Past PSB Survey Results - 2010 Surveys

This page presents the results of surveys I conducted in the year 2010. The results of surveys conducted in 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 , 2007, 2008, 2009, 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 488 - Week of December 26, 2010
"One and One Make Five" (346 voters)

It seems that a lot of Pet Shop Boys fans don't like the song "One and One Make Five" from their 1993 album Very. But this has always surprised me since, personally, I'm quite fond of it. So I want to understand what it is that makes so many of my fellow PSB fans dislike it. Do you like "One and One Make Five"? And, if not, what about it don't you like?

59.2% - Yes, I do like it! ¤
22.3% - I neither particularly like nor dislike it.
16.5% - No, I don't like it…
            09.2% … for some combination of the reasons listed here.
            03.2% … because of its arrangement and/or production.
            01.7% … because of its melody.
            01.2% … because of its lyrics.
            01.2% … for some other reason.
02.0% - I'm not familiar enough with the song to have an opinion about it.

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Survey 487 - Week of December 19, 2010
Favorite cover produced by PSB for another artist (287 voters)

What is your all-time favorite cover song (that is, a song written and originally recorded by someone other than the Pet Shop Boys) produced by them for another artist?

33.4% - "Losing My Mind" by Liza Minnelli *
30.0% - "The Crying Game" by Boy George ¤
10.8% - "We're the Pet Shop Boys" by Robbie Williams
07.3% - "Twist in My Sobriety" by Liza Minnelli
05.2% - "I'm in Love with a German Film Star" by Sam-Taylor Wood
05.2% - "I'm not familiar enough with these recordings to choose"
03.1% - "Love Pains" by Liza Minnelli
01.4% - "Love to Love You, Baby" by "Kiki Kokova" (Sam Taylor-Wood)
01.4% - Some other PSB-produced cover not listed here**
01.0% - "I Want to Stay Here" by Dusty Springfield
01.0% - "Let the Music Play" by Carroll Thompson

*I would have picked "Losing My Mind" by Liza Minnelli myself if the Boys hadn't recorded and released their own version. But the fact that they did gives the edge, at least in my mind, to "The Crying Game," with "Twist in My Sobriety" coming in a close third.

**A few people suggested alternatives that went beyond the scope of what I was looking for in this poll, such as Liza Minnelli's version of "Rent" and David Bowie's remake of his own "Hallo Spaceboy" with PSB's "re-production."

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Survey 486 - Week of December 12, 2010
Favorite cover song by PSB (345 voters)

What is your all-time favorite Pet Shop Boys cover of another artist's song that they've officially released on disc in a studio version?

40.9% - Always on My Mind
11.3% - Go West ¤
09.3% - Where the Streets Have No Name (I Can't Take My Eyes Off You)
08.1% - It's Alright
06.4% - We're the Pet Shop Boys
05.2% - Try It (I'm in Love with a Married Man)
03.8% - Viva la Vida
03.2% - Somewhere
01.7% - My Girl
01.7% - Numb
01.4% - I Cried for Us
01.4% - Losing My Mind
01.2% - Alone Again, Naturally
01.2% - What Keeps Mankind Alive?
00.9% - Break 4 Love
00.9% - Sail Away
00.6% - Glad All Over
00.6% - Je T'Aime… Moi Non Plus
00.3% - If Love Were All

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Survey 485 - Week of December 5, 2010
PSB introductions to producers (242 voters)

Which, if any, of the following producers were "introduced" to you by the Pet Shop Boys to the extent that you then decided to seek out other work they had done (as producers or otherwise)?

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

33.1% - Trevor Horn
28.9% - Bobby "O" Orlando
26.0% - Stephen Hauge
23.6% - "None of them" ¤*
21.5% - Xenomania
16.5% - Shep Pettibone
15.3% - David Morales
13.2% - Danny Tenaglia
11.8% - Brothers in Rhythm
10.7% - Richard X
10.7% - Harold Faltermeyer
10.3% - Stuart Price
09.9% - Julian Mendelsohn
09.5% - Craig Armstrong
05.0% - Stephen Lipson
04.5% - Chris Zippel
04.1% - Dan Fresh
03.7% - "Some other producer(s) not listed here"**
03.3% - Andy Richards
03.3% - Richard Niles
02.1% - David Jacob
02.1% - Lewis A. Martinée
01.2% - Sven Helbig
00.4% - Chris Porter

*I picked "None" because I really haven't been inspired to seek out other work by any producer on account of his or their work with the Boys. I was already quite familiar with Trevor Horn (through his work with the Buggles, Yes, Art of Noise, and Frankie Goes to Hollywood), Bobby "O" Orlando (through his work with the Flirts and Divine), Stuart Price (through his work with Madonna), and Harold Faltermeyer (through his work with Donna Summer as well as some of his solo recordings) before they worked with PSB. But even if I hadn't already been familiar with them, I still almost certainly would not have sought them out simply because of their having produced the Boys. That's because my own personal interest in popular music has nearly always focused on songwriters more than anything else. While I certainly acknowledge the extremely important role of producers, it's just not a subject that happens, generally speaking, to interest me greatly.

**Among the "some other" choices offered by voters were:

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Survey 484 - Week of November 28, 2010
The Music Video Rating Project, continued (305 voters)

Please rate the Pet Shop Boys' two most recent music videos on a scale of 1 to 5 as they compare with other PSB music videos (rather than with other artists' videos), with 1 meaning "one of the worst PSB music videos" and 5 meaning "one of their best."

Note: Abstentions did not count toward the average ratings, although they were taken into account in determining the percentages.

Video
1
2
3
4
5
Abstain
Avg. Rating
All Over the World
¤ 14.1%
34.4%
31.1%
9.8%
3.0%
7.5%
2.493
Together
7.9%
15.1%
¤ 35.4%
26.6%
9.5%
5.6%
3.156


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Survey 483 - Week of November 21, 2010
PSB introductions to other artists (295 voters)

Which, if any, of the following artists with whom one both of the Pet Shop Boys have collaborated did you begin listening to only because they had worked with the Boys? To put it another way, the Boys more or less introduced them to you, and you found you liked them enough to seek out and listen to more of their work. (Please don't count artists you had already been listening to before PSB worked with them.)

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

43.4% - Electronic ¤
32.9% - Dusty Springfield
27.5% - Liza Minnelli
21.4% - Rufus Wainwright
20.3% - Cicero ¤
18.6% - The Killers
16.3% - Eighth Wonder
13.9% - Girls Aloud
13.2% - Robbie Williams ¤
12.2% - Lady Gaga ¤
09.5% - Blur
09.2% - Atomizer
08.1% - David Bowie
07.8% - Peter Rauhofer
07.8% - Xenomania
07.8% - Scissor Sisters ¤
07.1% - Yoko Ono
07.1% - Alcazar ¤
06.8% - Shirley Bassey
06.4% - Rammstein ¤
05.8% - Tom Stephan
04.7% - Bloodhound Gang
04.4% - Boy George
04.4% - Kylie Minogue ¤*
04.1% - The Dresdner Sinfoniker
03.7% - Dan Fresh
03.7% - Pete Burns
03.1% - Suede
02.7% - Courtney Pine
02.7% - Miyuki Motegi
02.4% - Madonna
02.4% - Some other artist(s) not listed here**
02.0% - Tina Turner
02.0% - Allee Willis
01.4% - Caroll Thompson
01.4% - Phil Oakey
01.4% - Elton John

*In case you're wondering, I was listening to David Bowie, Boy George (via Culture Club), Pete Burns (via Dead or Alive), Elton John, Madonna, Phil Oakey (via Human League), Dusty Springfield, Tina Turner, and, yes, even Rufus Wainwright before (in most cases, long before) they worked with Neil and/or Chris. PSB involvement with certain other artists—such as Liza Minnelli, the Killers, and Eighth Wonder—hasn't been sufficient to get me interested in other music they've recorded. If my having chosen Kylie Minogue surprises you, keep in mind that she's not nearly as big a star here in the States as she is in the U.K., continental Europe, and Australia. I ignored her completely until her PSB collaborations. But now I'm something of a minor fan, having bought several of her albums and DVDs.

