Past PSB Survey Results - 2013 Surveys

This page presents the results of surveys I conducted in the year 2013. The results of surveys conducted in 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 , 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 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 639 - Week of December 29, 2013
A Stuart Price trilogy? (393 voters)

The Pet Shop Boys have said that they would like Electric to be the first in a "trilogy" of albums produced by Stuart Price. What do you think of this idea?*

45.3% - "I'm completely in favor of it! Their next two studio albums should be produced by Price as well!"
27.5% - "I'm in favor of such a 'trilogy,' but not necessarily in consecutive order. They should intersperse the future albums produced by Price with other projects, including albums with different producers." ¤
10.9% - "I don't take what the Boys have said about this seriously. I doubt if there will ever be such a 'trilogy.'"*
07.4% - "I don't like this idea. I hope Electric turns out to be their only studio album produced by Price."
07.4% - "I don't care about it one way or the other."
01.5% - "I have a very different opinion from any of those listed here."**

*After the start of this survey, one of my site visitors, Tan Sam, wrote to inform me of a recent interview with Neil in which he said that the "dance trilogy" idea was something he thought up at the spur of the moment—just off the top of his head—during a previous interview. So it sounds as though it really wasn't a serious plan that hadn't even been discussed by the Boys. On the other hand, maybe it has become a more serious plan since then. I suppose that remains to be seen.

**Among the "different opinions" expressed:

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Survey 638 - Week of December 22, 2013
Missing art, notes, etc. with music downloads? (372 voters)

When you buy music downloads, do you miss the full cover art (back as well as front) and detailed album notes (songwriters, producers, support musicians, and other credits)?

58.3% - "Yes, I do miss those things and I wish I could get them." ¤
33.1% - "I generally don't buy downloads, so it's a moot point as far as I'm concerned."*
08.6% - "No, I don't miss those things."

*At least one voter said that he generally doesn't buy downloads but that this wasn't a moot point since this is one of the main reasons he doesn't buy downloads."

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Survey 637- Week of December 15, 2013
Preferred Tennant/Lowe DVD release (394 voters)

If it were up to you to choose for DVD release one—but only one—of the following three Tennant/Lowe projects that haven't yet been released on DVD, which one would you choose?

50.0% - Closer to Heaven ¤
33.2% - Battleship Potemkin
16.8% - The Most Incredible Thing

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Survey 636 - Week of December 8, 2013
Response to a very unlikely but most unpleasant hypothetical situation (304 voters)

A purely hypothetical question – If, heaven forbid, Chris and/or Neil were ever to admit to or be convicted of, beyond any reasonable doubt, something that was not only illegal but also, from general perspective (including your own) morally reprehensible, how do you think it would affect your being a fan of them and their music?

23.7% - "It depends on the specific nature of the act(s) involved (even assuming they're 'morally reprehensible')." ¤*
22.4% - "It probably wouldn't affect my fandom, purchasing, or listening habits at all; I can distinguish between the artist and the art."
16.4% - "I'm not at all sure how I would react and/or I can't generalize about this (even assuming 'morally reprehensible' acts)."
14.5% - "You shouldn't ask such a thing, even as a 'hypothetical'! I find the very concept of this question repugnant!"
14.1% - "It would probably decrease my level of fandom, but I would still buy and/or listen to any music of theirs that I especially like."
03.0% - "I would stop being a fan, stop buying their music, and stop listening to it, but I'd probably keep my 'PSB collection,' at least for the time being."
02.0% - "I would stop buying any new music, but I would continue listening to the music that I already own."
02.0% - "I would stop being a fan, stop buying their music, stop listening to it, and even dispose of my 'PSB collection' in short order."
01.3% - "I have a very different opinion than any of those listed here."**
00.7% - "I would continue listening to the music they created before the act(s) occurred, but I'd refuse to listen to any they created afterward."

*Regarding my own vote, I was hesitant to make that particular choice because I was initially inclined to view it as a bit of a personal cop-out—that is, being so "indefinite" with my own poll question. But, as I thought about it very carefully, I had to admit that it did indeed mostly closely express how I felt about the matter. There are definitely some "morally reprehensible" acts that would affect my level of fandom moreso than others. If I had to make a different choice, however, I would actually pick the one that came in last place.

**Although several people chose this "very different opinion" option, I was unable to discern any noticeably different viewpoints expressed in the comments left for this poll. Perhaps that was an oversight or misunderstanding on my part.

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Survey 635 - Week of December 1, 2013
All-time favorite "long-form" PSB video (352 voters)

What is your all-time favorite official Pet Shop Boys "long-form" video release?

23.6% - PopArt
22.2% - Performance
19.0% - Pet Shop Boys: A Life in Pop ¤*
09.7% - Pandomonium
04.8% - It Couldn't Happen Here
04.3% - DiscoVery
04.3% - Montage
04.0% - Cubism
01.7% - Television
01.4% - Showbusiness
01.4% - Ultimate
01.2% - Various
00.6% - Somewhere
00.6% - Projections
00.6% - Videography
00.6% - Highlights
00.0% - Promotion

*Actually, I would have voted for Performance (which played a major role in my becoming a big-time PSB fan) if it weren't for the fact that I appeared in A Life in Pop myself, which otherwise I probably would have ranked second or maybe even third (behind PopArt as well). But, c'mon—if you appeared at some length in a PSB video, wouldn't it become your personal favorite, too?

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Survey 634 - Week of November 24, 2013
Current primary music-listening decade (379 voters)

Which decade's music—not just the Pet Shop Boys' music, but all of the music you listen to—accounts for the largest single share of your current personal listening habits?

31.4% - The 1980s
24.5% - The current decade
20.6% - "My listening habits are so diverse that I simply can't pick any single decade for the 'largest share'" ¤*
10.8% - The 1990s
07.9% - The 2000s
02.9% - The 1970s
01.1% - Some decade before the 1960s
00.8% - The 1960s

*Regarding my own vote, I tried to resist the "so diverse" option because I feared my site visitors would consider it a "cop out" on my part. But as I assessed my listening habits over the past month or two, I found I really couldn't come up with an honest alternative. Not surprisingly, I've been listening to a lot of the Pet Shop Boys' latest music (the current decade), but I've been playing their 1990s albums (specifically Very and Bilingual) as well. I've also been on a bit of a Steely Dan jag lately (the 1970s). My car radio dial has been set on the SiriusXM satellite 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s stations, with the latter—as well as the 1980s-dominated "1st Wave" station—dominating my commute listening habits. So I really can't zero in on any one decade.

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Survey 633 - Week of November 17, 2013
The Rating Project: Electric singles b-sides (340 voters)

Please rate each of the "b-sides" for the Pet Shop Boys' two most recent singles on a scale of 0-10 as they compare to all 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").

