't yet heard or read enough to make even an admittedly tentative choice."
17.1% - The Way It Used to Be
14.5% - Pandemonium
14.1% - All Over the World ¤
09.0% - Did You See Me Coming?
06.4% - Love etc.
03.3% - More Than a Dream
03.1% - Vulnerable
02.9% - King of Rome
02.0% - Legacy
01.1% - Building a Wall
01.1% - This Used to Be the Future
00.9% - Beautiful People


Survey 400 - Week of March 1, 2009
Rating the "Love etc." video (415 voters)

Compared to all the other Pet Shop Boys music videos, how would you rate the "Love etc." video on the following scale of 0-6?

0
1
2
3
4
5
6
Avg Rating
2.2%
8.0%
8.2%
19.3% ¤*
25.8%
34.0%
2.7%
3.711

*You may wonder why I personally rate the "Love etc." video only as "average" despite my professed fondness for it. It's simple: with very few exceptions (such as "Home and Dry") I like nearly every PSB music video. Since the competition was so stiff, I went about making my decision very scientifically. I considered every PSB video one-by-one. For each I decided whether I thought it was better or worse (relatively speaking) than "Love etc." At the end of my tallies, I found that the number that I thought were better was almost—not quite, but almost—exactly the same as the number that I thought were inferior. Therefore, from my perspective, the "Love etc." video is "an average PSB music video."

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Survey 399 - Week of February 22, 2009
Their hits medley performance at the Brits Awards (489 voters)

Which of the following statements comes closest to expressing your opinionof the Pet Shop Boys' "hits medley" performance on the recent Brits Awards show?

51.3% - It was fantastic! I loved it!
23.9% - It was pretty good. I liked it. ¤
09.8% - Neil and Chris were good, but I could have done without Brandon Flowers and/or Lady GaGa.
06.3% - I enjoyed it well enough, but it was a bit—strange.
03.1% - I have mixed feelings about it.
02.2% - I don't think it was very good. I didn't much like it.
02.0% - I haven't seen it yet.
00.6% - It was dreadful! I hated it!
00.4% - I have an opinion very different from any of those listed here.*
00.2% - I don't have much of any feelings about it one way or the other.

*Among the alternate opinions expressed was:


Survey 398 - Week of February 15, 2009
Rating "Love etc." (477 voters)

How would you rate the Pet Shop Boys' new single "Love etc."?

47.2% - It may not be one of their best, but it's still very good—definitely above average.
23.3% - It's one of the best PSB singles ever!
15.1% - It's an "average" PSB single—by their standards, neither especially good nor bad. ¤*
05.0% - I haven't heard it yet!
02.9% - It's below average for them.
02.9% - I have mixed feelings about it.
02.1% - I haven't decided yet, or can't make up my mind.
01.5% - It's one of the worst PSB singles ever!
00.0% - I don't have any feelings about it one way or the other.

*Perhaps my own vote for it as "average" requires some explanation. As far as I'm concerned, being an "average" PSB single isn't a bad thing. After all, I've liked every single PSB single to date, and I absolutely love most of them. So hitting the "PSB average" is a pretty darn good thing in my book. The average PSB single is better than virtually everything else playing on the radio these days. "Love etc." is no different. But when I compare it to some of the brilliant singles the Boys have released in the past, I don't see it as being in the same league as many of them. To make a long story short, if I were rating "Love etc." on a 0-10 scale compared to the rest of contemporary pop music, I would give it a 10. But compared to other PSB singles, I would probably give it a 4 or 5. That is, "average." (I would rate it a bit higher—maybe a 6—compared to the entire PSB corpus, not just their singles.)


Survey 397 - Week of February 8, 2009
Will you buy Yes in .mp3 format? (421 voters)

When it's released, are you planning on buying the Pet Shop Boys' new album Yes in .mp3 or other "non-physical" digital format, such as from iTunes or 7Digital?