**Among the "some other" choices offered by voters were:

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Survey 482 - Week of November 14, 2010
Favorite live versions (160 voters)

As best I can determine, the following twelve songs are those that the Pet Shop Boys have performed most often in concert. Which live version of each of these songs is your favorite?

Note: In this case, the pink cells indicate the plurality choice among voters of the favorite live version for each song. Please note that the totals per song don't always add up to 100% because some voters abstained from making a choice for certain songs; the "missing" percentage represents the abstentions. As always, the ¤ symbols indicate my own picks. The "other" live version of "Left to My Own Devices" that's my personal favorite is the one the Boys performed with an orchestra at the Wembley Stadium Trevor Horn tribute concert in November 2004. Not only is that my favorite live version of that particular song; it's my favorite live version of any PSB song!

 
Always on My Mind
4.4%
¤31.9%
5.0%
 
8.8%
10.6%
  
18.8%
0.0%
3.1%
Being Boring
  
10.0%
2.5%
6.3%

¤39.4%

7.5%
  
15.0%
2.5%
4.4%
Can You Forgive Her?
  
  
19.4%
8.8%
¤28.1%
10.0%
  
15.0%
  
0.6%
Domino Dancing
8.8%
  
¤17.5%
  
  
23.1%
  
20.0%
2.5%
2.5%
Go West
  
  
¤18.1%
4.4%
10.0%
13.8%
  
25.0%
2.5%
5.6%
It's a Sin
10.6%
7.5%
11.3%
5.0%
13.8%
3.8%
4.4%
¤24.4%
3.1%
1.3%
Left to My Own Devices
5.0%
  
13.8%
0.6%
6.3%
8.1%
18.1%
27.5%
1.9%
¤2.5%
Opportunities (Let's Make Lots of Money)
7.5%
¤30.0%
  
  
19.4%
13.8%
  
  
  
1.9%
Rent
17.5%
11.3%
5.6%
3.1%
 
33.8%
¤7.5%
  
  
3.8%
Se A Vida É (That's the Way Life Is)
  
  
  
¤13.8%
16.9%
15.6%
  
24.4%
5.0%
2.5%
Suburbia
 
¤21.3%
3.1%
  
  
10.0%
  
40.0%
5.0%
1.3%
West End Girls
2.5%
11.9%
1.3%
1.9%
28.1%
6.3%
¤3.8%
23.8%
6.3%
1.9%

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Survey 481 - Week of November 7, 2010
Preferred tracklist for Ultimate (335 voters)

If you could change the track lineup of the Pet Shop Boys' new Ultimate hit collection to delete certain singles and add others in their place, which one(s) would you cut and add? Here's the catch: the total number of tracks has to be exactly the same, 19. So for every one you would add, you have to delete one, and vice-versa.

Keep/
Add
Cut/
Don't Add
The titles of the "Top 19" songs (those receiving the most votes to keep or add) appear in red text. Those with a pale yellow background are actually included on Ultimate. So all but one the songs on Ultimate placed among the Top 19, the one exception being "Before." And the song that's the popular choice to replace it is "Can You Forgive Her?"
97.9%
2.1%
West End Girls ¤
97.0%
3.0%
It's a Sin ¤
94.6%
5.4%
Being Boring ¤
94.3%
5.7%
Always on My Mind ¤
93.4%
6.6%
Love etc. ¤
91.3%
8.7%
Left to My Own Devices ¤
90.7%
9.3%
What Have I Done to Deserve This? ¤
89.9%
10.1%
Together ¤
89.3%
10.7%
Domino Dancing ¤
89.3%
10.7%
Go West ¤
89.0%
11.0%
Heart ¤
82.7%
17.3%
Suburbia
73.7%
26.3%
Home and Dry ¤
73.1%
26.9%
Se A Vida E (That's the Way Life Is) ¤
66.0%
34.0%
Miracles
63.3%
36.7%
I'm with Stupid
57.9%
42.1%
Where the Streets Have No Name (I Can't Take My Eyes Off You) ¤
56.7%
43.3%

Can You Forgive Her? ¤

51.6%
48.4%
New York City Boy ¤
40.3%
59.7%
Before ¤
34.9%
65.1%
Opportunities (Let's Make Lots of Money) ¤
34.0%
66.0%
So Hard
28.4%
71.6%
Rent
23.9%
76.1%
Minimal ¤
18.2%
81.8%
Flamboyant
17.6%
82.4%
I Don't Know What You Want But I Can't Give It Any More
16.1%
83.9%
You Only Tell Me You Love Me When You're Drunk
14.9%
85.1%
Love Comes Quickly
14.9%
85.1%
A Red Letter Day
11.9%
88.1%
Jealousy
10.4%
89.6%
Integral
9.0%
91.0%
I Wouldn't Normally Do This Kind of Thing
7.5%
92.5%
It's Alright
7.2%
92.8%
Paninaro '95
6.9%
93.1%
Single-Bilingual
6.3%
93.7%
Did You See Me Coming?
6.0%
94.0%
Liberation
6.0%
94.0%
All Over the World
5.7%
94.3%
DJ Culture
4.8%
95.2%
Yesterday, When I Was Mad
4.8%
95.2%
Somewhere
4.5%
95.5%
London
3.9%
96.1%
How Can You Expect to Be Taken Seriously?
3.9%
96.1%
Was It Worth It?
3.9%
96.1%
To Step Aside
3.3%
96.7%
I Get Along
2.7%
97.3%
Absolutely Fabulous
2.4%
97.6%
It Doesn't Often Snow at Christmas
1.8%
98.2%
Break 4 Love
1.5%
98.5%
Numb
0.6%
99.4%
Beautiful People
0.3%
99.7%
She's Madonna

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Survey 480 - Week of October 31, 2010
Early impressions of "Together" (392 voters)

Have you heard the Pet Shop Boys' new single "Together" yet? And, if so, which of the following statements comes closest to describing your early impression of it?

29.3% - It's very good—maybe not one of their best, but a winner nonetheless. ¤
27.6% - It's not bad, but it's not one of their better efforts.
11.2% - No, I haven't heard it yet.
09.2% - It's well below average for them.
08.2% - It's fantastic—one of their best!
05.4% - I have mixed feelings about it. I really like it in some ways, but I don't like it in others.
04.8% - Yes, I've heard it—but not enough to have formed an opinion.
04.3% - It's awful—one of their weakest singles ever.
00.0% - I have an opinion very different from any of those listed here.

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Survey 479 - Week of October 24, 2010
Best live show opener? (310 voters)

Which Pet Shop Boys live show has had, in your opinion, the best opening as an "entire package"—that is, all things considered: the song(s), the performance, the arrangement, the staging, the visuals, and so on?

34.5% - The Performance Tour - "Alpine Symphony" and "Overture to Performance"/"This Must Be the Place I Waited Years to Leave"
28.1% - The Pandemonium Tour - "More Than a Dream"/"Heart" ¤*
18.1% - The Nightlife Tour - "Four Your Own Good"/"West End Girls"
08.4% - The DiscoVery Tour - "Tonight Is Forever"/"I Wouldn't Normally Do This Kind of Thing"
05.5% - The Fundamental Tour - "God Willing"/"Psychological"
04.8% - The Somewhere Show - "Somewhere" excerpt/"Yesterday, When I Was Mad"
00.6% - Some other show not listed here**

*I had to go with the Pandemonium Tour opener myself, but I have to say that the DiscoVery Tour opening with "Tonight Is Forever"—one of my favorite PSB songs, and the marvelous "slow version" at that—is in my book a very close second. And, for that matter, the Performance Tour opener is for me a pretty close third to boot.