Track (Listed from Highest Average Rating to Lowest) Average
Rating
% of
voters
rating
10
% of
voters
rating
0
Most
frequent
rating
Wayne's
Rating ¤*
No More Ballads 5.663 5.4% 2.7% 5 4
Odd Man Out 5.524 4.1% 3.1% 5 7
Entschuldigung! 5.482 4.8% 4.2% 5 1
Get It Online 5.065 2.6% 3.6% 5 2

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

*Regarding my own personal ratings: When visitors see me rate PSB songs below 5, they sometimes write to comment on how I must not "like" them. But that's not the case at all! I do indeed like all four of these songs! But keep in mind that these ratings are relative to the entire PSB catalog! And I have to admit that I don't like three of these songs as much as I do a majority of the Boys' work. That's why I give them "below average" ratings. If I didn't like a song at all, I'd rate it 0.

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Survey 632 - Week of November 10, 2013
Favorite remix of "Love Is a Bourgeois Construct" (307 voters)

Not counting the album version, what is your favorite "official" remix of "Love Is a Bourgeois Construct"?

27.7% - "I can't say because I haven't heard enough of them to make a choice."
15.0% - "I really don't like any of the official remixes."
14.7% - The Penelopes Remix
11.1% - Little Boots Discothèque
07.5% - Dave Audé Big Dirty Dub Remix aka Dave Audé Club Mix
06.8% - Nighttime Radio Edit
04.9% - Claptone Remix
03.9% - Instrumental
02.3% - The Penelopes Remix Radio Edit
02.3% - Claptone Instrumental
02.0% - "Some other remix not listed here:* ¤
01.6% - Daytime Radio Edit
00.3% - Little Boots Discothèque Dub

*Among the other remixes specifically cited by voters:

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Survey 631 - Week of November 3, 2013
Feelings about no video for "Love Is a Bourgeois Construct" (452 voters)

With which of the following statements regarding the lack of an official Pet Shop Boys music video for "Love Is a Bourgeois Construct" do you agree? (Please choose all that apply.)*

30.8% - "I'm somewhat disappointed, but it's an understandable omission. Music videos are expensive, and they're not as important as they used to be." ¤
28.1% - "I'm extremely disappointed there was no video. It's like a gaping hole in the 'PSB catalog.'"
21.0% - "It's no big deal."
19.0% - "I'd rather have a video than a dozen or more remixes of the song." ¤
09.3% - "I don't care about it one way or the other."
06.4% - "Music videos are 'history'; their day is done, so it shows the Boys are moving on."
04.0% - "I'd rather have a lot of remixes than a video."
03.8% - "It's OK. The song doesn't really lend itself to a video, anyway."
03.5% - "I'm actually glad they didn't create a video for it!"
02.2% - "I have some other opinion about it very different from any of those listed here."**

*Because voters could make more than one selection, the total percentages add up to be more than 100%.

**Among the alternate opinions expressed:

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Survey 630 - Week of October 27, 2013
Buy CD of Electric instrumental tracks? (421 voters)

Would you buy a CD of just the instrumental tracks for Electric?

32.1% - "Yes, as a standalone disc."
22.8% - "I would have bought it as a bonus disc as part of a special edition, but now that I already have the album, no, I wouldn't buy a special edition just to get the instrumentals." ¤*
18.5% - "Yes, but only as a bonus disc as part of a special edition of the album, even though I already have the album."
16.2% - "No, I'm not interested at all in purely instrumental versions."
06.4% - "No, although I might buy downloads of all the instrumentals if they proved cheaper than the CD."
04.0% - "No, although I might buy downloads of some of the instrumental tracks, but not all of them."

*To explain my own choice – Some of you may be surprised that I'm not really a "Pet Shop Boys completist." I don't insist on owning each and every PSB release per se. What I do insist on is each and every PSB song. I'm as much interested in their lyrics as I am in their music, and their music without their lyrics doesn't hold unreserved appeal to me. While I would certainly buy a special edition if it contained both the full songs and instrumental versions, I would probably do so only if I didn't already have those songs to begin with on the "standard" album. If I already have the album, however, subsequently spending additional money just to get the instrumentals as well doesn't make a lot of sense from my perspective. But that's just me.

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Survey 629 - Week of October 20, 2013
Assessing the Electric Tour show (388 voters)

Did you attend one or more of the Pet Shop Boys' Electric Tour shows? If so, how would you assess various aspects of the show: "Excellent," "Good," or "Not to good"?

38.0% - "No, I did not attend any Electric Tour shows."

62.0% - Yes, I did attend one or more shows of the Electric Tour, and I would assess its various aspects as follows:

Note: The following percentages are based on the total of all voters, including those who did not attend any Electric Tour shows. Therefore they do not total to 100%, but rather only to 62.0% at most (with any lesser totals caused by abstentions). The bold red numerals indicate the plurality vote for each aspect of the show. The pink cells indicate the aspect that received the greatest vote for each rating (Excellent, Good, or Not so good), and the blue cells indicate those that received the lowest vote for each rating. As usual, the ¤ symbol indicates how I voted.

  Excellent Good Not so good
Setlist (song selection) 42.4% ¤ 18.3% 0.5%
Song arrangements ¤ 42.4% 17.0% 1.3%
Neil's vocals ¤ 43.7% 15.4% 1.5%
Sound quality 37.5% 18.0% ¤* 5.4%
Visuals (staging, lighting, lasers, projections, etc.) ¤ 47.3% 11.1% 2.6%
Costumes ¤ 31.4% 24.2% 5.1%
Dancers 22.4% ¤ 30.8% 8.0%
Overall ¤ 44.5% 13.4% 1.5%

*Regarding my "Not so good" rating for sound quality: I personally felt the sound quality was OK—not excellent, but not bad, either. But some of the people with whom I attended the show felt that the sound quality was "harsh" and somewhat "distorted" (the very words they used) and were a bit disappointed with it on that count. I therefore decided to vote "Not so good" in that category to reflect their assessment.

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Survey 628 - Week of October 13, 2013
Buy PSB re-releases on Blu-ray? (392 voters)

Which of the following statements comes closest to expressing how you would feel about purchasing (or repurchasing) the Pet Shop Boys' previous DVD releases if they were remastered in HD sound and video and then re-released on Blu-ray?

34.9% - "No, I wouldn't purchase them on Blu-ray. I don't have a Blu-ray player, and I have no intention of buying one."
23.2% - "Yes, I already have a Blu-ray player, and I'll gladly buy and PSB items re-released on Blu-ray!" ¤
15.3% - "Yes, I would buy some previous DVD releases on Blu-ray, but probably not all of them."
12.8% - "No, I wouldn't purchase them on Blu-ray even though I have a Blu-ray player. Why buy again what I already have on DVD?"
09.4% - "Yes, I'd buy any PSB Blu-ray releases, even though I'll need to buy a Blu-ray player to watch them!"
04.1% - "No, I wouldn't buy them on Blu-ray even though I have a Blu-ray player. I'm just not interested."

Overall, 51.8% said "No" and 48.2% said "Yes."

