This page presents the results of surveys I've conducted in the year 2011. The results of surveys conducted in 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 , 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, and 2014 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 surveysand, 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.
539 - Week of December 25, 2011
Rating 2011 as a "PSB year" (302 voters)
Using whatever criteria you deem appropriate, how would you rate 2011 as a "Pet Shop Boys year"?
31.8% - It was an average PSB year.
30.5% - It wasn't a very good PSB year—below average.
25.8% - It was a good PSB year—above average. ¤*
07.3% - It was an excellent PSB year—one of the best.
02.6% - It was a terrible PSB year—one of the worst.
01.0% - It was the worst PSB year ever!
01.0% - It was the best PSB year ever!
*If you're wondering why I rated it a good PSB year, above average—I actually found myself waffling between rating it "average" and "above average" (keeping in mind that "average" for PSB is still a good thing since, on the average, they're superb! ). But I really like it when the Boys stretch out and challenge themselves with something totally new and different for them. I think it's very good both for them (artistically and creatively) and for their fans (stretching our own boundaries). Neil and Chris obviously did that in 2011 with their award-winning ballet The Most Incredible Thing, which resulted in two CDs worth of new PSB music. While that music may not have been to every fan's tastes, it was generally met with a positive critical reception. Their summer tour with Take That also gave them a lot of new public exposure, undoubtedly in many cases to people who may previously not have been very interested in them. It's quite likely they earned some new fans in the process. They topped off the year with the announcement of the long-awaited early 2012 release of their second b-sides collection, Format, and a big, high-profile New Year's Eve show in Australia. So while I certainly wouldn't describe it as one of the best PSB years, I personally feel justified in assigning it a good, above average rating.
538 - Week of December 18, 2011
Words that describe the cover of Format (255 voters)
Which of the following words do you think accurately describe the front-over artwork for the Pet Shop Boys upcoming b-sides/bonus tracks collection Format?
Note: Because voters could choose more than one word, the total percentage adds up to considerably more than 100%.
41.6% - modern ¤
37.3% - artistic ¤
33.7% - clean
32.2% - disappointing
30.6% - cryptic ¤
30.2% - typical ¤
25.5% - intriguing ¤
24.3% - lazy
23.1% - repetitive ¤
22.7% - bland
22.7% - tasteful
20.0% - unoriginal
17.3% - quirky
17.3% - strange ¤
16.5% - flawed ¤
16.5% - pretentious
15.7% - beautiful
15.7% - safe
15.7% - unusual
15.3% - kitschy
14.9% - great
14.1% - annoying
12.9% - weird
12.2% - xerotic (dry)
11.8% - horrible
11.0% - fabulous
11.0% - muddled
10.6% - embarrassing
10.6% - old
09.8% - idiotic
09.4% - ghastly
09.4% - vacuous
09.0% - exciting
09.0% - negligible
09.0% - quintessential
08.6% - junky
08.7% - relevant
07.8% - daring
07.8% - jovial
07.8% - pretty
07.5% - novel
07.1% - humorous
07.1% - yucky
07.1% - zesty
06.7% - outstanding
06.7% - witty
06.3% - zany
05.1% - lighthearted
04.7% - youthful
04.3% - vital
02.0% - knockout
02.0% - xenial (generous)
537 - Week of December 11, 2011
Do you listen to PSB at work? (321 voters)
Do you listen to the music of the Pet Shop Boys at work, on the job?
36.1% - No, never.
17.4% - Yes, quite often (at least once per week).
12.8% - Yes, occasionally (less than once per month on the average).
11.5% - I don't currently have a job.
11.2% - Yes, but I can't average it out. I go through spells where I'll listen to them nearly every day for a while, and then I'll go a long time without listening to them at all. ¤*
10.9% - Yes, fairly often (at least once per month, but less than once per week).
*Speaking just for myself, going for "a long time without listening to them at all" is only with regard to listening to them at work. I never go a long time without listening to them at all at home.
536 - Week of December 4, 2011
Are you planning to buy Format? (387 voters)
Are you planning to buy Format—the Pet Shop Boys' upcoming second single bonus tracks collection—when it is released (scheduled for February)?
42.4% - Yes, despite the fact that I already own every single one of its tracks. ¤
26.9% - Yes, despite the fact that I own most (but not all) of its tracks.
17.6% - Yes—especially since I don't already own most of its tracks.
05.9% - I'm undecided, or it depends on other factors we don't know yet.
04.9% - No. I already own all of its tracks.
02.3% - No, despite the fact I don't already own all of its tracks.
535 - Week of November 27, 2011
Would you pay to see TMIT if you already had it on DVD? (308 voters)
Assuming it were presented in a location convenient to you, would you pay to see a live performance of The Most Incredible Thing if you already owned it on DVD and could therefore watch it on television anytime you liked? (This is also assuming a "median" ticket price of about US$40 / UK£25 / €30.)
63.6% - Yes
22.4% - No
14.0% - I'm not sure / It depends on other factors. ¤*
*Are you surprised that I, nearly obsessive PSB fan that I am, might actually consider not attending a live performance if I had the convenient opportunity to do so? Here, in a nutshell, is why: I'm not a fan of ballet. In fact, I would have to say that dance is probably my single least favorite major genre of art. So if I already owned The Most Incredible Thing on DVD—and, yes, I would definitely buy a copy (or two), ballet or not!—I'd feel little impulse to see it live. That being said, I would attend a live performance if I knew in advance that Chris and/or Neil would be attending the same performance or if I knew that major changes had been made to the current live version of the ballet that made it substantially different from the DVD. There are surely other factors that might motivate me to attend as well. But, to make a long story short, it is not a foregone conclusion that I would attend. And if that makes me a less than dedicated fan—well, just don't say it to my face 'cause them's fightin' words.
534 - Week of November 20, 2011
Opinions of the title Format (378 voters)
Which of the following statements comes closest to expressing your opinion of Format as the title of the upcoming second collection of Pet Shop Boys b-sides and single bonus tracks?
35.4% - It's a good title—not great, but good.
22.2% - I think it's brilliant!
15.6% - I'm not sure. I might feel better about it if they explained the reason for choosing it as the title. ¤
15.1% - I have neutral feelings, or I have no feelings about it one way or the other.
07.9% - I don't think it's a very good title.
03.2% - It's a terrible title!
00.5% - I have an opinion very different from any of those described above.
533 - Week of November 13, 2011
Reworked Format track as a single? (328 voters)
When the Pet Shop Boys released their first b-sides collection Alternative back in 1995, they also released an accompanying single, "Paninaro '95"—a new, "reworked," re-recorded version of one of its songs. If they were to do the same sort of thing for their upcoming second b-sides collection Format (scheduled for February release), which of its songs would you prefer receive a similarly reworked, re-recorded treatment?
11.0% - I Didn't Get Where I Am Today
08.2% - Delusions of Grandeur
07.9% - We're the Pet Shop Boys
06.7% - Hit and Miss
06.7% - Positive Role Model*
06.1% - Sexy Northerner
05.5% - The Boy Who Couldn't Keep His Clothes On
05.5% - The Resurrectionist
04.9% - After the Event
04.3% - Between Two Islands
03.0% - The Truck Driver and His Mate
03.0% - Bright Young Things
02.4% - Lies
02.1% - Always
02.1% - Nightlife ¤**
02.1% - Up and Down
01.8% - How I Learned to Hate Rock 'n' Roll
01.5% - Confidential
01.5% - We're All Criminals Now
01.2% - The View from Your Balcony
01.2% - Disco Potential
01.2% - Friendly Fire
01.2% - Transparent
01.2% - Je T'Aime… Moi Non Plus*
00.9% - Betrayed
00.9% - Party Song
00.9% - Gin and Jag
00.9% - Sail Away*
00.6% - The Ghost of Myself
00.6% - Casting a Shadow
00.6% - Girls Don't Cry
00.6% - No Time for Tears
00.6% - Screaming
00.3% - Blue on Blue
00.3% - The Former Enfant Terrible
00.0% - The Calm Before the Storm
00.0% - Searching for the Face of Jesus
00.0% - Silver Age
*Three of the tracks is listed in my survey—"Positive Role Model," "Je T'Aime… Moi Non Plus," and "Sail Away"—turned out to rather presumptuous errors on my part; they won't be included on Format after all. Instead, Format will feature three tracks not included in my survey: "In the Night (1995)," "Discoteca (New Version)," and "In Private" (PSB & Elton John). That's what I get for jumping the gun.