**Among the other show openings cited by voters were:

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Survey 478 - Week of October 17, 2010
Too many cover songs lately? (346 voters)

Do you think the Pet Shop Boys are recording and releasing too many "covers" these days?

51.2% - No
30.6% - Yes
18.2% - I'm not sure / I have mixed feelings ¤*

*To explain myself, my love of the Pet Shop Boys stems primarily from my appreciation for them as great songwriters. I would prefer a new Tennant-Lowe song to just about any cover they might record. But, on the other hand, their choice of covers and their renditions of them have been (at least in my opinion) invariably superb. Thus my mixed feelings.

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Survey 477 - Week of October 10, 2010
With which of these "PSB assertions" do you agree? (312 voters)

Like most songwriters, the Pet Shop Boys sometimes include "general assertions" in their lyrics despite the fact that they may be highly debatable. With which of the following general assertions in various PSB song lyrics do you agree?

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

46.2% - "Happiness is an option." ¤
42.6% - "It doesn't often snow at Christmas."
"Life is much more simple when you're young."
34.9% - "Love comes quickly—whatever you do, you can't stop falling."
34.0% - "Always summer comes—always." ¤
31.7% - "You don't fall in love by chance—you choose." ¤
26.0% - "We all feel better in the dark."
20.2% - "Love is a catastrophe."
19.9% - "We can make it more than a dream."
16.7% - "Sometimes you're better off dead."
16.0% - "We're all criminals now."
10.9% - "The future's dark in Luna Park." ¤

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Survey 476 - Week of October 3, 2010
Songs to "switch" on Yes (327 voters)

If you had to change the Pet Shop Boys' album Yes 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
40.4% - Legacy
15.6% - Building a Wall ¤
11.3% - Vulnerable
10.7% - Beautiful People
07.3% - King of Rome
05.8% - More Than a Dream
02.8% - Pandemonium
02.4% - All Over the World
02.4% - Did You See Me Coming?
00.9% - The Way It Used to Be
00.3% - Love etc.

47.4% - This Used to Be the Future ¤
29.7% - After the Event
08.0% - Up and Down
07.3% - We're All Criminals Now
05.5% - Gin and Jag
02.1% - The Former Enfant Terrible



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


Survey 475 - Week of September 26, 2010
Favorite PSB songwriting collaboration with others (339 voters)

Of all the songs that Neil and Chris have written in collaboration with one or more other people, which is your favorite?*

21.2% - The Way It Used to Be (Tennant/Lowe/Cooper/Higgins/Coler) ¤
11.5% - It Couldn't Happen Here (Lowe/Morricone/Tennant)
09.7% - Love Comes Quickly (Hague/Lowe/Tennant)
05.9% - Two Divided by Zero (Tennant/Orlando/Lowe)
05.9% - Love etc. (Tennant/Lowe/Higgins/Cooper/Powell/Parker)
05.3% - Miracles (Tennant/Lowe/Fenton/Stein)
05.0% - One More Chance (Lowe/Orlando/Tennant)
03.5% - The Patience of a Saint (Sumner/Marr/Tennant/Lowe)
02.7% - A New Life (Lowe/Springs/Tennant)
02.7% - She's Madonna (Williams/Tennant/Lowe)
02.1% - New York City Boy (Tennant/Lowe/Morales)
02.1% - More Than a Dream (Tennant/Lowe/Cooper/Higgins/Resch/Jones)
01.8% - London (Tennant/Lowe/Zippel)
01.5% - The Loving Kind (Cooper/Higgins/Powell/Tennant/Lowe)
00.6% - Pet Shop Boys (Orlando/Tennant/Lowe)
00.6% - All or Nothing (Tennant/Lowe/Motegi)
00.3% - Screaming (Tennant/Lowe/Stephan)
00.3% - The Sound of the Atom Splitting (Tennant/Lowe/Horn/Lipson)
00.0% - Jack and Jill Party (Tennant/Lowe/Burns)

*I "disqualified" from consideration certain "seeming collabortions" for various reasons. These include:

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Survey 474 - Week of September 19, 2010
Are you planning to buy Ultimate? (346 voters)

Are you planning to buy the new Pet Shop Boys single-CD hits album Ultimate, slated for November release?

38.4% - Yes, but mainly because of the "special edition" with a bonus DVD of PSB TV performances. ¤*
07.8% - I have mixed feelings, but I'll probably end up buying it when the time comes.
06.4% - I'm leaning against it.
05.5% - No, definitely not.
04.3% - Only if I'm not able to quickly obtain its likely new single any other way (i.e., a separate single release).
04.3% - Maybe. It all depends on the track lineup.
03.5% - I'm undecided.

*Though I have to admit that the special edition's bonus DVD certainly sweetens the deal. I forgot to include as an option, however, something along the lines of "Only if the bonus DVD is released in a format compatible with the video and DVD standards where I live (such as PAL vs. NTSC and DVD Region Code)." That is definitely an important consideration that many voters will undoubtedly be keeing in mind.

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Survey 473 - Week of September 12, 2010
What would you prefer the new song to be like? (307 voters)

The Pet Shop Boys announced this week (via Twitter) that they've just written and recorded a new song, which they seem very excited about. In light of this, it sounds likely that it may be released as a single. Do you have any personal preferences as to what type of song this will be?

32.2% - No, I have no preferences about it. Whatever they decide to release will be fine with me.
–I hope it will be a stormin' dance track! ¤*
14.0% - Yes – I hope it will be a very "techno"/"electronic" number.
13.4% - Yes – I hope it will be something totally new and unexpected from them.
10.4% - Yes – I hope it will be a light, happy, bouncy pop song.
03.3% - Yes – I hope it will be a beautiful ballad.
02.6% - Yes – I hope it will be something other than any of the things described here.**
01.0% - No, I have no preferences about it. I'm not particularly interested.

*As is often the case, I found myself torn between my head and my heart. My head told me to pick "No, I have no preferences about it. Whatever they decide to release will be fine with me." After all, I've been extremely pleased with nearly anything and everything the Pet Shop Boys have done. So I'm confident that whatever they release will be terrific. But my heart wants it to be a "stormin' dance track," if for no other reason than to help ensure the Boys' continued high standing among Billboard's all-time dance-music artists. In the end, I voted with my heart. But, still, I'll almost certainly be very happy with whatever it actually turns out to be. And, come to think about it, "something totally new and unexpected" would be pretty exciting, too.

**Among the alternate choices suggested by voters:

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Survey 472 - Week of September 5, 2010
Do you like it when they try new things? (306 voters)

In general, do you like it when the Pet Shop Boys try totally new things in their music and/or career?

45.1% - Yes, always! I love it when they try new things! ¤
08.8% - About half the time I do, but the other half of the time, I don't.
07.8% - I don't feel I can generalize about this.
04.6% - Occasionally, but usually not.
02.3% - No, never! I like them to stick with what they do best—the "tried and true."

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Survey 471 - Week of August 29, 2010
One thing you'd use to introduce PSB to someone (346 voters)

If you could use only one thing to introduce the Pet Shop Boys to someone who is completely unfamiliar with them—maybe someone who has somehow never even heard of them—what would it be?