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Survey 627 - Weeks of September 29 and October 6, 2013
Changed opinions of studio albums? (406 voters)

How—in terms of whether you like it more, less, or about the same—do you currently feel about each of the Pet Shop Boys' studio albums compared to how you felt about it shortly after it was released or when you first became familiar with it?

This poll took place too soon after the release of Electric to include it among the choices, so I substituted the "quasi-studio" album Relentless instead. Please note that the percentages for any given album may not add up to 100% because voters could abstain from placing a vote for any album that they felt unable to make a choice for, for whatever reason (such as lack of familiarity with it).

In the table below, the majority or plurality percentage response for each album appears in bold red type. A cell is highlighted in pink designates the highest response in that particular category (like it more, like it less, or like it about the same) and a cell highlighted in pale blue designates a category's lowest response. As usual, the ¤ symbol indicates how I voted.

  I like it more now than I did early on. I like it less now than I did early on.* I like it about the same now as I did early on.
Please ¤ 32.8% 11.1% 52.7%
Actually 27.1% ¤ 14.5% 54.9%
Introspective 32.5% 14.5% ¤ 48.3%
Behaviour ¤ 52.5% 8.4% 35.7%
Very 30.3% 17.0% ¤ 49.5%
Relentless 22.4% 14.3% ¤ 53.0%
Bilingual ¤ 33.3% 22.9% 40.1%
Nightlife 19.5% ¤ 35.5% 40.1%
Release ¤ 21.2% 27.3% 45.3%
Fundamental 25.1% 21.7% ¤ 48.8%
Yes 25.9% ¤ 20.2% 49.8%
Elysium 29.6% ¤ 21.9% 43.6%

*Please keep in mind that there's no suggestion here that any of the voters (myself included) doesn't necessarily like the album in question—only that we no longer like it as much as we once did. Speaking for myself, I still love each and every PSB studio album, but obviously I love some more than others, and some I don't love quite as much as I did at one time.

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Survey 626 - Week of September 22, 2013
Too many recent remixes? (421 voters)

Have there been too many "official" remixes of the Pet Shop Boys' most recent singles?

35.2% - "Yes, though I wouldn't feel that way if the remixes were better." ¤
24.2% - "Yes—period."
21.6% - "There can never be 'too many' official remixes!"
10.2% - "I'm not sure, or I have mixed feelings about it."
08.8% - "No."

Several voters expressed alternate views, most notably a common frustration over the fact that so many official remixes are legally available only on extremely hard-to-find promo releases. A few others said that this is a matter that they simply don't care about one way or the other.

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Survey 625 - Week of September 15, 2013
PSB's greatest love song (487 voters)

What, in your opinion, is the Pet Shop Boys' all-time greatest love song?

14.4% - It Always Comes as a Surprise ¤
11.3% - The Way It Used to Be
10.7% - Love Comes Quickly
10.7% - Liberation
10.1% - Miracles
07.6% - "Some other song not listed here"*
05.7% - Heart
03.9% - Always on My Mind
03.7% - Indefinite Leave to Remain
03.3% - Nervously
03.3% - Home and Dry
03.1% - I Wouldn't Normally Do This Kind of Thing
02.1% - Memory of the Future
01.6% - Tonight Is Forever
01.4% - Did You See Me Coming?
01.2% - Two Divided by Zero
01.2% - King of Rome
01.0% - Footsteps
01.0% - Between Two Islands
00.8% - I Get Excited (You Get Excited Too)
00.8% - The Only One
00.4% - It Must Be Obvious
00.2% - Give It a Go
00.2% - Bolshy
00.2% - Thursday
00.0% - The Night I Fell in Love

*I provided what I felt were the 25 "prime candidate" songs listed above for voters to choose from, but I knew full well that I would overlook some. Quite a few voters suggested additional candidates for the title of "the Pet Shop Boys' greatest love song," specifically the following. (To be brutally honest, however, I fail to see how some of these—I won't say which ones—can be considered "love songs." But to each his or her own.) If additional voters then weighed in, I provide in parentheses the total number who appeared to agree:

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Survey 624 - Week of September 8, 2013
Favorite studio and non-studio album covers/packaging (455 voters)

What is your favorite (1) Pet Shop Boys studio album cover and (2) PSB "non-studio" album cover (compilations, Disco albums, etc.)?

Favorite studio album cover/packaging:

38.7% - Very ¤*
11.6% - Actually
10.8% - Behaviour
08.4% - Nightlife
07.9% - Introspective
05.3% - Yes
03.7% - Please
03.7% - Release
03.3% - Fundamental
02.4% - Elysium
02.2% - Electric
01.5% - Bilingual

*Regarding my own vote – If I were considering only the cover itself as opposed to the packaing overall, I'd choose Actually (as I've noted elsewhere) with it's unforgettable, iconic image of the Boys in tuxes and Neil yawning. But in this poll I made my decision based on the album packaging overall, in which case the unique (and incredibly innovative) orange "Lego" CD case of Very wins hands-down in my book.

Favorite "non-studio" album cover/packaging:

29.5% - Alternative ¤
15.2% - Relentless
13.6% - PopArt
07.3% - Discography
06.6% - Disco 3
06.4% - Format
04.6% - Disco
02.9% - Disco 4
02.4% - The Most Incredible Thing
02.4% - Pandemonium
01.5% - Battleship Potemkin
01.3% - Ultimate
01.1% - Concrete
00.9% - Disco 2
00.4% - Closer to Heaven
00.4% - Some other album not listed here

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Survey 623 - Week of September 1, 2013
How Neil's vocals are "treated" on Electric (388 voters)

Some fans have been discussing online their dissatisfaction with how Neil's vocals on Electric sound—that they're often "treated," "manipulated," or "distorted" in ways that they dislike. Which of the following statements comes closest to expressing your opinion of the way Neil's vocals sound on Electric?

38.4% - "In general, I really like how Neil's vocals are 'treated' on Electric!"
29.9% - "Actually, I don't think Neil's vocals sound much different on Electric than they do on most other PSB albums."
12.1% - "I don't like how Neil's vocals are 'treated" on a few of the songs (fewer than half of them), but most are OK." ¤*
08.2% - "I really don't have an opinion about this one way or the other."
06.4% - "I have mixed feelings about how Neil's vocals are 'treated' on Electric."
04.4% - "In general, I don't like how Neil's vocals are 'treated' on Electric."
00.5% - "I have a very different opinion than any of those described above."**

*Regarding my own vote – I'm not fond of the filter effect applied to Neil's vocal on "Love Is a Bourgeois Construct"; I fail to see the purpose it serves. And I agree with a great many fans that his vocals in the verses of "Thursday" are mixed way too low, rendering them very difficult to make out without the benefit of the lyric sheet. On the other hand, I generally like the special effects applied to the vocals on several other songs, such as "Bolshy" and even my least favorite song on the album, "Shouting in the Evening." In fact, I almost inclined to say that those effects are just about the most memorable thing about the latter song.