**Although I voted for "Nightlife," it's not my favorite among these tracks. That honor goes to the song that came out on top, "I Didn't Get Where I Am Today" (which ranks second in my list of all-time favorite PSB b-sides, surpassed only by "Shameless"). But I really don't think "I Didn't Get Where I Am Today" can be substantially improved upon. And the same goes for several other Format tracks that I prefer to "Nightlife." But "Nightlife" is the one that I indeed do like quite a bit while also feeling that it could be improved upon. I've always felt that its "Bee Gees vibe" could have been done a little better. So I would be in favor of it being reworked in such a way as either to (1) emphasize the Bee Gees angle even more or (2) abandon it altogether and give it a completely different arrangement, perhaps with Neil singing in his "regular" voice rather than his falsetto.
532 - Week of November 6, 2011
Classic album to get the "deluxe" treatment? (348 voters)
There's been a trend lately for record companies to take a "classic" album by a pop/rock artist and re-release it in a "deluxe" expanded format: not only remastered, but with multiple discs that include such bonus material as alternate takes and mixes of its songs, rehearsal audio, related single b-sides, previously unreleased songs recorded during the same sessions, live recordings of the album's songs (or other songs performed around the same time), and so on. And these releases often have "special packaging," artwork, and booklets that, together with the multiple discs, give it a rather hefty price-tag (usually more than US$100 / UK£60 / €75) that not everyone can afford. If you were to pick one of the Pet Shop Boys' "classic era" studio albums to receive this treatment, which would it be? Or are you opposed to this being done for any of these albums?*
531 - Week of October 30, 2011
Favorite PSB mashup (200 voters)
What is your all-time favorite mashup in which a PSB track is "mashed" with the music of one or more other artists?
22.0% - PSB vs. Britney Spears, Adele, Rihanna, + 3, "The Power of Rolling Along (Till the World Ends)" ¤
22.0% - "I can't or won't choose."
10.5% - PSB vs. Placebo vs. Kate Bush - "Love Comes Running Up That Hill Quickly"
08.0% - PSB vs. Anne Clark - "God Willing (JCRZ Remix)"
07.5% - PSB vs. (a facsimile of) Corey Hart - "West End Sunglasses"
06.5% - Some other mashup not listed here*
05.5% - PSB vs. The KLF (aka The Timelords) - "Pandemonium in the TARDIS"
04.5% - PSB vs. Madonna - "West End Jump"
04.5% - PSB vs. Coldplay - "Viva Home and Dry"
03.0% - PSB vs. Smokey Robinson - "Tracks of my Mind"
02.0% - PSB vs. Patrick Swayze - "She's Minimal Like the Wind"
01.0% - PSB vs. Canned Heat - "Pandemonium on the Road Again"
01.0% - PSB vs. Michael Jackson - "Bad Heart"
01.0% - PSB vs. Nirvana - "Smells Like Teen Spirit (PSB Party Remix)"
00.5% - PSB vs. Madonna - "Into the Minimal Groove"
00.5% - PSB vs. Celene Dion - "Treat Her Like a Lady All Over the World"
00.0% - PSB & Dusty Springfield vs. Mariah Carey - "Bye Bye (TMC's In Private Mix)"
- PSB vs. Blank & Jones (featuring Bernard Sumner) - "Miracle Cure"
- PSB vs. Rihanna - "Umbrella World"
- PSB vs. 50 Cent - "West End Girls in Da Club"
- PSB vs. The Bloodhound Gang vs. All-American Rejects - "Did You See Me Moving Along" (an earlier, simpler version of what eventually evolved into "The Power of Rolling Along (Till the World Ends)" (included above) by the same "masher"
Incidentally, judging by both the low voter turnout and one of the two "winning" responses, it would seem that mashups are not particularly popular among PSB fans.
530 - Week of October 23, 2011
Should they collaborate with Erasure? (341 voters)
Would you like (or at least not mind) for the Pet Shop Boys to do some sort of collaboration with Erasure?
51.0% - "Yes, I would like (or at least wouldn't mind) them collaborating in the following way(s):"
32.0% - They all perform together a song that they all wrote together. ¤
17.9% - Erasure records a song written and produced by PSB. ¤
11.4% - PSB produces Erasure's recording of a song written by Erasure or somebody else.
09.7% - PSB records a song written and produced by Erasure.
09.1% - They all perform together a song written by someone else.
06.7% - Erasure produces PSB's recording of a song written by PSB or somebody else.
04.1% - Some other type of collaboration not described here.*
49.0% - "No, I do not want the Pet Shop Boys and Erasure to collaborate in any way!"
Please note that voters who chose "Yes" could then make more than one choice for the form(s) of the collaboration. Hence the percentages above total to more than 100%. It's worth noting, however, that more voters said "No" to the collaboration in general than to any single specific type of collaboration. But since more voters picked one or more "Yes" options than those who chose the single "No" option, "Yes" comes out on top in the final tallies.
*The "other" type of collaboration mentioned most often by voters was for PSB to remix Erasure and/or for Erasure to remix PSB.
At the same time that I ran this survey, I also ran a separate "bonus" survey asking my site visitors what they thought of the recent changes to my website (which I had redesigned about a week before). Here are the results (based on the total of 169 participants in this survey):
27.2% - "I like it, although I don't think it's substantially better than it was before."
16.6% - "I don't like it as much as the old version, but I'll deal with it."
14.8% - "I think it's a big improvement!"
11.2% - "I really have no feelings about it one way or the other."
10.1% - "What changes? I really don't notice much of anything different."
09.5% - "Not bad, but it still needs some work."
04.7% - "I had a little trouble with it at first, but now I'm OK with it."
04.7% - "I hate the changes!"
01.1% - "I have an opinion very different from any of those expressed above."
529 - Week of October 16, 2011
Should they release any singles from their next album? (323 voters)
Which of the following statements comes closest to expressing how you feel as to whether the Pet Shop Boys should release any singles from their next album?
51.1% - "Yes, they should definitely continue releasing singles. They could still have major hits!"
28.8% - "They should release at least one or two singles, mainly to promote the album."
14.2% - "I suppose they should continue to release singles—but really only for the bonus tracks and maybe the videos." ¤
03.7% - "No, they shouldn't bother with singles anymore. They should focus on being 'album artists.' (There are other ways to release bonus tracks.)"
01.9% - "I really don't care about it one way or the other."
00.3% - "I have some other opinion very different from any of those expressed above."
528 - Week of October 9, 2011
Which hot contemporary artists do PSB fans like? (358 voters)
I'm curious about the extent of fandom of "contemporary" music among my fellow Pet Shop Boys fans. So I'll use the following question as an admittedly flawed "spot check"— The following ten artists have each had one or more Number One pop singles in both the U.K. and the U.S. in 2010 and/or 2011. Which of them do you like, or at least have found yourself really liking some of their songs? (Select all that apply.)
64.8% - Lady Gaga ¤
34.6% - Adele ¤
31.3% - Katy Perry ¤
26.5% - Rihanna ¤
21.2% - I really don't like any of them
16.5% - Black Eyed Peas
10.6% - Bruno Mars
10.3% - Ke$ha
08.7% - Taio Cruz
05.3% - Usher
01.7% - B.o.B
I'm frankly amazed that my own four choices coincided exactly with the top four picks of my website visitors. I have to say that I'm really not terribly enamored of any of those four. Lady Gaga had me going there for a while, but her most recent efforts have been disappointing, and she's starting to wear a bit thin in my book. But I do like a number of their songs (I personally consider Perry's "California Gurls" to be close to brilliant), which is more than I can say for the others in the list.
527 - Week of October 2, 2011
Non-singles that would have made great singles (326 voters)
There are a number of Pet Shop Boys "non-singles" (album tracks or b-sides) that I personally believe would have made great singles. So I'd like to see to what extent you agree with my choices.* Which of the following non-singles do you also believe would have made great singles? And, of the ones listed here, which do you most believe should have been a single—the best choice of the bunch?
Would have made a great single (voters could choose as many as they wish) —
67.5% - Pandemonium ¤
60.7% - Shameless ¤
59.2% - The Way It Used to Be
50.9% - The Sodom and Gomorrah Show ¤
46.0% - Tonight Is Forever ¤
45.4% - Closer to Heaven ¤
29.1% - I Didn't Get Where I Am Today ¤
26.4% - The End of the World ¤
23.3% - Bet She's Not Your Girlfriend
21.8% - Hit and Miss
The best choice of the bunch for "should have been a single" (voters could choose only one) —
22.1% - Pandemonium
19.9% - The Way It Used to Be
17.8% - Shameless
08.6% - The Sodom and Gomorrah Show
08.3% - Tonight Is Forever
08.3% - I Didn't Get Where I Am Today ¤
07.1% - Closer to Heaven
03.1% - The End of the World
02.5% - Bet She's Not Your Girlfriend
02.5% - Hit and Miss
Regarding my own choices (¤), as I stated in my "notes" accompanying this poll, I included a few songs that, although I think they're fantastic and I love them dearly, I really don't believe would have made great singles for one reason or another. But I didn't say which ones they were. So now I'll reveal them to be "The Way It Used to Be," "Bet She's Not Your Girlfriend," and "Hit and Miss": absolutely wonderful songs, but not really "single material" from my perspective. And although I did vote for "Shameless" and "The Sodom and Gomorrah Show," I did so a bit hesitantly. Yes, I do believe they had great potential to be hits, but I suspect they might also have damaged the Boys' reputation among those who don't quite understand the concepts of irony and lyrical personae— in much the same way that the much earlier "Opportunities (Let's Make Lots of Money)" may have hurt them among some listeners who didn't know any better.