55.6% - No way! I don't buy music (or at least entire albums) in "non-physical" formats!
15.0% - Only if I can get one or more bonus tracks that aren't available any other way.* ¤
12.8% - Yes, I'll probably buy it that way in addition to buying it on CD or some other "physical" format.
05.2% - Only if I can hear the album sooner than if I wait until I can buy it in a "physical" format.*
04.8% - Yes, I'll buy it that way instead of buying it in a "physical" format.
04.3% - I haven't decided yet which format(s) I'll buy.
01.4% - I'm not planning on buying the album at all.
01.0% - Only if I can get it a lot cheaper that way.*

*I had instructed voters that If more than one of these "only if" statements were true for them, they should choose the one that's most important from their perspective. For instance, I myself would buy the album in a "non-physical" format if I could get exclusive bonus tracks that way or if I could hear it sooner. But having otherwise-unavailable additional tracks would be far more important to me than having to wait a few extra days to hear the album. So that's why I voted for the "bonus tracks" option. (On the other hand, if I had to wait a few extra weeks or longer, that changes the game entirely.)

One prospective voter noted that none of the options I had provided covered his situation. For other artists he will buy "non-physical" files, but for PSB he exclusively buys "physical" formats.


Survey 396 - Week of February 1, 2009
Opinions of the cover art for Yes (466 voters)

What do you think of the cover of the upcoming new Pet Shop Boys album Yes?

37.3% - I like it.
35.6% - I love it!
11.8% - It's OK, I guess.
06.0% - I don't particularly like it.
04.9% - I actually prefer the cover of the promo edition. ¤*
01.9% - I hate it!
01.5% - I dislike it.
00.9% - I really don't have any opinions about it.

*Why do I prefer the promo cover? I guess its more abstract design appeals to me, with its colored squares scattered about in near disarray—yet not completely disorganized. It's a lot more ambiguous than having the squares neatly organized into a check mark. And, as you may be able to tell from reading this website, I think ambiguity in art is a good thing. But all this is not to say that I dislike the actual album cover. I don't. It's just that I like the promo cover more.


Survey 395 - Week of January 25, 2009
Tracks that best display Chris's musical talents (237 voters)

In your opinion, in which Pet Shop Boys song(s) are the musical talents of Chris Lowe most clearly "on display"? (You may choose up to five songs, although you may choose fewer if you wish.)

Note: Only songs that received at least one vote are listed.

17.7% - Paninaro
17.3% - Paninaro '95
16.5% - KDX 125
14.3% - We All Feel Better in the Dark ¤
12.2% - Being Boring
(tie)
12.2% - Euroboy
(tie)

11.8% - Music for Boys
10.1% - Can You Forgive Her? ¤
10.1% - Jealousy ¤
08.4% - Go West
08.0% - Always on My Mind
07.6% - It's a Sin
07.2% - Suburbia
06.8% - Left to My Own Devices
06.8% - West End Girls
06.3% - Flamboyant
06.3% - Postscript
06.3% - So Hard
05.9% - Lies
05.9% - Miserablism
05.9% - One of the Crowd
05.9% - The Man Who Has Everything
05.5% - Fugitive
05.5% - Minimal
05.5% - Young Offender
05.1% - A Red Letter Day
05.1% - Integral
04.6% - DJ Culture
04.6% - Sexy Northerner
04.2% - Domino Dancing
04.2% - We Came from Outer Space
03.8% - Delusions of Grandeur
03.8% - My Head Is Spinning
03.8% - My October Symphony
03.4% - Dreaming of the Queen ¤
03.4% - In the Night
03.0% - Forever in Love
03.0% - The Samurai in Autumn
03.0% - Where the Streets Have No Name (I Can't Take My Eyes Off You)
02.5% - A Different Point of View
02.5% - Bet She's Not Your Girlfriend
02.5% - I'm Not Scared
02.5% - Liberation
02.5% - Some Speculation
02.5% - Two Divided by Zero
02.5% - You Only Tell Me You Love Me When You're Drunk

These songs received five votes (2.1%) each:

These songs received four votes (1.7%) each:

These songs received three votes (1.3%) each:

These songs received two votes (0.8%) each:

These songs received one vote (0.4%) each:

*"Break 4 Love" seems a curious choice considering that, by all accounts, Chris had little if any involvement in creating this track. We can only assume that those who voted for it were unaware of this fact. Either that or it was an intentionally ironic choice.

**"Write-in" votes.

¤ You may be wondering about the rationale for my own five choices. I chose "Jealousy," "Dreaming of the Queen," "Can You Forgive Her?" and "I Made My Excuses and Left" because the Pet Shop Boys' own statements have revealed that these four songs are among those for which Chris composed the music (or at least most of it) before Neil wrote the lyrics and made other contributions. And of songs written in that manner, these are probably my favorites. As for "We All Feel Better in the Dark," it's my personal choice for the best PSB song that's very clearly dominated by Chris, although "Postscript" comes in a close second.