32.7% - PopArt (album)
09.5% - PopArt (DVD)
08.7% - Discography
Pandemonium(DVD)
06.9% - Catalogue
06.4% - Pet Shop Boys: A Life in Pop ¤*
04.3% - Behaviour
04.0% - Very
02.9% - Performance
02.6% - Yes
02.3% - Fundamental
02.0% - Actually
01.7% - Some book about PSB other than Catalogue**
01.4% - Please
01.2% - Some other album not listed here**
01.2% - Something other than an album, DVD, or book**
00.6% - DiscoVery
00.6% - Cubism
00.6% - Battleship Potemkin
00.3% - Disco
00.3% - Introspective
00.3% - Disco 2
00.3% - Bilingual
00.3% - Disco 3
00.3% - Somewhere
00.3% - Montage
00.0% - Nightlife
00.0% - Release
00.0% - Closer to Heaven
00.0% - Disco 4
00.0% - Some other video release not listed here**

*I voted for Pet Shop Boys: A Life in Pop because I actually have used it on at least three different occasions to introduce PSB to people who were completely unfamiliar with them, including my sister and her husband. Of course, my own appearance in it was the "hook" for getting them to watch it. If it weren't for that, however, I would go for the PopArt DVD. Incidentally, about 15 years ago—well before either PopArt or A Life in Pop were released—I used the Performance VHS tape to introduce the Boys to some friends.

**It's worth noting that I had carelessly neglected to list Alternative, Concrete, and the Pandemonium CD (as opposed to the DVD) among the choices. Among the "write-in votes" were:

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Survey 470 - Week of August 22, 2010
Feelings about the ballet's subject matter (251 voters)

Now that it has been absolutely confirmed (and has been for quite some time) that the Pet Shop Boys' 2011 ballet will be The Most Incredible Thing, what do you think of this choice as the subject matter of their ballet?

27.1% - "I don't know enough about it to say."
27.1% - "I think it's an excellent choice!" ¤
"I prefer to withhold judgment until I've actually heard (and perhaps seen) it."
15.1% - "I wish they weren't working on a ballet at all, period."
05.6% - "I'm unsure or undecided."
02.4% - "I have an opinion different from any of the choices offered here."*
01.2% - "I have mixed feelings about it."
00.8% - "I would have preferred something other than a Hans Christian Andersen story."
00.4% - "I would have preferred a different Hans Christian Andersen story."

*Among the alternate opinions offered were:

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Survey 469 - Week of August 15, 2010 *
Live cover to release in a studio version (315 voters)

The Pet Shop Boys have performed live a number of cover songs (that is, songs written and originally recorded by other artists) that they've not yet released (at least officially) in studio versions. Which of the following songs that fall into this category, if any, would you most like them to release in a studio version?

25.7% - "I'd prefer if they didn't release any of these songs!"
21.6% - Philadelphia ¤
14.0% - Believe/Song for Guy (medley)
06.3% - It's Not Unusual
05.7% - Mr. Vain
05.7% - Rhythm of the Night
05.1% - Homosexuality
04.4% - I Will Survive
03.5% - Glad All Over
03.2% - Climb Every Mountain
01.9% - Do Anything You Wanna Do
01.9% - I Am What I Am
00.6% - So Long, Farewell
00.3% - Sixteen Going on Seventeen

*I took a seven-week "sabbatical" from polls and other regular website duties June 28–August 14, 2010, which explains the gap in time between Surveys 468 and 469.

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Survey 468 - Week of June 20, 2010
Common live song to "sacrifice" (342 voters)

The Pet Shop Boys have performed the following six songs in concert more often than any others. If it were up to you—and you had to pick one—which would you most like for them not to perform on their next tour? To put it another way, which one would you be most willing to "sacrifice"?

27.5% - Go West
19.3% - Always on My Mind ¤*
18.4% - Left to My Own Devices
12.3% - Being Boring
11.7% - It's a Sin
10.8% - West End Girls

*You may be wondering why I voted for "Always on My Mind. It's because, though I still consider it nothing less than brilliant, I've grown somewhat tired of it. Besides, speaking only for myself, I don't believe the Boys have ever performed it live nearly as well as the other songs in the list. Nor have I ever heard a live rendition even approach the excellence of the studio version.

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Survey 467 - Week of June 13, 2010
Favorite part of the Pandemonium tour show (241 voters)

The Pet Shop Boys' Pandemonium tour show is divided into several distinct parts, each with a different overall theme, look, and/or mood. Which part of the Pandemonium show is your favorite?

39.0% - Part 2: From "Two Divided by Zero" through "Closer to Heaven"/"Left to My Own Devices" ¤
19.1% - Part 1: From the beginning through "Go West"
16.6% - Part 4: From "Suburbia" through to the end, including the encore
13.7% - Part 3: From "Do I Have To?" through "Jealousy" (the "ballads section")
11.6% - I can't say because I've never seen or heard this concert, not even on DVD or CD.

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Survey 466 - Week of June 6, 2010
"The last and the best of the synthpop fops"? (262 voters)

My all-time favorite succinct, one-line description of the Pet Shop Boys is critic Rob Sheffield's 1995 reference to them as "The last and best of the British synthpop fops." Do you agree with this description of the Pet Shop Boys?

32.4% - Yes—and I like it, too.
29.8% - No, because I don't consider them "synthpop fops."
14.5% - Yes, I do agree with it, although I don't particularly like it.
13.7% - No, because I don't think they're the "last."
09.2% - No, for more than one of the reasons listed here.
00.4% - No, because I don't think they're the "best."

¤ I abstained from voting in this poll because of the nature of the question itself. It would be absurd for me to vote on whether I agree with a certain statement when the question itself indicates it's "my all-time favorite one-line description of the Pet Shop Boys."


Survey 465 - Week of May 30, 2010
How long did it take you to become a fan? (360 voters)

About how much time passed between when you first heard of the Pet Shop Boys and when you realized that you had become a "fan"?

25.8% - No time at all—it was instant "love at first sight"
14.2% - More than a couple months, but less than a year
13.6% - Not "instantly," but no more than about a month or two
13.6% - From two years up to five years
12.5% - From one year up to two years
07.5% - From five years up to ten years ¤
05.0% - From 10 years up to 15 years
03.6% - 20 years or more
02.2% - From 15 years up to 20 years
01.9% - I'm really not sure
00.0% - I'm not a PSB fan and never have been


Survey 464 - Week of May 23, 2010
Is Wayne a moron for liking "Surprise" so much? (344 voters)

A few years ago, someone in an online forum referred to this site's webmaster as a "moron" for ranking "It Always Comes as a Surprise" among his all-time favorite Pet Shop Boys songs. Do you agree that Wayne's a moron?

77.0% - No. I like "It Always Comes as a Surprise."
17.4% - No, despite the fact that I don't like "It Always Comes as a Surprise," either.
04.4% - Yes, but it has nothing to do with "It Always Comes as a Surprise."
01.2% - Yes. I also dislike "It Always Comes as a Surprise."

¤ I abstained from voting in this particular poll. I'm biased.

Several voters suggested some missing options, such as "I like 'It Always Comes as a Surprise,' but even if I didn't I still wouldn't think Wayne is a moron" and "Whether I like the song or not is not relevant at all. I simply see no reason to call somebody a moron for liking a particular PSB song."


Survey 463 - Week of May 16, 2010
Preferred type of Neil Tennant lyrics (358 voters)

What type of Neil Tennant lyrics do you tend to prefer?

26.8% - I really can't choose any one type ¤
18.4% - Comic/ironic lyrics
17.9% - Love songs
14.2% - Social commentary
11.7% - Historical/cultural lyrics
09.5% - Lyrics that are hard to categorize
01.4% - Some other type of lyric*

*Among the other types of lyrics suggested by voters are:


Survey 462 - Week of May 9, 2010
What if there had never been a "West End Girls"? (314 voters)

What if Chris and Neil had never written and recorded "West End Girls"? Which of the following statements do you think most closely matches how their career would probably have turned out if there had never been a "West End Girls"?