**Among the "different opinions" offered by voters:

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Survey 622 - Week of August 25, 2013
Favorite single remix of "Vocal" (269 voters)

Of the remixes released on the "Vocal" CD and digital bundle single (not counting the album version), which one is your favorite?

39.8% - "I can't choose one because I'm not familiar enough with them to make a choice."
20.8% - JRMX Club Mix ¤*
16.7% - "I can't choose one because I don't like any of them."
05.9% - Armageddon Turk Tear Gas Mix
05.6% - The Cucarachas Mix
05.6% - WAWA Extended Mix
02.2% - Rektchordz Dub
01.5% - Rektchordz Mix
01.5% - Nacho Chapado & Ivan Gomez Mix
00.4% - The Cucarachas Dub

*Regarding my own vote – To be honest, I'm not terribly thrilled with the remixes on the "Vocal" CD/digital bundle single, and I was tempted to go with the option "I can't choose one because I don't like any of them." But I don't actually dislike the JRMX Club Mix; I'm just not very enthusiastic about it. Since it is, however, my favorite of the batch, I went ahead and voted for it.

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Survey 621 - Week of August 18, 2013
Should the Boys be knighted? (436 voters)

Which of the following statements comes closest to expressing your opinion as to whether the Pet Shop Boys should be knighted by the Queen?

26.1% - "Yes, they deserve it for their contribution to British culture and/or economy!"
14.7% - "No, considering their socio-political views and some past statements they've made."
14.0% - "Yes, despite the fact that they'll probably turn it down."
10.6% - "I really don't care about this one way or the other."
08.7% - "No, especially since others more deserving haven't yet been knighted."
06.4% - "I'm afraid I don't know enough about 'knighthood' to say."
05.7% - "No, for some other reason."*
05.0% - "I have mixed feelings about it." ¤**
03.4% - "Yes, eventually—but no, not yet."
03.2% - "Yes, especially since others less deserving have been knighted.."
02.1% - "No, pop stars in general shouldn't be knighted."
00.0% - "Yes, for some other reason."

In summary, 46.8% of the voters picked a "Yes" option and 31.2% picked a "No" option, with the remainder (22.0%) choosing one of the more "noncommittal" responses.

*Among the alternate opinions expressed were:

**My feelings on this one are indeed very mixed. I do think they deserve it—eventually. Just not quite yet. Perhaps in another 5-10 years, especially after they have one or two (or three) more of their "Tennant-Lowe" projects under their belts.On the other hand, given some of their past statements (such as about the royal family), they might seriously risk seeming like hypocrites if, upon such an offer, they didn't refuse it—at least unless they made some major public pronouncement about changes in their attitudes and beliefs in recent years (because, after all, people do change). But in either of those cases—whether they refused it or not—I think I'd almost wish they weren't offered knighthoods at all. Still, there's no denying that a big part of me would love for them to be honored in this way. I'd be very proud of "my" Pet Shop Boys (if I may be so presumptuous as to put it like that). Maybe what I'd really like is some major civic honor short of knighthood—one conferred by Parliament rather than by the monarch. But, then again, aren't all U.K. knighthoods in this day and age actually conferred by Parliament and only formalized by the monarch? Arghh! See what I mean about my mixed feelings?

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Survey 620 - Week of August 11, 2013
Bought the Electric Box and/or the Electric Playbutton? (434 voters)
Did you buy the special limited edition vinyl "Electric Box" (which originally sold for £500 – approximately $766 or €577 – and is now "sold out")? Did you buy the limited edition digital "Electric Playbutton" (which originally sold for roughly $23 – approximately £15 or €17 – and is now "sold out")?

72.4% - "No, I didn't buy the 'Electric Box,' and I wouldn't now even if I could." ¤

19.4% - "No, I didn't buy the 'Electric Box,' but I wish I had."

08.2% - "Yes, I bought the 'Electric Box.'"

51.2% - "No, I didn't buy the 'Electric Playbutton,' and I wouldn't now even if I could." ¤

33.4% - "No, I didn't buy the 'Electric Playbutton,' but I wish I had."

15.4% - "Yes, I bought the 'Electric Playbutton.'"

Note: Some voters didn't respond to both questions, but only to one or the other. The percentages shown here are based on only those who responded to the respective questions.

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Survey 619 - Week of August 4, 2013
The Rating Project: Electric (494 voters)

Please rate each of the following tracks from the Pet Shop Boys' album Electric 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").

Track (Listed from Highest Average Rating to Lowest) Average
Rating
% of
voters
rating
10
% of
voters
rating
0
Most
frequent
rating
Wayne's
Rating ¤
Thursday 7.944 20.0% 0.8% 9 8
Vocal 7.910 25.4% 0.6% 10 7
Love Is a Bourgeois Construct 7.824 27.1% 1.0% 10 6
Fluorescent 7.192 12.0% 0.6% 8 4
Axis 7.182 11.6% 0.4% 8 2
Inside a Dream 7.105 12.0% 0.6% 7 7
The Last to Die 7.055 9.7% 0.4% 8 5
Bolshy 6.471 6.0% 0.4% 8 8
Shouting in the Evening 5.711 3.8% 3.2% 7 1

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

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Survey 618 - Week of July 28, 2013
Should "A Face Like That" have been saved for Electric? (503 voters)

Which one of the following statements comes closest to expressing your opinion of whether "A Face Like That" should have been saved for Electric rather than being included on Elysium?

30.8% - "No - 'A Face Like That' provides a much-needed boost to Elysium!"
12.3% - "No - Elysium is perfect as it is!"
11.9% - "Yes - Electric would have been even better with ten tracks rather than nine, and 'A Face Like that' would have been a nice way to flesh it out."
08.5% - "Yes - 'A Face Like That' would have fit much better on Electric than on Elysium."
08.3% - "No - I don't think 'A Face Like That' would fit well on Electric at all!"
07.2% - "No - Electric is perfect as it is!"
04.6% - "No, for more than one of the reasons listed here."
04.6% - "I have very mixed feelings about it." ¤*
03.4% - "I can't say (for whatever reason)."
02.8% - "Yes - 'A Face Like That' detracts from the mood of Elysium and doesn't really fit there."
01.8% - "No, for some other reason."**
01.6% - "Yes - 'A Face Like That' is better than most of the tracks on Electric and would therefore have improved its quality."
01.2% - "Yes, for more than one of the reasons listed here."
01.0% - "Yes, for some other reason."**

In summary, 65.1% of the voters picked a "No" option and 27.1% picked a "Yes" option, with the remainder (7.8%) choosing one of the more "noncommittal" responses.

*My "mixed feelings" are that I do feel that 'A Face Like That' provides a much-needed boost to Elsyium, but I also think that it would have fit better on Electric than the preceding album and detracts somewhat from its overall mood. But, all that being said, I'm ultimately glad the two albums' track lineups are what they are, largely because I trust the Boys' instincts. See how mixed my feelings are?