By the way, alternate choices suggested by some of the voters include:
- In the Night
- After the Event
- We All Feel Better in the Dark
- One More Chance (which actually was released as a single in some countries)
- King's Cross
- I'm Not Scared (the PSB version)
- This Must Be the Place I Waited Years to Leave
- Integral (which was released as a "digital promo" single)
- My October Symphony
- Dreaming of the Queen
526 - Week of September 25, 2011
"Different" vs. "typical" for the next album (267 voters)
About what percentage of the next Pet Shop Boys album would you like to be stylistically "new and different" for them—perhaps even somewhat "experimental"—as opposed to being in their more "typical" style(s) or the "tried and true"?
07.5% -100% (all of it)
01.9% - 90%
03.0% - 80%
06.4% - 75% (three-quarters)
03.7% - 70%
04.1% - 67% (two-thirds)
04.5% - 60%
22.1% - 50% (half of it)
04.9% - 40%
13.1% - 33% (one-third) ¤
03.0% - 30%
06.7% - 25% (one-quarter)
07.5% - 20%
05.6% - 10%
06.0% - 0% (none of it)
525 - Week of September 18, 2011
What do you think of their extended silence? (312 voters)
The Pet Shop Boys have been rather quiet lately, with very little news and an entire month (only recently ended) with no updates at all on their official website. Which of the following statements comes closest to expressing how you personally feel about such periods of "silence"?
53.2% - I'm fine with it. They deserve some time off after being so busy with their ballet and summer tour. ¤
16.0% - I'm excited about it. They're probably busy in the studio working on new songs.
13.5% - I really have no feelings about it one way or the other.
09.6% - I don't like it. They shouldn't go for such a long period ignoring their fans.
05.4% - It concerns me. It makes me worried that something may be wrong.
02.2% - I have an opinion very different from any of those described here.*
*Among the different opinions shared by some voters were the following:
- "Such time off could mean that they are simply deciding what they are going to do next."
- "As they say, 'No news is good news.'"
- "Bet they're deciding on their next producer."
- "They are being assimilated into Lady Gaga." (I suspect the voter who submitted this alternate opinion was being just a little facetious. )
524 - Week of September 11, 2011
Favorite mixes of the Actually singles (194 voters)
Between the album and single/7-inch versions of the songs on the Pet Shop Boys' album Introspective, which do you prefer of each?
It's a Sin Disco Mix (Stephen Hague and Pet Shop Boys) ¤ 53.6% Phil Harding Latin Vocal Mix (aka "Miami Mix") 10.8% Barfly Version (Pet Shop Boys and Pete Gleadall) 10.8% Ian Levine Mix 9.3% Some other mix 2.6% Phil Harding Latin Dub Mix 0.5% Don't know/undecided 10.8%
What Have I Done to Deserve This? Extended Mix (Julian Mendelsohn) 33.3% Disco Mix (Shep Pettibone) ¤ 29.4% Shep Pettibone Mix 15.5% Dub Mix (Shep Pettibone) 4.6% Some other mix 0.5% Don't know/undecided 15.5%
Rent Extended Mix (François Kevorkian) ¤ 56.2% Dub (François Kevorkian) 8.2% Demo 4.1% Some other mix 4.1% Don't know/undecided 24.7%
523 - Week of September 4, 2011
Prefer album or single versions of Introspective songs? (332 voters)
Between the album and single/7-inch versions of the songs on the Pet Shop Boys' album Introspective, which do you prefer of each?
Left to My Own Devices ¤ 75.7% 24.3% I Want a Dog ¤ 75.2% 24.8% Domino Dancing ¤ 62.6% 37.4% I'm Not Scared* ¤ 82.2% 17.8% Always on My Mind 32.4% ¤ 67.6% It's Alright 36.9% ¤ 63.1%
This was one of those very rare occasions when my own choices matched up precisely with those of the majority or plurality of voters. I guess I'm not quite as out of step with the bulk of PSB fandom as I sometimes think I am.
Please note that not every voter placed a vote for every song. These song-by-song abstentions are not taken into account in determining the final percentages.
522 - Week of August 28, 2011
Most surprising "miss" of the UK Top 10 (377 voters)
The Pet Shop Boys have had 22 singles that have failed to reach the U.K. Top 10 singles chart. Which of them surprises you most that it didn't make it into the Top 10?
22.3% - Being Boring
17.2% - Opportunities (Let's Make Lots of Money) ¤*
12.7% - Love etc.
10.6% - New York City Boy
08.0% - Love Comes Quickly
06.1% - I Wouldn't Normally Do This Kind of Thing
04.8% - I Don't Know What You Want But I Can't Give It Any More
02.4% - Flamboyant
02.4% - Minimal
02.1% - Jealousy
01.9% - Was It Worth It?
01.6% - All Over the World/It Doesn't Often Snow at Christmas
01.3% - Paninaro '95
01.3% - Together
01.1% - Yesterday, When I Was Mad
01.1% - Numb
00.8% - Liberation
00.8% - Home and Dry
00.5% - DJ Culture
00.5% - Did You See Me Coming?
00.3% - Single-Bilingual
00.3% - I Get Along
*Why did I choose "Opportunities"? I would have thought that such a great song would be a shoo-in for the Top 10, especially in the wake of the Boys' recent "West End Girls" breakthrough. Besides, it has the unique distinction of being the only PSB single to prove a bigger hit in the U.S. than in the U.K., at least when judged in terms of peak chart positions. Now that's surprising! As for "Being Boring," it's definitely my own all-time favorite PSB song. But am I surprised that it didn't make it into the U.K. Top 10. No, not at all. As much as I love it, it has never struck me as the stuff from which big hit singles are made. Classic album tracks, yes. Big hit singles, no. But that's just me.
521 - Week of August 21, 2011
Most surprising UK Top 10 single entry (374 voters)
The Pet Shop Boys have so far had 22 Top 10 hit singles in the U.K. For whatever reason, which of them surprises you most that it made it into the Top 10?
18.2% - You Only Tell Me You Love Me When You're Drunk
15.0% - Before
13.4% - Somewhere ¤*
11.2% - I'm with Stupid
10.4% - Absolutely Fabulous
09.6% - Miracles
07.2% - A Red Letter Day
02.9% - It's Alright
02.9% - Se A Vida E (That's the Way Life Is)
01.9% - Rent
01.6% - Where the Streets Have No Name (I Can't Take My Eyes Off You)/How Can You Expect to Be Taken Seriously?
01.1% - Left to My Own Devices
01.1% - West End Girls
00.8% - Heart
00.5% - It's a Sin
00.5% - So Hard
00.5% - Can You Forgive Her?
00.5% - Go West
00.3% - What Have I Done to Deserve This?
00.3% - Always on My Mind
00.0% - Domino Dancing
00.0% - Suburbia
*Why did I choose "Somewhere"? Brilliant song, brilliant PSB performance. It's just that, considering that it was such a well-known song that had already been covered by innumerable artists, I was personally surprised that it proved as successful a single as it did.
Incidentally, several site visitors who went for the top vote-getter, "You Only Tell Me You Love Me When You're Drunk," offered particularly good reasons for why this song was a good choice: because the first two singles from its album, Nightlife—"I Don't Know What You Want But I Can't Give It Any More" and "New York City Boy"—both failed to make the UK Top 10, thereby making the Top-10 placement of the album's third single quite unexpected. An excellent rationale, if you ask me. In fact, if I had thought of that myself, I probably wouldn't have voted the way I did.
520 - Week of August 14, 2011
The single thing that made you a fan (341 voters)
Surely, for most of us, a number of factors have contributed to our becoming Pet Shop Boys fans. But, as best you can recall, what served as the "tipping point" to your becoming a fan? That is, what can you point to as the single thing that made you realize, "That's it—I'm now a fan of the Pet Shop Boys!"
38.4% - A particular song
35.8% - A particular album ¤*
12.6% - "I can't possibly point to any single thing as the 'tipping point' that made me a PSB fan (or made me realize that I was one)"
05.9% - Some other particular thing
05.0% - A particular music video
02.1% - A particular appearance on television
00.3% - A particular live concert
*As I've noted elsewhere, the album that finally made me a fan was Very. I already owned Discography—just as I own hits anthologies or "best of" collections of scores of other artists—but it was the subsequent Very that truly converted me to PSB fandom.