59.6% - They would probably have had pretty much the same successful career, only with a different breakthrough or signature song.

22.9% - They would probably have been mildly successful with several smaller hits and perhaps a comparatively short career, but they wouldn't have been as successful and/or have had such longevity. ¤*

08.0% - They would have struggled for a while but would probably soon have vanished without a trace and be completely unheard of today.

04.8% - They would probably have given up as performers but kept going as songwriters, perhaps scoring a number of hits written for others.

02.2% - They would probably have broken up sometime afterward, although one or both of them may have gone on to achieve some other type of success in music.

01.9% - None of the above. I have a completely different idea of how their career would probably have turned out if there had been no "West End Girls." **

00.6% - They would probably have gone in a different musical direction altogether and—who knows?—may have become even more successful.

*Perhaps I should explain why I voted as I did. I was actually very torn between the option that ended up in first place and the one that I actually chose. My heart wanted the first option—that they would probably have had pretty much the same successful career, only with a different breakthrough song—but my head couldn't ignore how extremely popular "West End Girls" has been all along and how downright innovative it was at the time of its release. Despite the Boys' brilliant catalog as a whole and their many wonderful songs, could any other song of theirs had a similar impact? I doubt it. Yes, I believe they would have scored several smaller hits with tracks like "It's a Sin" and "What Have I Done to Deserve This?" But would those songs, as marvelous as they are, have garnered as much nearly attention and airplay without the legacy of "West End Girls" to back them up? Again, I doubt it. So, although WEG is hardly among my own personal favorites, I couldn't ignore its tremendous importance to their career. It gave Chris and Neil a huge initial boost that they've benefited from ever since.

**None of the voters suggested any clear alternative scenarios, although a couple of them did say that the Boys probably would have been quickly dropped by their record label, EMI, or perhaps would never have been signed in the first place without "West End Girls."


Survey 461 - Week of May 2, 2010
Best candidate for re-recording (369 voters)

Which of the following ten relatively "unpopular" Pet Shop Boys songs (as determined by my Rating Project polls) would, in your opinion, have the greatest potential for being turned into a first-rate track if Neil and Chris were to re-record it in a different style and/or with a new arrangement?

27.4% - Hit Music ¤
13.6% - The Only One
13.0% - Vampires
09.8% - Boy Strange
09.2% - Electricity
08.7% - Gin and Jag
06.5% - Blue on Blue
06.0% - Transparent
03.3% - The Sound of the Atom Splitting
02.7% - The Former Enfant Terrible


Survey 460 - Week of April 25, 2010
To "convert" someone who hates synth/dance music (277 voters)

Let's say you have a friend or acquaintance who doesn't like the Pet Shop Boys because he or she has never cared for any of their singles. Your friend says dismissively, "All they do is that synth/dance stuff!" You want to try to "convert" your friend with a selection of ten of their non-singles. You obviously want to select great tracks, but since your friend has never liked any of the singles, perhaps you shouldn't pick any that are very "single-like." In fact, since your friend dislikes "that synth/dance stuff," you should pick songs that aren't "stereotypical PSB"—yet are still among their best. Given this challenge, which ten songs would you choose?

As always, the figures represent the percentage of voters who selected each song. Because each voter chose ten tracks, the total comes to 1000%.

39.4% - King's Cross
33.6% - My October Symphony
32.9% - Your Funny Uncle  ¤
31.8% - The Way It Used to Be
25.6% - This Must Be the Place I Waited Years to Leave
22.0% - Luna Park  ¤
21.3% - I Didn't Get Where I Am Today  ¤
20.2% - It Always Comes as a Surprise  ¤
17.7% - Dreaming of the Queen
17.0% - It Couldn't Happen Here
16.6% - Do I Have To?
16.6% - Only the Wind
16.2% - Hit and Miss ¤
15.5% - Birthday Boy ¤
13.7% - Casanova in Hell  ¤
13.0% - King of Rome ¤
13.0% - Pandemonium
12.6% - I Made My Excuses and Left
12.6% - I'm Not Scared
12.3% - The Theatre
11.9% - Hey, Headmaster
11.6% - Between Two Islands
11.6% - Decadence
11.6% - Fugitive
11.6% - Nervously
11.2% - So Sorry, I Said
11.2% - The Sodom and Gomorrah Show
10.8% - Indefinite Leave to Remain
10.5% - Friendly Fire
10.5% - Miserablism
10.1% - After All (The Odessa Staircase)
10.1% - Love Is a Catastrophe
09.7% - Beautiful People ¤
09.7% - Closer to Heaven
09.7% - The Truck Driver and His Mate
09.7% - Two Divided by Zero
09.4% - Always
09.0% - After the Event
09.0% - Here
09.0% - To Step Aside
08.7% - The End of the World
08.7% - You Choose
08.3% - No Time for Tears ¤
08.3% - The Survivors
07.9% - Later Tonight
07.9% - Young Offender
07.6% - Discoteca
07.6% - For Your Own Good
07.2% - The Resurrectionist
06.9% - Boy Strange
06.9% - Delusions of Grandeur
06.5% - To Face the Truth
06.5% - Tonight Is Forever
06.1% - More Than a Dream
06.1% - Nothing Has Been Proved
06.1% - Shameless
05.8% - Bright Young Things
05.8% - In Denial
05.8% - This Used to Be the Future
05.8% - To Speak Is a Sin
05.8% - Violence
05.4% - Gin and Jag
05.4% - Legacy
05.4% - A New Life
05.4% - Sexy Northerner
05.4% - Vampires
05.1% - In the Night
04.7% - E-mail
04.7% - Footsteps
04.7% - Happiness Is an Option
04.3% - Betrayed
04.3% - The Calm Before the Storm
04.3% - For All of Us
04.3% - I Want to Wake Up
04.3% - The Samurai in Autumn
04.3% - Searching for the Face of Jesus
04.0% - Bet She's Not Your Girlfriend
04.0% - Building a Wall
04.0% - In Private
04.0% - One More Chance
04.0% - One Thing Leads to Another
04.0% - A Powerful Friend
04.0% - The View from Your Balcony
03.6% - Don Juan
03.6% - Euroboy
03.6% - Jack the Lad
03.6% - Psychological
03.2% - Confidential
03.2% - If Love Wre All
03.2% - It Must Be Obvious
03.2% - Losing My Mind
03.2% - A Man Could Get Arrested
03.2% - The Night I Fell in Love
03.2% - Shopping
03.2% - That's My Impression
03.2% - We're All Criminals Now
03.2% - We're the Pet Shop Boys
03.2% - Why Don't We Live Together?
02.9% - Metamorphosis
02.9% - Nightlife
02.9% - One in a Million
02.9% - Twentieth Century
02.9% - Up Against It
02.9% - Was That What It Was?
02.9% - We All Feel Better in the Dark
02.5% - Blue on Blue
02.5% - The Boy Who Couldn't Keep His Clothes On
02.5% - Some Speculation
02.5% - Transfer
02.5% - Vulnerable
02.5% - Some other song not listed here*

*The only "write-in vote" that I received for a song that wasn't a single was for "Daydreaming."

The following songs received six votes (2.2%) each:

Five votes (1.8%) each:

Four votes (1.4%) each:

Three votes (1.1%) each:

Two votes (0.7%) each:

One vote (0.4%) each:

And the only song that received no votes (0.0%):


Survey 459 - Week of April 18, 2010
Comparison to additional synthpop artists (358 voters)

As a sequel to the preceding week's poll, how would you personally compare these additional artists with the Pet Shop Boys?