**Among the alternate opinions expressed were:

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Survey 617 - Week of July 21, 2013
Favorite track on Electric (705 voters)

What is your favorite track (so far) on Electric?

28.8% - Love Is a Bourgeois Construct
15.6% - Thursday ¤*
11.3% - Vocal
08.2% - Bolshy
08.1% - Inside a Dream
08.1% - Fluorescent
08.1% - "I can't choose!"
05.8% - The Last to Die
03.3% - Axis
02.7% - Shouting in the Evening

*Like many of you (as I gather from reading your comments), I found this an extremely difficult decision to make. In fact, I'm quite torn among no fewer than five different tracks as my favorite on Electric. But at the time that I placed my vote I was learning mostly toward "Thursday," and I still feel that way as I type this. Lemme tell ya', though—it's a tough one.

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Survey 616 - Week of July 14, 2013
General rating of Electric as a PSB album (579 voters)

In terms of how it compares with their other albums, what is your early impression of the Pet Shop Boys' new album, Electric?

52.7% - It may not be their very best, but it's certainly one of their best albums.
21.2% - It's a better-than-average PSB album.
08.5% - It's an average PSB album. ¤*
06.7% - It's their best album yet!
05.4% - I can't say because I haven't heard it yet (or at least heard enough to vote).
02.9% - It's a below-average PSB album.
01.6% - It may not be their worst/weakeset album, but it's certainly one of the weakest.
01.0% - It's their worst/weakest album yet!

*Are you surprised—maybe even shocked—that I personally consider Electric only an "average" PSB album? Well, please look at it this way: I consider every Pet Shop Boys studio album excellent. For them, excellence is "average." And I certainly do view Electric as an excellent album. It's downright fabulous, and I love it! But I find it difficult to rate it higher than a number of other PSB albums that I love just as much. I just can't bring myself to say that it's better than Very, Behaviour, Fundamental, Bilingual, and Introspective, which I think I would have to do to say that it's one of their best albums yet, or even "better than average." So I have to resort to calling it "average." Just remember: as far as I'm concerned, even an "average" PSB album is better than at least 99.9% of all the other albums that have ever been released in the history of popular music.

I feel obliged to mention one other point that prevents me from rating Electric any higher than I do. Now, I realize full well that its lack of ballads is part of its underlying concept as a "dance album." And I have no problem with that when enjoying the album on its own terms. But I happen to really like Tennant-Lowe ballads, so their complete absence from this album is, to me, a strike against it when comparing it to other PSB albums. That's another reason for my feeling unable to rate it better than average. While the inclusion of one or two ballads would have wrecked its dance-album concept, it would have, conversely, made it a comparatively better album from my own personal perspective.

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Survey 615 - Week of July 7, 2013
Ratings of three recent PSB music videos (380 voters)

Please rate the following three recent Pet Shop Boys music videos on a scale of 1 to 5 as they compare to other PSB music videos (as opposed to how they compare with other artists' videos).

1 = One of the all-time weakest/worst PSB music videos
2
= Not one of their worst, but below average for them
3
= An average PSB music video
4
= Not one of their best, but above average for them
5
= One of the all-time best PSB music videos

Note: Abstentions for any particular video are not counted toward the percentage calculations; therefore the percentage total for each video is approximately 100%.

 
1
2
3
4
5
Averages
Leaving
12.2%
¤ 39.8%
33.6%
10.3%
4.1%
2.542
Axis
2.4%
14.1%
¤ 28.4%
36.2%
18.9%
3.551
Vocal
¤ 10.8%
31.1%
32.7%
17.6%
7.8%
2.805

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Survey 614 - Week of June 30, 2013
Opinions of the pre-release strategy for Electric (385 voters)

Which of the following statements do you agree with regarding the fact that all of the songs from Electric have been readily available in one way or another online for everyone to hear, despite the fact that the album has yet to be released? (Please choose all with which you agree.)*

49.9% - It's really helping to generate interest and excitement for the album! ¤
40.8% - In this date and age, albums usually get leaked online anyway before they're released, so they might as well make the most of it and at least put it under their own control. ¤
38.2% - It spoils the special pleasure of hearing the album for the first time when it's actually released. ¤
24.7% - I've been doing my best to avoid hearing most of them.
22.9% - I don't think it will have much of any effect on the album's sales.
20.5% - I like it! ¤**
19.2% - It's a clever marketing strategy.
17.4% - I'm afraid it will make the music seem "old" even before the album has been released.
16.4% - I think it will help the album's sales. ¤
10.6% - Only one or two singles should have been released in advance of the album. Any others are a mistake.
09.6% - I don't like it!
07.3% - I don't care about it one way or the other.
06.2% - I think it will hurt the album's sales.
05.7% - The Boys should never have performed any of its songs live (except maybe the pre-release singles) before the album's release.
04.4% - They should just go ahead and let the studio versions of all the songs be heard in their entirety online before the album's release.

*Because voters could make more than one selection, the sum of the percentages comes to considerably more than 100%.

**In case you're wondering how I personally could have voted for both "It spoils the special pleasure of hearing the album for the first time when it's actually released" and "I like it," I'm willing and able to concede the first while admitting the second. That is, I like it despite losing that "special pleasure."

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Survey 613 - Week of June 23, 2013
Opinions related to PSB show in Tel Aviv (311 voters)

What are your general opinions of –

(You can see the poster advocating cancelation of the show and Neil's response below the following results.)

"I agree and/or sympathize"
"I disagree and/or don't sympathize"
"I have mixed feelings about it"
"I have no opinion or don't care"
The effort to persuade them to cancel the show 16.4% ¤ 42.4% 23.8% 16.1%
The Boys' decision to go ahead with the show ¤ 69.8% 3.5% 14.8% 10.6%
What Neil wrote about it on their website 61.7% 5.5% ¤ 15.6% 14.5%

Please note that the percentages do not add up to 100% because not every voter voted on each matter.

The poster advocating cancelation of the concert Neil's response
(reprinted from the official PSB website)
"I don't agree with this comparison of Israel to apartheid-era South Africa. It's a caricature. Israel has (in my opinion) some crude and cruel policies based on defence; it also has universal suffrage and equality of rights for all its citizens both Jewish and Arab. In apartheid-era South Africa, artists could only play to segregated audiences; in Israel anyone who buys a ticket can attend a concert."

 

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Survey 612 - Week of June 16, 2013
Bought the digital download of "Vocal"? (437 voters)

Have you purchased the digital download of "Vocal" currently available from iTunes, Amazon, and other online digital shops? And, if not, why not?