Among the particular songs specifically cited by voters were:
- "Go West"
- "I'm Not Scared"
- "It Couldn't Happen Here"
- "So Hard"
- "West End Girls"
- "It's a Sin"
- "Left to My Own Devices" (the Introspective album version)
Among the particular albums specifically cited were:
Among the "other particular things" cited by voters were:
- The Highlights concert VHS
- "The use of totally unique (for the time) CG in their 'Very era" videos was what got me into them."
- A co-worker's compilation cassette tape of PSB singles, remixes, and songs from various albums
- "… the sound of the synthesizer. PSB were a synth band but making incredibly beautiful music."
- "Chris's scowl"
519 - Weeks of July 31 and August 7, 2011
"Most changed" estimations of PSB albums (299 voters)
Think back on how your opinions of various Pet Shop Boys albums have changed through the years. Which of their albums has "most improved" in your estimation through the years? (In other words, you like or appreciate it a lot more now than you did shortly after its release.) And which of their albums has "most declined" in your estimation through the years? (That is, you don't like or appreciate it nearly as much now as you did shortly after its release.)*
The "most improved" album
in your estimation
The "most declined" album
in your estimation
22.4% - Behaviour
15.7% - Bilingual ¤
09.4% - Introspective
09.4% - Release
09.0% - Nightlife
08.7% - Please
06.0% - Actually
05.4% - Fundamental
03.7% - Yes
02.3% - Very
02.3% - Alternative
01.7% - Battleship Potemkin
01.0% - Disco
01.0% - Relentless
01.0% - Disco 2
01.0% - Disco 3
16.8% - Nightlife ¤
12.4% - Release
11.0% - Disco 2
10.3% - Very
10.0% - Bilingual
07.6% - Fundamental
05.5% - Yes
04.5% - Actually
04.5% - Introspective
04.5% - Battleship Potemkin
03.8% - Behaviour
02.4% - Alternative
02.1% - Disco
02.1% - Relentless
01.7% - Disco 3
01.0% - Please
*For the purposes of this poll I included, in addition to the ten "studio albums," the first three Disco albums, Relentless, Alternative, and Battleship Potemkin, but I didn't include Disco 4, Essential, or the various singles compilations. Nor did I include the Closer to Heaven cast album (for the same reason that I'm not including, say, Liza Minnelli's Results) and The Most Incredible Thing (too recent).
518 - Week of July 24, 2011
Do you appreciate "Tennant-Lowe" as much as "Pet Shop Boys"? (289 voters)
Do you appreciate the work of "Tennant/Lowe" as much as you appreciate the work of "Pet Shop Boys"?*
51.2% - Yes ¤**
48.8% - No
**This is not to say necessarily that I like their work as "Tennant/Lowe" as much as I like that of the "Pet Shop Boys." I do like it, but not that much. But I don't necessarily have to like two things equally to appreciate them equally. For example, I would have to say that I appreciate the music of Johann Sebastian Bach as much as—if not more than—I appreciate that of PSB. Do I like it as much? No. But I definitely appreciate it—so much so that, if I were somehow faced with the horrible theoretical decision of forever banishing the music of either Bach or PSB from planet Earth, I would close my eyes, take a deep breath, and chose to banish PSB, keeping Bach. Bach's is by far the greater artistic achievement. I believe Chris and Neil themselves would concede that point. At any rate, I do appreciate "Tennant-Lowe" as much as "Pet Shop Boys"—if, for no other reason, because it clearly means a great deal to Neil and Chris as artists. I respect that tremendously.
517 - Week of July 17, 2011
Preferences for a hypothetical new remix collection (291 voters)
If the Pet Shop Boys were to release a collection of remixes of their classic hit singles, what form would you prefer it to take?
38.1% - Brand new remixes commissioned by the Boys of past hits by "hot" contemporary remixes
26.8% - Enough with the remixes already! I'd rather they not do anything like this at all! ¤*
16.5% - Past remixes judged by Chris and Neil themselves as the best**
09.6% - Brand new remixes selected by the Boys from submissions by fans who are essentially unknown for their remix work
08.9% - Past remixes voted on by fans as the best
*Regarding my own perhaps-surprising vote: I'm not suggesting that PSB stop releasing remixes at all. Certainly not! I think remixes released with their singles are terrific, and I'm looking forward to future remixes of new songs. I'm just not very interested in a new remix collection of songs that have already been remixed a number times.
**One voter noted that the Boys have already released a set of "Past remixes judged by Chris and Neil themselves as the best": the bonus Mix CD that accompanied the PopArt special edition.
Several voters suggested various "write-in" votes, including:
- hard-to-find, previously-unavailable-on-CD mixes
- mixes that adheres to a specific style, such as ambient
- remixes (new and/or old) by the Boys themselves
- mixes done by whoever did the remixes for the Nightlife Tour: "pretty awesome ultra-modern-sounding techno"
- an assortment of different types of mixes
- "reworked" selections from their back catalogue, re-recorded with other artists
516 - Week of July 10, 2011
How old are you compared to the Boys? (361 voters)
Compared to the Pet Shop Boys themselves, how old are you?*
93.4% - Younger than both of them
04.7% - Younger than Neil, but older than Chris ¤
01.9% - Older than both of them
00.0% - The exact same age as Neil
00.0% - The exact same age as Chris
*A possible additional choice that I deeply regret not including (I didn't even think of it until two days before the survey ended) is "Younger even than the 'Pet Shop Boys'"—that is, younger not only than either Neil and Chris as individuals, but younger even than their duo, having been born after the Boys met in 1981 or even after their first release in 1984. Based on some of the "Comments" messages left for this survey, quite a few participants would have chosen that option instead! I think that, as a result, the final results would have been a little more interesting.
515 - Week of July 3, 2011
Rating the PSB remix of "Colour of a Man" (190 voters)
How would you rate the Pet Shop Boys "Organic Mix" of the Hidden Cameras track "Colour of a Man"?
31.1% - Good
22.6% - Excellent!
22.6% - So-so / average ¤*
12.1% - Abstain
08.4% - Not so good
03.2% - Terrible!
*To explain my own somewhat tepid response—I can't say that I actually dislike the track, but I can't say that I like it very much, either. I think the Boys' did a good job with their remix, but I don't care much for the song itself to begin with. (I have an aversion to songs with largely unintelligible lyrics; nor does it have much of a melody to speak of.) Although I believe PSB made significant improvements, I don't have a high regard for what they had to work with. A pretty good mix of a not-so-good song averages out, at least from my perspective, to a so-so track overall.
514 - Week of June 26, 2011
Would you want to know it's their final album? (306 voters)
Sooner or later the Pet Shop Boys will inevitably release their final studio album. When that time comes, would you prefer to know that it's their final studio album at the time of its release, or would you prefer to discover that fact only in retrospect, at some point (perhaps even years) afterward?
40.5% - I would prefer to know it's their final album at the time of its release. ¤
34.6% - I would prefer to learn that it was their final album only some time after its release.
18.3% - I have mixed feelings about it, or I'm not sure.
06.5% - I really don't care about it one way or the other.
513 - Week of June 19, 2011
The preferred albums to "hybridize"? (308 voters)
Please complete the following statement: "I would love for the next Pet Shop Boys album to be a cross between ______ and ______." In other words, if the Boys were determined that their next album should be a "stylistic hybrid" between two previous studio albums, which two would you prefer?
Because of the nature of these results, I'll present them in two ways: first in a grid (paralleling how the poll itself was presented) and then as a linear list, starting with the pair of albums that received the most votes and then descending from there.
7.1% - Behaviour and Yes
6.8% - Behaviour and Fundamental
5.8% - Fundamental and Yes
5.5% - Very and Yes
4.9% - Behaviour and Very
4.2% - Please and Yes
3.6% - Introspective and Behaviour
3.6% - Very and Nightlife
2.9% - Please and Very
2.9% - Very and Fundamental ¤²
2.9% - Nightlife and Yes
2.6% - Actually and Very
2.6% - Introspective and Yes
2.6% - Very and Bilingual
2.6% - Relentless and Fundamental
2.3% - Please and Fundamental
2.3% - Introspective and Fundamental
2.3% - Behaviour and Release
1.9% - Please and Actually
1.9% - Please and Behaviour
1.9% - Actually and Behaviour
1.9% - Very and Release
1.6% - Behaviour and Bilingual
1.6% - Nightlife and Fundamental
1.6% - Release and Fundamental
1.3% - Actually and Fundamental
1.3% - Introspective and Release
1.3% - Behaviour and Relentless
1.3% - Behaviour and Nightlife
1.0% - Actually and Introspective
1.0% - Actually and Release
1.0% - Actually and Yes
1.0% - Introspective and Very
1.0% - Introspective and Relentless
1.0% - Introspective and Bilingual
1.0% - Relentless and Nightlife
1.0% - Relentless and Yes
1.0% - Nightlife and Release
0.6% - Please and Introspective
0.6% - Please and Relentless
0.6% - Very and Relentless
0.6% - Bilingual and Nightlife
0.6% - Bilingual and Fundamental
0.6% - Bilingual and Yes
0.6% - Release and Yes
0.3% - Please and Nightlife
0.3% - Actually and Bilingual
0.3% - Actually and Nightlife
0.3% - Relentless and Release
0.0% - Please and Bilingual
0.0% - Please and Release
0.0% - Actually and Relentless
0.0% - Introspective and Nightlife
0.0% - Relentless and Bilingual
0.0% - Bilingual and Release
¹It may be worth noting that the album that was selected most often as one of the pair to be "hybridized" was Behaviour (chosen by 32.8% of the voters). That's why I've highlighted Behaviour's figures in the grid above. By contrast, the album selected least often was—perhaps surprisingly—Bilingual, picked by only 7.5% of the voters.