The highest figures in each column are highlighted in red; the lowest figures are highlighted in blue.

Artist Better than
PSB
As good as
PSB
Good, but not
as good as
PSB
Not nearly
as good as
PSB
Abstained Average
Score¹
Kraftwerk 12.0% 23.2% ¤ 35.8% 22.1% 7.0% 2.270
Eurythmics 3.4% 27.7% ¤ 48.9% 16.5% 3.6% 2.186
Electronic 1.1% 19.3% ¤ 56.1% 19.3% 4.2% 2.023
Yaz/Yazoo 2.2% 12.6% ¤ 43.6% 31.8% 9.8% 1.836
A-ha 1.4% 10.1% 53.9% 30.4% ¤ 4.2% 1.816
Soft Cell 2.2% 9.5% 42.5% ¤ 35.5% 10.3% 1.760
Everything But The Girl 2.0% 8.1% 38.5% 39.9% ¤ 11.5% 1.685
ABC 0.8% 5.3% 34.1% ¤ 45.5% 14.2% 1.550
Communards 0.6% 3.4% 31.0% ¤ 51.1% 14.0% 1.458
Thomas Dolby 2.0% 3.9% ¤ 22.1% 54.7% 17.3% 1.432
Alphaville 0.8% 2.5% 28.5% 56.4% ¤ 11.7% 1.408
Howard Jones 0.3% 5.0% 20.7% ¤ 57.8% 16.2% 1.377
Heaven 17 0.6% 3.4% 20.7% 57.3% ¤ 18.2% 1.355
Flock of Seagulls 0.3% 0.6% 14.8% ¤ 66.8% 17.6% 1.203

¹The "Average Score," which is used for ranking the results, is obtained by assigning to each artist the following point values—

—and then dividing that total by the number of votes placed for that artist (the total number of voters minus the number of abstentions for that artist).


Survey 458 - Week of April 11, 2010
Comparison to fellow "electropop pioneers" (378 voters)

Not long ago, a British TV "popumentary" show hosted by Marc Almond listed the "Top Ten Electropop Pioneers." I'm pleased to say that the Pet Shop Boys were ranked at #1. But I'm wondering—how would you, personally, compare the other nine artists in that show's Top Ten with the Boys?

The highest figures in each column are highlighted in red; the lowest figures are highlighted in blue.

Artist Better than
PSB
As good as
PSB
Good, but not
as good as
PSB
Not nearly
as good as
PSB
Abstained Average
Score²
Depeche Mode 5.6% 36.8% ¤ 44.7% 12.2% 0.8% 2.360
New Order 6.1% 37.0% ¤ 38.6% 15.3% 2.9% 2.349
Erasure 0.8% 13.8% ¤ 47.9% 35.4% 2.1% 1.795
Human League 0.8% 9.5% 47.9% ¤ 37.6% 4.2% 1.724
Tears for Fears 2.1% 10.1% ¤ 41.0% 43.1% 3.7% 1.701
OMD¹ 1.1% 8.5% 45.8% ¤ 39.7% 5.0% 1.694
Gary Numan 1.1% 4.2% 30.4% ¤ 54.5% 9.8% 1.466
Bronski Beat 0.0% 5.0% 25.4% ¤ 61.6% 7.9% 1.385
Thompson Twins 0.3% 1.6% 24.1% ¤ 65.9% 8.2% 1.305

¹OMD = Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark

²The "Average Score," which is used for ranking the results, is obtained by assigning to each artist the following point values—

—and then dividing that total by the number of votes placed for that artist (the total number of voters minus the number of abstentions for that artist).


Survey 457 - Week of April 4, 2010
Visitor demographics: astrological signs (389 voters)

I occasionally run surveys of PSB fandom demographics, or at least the demographics of that cross-section of fans who visit my website. This time we're looking for possible "astrological patterns." So what are your astrological signs for both the Western zodiac and the Chinese zodiac?

Note: Not all voters made a selection for both zodiacs. The percentages are based on just those who made a selection for the corresponding astrological scheme.

Western Zodiac
based on birthdays
Chinese Zodiac
based on birth years
10.8% - Taurus (Apr 20 - May 20) 12.0% - Dragon (1940, '52, '64, '76, '88)
10.0% - Cancer (Jun 21 - Jul 22) 10.7% - Rabbit (1951, '63, '75, '87, '99)
09.8% - Libra (Sep 23 - Oct 22) 10.4% - Pig (1947, '59, '71, '83, '95)
08.5% - Virgo (Aug 23 - Sep 22) 10.4% - Rat (1948, '60, '72, '84, '96)
08.2% - Pisces (Feb 19 - Mar 20) 08.3% - Snake (1941, '53, '65, '77, '89)
08.0% - Aries (Mar 21 - Apr 19) 07.5% - Monkey (1944, '56, '68, '80, '92)
08.0% - Gemini (May 21 - Jun 20) ¤ 07.5% - Ox (1949, '61, '73, '85, '97)
07.5% - Scorpio (Oct 23 - Nov 21) 07.2% - Dog (1946, '58, '70, '82, '94)
07.5% - Aquarius (Jan 20 - Feb 18) 06.9% - Sheep (1943, '55, '67, '79, '91) ¤
07.5% - Sagittarius (Nov 22 - Dec 21) 06.9% - Tiger (1950, '62, '74, '86, '98)
07.2% - Capricorn (Dec 22 - Jan 19) 06.4% - Rooster (1945, '57, '69, '81, '93)
07.2% - Leo (Jul 23 - Aug 22) 05.9% - Horse (1942, '54, '66, '78, '90)

Incidentally, Neil is a Cancer/Horse and Chris is a Libra/Pig.


Survey 456 - Week of March 28, 2010
Most "representative" PSB video per decade (355 voters)

If you were tasked with choosing only three "representative" Pet Shop Boys music videos—one from each of their decades so far to "represent" PSB in the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s—which three music videos would you pick? Please note that I'm not necessarily asking you to pick your favorite video from each decade, but rather the ones that you think best or most accurately exemplify or epitomize those three periods of their career.

1980s
1990s
2000s
37.0% - West End Girls ¤ 29.4% - Can You Forgive Her? 28.0% - Minimal ¤
13.0% - It's a Sin 24.9% - Go West 20.1% - Love etc.
10.5% - Domino Dancing 18.1% - Being Boring 12.7% - Flamboyant
09.6% - What Have I Done to Deserve This? 04.2% - So Hard 12.7% - I'm with Stupid
07.9% - Heart 04.2% - I Wouldn't Normally Do This Kind of Thing ¤ 07.4% - Integral
05.4% - Always on My Mind 02.5% - I Don't Know What You Want But I Can't Give It Any More 05.1% - Miracles
05.1% - Rent 02.0% - Jealousy 03.4% - Did You See Me Coming?
04.8% - Suburbia 02.0% - Yesterday, When I Was Mad 03.1% - All Over the World
02.3% - Paninaro 01.4% - Where the Streets Have No Name (I Can't Take My Eyes Off You) 02.3% - I Get Along
01.4% - Opportunties (Version 1) 01.4% - Liberation 02.0% - London
01.4% - Left to My Own Devices 01.4% - Single-Bilingual 01.7% - Home and Dry
00.8% - It's Alright 01.1% - DJ Culture 01.4% - Numb
00.6% - Love Comes Quickly 01.1% - Se A Vida E  
00.3% - Opportunities (Vesion 2) 01.1% - Paninaro '95  
  01.1% - New York City Boy  
  00.8% - Absolutely Fabulous  
  00.8% - A Red Letter Day  
  00.6% - Was It Worth It?  
  00.6% - Before  
  00.6% - Somewhere  
  00.3% - How Can You Expect to Be Taken Seriously?  
  00.3% - You Only Tell Me You Love Me When You're Drunk*  

*Although the "Drunk" video appeared in January 2000, it was filmed in 1999 and clearly belongs to the "Nightlife aesthetic" like the two vids that preceded it. So I counted it among the 1990s videos.