40.3% - "Yes, I have bought it." ¤
23.8% - "No. I'm waiting for the physical CD and/or 12-inch vinyl single release."
17.2% - "No. The version currently available is the album version, and since I'm going to buy the album, why should I buy "Vocal" separately?"
05.7% - "No. I'm waiting for the full digital bundle, including remixes and/or bonus songs."
04.8% - "No. I can hear it anytime I like online (YouTube, PSB website, etc.), so why should I buy it?"
04.8% - "No, for some reason other than those listed here."*
01.8% - "No, I haven't yet, but I probably will."
01.6% - "No. I don't like it."

*Other reasons offered by voters include:

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Survey 611 - Week of June 9, 2013
Opinion of new PSB single "Vocal" (398 voters)

What is your opinion (in terms of how much you like it) of the new Pet Shop Boys single "Vocal"—both the radio edit and the full-length album version?*

Full-Length Version Radio Edit
46.2% - It's terrific! I love it! ¤
29.1% - It's good. I like it.
11.6% - It's OK. I don't dislike it.
06.3% - I can't say (for whatever reason).
04.3% - It's not very good. I don't like it.
01.0% - It's terrible! I detest it!
21.6% - It's good. I like it.
19.3% - I can't say (for whatever reason).
15.1% - It's terrific! I love it!
14.1% - It's OK. I don't dislike it. ¤
07.5% - It's not very good. I don't like it.
02.3% - It's terrible! I detest it!

*The percentages don't add up to 100% (particularly for the Radio Edit) because not every voter made a choice for each version.

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Survey 610 - Week of June 2, 2013
"Excitement levels" in anticipation of Electric (479 voters)

Which of the following statements comes closest to describing your relative "excitement level" in anticipation of the Pet Shop Boys' upcoming album Electric?

28.2% - "I'm no more or less excited about it than I have been for any other new PSB album." ¤*
24.2% - "I'm more excited about it than I was about Elysium, that's for sure."
24.0% - "I'm more excited about it than I have been for a new PSB album in a long time."
07.9% - "I'm more excited about it than I can recall for any previous PSB album."
07.1% - "I'm actually less excited about it than I was for Elysium."
04.8% - "I don't think I can generalize about my relative 'excitement level' for Electric in this way."
02.1% - "I'm less excited about it than I have been for a new PSB album in a long time."
01.7% - "I'm less excited about it than I can recall for any previous PSB album."

*Regarding my own vote, my initial impulse was to choose "I'm more excited about it than I have been for a new PSB album for a long time." But then my head (objective truth) overruled my heart (my current emotional response). In retrospect, I have to confess that I'm tremendously excited by the prospect of every new PSB studio album, and I honestly can't say that I'm any more excited about Electric than I was for Elysium, Yes, Fundamental, Release, and so on. I think I just seem more excited than usual right now because the excitement is current rather than remembered.

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Survey 609 - Week of May 26, 2013
What has most saved PSB from being an "eighties oldies act"? (441 voters)

If you had to pick just one, what single factor—aside from their recordings themselves—has most saved the Pet Shop Boys from today being just another "eighties oldies act"?

46.9% - Great songwriting ¤
22.7% - Their overall aesthetic appeal and artistic sensibilities
10.2% - Relentless hard work
06.6% - A large, dedicated fan base
05.9% - A refusal to "give up"
01.8% - The quality of their live shows
01.8% - Something else not mentioned here (other than the recordings themselves)*
01.1% - Excellent marketing
01.1% - The respect of their fellow artists
00.9% - Their product artwork
00.7% - Sex appeal
00.2% - Their music videos

*Alternate factors suggested by voters include:

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Survey 608 - Week of May 19, 2013
Planning to attend any Electric Tour shows? (391 voters)

Based on the Electric Tour venues and dates announced so far, are you planning to attend one or more of its shows (or perhaps already have)?

52.4% - "Yes! I've already bought my ticket(s)—or have already attended." ¤
20.5% - "No—the show venues are too far away and/or the date(s) don't fit my schedule."
11.5% - "Yes, but I haven't yet bought my ticket(s) (for whatever reason)."
06.9% - "No (for some reason aside from those listed here)."
05.6% - "Maybe—I haven't made up my mind yet (or am uncertain for some other reason)."
03.1% - "No—the ticket prices are just too expensive for me."

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Survey 607 - Week of May 12, 2013
Most eagerly anticipated Electric track (340 voters)

Aside from "Axis" (which has already been released digitally), which track from the upcoming album Electric are you most excited about, most eagerly anticipating, and/or most looking forward to hearing based on the limited information available about the songs so far?

35.3% - Love Is a Bourgeois Construct ¤
19.1% - Thursday
14.1% - Vocal
13.2% - Fluorescent
08.2% - The Last to Die
04.1% - Bolshy
03.5% - Shouting in the Evening
02.4% - Inside a Dream

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Survey 606 - Week of May 5, 2013
Opinion of the Electric album cover art (488 voters)

What is your opinion of the packaging artwork (at least revealed so far) for the Pet Shop Boys' upcoming album Electric?

39.8% - Like it.
22.1% - Neutral—neither like it nor dislike it.
21.8% - Love it!
11.5% - Don't like it.
02.9% - Not yet ready to judge it (for whatever reason). ¤*
02.0% - Hate it!

*To explain my own unusually noncommittal opinion, I prefer to withhold judgment until I've seen the cover art "in full context." What does the back and interior artwork look like? Will there be any texturing of any sort? Will there be anything else that's special or unusual about it? If this sounds wishy-washy of me, consider this: if I had seen only a picture of the cover of Very, I probably wouldn't be impressed by it. But "in the flesh," so to speak, I'm quite impressed by it—so much so that I consider it a very close second to my #1 favorite PSB album cover, Actually.

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Survey 605 - Week of April 28, 2013
Should I list these borderline pro/amateur PSB covers? (271 voters)

I'm in a quandary over something related to my page that lists versions of Tennant-Lowe songs recorded by other artists. There's an "indie" artist—though possibly describing him as "an ambitious amateur" might be more accurate—who has covered nearly two dozen Pet Shop Boys songs and, as far as I've been able to tell, nothing else. He seems to be more or less anonymous; I have yet to determine his identity aside from the obvious pseudonym that he uses. His vocals sound a lot like those of Neil Tennant—so much so that I suspect he's intentionally trying to sound as much like Neil as possible. The instrumental arrangements, however, are generally quite different from the PSB originals. As far as I can tell, these covers are available only as digital downloads on iTunes, Amazon, and some other online outlets. They're of good quality and quite professional-sounding, though in this day and age the line between "amateur" and "professional" is becoming increasingly blurred. Should I list these cover versions on my covers page, or not?

55.4% - Yes, you should list them.
44.6% - No, you shouldn't list them.

¤ Because of the nature of this particular poll, I took the unusual step of not voting in it myself.

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Survey 604 - Week of April 21, 2013
Is Introspective a studio album? (477 voters)

Do you consider Introspective to be a "studio album"?