²A note about my own choice: my first impulse was to vote for my two favorite albums, Very and Behaviour. But then, in mulling it over, I simply couldn't imagine how a hybrid of those two very different albums would sound. I couldn't come up with a good amalgam. So I decided instead to go for a cross between Very and Fundamental: a high-energy, high-tech "pop" album but with a consistent, overriding, rather serious theme (whatever that theme might be).
512 - Week of June 12, 2011
Should Chris sing some lead vocals on the next album? (301 voters)
In light of Chris's recent lead vocal on "Subculture" by Stop Modernists, do you think he should sing any lead vocals on the next Pet Shop Boys studio album? And, if so, on how many songs should he sing lead?
48.8% - Chris should sing lead on one song, but no more than that. ¤
26.2% - No, Chris should leave all the lead vocals to Neil.
13.6% - I really have no opinion about this.
08.3% - Chris should sing lead on several songs—perhaps as much as half the album.
03.0% - Chris should completely take over lead vocals on the next PSB album. Let Neil be the "quiet one" for a change.
511 - Week of June 5, 2011
Should they compose an opera? (297 voters)
Not long ago I read somewhere online the suggestion that, since Chris and Neil have composed a stage musical, a film score, and a ballet, they now ought to turn their attention to writing a full-scale, through-sung opera. Which of the following statements comes closest to expressing how you feel about whether they should compose an opera?
37.7% - They should do whatever they want.
19.9% - No, absolutely not!
12.8% - Only if they compose a dance/synthpop opera.
10.4% - Only if it's a pop/rock opera and not a "traditional" opera. ¤*
08.8% - Yes, absolutely!
06.1% - I have mixed feelings about this, or I'm undecided.
03.7% - I don't care about it one way or the other.
00.7% - Only if it's a "traditional" opera and not a pop/rock opera.
*To explain my own stance on this matter, of course I believe that Chris and Neil should do whatever they want. But, on the other hand, if they were to ask my personal preference, what would I say? "Only if it's a pop/rock opera and not a 'traditional' one." That's because, while I appreciate traditional opera, I have no personal fondness for it. It's my least favorite form of "classical" music (aside from some thoroughly atonal 20th-century stuff). But I've truly enjoyed various pop/rock operas, such as the Who's Tommy, Andrew Lloyd Webber's Jesus Christ, Superstar, Evita, and The Phantom of the Opera, and Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd. (I understand that Sondheim himself does not regard Sweeney Todd as an opera—but, I'm sorry, that's what it is.) So the thought of Tennant and Lowe composing a pop/rock opera appeals to me greatly. And while I think it would be fantastic if it were specifically a "dance/synthpop opera"—has one yet to be composed?—my preference doesn't rely exclusively on that narrower stylistic consideration.
510 - Week of May 28, 2011
Responsibility for PSB success (240 voters)
In your opinion, how much of the responsibility for the Pet Shop Boys' success belongs to Chris, to Neil, and to one or more people, things, or factors aside from them? (It's up to you to define "success" for yourself: commercial, artistic, something else, or some combination thereof.)
45.3% - Neil
41.9% - Chris
12.7% - "Other"
59.6% - Chris and Neil have equal responsibility ¤
32.5% - Neil is more responsible for their success than Chris
07.9% - Chris is more responsible for their success than Neil
06.3% - "Other" is/are more responsible than Chris and/or Neil
26.3% - "Other" has 0% responsibility
Two voters (0.8%) assigned 0% responsibility to both Chris and Neil, giving 100% to "Other." These were also the only voters to assign 0% to either of the Boys.
The three most frequent submissions—the only ones made by more than 10% of the voters—were:
509 - Week of May 22, 2011
Do you think "Paninaro" is satirical? (267 voters)
A recent online article titled "The revenge of the Paninaro" referred in passing to the famous Pet Shop Boys' song as "a satirical musical homage." Do you think "Paninaro" is satirical?
508 - Week of May 15, 2011
Opinions of the "Subculture" remake (266 voters)
From what you've heard so far, what is your general opinion of the Stop Modernists' remake of "Subculture" featuring Chris Lowe on lead vocal?
507 - Week of May 8, 2011
Is The Most Incredible Thing comparable to other PSB releases? (230 voters)
Do you think The Most Incredible Thing essentially "can't be compared" to any other Pet Shop Boys release, can be compared only as a whole to Battleship Potemkin, or can be compared as a whole to other PSB albums? And if it can be compared, how would you compare it?
23.0% - I don't think it can be compared to any other PSB release.
21.7% - I think it can be compared only as a whole to Battleship Potemkin, and I think The Most Incredible Thing is better. ¤
16.5% - I think it can be compared only as a whole to Battleship Potemkin, and I think they're about equal in quality.
13.0% - I'm not familiar enough with it to have an opinion on this.
12.2% - I think it can be compared only as a whole to Battleship Potemkin, and I think The Most Incredible Thing is weaker.
04.8% - I think it can be compared to other PSB albums, and I think it's one of their best.
03.0% - I think it can be compared to other PSB albums, and I think it's better than average, but not one of their best.
01.7% - I think it can be compared to other PSB albums, and I think it's their weakest ever!
01.3% - I think it can be compared to other PSB albums, and I think it's about average for them.
01.3% - I think it can be compared to other PSB albums, and I think it's one of their weakest.
00.9% - I think it can be compared to other PSB albums, and I think it's their best ever!
00.4% - I think it can be compared to other PSB albums, and I think it's below average, but not one of their weakest.
506 - Week of May 1, 2011
Please rate each of the following tracks from the Pet Shop Boys' ballet The Most Incredible Thing 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").
It's important to note that this round of my "Rating Project" was truly exceptional on account of the unusually large number of across-the-board abstentions: participants who abstained from voting on every track. In fact, nearly half of all the votes cast were abstentions! The percentages cited below, however, do not take these abstentions into account.
If my own ratings seem surprisingly low, please keep in mind that they do not mean that I dislike the music of The Most Incredible Thing. On the contrary, I love every track, and find it a rich and highly engaging work. (In particular, note the high ratings I gave the "Clock" segments, which are my favorite parts of the score.) But, in general, I tend not to like instrumentals nearly as much as songs with vocals. That has always been the case with me, throughout my life. Hence, from my own personal perspective, The Most Incredible Thing suffers in comparison to much of the rest of PSB's body of work. It doesn't mean that it's not still marvelous. It's just not for me quite as marvelous as so many other things Chris and Neil have done.
|Track (Listed from Highest Average Rating to Lowest)||Average
|The Clock 10/11/12||6.700||21.7%||5.0%||
|The Miracle: The Meeting (reprise)||6.410||16.4%||4.9%||4|
|The Clock 4/5/6||6.164||13.1%||4.9%||8|
|The Miracle: Colour and Light||6.018||10.5%||5.3%||6|
|The Clock 1/2/3||6.000||15.0%||5.0%||7|
|The Clock 7/8/9||5.950||11.7%||5.0%||8|
|Back to the Grind||5.932||8.5%||5.1%||5|
|The Miracle: Resurrection||5.571||7.1%||5.4%||5|
|The Miracle: Revolution||5.527||7.3%||5.5%||4|
|The Miracle: Ceremony||5.491||8.8%||5.3%||3|
To see where these tracks fall in relation to other songs in the PSB catalog, please visit the overall "Rating Project" page.
505 - Week of April 24, 2011
Do they take too long between albums? (308 voters)
We sometimes hear of fans complaining about the large amount of time between Pet Shop Boys albums—that they have to wait too long for each new release. Which of the following statements comes closest to expressing how you feel about this?
50.6% - "I agree that there's a large amount of time between albums, but I'm not complaining. They should take as much time as they want or need."
28.2% - "I disagree completely! I don't think there's a 'a large amount of time' between PSB albums." ¤
08.8% - "I agree wholeheartedly! They really do take too long between albums!"