Not every voter placed a vote for each decade. The percentages within each decade are based on the number of voters who did vote for a video in that particular decade.


Survey 455 - Week of March 21, 2010
Which numbers would you pick for a "living-room show"? (327 voters)

Imagine that you had been the winner of the recent competition for which the prize was the Pet Shop Boys performing "live" in a fan's living room. If you could have picked any four numbers—no more, no less—from the Pandemonium Tour setlist for them to perform in your living room, which four would you have chosen?

28.7% - The Way It Used to Be
28.4% - Two Divided by Zero
28.1% - Se A Vida É/Discoteca/Domino Dancing/Viva la Vida (medley)
27.8% - Being Boring ¤
26.3% - King's Cross
25.4% - Pandemonium/Can You Forgive Her? (medley)
21.1% - Closer to Heaven/Left to My Own Devices (medley)
18.0% - It's a Sin
17.7% - West End Girls
16.2% - Do I Have To? ¤
16.2% - All Over the World
15.9% - Love etc.
15.3% - Did You See Me Coming?
15.0% - More Than a Dream (Magical Dub)/Heart (medley)
14.7% - Always on My Mind
13.8% - Why Don't We Live Together? ¤
12.8% - Love Comes Quickly
10.7% - Go West ¤
10.4% - Jealousy
09.2% - Suburbia
07.3% - What Have I Done to Deserve This?
07.0% - My Girl
05.8% - Building a Wall
04.3% - New York City Boy
03.7% - It Doesn't Often Snow at Christmas

Note: Because each voter chose four tracks, the total comes to considerably more than 100%.


Survey 454 - Week of March 14, 2010
How does the Pandemonium Tour show compare? (352 voters)

Which of the following statements comes closest to describing how you would compare the Pandemonium Tour show to other live shows by the Pet Shop Boys?

47.7% - It wasn't their best, but it was still excellent—above average even for PSB. ¤

28.4% - It was their best show ever!

11.9% - I haven't seen it and/or I haven't seen any others, so I can't compare them.

09.4% - I liked it, but I think it was only average for PSB—not bad at all, but certainly not among their best.

01.7% - I liked it, but I have to say that it was definitely below average for PSB.

00.6% - It was their worst show ever!

00.3% - I was disappointed. I think it was one of their weakest shows.


Survey 453 - Week of March 7, 2010
What would you most like to see released on DVD? (432 voters)

If you could pick only one, which of the following would you most like to see released on DVD?

21.5% - It Couldn't Happen Here
20.8% - Closer to Heaven (either with the original cast or a new one) ¤*
18.1% - DiscoVery
12.0% - Battleship Potemkin (with the Tennant/Lowe score)
10.4% - The Release Tour show
09.5% - Highlights (or, better yet, the complete MCMLXXXIX Tour show)
06.3% - Pet Shop Boys at the BBC
01.4% - Projections

*I was personally quite torn over this one. Obviously, like most fans I'd like to see all of these released on DVD—although, to be perfectly honest, I wouldn't lose any sleep over not having Projections, It Couldn't Happen Here, and Highlights (though the latter's complete show would be a different matter altogether). The Release Tour show was especially tempting to me since I had tickets to that concert but was forced to miss it on account of a death in the family. I deeply regret not having seen it. I absolutely love DiscoVery—my second-favorite filmed PSB show after Performance—but at least I have the VHS tape at the ready. Battleship Potemkin would be wonderful if only to spare myself the trouble of having to sync up the CD (with its edited bit early on) with my copy of the silent film. Pet Shop Boys at the BBC would be marvelous; no explanation needed. I finally, however, had to go with Closer to Heaven. Like the vast majority of fans worldwide, I have yet to see it. Simply listening to the CD leaves big gaps in the story narrative, and I'm sure it would be a vastly superior experience to watch the show in its entirety. The original cast would have been nice, but I'd take whatever I can get.


Survey 452 - Week of February 28, 2010
Has your opinion of Yes changed? (395 voters)

Has your opinion of the Pet Shop Boys' album Yes changed since shortly after its release nearly a year ago?

57.7% - My positive (good) opinion of Yes has stayed about the same. ¤
29.6% - I have a higher (better) opinion of Yes now than I did shortly after its release.
05.3% - I have a lower (worse) opinion of Yes now than I did shortly after its release.
04.3% - My neutral opinion of Yes has stayed about the same.
02.0% - My negative (bad) opinion of Yes has stayed about the same.
01.0% - I've never heard the album, so I have no opinion about it at all.
00.0% - I've only recently heard it for the first time, so I don't have any previous opinion to compare to.


Survey 451 - Week of February 21, 2010
Contents of the "definitive" PSB boxed set? (232 voters)

Let's say the Pet Shop Boys were planning to release a boxed set—a "definitive career retrospective"—consisting of five CDs. Their objective is to appeal to the widest possible audience: dedicated "completist" Petheads, more casual fans who may already have only a few of their albums, and ideally even people who may never have bought any PSB music before in their entire lives, but who are open to doing so.

Now let's say the Boys have asked your opinion regarding the contents of this boxed set! What do you think should be the percentage breakdown of its contents? In other words, how much of it should be made up of the hit singles, non-single album tracks, previously unreleased songs, live recordings, and so on?

category average % % 50% votes* % 0%
votes
¤ Wayne's votes**
singles 31.0% 28.4% 6.9% 50%
non-single album tracks 16.1% 0.9% 12.9% 15%
b-sides/non-album tracks 14.0% 0.9% 9.9% 13%
previously unreleased songs 12.1% 3.0% 10.3% 13%
unreleased remixes 5.6% 0.9% 40.1% 3%
previously released remixes 4.8% 0.0% 43.5% 3%
live recordings 4.7% 0.0% 40.9% 0%
demos of released songs 4.3% 0.0% 46.1% 1%
pre-fame demos 3.6% 0.0% 44.8% 1%
BBC/other radio broadcasts 3.0% 0.0% 57.3% 1%
"other" 0.9% 0.0% 81.0% 0%
Total
100.0%
 
 
100%

*50% was the maximum percentage permitted for any single category in this poll. This column indicates the percentage of voters who designated 50% for that particular category; the following category provides the percentage who designated 0% for the corresponding category (or left that category blank, which counted as a zero). It's quite impractical to list each and every vote, but at least these extremes will provide at least some sense of how the averages turned out as they did.

**In case you're interested, I can describe the rationale behind my own choices. To appeal to people who may not ever have bought PSB music before but who are open to the prospect, I figured that every single should be included, and I figured that this would require about 2½ CDs: that is, half (50%) of the five-CD set. (Keep in mind the two-CD PopArt, which left off a few singles up to that point and was released before Fundamental and Yes.) I then felt that every studio album should be represented by one or two non-single tracks, so I picked 15% for that category. My inclination was to choose 15% each for b-sides and previously unreleased songs (the latter an especially important category for dedidicated "completist" PSB fans), but that wouldn't leave enough space for the other things I also wanted. So I reduced each of those categories to 13%. Since remixes are so important to PSB history, I figured several "classic" remixes as well as some previously unreleased ones (again, for us completists) would be essential, so I picked 3% each for those categories. A few (but very few) demos would be nice, so I picked 1% each for demos of released songs and pre-fame demos. Finally, I figured one BBC/other radio broadcast track would be nice, such as "A Powerful Friend" from the Peel sessions, so I picked 1% for that category, too. As for my zero percentages, I personally could do without live recordings in such a boxed set, and I frankly couldn't think of any "others" to include.