81.3% - Yes ¤
13.2% - No
05.5% - I don't know and/or I don't care

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Survey 603 - Week of April 14, 2013
Elysium tracks matched to the other studio albums (259 voters)

In an interview around when Elysium was released, Neil said that each of its tracks could have been, from a stylistic perspective, from one of their previous studio albums. Since there are 12 songs on Elysium and 11 pre-Elysium studio albums (if you count Relentless), let's say the extra track could be considered a "one off" single from an imaginary greatest hits collection. So, in light of this, how would you match each song on Elysium, one on one, with each of the other studio albums?

In the following table of results, the figure representing the highest percentage of votes for any given song appears in bold red text. The figure representing the highest percentage of votes for any given album appear in a pink cell. In many cases these two figures coincide. The figures across the rows and down the columns do not add up to 100% because voters were allowed to abstain from making choices for particular songs and albums, and a great many voters did precisely that. It's worth noting that while individual voters could not "double-up" their choices—that is, they could not assign more than one song to any particular album or more than one album to any particular song—there was nothing to prevent the final outcomes from reflecting such "doubling up." Thus we see "A Face Like That" being the plurality choice for two albums (Please and Very), Please being the plurality choice for two different songs ("Your Early Stuff" and "A Face Like That"), Behaviour being the plurality choice for two different songs ("Leaving" and "Invisible"), and Bilingual also being the plurality choice for two different songs ("Give It a Go" and "Requiem in Denim and Leopardskin," although exactly the same number of voters assigned "Give It a Go" to Release as to Bilingual). (Correspondingly, Actually, Introspective, and Very were not the plurality choice for any song, and "Leaving" and "Give It a Go" were not the plurality choice for any album.) The most single popular match was "Breathing Space" to Release, chosen by 38.6% of the voters.

 
Please
Actually
Introspective
Behaviour
Very
Relentless
Bilingual
Nightlife
Release
Fundamental
Yes
imaginary hits collection
Leaving 6.9% 8.9% 6.2% ¤ 25.9% 4.2% 0.8% 9.3% 4.6% 5.0% 6.2% 6.9% 7.3%
Invisible 2.7% 3.1% 5.0% 30.9% 0.8% 4.6% 3.5% 11.2% 6.2% ¤13.5% 3.1% 1.9%
Winner 5.8% 5.0% ¤ 1.5% 1.9% 11.6% 0.4% 8.9% 3.1% 7.7% 1.9% 15.4% 22.8%
Your Early Stuff ¤ 15.4% 15.1% 3.9% 4.2% 6.9% 4.2% 6.9% 6.6% 2.7% 4.6% 6.2% 3.9%
A Face Like That 20.5% 12.4% 14.3% 1.2% 17.8% ¤14.7% 1.5% 2.7% 0.4% 3.1% 3.9% 0.8%
Breathing Space 1.9% ¤ 3.1% 1.5% 10.8% 1.5% 3.5% 5.8% 3.5% 38.6% 7.3% 1.5% 2.7%
Ego Music 5.4% 10.4% 8.5% 1.2% ¤ 11.6% 23.2% 5.4% 8.1% 1.5% 4.2% 5.4% 1.9%
Hold On 2.3% 2.7% 3.1% 1.9% 2.3% 1.2% 7.7% 14.7% 8.5% 10.0% 9.7% ¤ 10.8%
Give It a Go 6.9% 5.8% 2.3% 2.7% 6.2% 1.9% 13.5% ¤ 6.6% 13.5% 4.2% 9.3% 5.8%
Memory of the Future 3.1% 5.8% 16.2% 1.5% 11.6% 5.8% 4.2% 9.7% 0.8% 8.1% ¤ 17.0% 5.0%
Everything Means Something 6.9% 7.3% 6.9% 2.7% 3.9% 8.1% 3.1% 10.0% ¤ 5.4% 20.8% 3.9% 4.2%
Requiem in Denim and Leopardskin 6.2% 8.9% 6.2% 10.4% 6.2% 2.3% ¤ 18.1% 6.9% 2.7% 5.8% 8.1% 10.0%

Incidentally, the song for which there was the largest number of abstentions (that is, no assignment to an album by voters) was "Hold On," for which no fewer than 25.1% of the voters abstained. The song with the fewest abstentions (only 6.9%) was "A Face Like That." The album with the most abstentions (no assignment of a song) was Relentless at 29.3%, while the album with the fewest abstentions (just 4.6%) was Behaviour.

As for my votes, in hindsight I like many of the voters' choices much more than my own. The most noteworthy example (but by no means the only one) is "Everything Means Something," which I assigned to Release but which a plurality of voters assigned to Fundamental. Now that I think about it, Fundamental does strike me as a much better choice.

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Survey 602 - Week of April 7, 2013
Singles since PopArt: pop or art? (419 voters)

Later this year will mark the tenth anniversary of the release of the Pet Shop Boys' second hits collection, PopArt, on which they classified each of the singles included as either "Pop" or Art." But what about the singles released since then? Please classify, from your own perspective, each of the Pet Shop Boys' singles since PopArt as either "Pop" or "Art."

Note: The percentages for each song don't add up to 100% because voters could abstain from making a choice for any given song.

 
Pop
 
Art
 
¤
74.2%
I'm with Stupid
24.3%
 
¤
41.5%
Minimal
56.8%
 
 
28.9%
Numb
68.0%
¤
 
37.2%
Integral
59.2%
¤
¤
72.3%
Love Etc.
26.0%
 
¤
92.6%
Did You See Me Coming?
5.3%
 
¤
59.9%
Beautiful People
35.1%
 
 
64.9%
All Over the World
32.7%
¤
 
75.2%
Together
20.0%
¤
¤
80.7%
Winner
15.3%
 
¤
28.2%
Leaving
68.0%
 
 
26.5%
Memory of the Future
70.6%
¤

It didn't occur to me to include "It Doesn't Often Snow at Christmas," which could be considered a double-single with "All Over the Workd," among the choices. There seemed to be some disagreement among voters on this point, with some believing that I should have included it while others feeling that I was right to leave it out.

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Survey 601 - Week of March 31, 2013
Preferred changes to Electric Tour setlist (240 voters)

The Pet Shop Boys have described the first date of their Electric Tour show (on March 22 in Veracruz, Mexico) as "a work in progress," which suggests that they'll probably be making changes to its setlist once the tour really starts getting under way later this year. In light of this—and assuming that the total number of songs they perform will remain about the same—which of the following statements comes closest to describing how you would like for them to change the setlist, if at all?