Survey 394 - Week of January 18, 2009
Expectations for the new album Yes (392 voters)

Based on what you already know and what you've read so far—and perhaps also on your own "gut feeling"—what is your general expectation about the quality of the upcoming new Pet Shop Boys album, Yes?

30.9% - I expect it will be very good—one of their best, though almost certainly not the best. ¤
19.9% - I expect it will be an above-average PSB album.
15.3% - I expect it will be up to the latter-day PSB standard: certainly quite good, but no comparison to their "glory days."
14.6% - I really don't have any expectations about it. I'm just waiting to see.
07.4% - I expect it will be the best PSB album ever!
04.3% - I expect it will be a real mixed bag, difficult to generalize about it terms of overall quality.
02.8% - I expect it will be a "middling" PSB album—not especially good (by their standards), but not at all bad, either.
01.3% - I expect it will be a below-average PSB album.
01.3% - I don't have any expectations, and I really don't care.
01.3% - I have a very different opinion from any of those listed here.*
01.0% - I expect it will be the worst PSB album ever!

*Alternate opinions shared by voters included the following:


Survey 393 - Week of January 11, 2009
Favorite and least favorite titles of songs from Yes (356 voters)

What are your favorite and least favorite titles of songs from the Pet Shop Boys' upcoming new album, Yes?

Favorite title:*

18.8% - Pandemonium
17.7% - Did You See Me Coming? ¤
16.0% - Love etc.
14.6% - King of Rome
09.0% - Legacy
06.7% - The Way It Used to Be
04.5% - More Than a Dream
04.2% - Vulnerable
03.9% - All Over the World
02.8% - Beautiful People
01.7% - Building a Wall

Least favorite title:*

12.7% - More Than a Dream
12.1% - Love etc. ¤
11.8% - All Over the World
10.9% - Beautiful People
10.6% - King of Rome
08.3% - Vulnerable
08.3% - The Way It Used to Be
08.3% - Did You See Me Coming?
07.1% - Building a Wall
06.2% - Legacy
03.8% - Pandemonium

*A total of 356 voters voted for favorite title, but only 339 voted for least favorite. I made sure to use those differing figures in calculating the corresponding percentages.

By the way, we can derive a "crude popularity index" (very crude) from the figures above by taking the percentage of votes each title received as "favorite" and subtracting from it the percentage it received as "least favorite." The higher the resulting figure, the "more popular" the title would seem to be overall. (Positive figures indicate that more people considered it their favorite than considered it their least favorite. Negative figures mean that more people considered it their least favorite than considered it their favorite.) Here are the resulting figures, ranking from "most popular" to "least popular":

15.0 - Pandemonium
09.4 - Did You See Me Coming?
04.0 - King of Rome
03.9 - Love etc.
02.8 - Legacy
-1.6 - The Way It Used to Be
-4.1 - Vulnerable
-5.4 - Building a Wall
-7.9 - All Over the World
-8.1 - Beautiful People
-8.2 - More Than a Dream

And in case you're interested in the rationale behind my own personal choices, it was simply a matter of curiosity: which title made me the most curious and eager to hear the song, and which left me least curious? As for making me curious, it's a close call between "Did You See Me Coming?" and "Pandemonium," but the former wins by a hair.


Survey 392 - Week of January 4, 2009
Since when have you been a major fan? (435 voters)

Since when have you been a major fan of the Pet Shop Boys? That is, for how long have they been one of your favorite music acts—more than just a casual "Oh, I like some of their stuff"?

24.6% - Since the Actually-Introspective era (1987-89)
15.6% - Since the very start with the big hit version of "West End Girls" (1985), or even earlier
15.6% - Since sometime after "West End Girls" but before Actually (1986)
12.4% - Since the Very-Alternative era (1993-95) ¤
10.1% - Since the Behaviour-Discography era (1990-92)
06.4% - Since the Fundamental era (2006-present)
05.3% - Since the Nightlife era (1999-2001)
05.3% - Since the Release-PopArt era (2002-2005)
04.1% - Since the Bilingual era (1996-98)
00.5% - I'm not a major fan of the Pet Shop Boys