Survey 450 - Week of February 14, 2010
Happy with PSB merchandising? (282 voters)

Are you happy with "PSB merchandising"?

36.5% - I can't say. I've never bought anything from their official online store or any other 'PSB merchandise' (such as clothing, posters, etc.) aside from their CDs and DVDs.

26.2% - Yes, I'm completely happy with it! ¤*

No, I'm not happy with it, and my single biggest complaint is:

14.9% - Excessive prices for the merchandise.
10.3% - Poor selection of the merchandise.
05.0% - Some other complaint not listed here.**
03.9% - Poor quality of the merchandise.
03.2% - Slow or faulty delivery of the merchandise.

*The only "PSB merchandise" I've ever bought aside from recordings and DVDs are some books, official Fan Club membership renewal, concert tickets, and concert memorabilia, such as tour booklets. Such items as posters and "PSB clothing" aren't my style. I've never had any personal difficulty with the online PSB store or any aspect of the merchandise I have bought. So, speaking for myself, I'm completely happy with it.

**Among the other complaints cited by voters were:


Survey 449 - Week of February 7, 2010
The best "PSB decades" (357 voters)

What would you rate as the best "Pet Shop Boys decade" so far—the 1980s, the 1990s, or the 2000s—for various aspects of their career? In other words, which decade had the best PSB albums, best PSB singles, and so on?*

 
1980s
1990s
2000s
albums
39.2%
¤ 42.9%
16.8%
singles
¤ 66.7%
25.5%
5.6%
b-sides/bonus tracks
20.4%
¤ 55.2%
19.0%
music videos
28.3%
¤ 59.4%
8.1%
concerts/live performances
3.4%
24.9%
¤ 65.8%
overall
35.0%
¤ 42.6%
16.2%

*As it turned out, my own votes (¤) coincided precisely with all of the majority or plurality votes in this poll, which is rather unusual. More often than not, my own tastes and preferences don't coincide so closely with the majority/plurality viewpoint. Please note that the totals in each category don't add up to 100% because some voters didn't make a choice in every category.


Survey 448 - Week of January 31, 2010
With which "PSB superlatives" do you agree? (336 voters)

With which of the following "Pet Shop Boys superlatives" do you agree?

I believe the Pet Shop Boys are the best—

54.8% - electronic/synth act ever. ¤
49.7% - contemporary electronic/synth act. ¤
43.8% - contemporary songwriting team. ¤
37.8% - contemporary pop band. ¤
33.6% - pop band ever.
28.0% - songwriting team ever.
24.7% - contemporary dance music act. ¤
24.1% - contemporary recording act. ¤
22.6% - dance music act ever.
17.3% - recording act ever.
11.9% - contemporary live music act.
08.6% - live music act ever.

10.7% - "I really don't think they're the 'best' in any of the areas listed here."

Note: In the context of this survey, I meant for "contemporary" to mean "still active," but some voters interpreted it differently—to refer to contemporary electronic/synth styles, for example—which accounts for how there could logically be more votes for "best electronic/synth act ever" than for "best contemporary electronic/synth act." Please note that, because voters could choose more than one option, the totals add up to considerably more than 100%.


Survey 447 - Week of January 24, 2010
Any Christmas CD "bonus"? (366 voters)

Did you order the Pet Shop Boys' Christmas CD through their official online shop? And, if so, did you receive one of the autographed copies or bonus promos offered to the earliest orderers?

39.9% - "Yes, I ordered the Christmas CD from the official online stop, but I've received just an ordinary copy with no 'bonuses.'" ¤*

28.1% - "No. I purchased the Christmas CD, but not through the online shop."

21.3% - "No, I haven't purchased the Christmas CD at all."

06.8% - "Yes, I ordered the Christmas CD from the official online shop, and I've received an autographed copy!"

02.7% - Yes, I ordered the Christmas CD from the official online shop. But I haven't received anything yet at all—not even an ordinary unautographed copy!"

00.5% - Yes, I ordered the Christmas CD from the official online shop, and I received a bonus promo along with an ordinary unautographed copy!"

00.5% - Yes, I ordered more than one copy of the Christmas CD from the official online shop, and I've received both an autographed copy and a bonus promo!"

*Actually, I ordered and received two copies: one from the official online shop and the other from Amazon.co.uk. I generally try to avoid putting all of my eggs in one basket. But, unfortunately, no bonus eggs for me!


Survey 446 - Week of January 17, 2010
How common is "PSB fandom" in your world? (363 voters)

In terms of "frequency of occurrence," how would you describe being a Pet Shop Boys fan (a) in your personal circle of friends and (b) among the general population where you live?

In my circle of friends, being a Pet Shop Boys fan is…   Where I live, being a Pet Shop Boys fan is…
Quite unusual
62.2%
¤ Quite unusual
60.1%
Not commonplace, but not very unusual, either
28.2%
Not commonplace, but not very unusual, either
36.0%
¤ Quite commonplace
9.7%
Quite commonplace
3.9%

¤ Regarding my own votes – Since I live in the United States, where PSB fandom these days is relatively uncommon, how I voted in the second column shouldn't be surprising. But in case you are surprised as to how I voted in the first column, I should state for the record that the majority of my personal friends are fellow gay men between the ages of 40 and 60. And among American gay men in that age rage, PSB fandom is quite common. In fact, I would say that roughly half of my personal friends are also fans of the Pet Shop Boys. Of course, none of them is as obsessive a fan as I am. Well, I admit one comes awfully close. (You know I'm talking about you, Randy, don't you?)


Survey 445 - Week of January 10, 2010
Should they do an "album concert"—and which album? (370 voters)

Would you like for the Pet Shop Boys to do an "album concert"—a one-time show (recorded for the benefit of those who can't attend in person) or perhaps even an entire tour in which they perform one of their studio albums in its entirety, more or less verbatim, from beginning to end? And, if so, which album would you most like it to be?*

*As I pointed out in my "Notes" for this question, such "album concerts" rarely feature only songs from that one album. Instead, the "album performance" generally takes up about half of the show, with the other half devoted to other songs.

24.3% - "No, I would NOT want them to do this!"

Yes, I would like for them to do this, and the album I would most like them to perform is:

17.6% - Behaviour
16.5% - Very ¤
10.8% - Actually
07.3% - Please
04.6% - Bilingual
04.3% - Nightlife
04.1% - Yes
03.5% - Introspective
03.2% - Fundamental
01.6% - Relentless
01.6% - Release
00.5% - Disco 3

Although a majority of voters (a total of 75.7%) would like for the Boys to do an "album concert," more voters (a plurality of 24.3%) would not want them to do this than could agree on any one album that should receive this treatment.

I should also note that at least two people said that they would have voted for Alternative if I had offered it among the options, and a few others asserted (perhaps facetiously) that Disco 2 would have been a good choice as well.


Survey 444 - Week of January 3, 2010
Should they give up on singles? (434 voters)

Should the Pet Shop Boys give up on releasing singles and instead simply focus on albums and projects with more "ambitious" or "experimental" music, such as their planned 2011 ballet?

71.2% - No, they should continue to release singles just as they always have. ¤

11.1% - Yes, but only if they continue to release about the same amount of music (that is, we don't miss out on music on account of no more single b-sides and bonus tracks).

09.2% - I'm undecided or have very mixed feelings about it.

04.8% - Yes, absolutely!

03.7% - The only "singles" they should release from now on should be "promo" singles to radio stations, reviewers, and club DJs, and maybe music videos for promo purposes as well.