08.1% - "I have mixed feelings about this."
02.3% - "I have an opinion very different from any of those listed here."
01.9% - "I really have no opinion about this one way or the other."
504 - Week of April 17, 2011
Setlist for PSB's role in Take That tour (252 voters)
Assuming that the Pet Shop Boys' opening set for the upcoming Take That reunion tour will be made up entirely of a subset of ten selections from their Pandemonium tour show, which ten selections would you most like to be included in that set?
79.4% - West End Girls ¤
76.2% - It's a Sin ¤
70.2% - Always on My Mind ¤
70.2% - Love etc.
65.9% - Go West ¤
60.3% - Pandemonium/Can You Forgive Her? ¤
57.5% - More Than a Dream (Magical Dub)/Heart ¤
54.0% - Se A Vida E/Discoteca/Domino Dancing/Viva la Vida ¤
49.6% - Being Boring
48.4% - Suburbia
46.0% - What Have I Done to Deserve This?
42.5% - Closer to Heaven/Left to My Own Devices
40.1% - Did You See Me Coming?
32.5% - The Way It Used to Be
32.5% - All Over the World ¤
29.4% - Two Divided by Zero
25.8% - New York City Boy
23.8% - Jealousy ¤
21.8% - King's Cross
19.4% - Love Comes Quickly
17.5% - Why Don't We Live Together? ¤
11.5% - Do I Have To?
09.1% - Building a Wall
08.7% - My Girl
07.5% - Glad All Over
503 - Week of April 10, 2011
Feelings about PSB opening for Take That (331 voters)
Which of the following statements comes closest to expressing your opinion of the recent news that the Pet Shop Boys will appear as "special guests" on the upcoming Take That reunion tour?
23.0% - "I think it's excellent news! There are few if any 'downsides' to this!"
20.2% - "I don't mind, and I doubt that it will have any significant impact on their career one way or the other."
13.9% - "If they handle it right, it could prove very beneficial to them in various ways. But it's a risky endeavor."
"I have very mixed feelings about it." ¤*
07.9% - "I'm not sure, but I fear it may prove to be a mistake."
07.6% - "I think it's terrible news! There are few if any 'upsides' to this!"
05.7% - "I'm personally glad about it, and it will be financially lucrative for the Boys, but I suspect it may hurt their reputation in the long run."
04.5% - "I'd be pleased if I could attend myself, but I'm upset that I probably can't."
04.5% - "I really don't care about it one way or the other."
02.4% - "I have an opinion very different from any of those stated here."*
00.9% - "I'm undecided."
*In case you're wondering about the nature of my own mixed feelings – I realize that this represents a terrific financial and commercial opportunity for the Boys (let's make lots of money, indeed!), and nearly anything that brings them greater exposure to potential new fans is great. Also, I'm sure that Neil and Chris wouldn't do it if they didn't genuinely want to do it. On the other hand, I think it's rather unfortunate that, at this late stage in their career, this is (unless I'm mistaken) the first time they're serving as the opening act for someone else, at least in a "non-festival" environment. I mean, they once turned down opening for Madonna—a decision from roughly 20 years ago that now creates a new layer of irony on one of their collaborations with Take That member Robbie Williams! Given their comparative status as artists, I believe Take That should be the "special guests" of the Pet Shop Boys. In general, I'll feel much better about the whole thing if PSB actually gets to perform some songs onstage with Robbie and/or the full Take That crew—in other words, if they end up being more than just the opening act.
**Among the other opinions offered by voters were:
- "I'd rather they focus on their own projects than play second fiddle to 'artists' of lesser calibre."
- "I find it sad that the Boys have to be a supporting act; doesn't matter if it's for Take That of Pink Floyd."
- "I don't think this will harm their reputation, although I'm not jumping around about it either."
- "PSB are fluffers for a bunch of strippers. They've seen better days." [Webmaster's note: I personally find this metaphor rather sordid but also quite brilliant, irrespective of whether I happen to agree with it.]
- "Following my initial misgivings, I’ve decided to think positive and look forward to what will no doubt turn out to be another storming PSB triumph!"
- "Until we don't know more facts about the circumstances under which the Boys will perform before Take That, it is difficult if it will be a success or something like a decline."
502 - Week of April 3, 2011
Covers of Tennant-Lowe songs better than the PSB version? (257 voters)
Are there any covers by other artists of songs written by the Pet Shop Boys that you like more than the Pet Shop Boys' own officially released versions?
73.9% - No
26.1% - Yes ¤*
Among the cover versions specifically cited by voters as being better than the PSB versions are:
- Tracey Thorn - "King's Cross"
- Eighth Wonder - "I'm Not Scared
- Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine - "Rent"
- Tina Turner - "Confidental"
- Element of Crime - "You Only Tell Me You Love Me When You're Drunk"
- Rufus Wainwright (live with the Pet Shop Boys) - "Casanova in Hell"
- Liza Minnelli - "Tonight Is Forever"
- Dusty Springfield - "Nothing Has Been Proved"
- Dusty Springfield - "In Private"
*Wayne's personal note: I initially voted "No." But then, quite late in the week, I realized that I actually did like Dusty Springfield's original of "In Private" much more than the Boys' own version, which they later recorded in a duet with Elton John. So I changed my vote to "Yes" (webmaster's prerogrative ). I must also confess that I like Liza Minnelli's rendition of "Tonight Is Forever" and Dusty Springfield's version of "Nothing Has Been Proved" just as much as the PSB recordings—not more, but just as much.
501 - Week of March 27, 2011
PSB's covers: thumbs up or thumbs down? (299 voters)
Of the following songs that have been covered by the Pet Shop Boys, which ones are you glad that they've covered, and which ones do you wish they hadn't covered?
Songs (in order of voters' preferences)
|Glad they covered it||Wish they hadn't covered it||Abstained|
|Always on My Mind||¤ 96.3%||2.3%||1.3%|
|Go West||¤ 83.3%||10.4%||6.4%|
|Where the Streets Have No Name (I Can't Keep My Eyes Off You)||¤ 80.6%||11.4%||8.0%|
|It's Alright||¤ 78.6%||10.7%||10.7%|
|Losing My Mind||¤ 75.9%||12.4%||11.7%|
|Hallo Spaceboy (live)||¤ 69.9%||10.7%||19.4%|
|We're the Pet Shop Boys||67.6%||¤ 14.4%||18.1%|
|Try It (I'm in Love with a Married Man)||¤ 66.6%||15.1%||18.4%|
|Viva la Vida||¤ 66.2%||19.4%||14.4%|
|Girls and Boys (live)||¤ 63.9%||17.4%||18.7%|
|My Girl||¤ 62.9%||
|Break 4 Love||¤ 49.5%||27.1%||23.4%|
|Sail Away||¤ 48.8%||26.4%||24.7%|
|What Keeps Mankind Alive||¤ 45.2%||38.1%||16.7%|
|If Love Were All||¤ 44.1%||36.1%||19.7%|
|I Cried for Us||¤ 42.1%||22.1%||35.8%|
|Glad All Over||¤ 40.5%||27.8%||31.8%|
|Alone Again, Naturally||¤ 29.1%||24.7%||46.2%|
|Je T'Aime… Moi Non Plus||¤ 28.1%||53.1%||18.7%|
In case you're wondering why, of all the songs the Pet Shop Boys have covered, the only one that I personally would have preferred that they had not covered is "We're the Pet Shop Boys," it's not because I dislike the song or their rendition of it. On the contrary, I do like it very much. It's just that it strikes me as vaguely self-congratulatory for them to have covered it. I'm sure they don't see it that way, and I have no doubt that wasn't their intention. But I just can't help how I feel about it. I would have preferred that they had left covering it to others (such as Robbie Williams, which he did with their help, and which I don't have any negative feelings about).
500 - Week of March 20, 2011
Your "personal recipe" for being a PSB fan (248 voters)
If you were to put together a "recipe for PSB fandom," in which you indicate how much various "ingredients" contribute to you, personally, being a Pet Shop Boys fan, what would be the percentage breakdown of those ingredients?
Please see the "Key" just below the chart for the meaning of the data appearing in each column.
|Their recordings||30.3%||30%||22.6%||5.6%||0.0%||80%||5.2%||¤ 35%|
|Their attitude, demeanor, and/or personalities||8.7%||10%||1.6%||0.0%||0.0%||50%||20.6%||¤ 3%|
|Their live performances||8.0%||0%||0.8%||0.4%||0.4%||100%||27.0%||¤ 0%|
|Their music videos||6.9%||0%||0.0%||0.0%||0.0%||50%||26.2%||¤ 3%|
|Their sense of style and/or fashion||4.7%||0%||0.4%||0.0%||0.0%||40%||36.3%||¤ 4%|
(the "gay factor")
|Other factors not mentioned here³||2.1%||0%||1.2%||1.2%||0.4%||100%||85.5%||¤ 0%|
|Their looks (physical appearance)||2.0%||0%||0.0%||0.0%||0.0%||30%||68.5%||¤ 0%|
- Avg = the average of the percentages assigned by all of the voters to that "ingredient"; these figures total to 100%
- Mode = the percentage value assigned more often by voters to that ingredient than any other value
- Max = the percentage of voters who assigned a higher percentage to that ingredient than to any other single ingredient, not including ties (instances where the voter assigned the same maximum percentage to two or more ingredients); in other words, they consider that factor more important than any other single factor
- >50% = the percentage of voters who assigned a value greater than 50% to that ingredient; that is, they consider that factor more important than all others combined
- 100% = the percentage of voters who assigned a value of 100% to that ingredient
- Peak = the highest percentage value assigned by any voter to that ingredient
(Note: I don't bother listing the opposite of "Peak"—the "Trough," the lowest percentage value assigned by any voter to each ingredient—because in every case it's 0, as already indicated by the figures in the next column, 0%.)
- 0% = the percentage of voters who assigned a value of 0% (or no value) to that ingredient
- Wayne = the percentage value assigned by this site's webmaster to that ingredient
¹Far be it from me to judge the choices made by voters, but I can't help but feel that the one person who assigned 100% to their sexuality (the "gay factor") did so as something of a joke. After all, if 100% of the reason you're a PSB fan is their "gayness," then you would have no more reason to be a PSB fan than to be a fan of any other gay artist—or of any other gay person, for that matter.
²If you're wondering about my own act of assigning 10% to the "gay factor," I have to say that, while I consider their songwriting and their recordings to be far more important factors in my being a fan (hence my 45% and 35%, respectively), I cannot ignore the fact that their gayness is a strong—not dominant, but definitely strong—component of why their music, lyrics, performances, and overall presentation speak so profoundly to me. As for my assigning 0% to their live performances and their looks, I have nothing against them: I enjoy their live performances immensely, and they look just fine to me. But those two things truly have little if anything to do with my being a fan. I firmly believe I'd be just as much a fan if they never performed live and/or if they looked like trolls—which, of course, they don't.
³Among the other factors mentioned by voters are:
- "Neil's voice." [Webmaster's note: I'm sorry I didn't think to include that one—it definitely belonged in the list! In a stretch, however, I suppose you could consider it part of the general concept of "their recordings."]
- "The unexplainable, magic bit that everything good has about it."
- "Being a PSB fan allows for probably my most enjoyable area of study in any sphere. A very major part of why I'm a fan… is because I really enjoy analysing, studying, interpreting, reviewing, and appreciating pretty much everything they do."
- "How they behave with fans and in public."
- "Reading Chris Heath's writing … helped turn me into a fan."
- "Their whole aesthetic—the fact that, as Neil has said, from the very beginning they wanted to be completely different, to do everything in their own way and create their own 'PSB world.'"
- "[The] design of their products [Webmaster's note: I suppose this can be viewed as distinct from the "their sense of style" option] and their political statements (over Iraq, gay politics and the No to ID campaign, for example)."
- "For me it's all about the box sets. I like to buy limited-edition box sets then sell them at a profit; that's why I'm a PSB fan. So 110% profiteering." [Webmaster's note: Nice snark, Scapa! ]
499 - Week of March 13, 2011
How often do you visit this and other "PSB sites"? (343 voters)
About how often, on the average, do you visit this website, the official Pet Shop Boys website, and other PSB-related websites?
|I've never visited!||0.0%||11.7%|
|This is my first time here!||0.9%|
|Rarely—less than once per month||7.0%||18.7%||44.3%|
|One to three times per month||14.3%||16.7%||7.9%|
|About once per week||36.2%||16.7%||6.7%|
|Two to four times per week||19.2%||13.1%||3.8%|
|More often than four times per week,
but not every day
|Once per day||9.9%||16.9%||5.0%|
|Two or three times per day||¤ 3.2%||¤ 6.1%||¤ 4.4%|
|More than three times per day||0.3%||1.2%||1.7%|
|It fluctuates so much that
an "average" is meaningless.
Two to four times per week
Two to four times per week
One to three times per month
Note: Some voters didn't vote in one or more of the categories. For this reason, the figures in each category don't total to 100%. Please keep in mind that this survey was inherently skewed in favor of this website by virtue of the fact that it took place on this website. So these results should not be interpreted to mean that this website is more popular than the official PSB website or, for that matter, any other website.
498 - Week of March 6, 2011
The Pet Shop Boys most "political" album (336 voters)
What do you consider to be the Pet Shop Boys' most "political" album?
73.2% - Fundamental ¤
09.5% - Actually
04.5% - Battleship Potemkin
03.0% - Bilingual
02.4% - Behaviour
01.8% - Release
01.5% - Very
00.9% - Yes
00.6% - Alternative
00.6% - Pandemonium
00.3% - Please
00.3% - Introspective
00.3% - Nightlife
00.3% - Closer to Heaven
00.3% - Disco 3
00.3% - Disco 4
00.3% - Ultimate
497 - Week of February 27, 2011
Can you not buy The Most Incredible Thing and still be a "true fan"? (307 voters)
Can someone not buy The Most Incredible Thing and still be a "true Pet Shop Boys fan"?
36.8% - Yes, definitely! ¤
23.1% - The question itself is absurd since "fan" means different things to different people and it's completely up to the individuals themselves as to whether they're "fans."
17.9% - No, certainly not!
13.0% - Yes—but they're not as much of a fan as those who buy it.
08.5% - It depends upon his or her reason(s) for not buying it.
00.7% - I have an opinion very different from any of those listed here.
One voter (thanks, Liam!) astutely pointed out that this question "is basically a variant on the 'true Scotsman' fallacy." This logical fallacy was first described in 1975 by British philosopher Antony Flew. It goes like this: A Scottish gentleman was reading in the newspaper about a vicious criminal assault and rape in an English town. He says to a friend, "No Scotsman would ever do such a thing!" But the next day they learn of a similar vicious attack in a Scottish town. When his friend challenges him about this, he replies, "Well, no true Scotsman would ever do such a thing!" In other words, it's fallacious to defend a cleary inaccurate statement by qualifying it in such a way as to "bend the rules" through a semantic quibble. If you take this view, then the phrase "true Pet Shop Boys fan" merely serves as a questionable device to deny the indisputable fact that some PSB fans will indeed not buy The Most Incredible Thing.
496 - Week of February 20, 2011
Will you buy The Most Incredible Thing? (326 voters)
Are you planning to buy the two-CD set of The Most Incredible Thing ballet score when it's released (scheduled for mid-March)?
38.7% - Yes, definitely, although I haven't placed an advance order for it (at least not yet).
28.8% - Yes! In fact, I already have it on order. ¤
10.4% - Maybe. I'll try to get a listen to at least part of it first, and then decide.
08.0% - Probably not—but I'm not absolutely ruling it out.
06.7% - Probably—but not definitely.
04.9% - No, definitely not!
01.8% - I may purchase some of its tracks on iTunes or elsewhere, but I doubt if I'll get the whole thing.
00.6% - I'm undecided for some other reason.
*One voter said, "Yes, I will definitely buy it, but not before I actually see the show." I agree that would have been a good option, and I regret not including it in the poll. Another voter suggested that she would consider buying it only if she actually sees it in an actual "brick-and-mortar" store—which strikes me as a nice (if perhaps futile) protest against the decline of record shops, don't you think?
495 - Week of February 13, 2011
Greatest aesthetic "dissonance" between album and singles (275 voters)
Which Pet Shop Boys studio albums have, in your opinion, the greatest aesthetic "dissonance" in terms of the difference between the overall quality of the albums themselves and the quality of the singles released from them?
The "best" album
Its singles are the most disappointing considering the very high quality of the album they came from. That is, a non-fan hearing the album might be the most surprised at how good it is considering how relatively weak the singles are.
The "weakest" album
Its singles are the most surprisingly good considering the relative quality of the album they came from. That is, a non-fan hearing the album might be the most disappointed at how relatively weak it is considering how good the singles are.
The overall ranking
The overall estimation of the album with the greatest aesthetic "dissonance" from its singles, as determined by votes. The figures below are obtained by adding the votes for each album in both categories and then dividing by the total number of votes.
|24.4% - Yes
15.3% - Fundamental ¤
14.2% - Behaviour
12.0% - Bilingual
10.5% - Release
08.7% - Nightlife
06.5% - Very
05.1% - Actually
02.2% - Introspective
01.1% - Please
|21.9% - Release
17.4% - Nightlife ¤
15.1% - Please
09.4% - Bilingual
09.1% - Introspective
08.7% - Fundamental
06.8% - Yes
05.3% - Actually
03.8% - Very
02.6% - Behaviour
|16.1% - Release
15.7% - Yes
13.0% - Nightlife
12.0% - Fundamental
10.7% - Bilingual
08.5% - Behaviour
08.0% - Please
05.6% - Introspective
05.2% - Actually
05.2% - Very
494 - Week of February 6, 2011
The odds of a Grammy for PSB (294 voters)
What do you think the odds are that the Pet Shop Boys will ever win a Grammy Award?
42.5% - The odds are against it—but it's possible. ¤
32.7% - Not a chance.
10.9% - Chances are good—but only as an end-of-career "last gasp" token of belated recognition.
06.1% - Chances are good, and not just as an end-of-career token of recognition, but as something they fully deserve for a particular new release.
04.1% - One or more of their releases may yet win a Grammy in a "non-musical" category, such as art direction or engineering, but I doubt if the Boys themselves will win one.
03.7% - Who can say? It's a 50/50 toss-up.
493 - Week of January 30, 2011
What if PSB had stopped in 1991? (326 voters)
If the Pet Shop Boys had stopped making new music after Discography in 1991, how do you think you would define your degree of "fandom" today?
29.8% - I think I would still be a fan, but not nearly as much of a fan.
23.3% - I can't even imagine life since 1991 without new PSB music, so I really have no idea.
16.0% - I think I would be just as much a fan as I am right now.
14.7% - I suspect I'd still like and sometimes listen to their old music, but I probably wouldn't consider myself a "fan." ¤*
06.7% - I suspect I probably wouldn't even have heard of them, or maybe only know them by name and nothing more.
05.8% - I think I would have a great nostalgic fondness for them, but that's about it.
02.1% - I suspect I'd be an even bigger fan than I am now.
00.9% - I have an opinion very different from any of those expressed here.**
00.6% - I think I would actually dislike them if that were the case.
*Regarding my own vote—as I've often noted on this website and elsewhere, although Discography first got me interested in the Pet Shop Boys, it took 1993's Very to complete my transformation into a true fan. Without it, it's most likely that I never would have become a PSB fan.
**Among the alternate opinions offered:
492 - Week of January 23, 2011
Should they remake one of their old singles? (345 voters)
Some fans have suggested that the Pet Shop Boys should record a completely new version (not just a remix) of one of their pre-Yes singles and then release it as a new single. Would you like for them to do this—and, if so, which single do you think should get this treatment?
52.5% - No, I wouldn't want them to do this! ¤
Yes, I would like for them to do this, and the single I think they should re-record and re-release is—
04.3% - Love Comes Quickly
03.8% - It's a Sin
02.9% - West End Girls
02.9% - Opportunities (Let's Make Lots of Money)
02.3% - Being Boring
02.0% - So Hard
02.0% - DJ Culture
02.0% - Paninaro '95
02.0% - Integral
01.7% - Heart
01.4% - Always on My Mind
01.4% - Rent
01.4% - Was It Worth It?
01.4% - Break 4 Love
01.2% - Domino Dancing
01.2% - Left to My Own Devices
01.2% - Before
01.2% - Miracles
00.9% - Suburbia
00.9% - What Have I Done to Deserve This?
00.9% - A Red Letter Day
00.9% - To Step Aside
00.6% - It's Alright
00.6% - I Wouldn't Normally Do This Kind of Thing
00.6% - I Don't Know What You Want But I Can't Give It Any More
00.6% - You Only Tell Me You Love Me When You're Drunk
00.6% - I Get Along
00.6% - Minimal
00.6% - Numb
00.3% - How Can You Expect to Be Taken Seriously?
00.3% - Jealousy
00.3% - Can You Forgive Her?
00.3% - Go West
00.3% - Liberation
00.3% - Yesterday, When I Was Mad
00.3% - Absolutely Fabulous
00.3% - Se A Vida E (That's the Way Life Is)
00.3% - New York City Boy
00.3% - Home and Dry
00.3% - London
00.3% - Flamboyant
00.0% - Where the Streets Have No Name (I Can't Take My Eyes Off You)
00.0% - Single-Bilingual
00.0% - Somewhere
00.0% - I'm with Stupid
491 - Week of January 16, 2011
Please rate each of the following miscellaneous songs written and/or performed by the Pet Shop Boys around the time they released their Ultimate collection 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
|I Cried for Us||5.748||4.8%||2.2%||3|
|Glad All Over||5.143||3.4%||3.4%||2|
To see where these tracks fall in relation to other songs in the PSB catalog, please visit the overall "Rating Project" page.
490 - Week of January 9, 2011
Why didn't "Together" chart higher? (395 voters)
What, in your opinion, is the single biggest reason for why "Together" didn't perform any better than it did on the U.K. singles chart?
25.3% - It was marketed and/or promoted poorly.
23.8% - It just wasn't very good, period.
15.9% - It had already appeared on Ultimate, so why should people buy the single? ¤*
10.4% - It's ageism: they're now "too old" for the singles chart.
08.1% - The "download culture" is killing their potential as singles artists.
05.8% - It really wasn't "single material."
04.6% - The singles-buying public has grown tired of them.
03.8% - For some other reason not listed here.*
01.8% - It was the wrong time of year for a song like that.
00.5% - The competition was too stiff.
00.0% - The b-sides weren't very appealing.
*Actually, I suspect a conscious decision was made to "let the new song sell the album"—that is, to let it be the chief drawing card for fans to purchase the album in order to get the single a month ahead of the single's release—thereby sacrificing the success of the single itself in the process. I imagine greater profits were to be made from selling the album as opposed to the single. Besides, completists would still buy the single just to get the bonus tracks.
**Among the other reasons suggested by voters were:
- "I am wondering whether its actually homophobia combined with ageism."
- "In my opinion, the difference between the music the Pet Shop Boys make and the music that is hit material nowadays has become too big. I mean, look at the charts: is there anything there that even vaguely resembles their last releases?"
- "I would say that the reason chart success is becoming increasing elusive for the Boys is because they're too old for the singles chart. But I wouldn't call that 'ageism'—that's just the way the world works and has done for many years. The singles chart mostly is about acts that are new and exciting and fresh—and probably manufactured to tie in with a recent TV show. The 50th single from a 25-year-old group (as opposed to a group of 25-year-olds) [Webmaster's note: Good one!] can hardly be expected to trouble the charts no matter who the artist is."
- "I think that most (not all, but most) of the reasons I listed played a role." [Webmaster's note: As I said in my prefatory remarks to the survey, that's actually what I think: there's really no single reason. I was simply looking for the biggest one.]
- "I am wondering whether its actually homophobia combined with ageism."
- "The beat is awkward…. It's hard to dance to music in 3/4 time, and it's almost as difficult to listen to at least the first few times."
- "I'm not taken with these PSB videos where they hardly appear…."
- "It's lack of airplay, pure and simple." [Webmaster's note: As stated in a footnote to the survey, I had disallowed "lack of airplay" as one of the choices because I felt it begged the question "Why was there a lack of radio airplay?" thereby taking us right back where we started.]
489 - Week of January 2, 2011
What kind of "PSB year" was 2010? (319 voters)
Using whatever criteria you deem most appropriate, how would you rate 2010 as a "Pet Shop Boys year"?
31.7% - It was an above-average year for them.
27.0% - It was an average year for them. ¤*
19.4% - It was an excellent year for them—one of the best.
16.3% - It was a below-average year for them.
03.1% - It was a terrible year for them—one of the worst.
01.6% - It was the worst year for them ever!
00.9% - It was the best year for them ever!
*Some of you might wonder, considering the Ultimate CD/DVD, the Pandemonium DVD, the "Together" single and its b-sides (despite its poor chart performance), My Dad's a Birdman, their Glastonbury show, the extension of the Pandemonium Tour, the limited-edition "Love Life"/"A Powerful Friend" vinyl single, Shirley Bassey recording "The Performance of My Life," the 25th anniversary of their first big hit, and the attendant media attention, why I (and many others) rated 2010 merely an "average" PSB year. To be sure, such achievements within a single year would earn a higher rating than that for many if not most other artists. But I guess it just goes to show what terrifically high standards our Boys have set for themselves and what great expectations some of us have for them! In other words, from this perspective, it was an "average" year for them because they're great on the average! (That's why we're fans.) Of course, that didn't stop a plurality of voters from considering it an above-average year. As usual, I find myself just a bit out-of-sync with the plurality of PSB fans. Hey, I'm used to it by now.
All text on this website aside from direct quotations (such as of lyrics and of other nonoriginal content) is copyright © 2001-2014 by Wayne Studer. All Rights Reserved. All lyrics and images copyright © their respective dates by their respective owners. Brief quotations and small, low-resolution images are used for identification and critical commentary; it is therefore believed that they constitute Fair Use under U.S. copyright law. Billboard chart data are copyright © their respective dates by Nielsen Business Media, Inc.