20.0% - I would replace no more than three of the numbers with new songs from Electric and/or Elysium.*
14.9% - I would make half of the show nothing but songs from Electric and Elysium, and the other half songs they've rarely if ever played live before, saving a few big hits for just the finale and encore.
14.2% - I would replace up to half of the setlist with a blend of the kinds of choices described above. ¤
[Webmaster's note: The choices referred to as "above" in this response are those described in the options above and below marked with a single asterisk (*): more new songs from Electric and Elysium; older songs they've never performed live before; non-single tracks that they have performed live before; and hit singles that aren't already in the set.]
12.9% - I would replace no more than three of the numbers with older songs they've never performed live before.*
10.4% - I would make half of the show nothing but songs from Electric and Elysium, and the other half a "greatest hits" selection.
09.2% - I wouldn't change it at all! It's perfect as is!
07.1% - I would replace no more than three of the numbers with non-single tracks from older albums or b-sides that they have performed live before.*
06.7% - I would replace no more than three of the numbers with hit singles that aren't already in the set.*
03.8% - I would make the setlist very different from any of the things described here.**
01.3% - I would replace pretty much the entire setlist—keeping no more than three numbers, if that many—with a blend of the kinds of choices described here.

**Among the alternate viewpoints shared by some of the voters:

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Survey 600 - Week of March 24, 2013
Opinions of the album title Electric (476 voters)

What do you think of Electric as the title of the Pet Shop Boys' upcoming album?

37.8% - It's a great title. I love it!
28.8% - It's a good title. I like it.
10.3% - It's an OK title. I don't dislike it.
10.1% - It's not bad, but it's somewhat unimaginative. ¤
08.6% - I prefer to withhold judgment until after the album is released and I can judge it in light of the music.
02.1% - It's not a very good title. I don't like it.
01.5% - I really don't have any opinion about it one way or the other.
00.6% - I have an opinion very different from any of those expressed here.*
00.2% - It's a terrible title. I hate it!

*Among the alternate viewpoints shared by some of the voters:

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Survey 599 - Week of March 17, 2013
Adjectives describing news of new label and new album (521 voters)

Which of the following adjectives accurately describe how you feel right now about the news this past week that the Pet Shop Boys have left their longtime record label Parlophone and will be releasing their new "dance album" Electric (produced by Stuart Price) on Kobalt Label Services in June? (Choose all that apply for each.)

Please note that because voters could make more than one choice in each category, the percentages total to considerably more than 100%.

Adjectives describing news of the new label: Adjectives describing news about the new album:

38.2% - hopeful
28.4% - excited
28.4% - curious ¤
26.5% - surprised
22.8% - uncertain ¤
12.5% - neutral
11.7% - wary ¤
07.9% - worried ¤
07.1% - eager
05.8% - delighted
05.2% - torn ¤
03.3% - disappointed
01.5% - upset
01.2% - bored

82.3% - excited ¤
35.7% - hopeful ¤
31.7% - delighted ¤
30.1% - curious ¤
26.3% - eager ¤
17.3% - surprised
03.5% - uncertain
02.3% - wary
01.7% - worried
01.2% - neutral
00.8% - bored
00.4% - upset
00.2% - disappointed
00.2% - torn

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Survey 598 - Week of March 10, 2013
Their choices of cover songs (365 voters)

Which of the following statements comes closest to expressing your general opinion about the Pet Shop Boys' choice of cover songs (like "Always on My Mind," "Go West," and all the other songs they've recorded that were written and previously recorded by others)?

35.9% - Their choice of cover songs is usually excellent, with a few notable exceptions.
17.3% - Their choice of cover songs is invariably brilliant!
17.3% - It goes too far to call their choice of cover songs "invariably brilliant," but they're always very good. ¤
13.2% - Their choice of cover songs is a mixed bag, but good more often than bad.
03.8% - I don't think I can make any generalization about their choice of cover songs.
03.6% - Their choice of cover songs seems to run the gamut, from brilliant to good to mediocre to not-so-good to downright awful.
03.6% - I really don't have any opinion about this one way or the other.
03.0% - Their choice of cover songs is about 50/50 good versus bad.
00.8% - Their choice of cover songs is a mixed bag, but bad more often than good.
00.8% - Their choice of cover songs is usually awful, with a few notable exceptions.
00.8% - I have an opinion very different from any of those expressed here.*
00.0% - Their choice of cover songs is invariably terrible.

*The following alternate viewpoints were shared by some of the voters:

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Survey 597 - Week of March 3, 2013
When did you become a PSB fan? (474 voters)

Since when have you been a Pet Shop Boys fan?

Results in order of vote count: Results in chronological order:

15.8% - 1986
15.2% - 1987
12.7% - 1985
07.0% - 1984
06.8% - 1988
06.8% - 1993 ¤*
05.1% - 1990
03.8% - 1991
03.0% - 1989
03.0% - 2009
01.9% - 1994
01.9% - 1999
01.9% - 2005
01.7% - 1995
01.5% - 2011
01.3% - 1996
01.3% - 2006
01.3% - 2010
01.1% - 1992
01.1% - 2003
01.1% - 2004
00.8% - 1998
00.8% - 2002
00.8% - 2007
00.8% - 2008
00.8% - 2012
00.6% - 1997
00.4% - 2001
00.0% - 2000
00.0% - 2013
00.0% - "I'm not a fan!"

07.0% - 1984
12.7% - 1985
15.8% - 1986
15.2% - 1987
06.8% - 1988
03.0% - 1989
05.1% - 1990
03.8% - 1991
01.1% - 1992
06.8% - 1993 ¤*
01.9% - 1994
01.7% - 1995
01.3% - 1996
00.6% - 1997
00.8% - 1998
01.9% - 1999
00.0% - 2000
00.4% - 2001
00.8% - 2002
01.1% - 2003
01.1% - 2004
01.9% - 2005
01.3% - 2006
00.8% - 2007
00.8% - 2008
03.0% - 2009
01.3% - 2010
01.5% - 2011
00.8% - 2012
00.0% - 2013
00.0% - "I'm not a fan!"

*I've told this story elsewhere and on more than one occasion, but it's appropriate to relate it again here as a note of personal explanation for my vote. I wasn't very interested in the Pet Shop Boys at all until after I bought Discography in 1992 on the advice of a friend, primarily on account of research I was conducting for my book Rock on the Wild Side. I found that I really liked it! But I can say that about a lot of "greatest hits" albums. The following year, however, when Very was released to rave reviews, I decided to pick it up as well. And it absolutely stunned me with its brilliance! At that point I quickly decided to buy every remaining PSB album as well as every single I could get my hands on (because of the bonus tracks). I was hooked. So I can point to 1993, the year of the release of Very, as the year I truly became a fan.

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Survey 596 - Week of February 24, 2013
Tracks for a theoretical Covers album (335 voters)

If the Pet Shop Boys were to release an album titled, say, Covers, consisting of their own cover versions of songs written and/or previously recorded by other artists—and if, for whatever reason, they decided to limit the selection to just twelve tracks, ten of which were covers they had previously released on CD and two of which they have recorded and/or performed live but have not released (except perhaps in live versions on VHS/DVD)—which tracks would you most like to be included?

Covers previously released on CD
(The top ten in red)
Covers recorded/performed but not released on CD
(The top two in red)
78.5% - Always on My Mind
69.6% - Where the Streets Have No Name/I Can't Take My Eyes Off You
69.6% - Go West
65.4% - It's Alright
63.3% - Losing My Mind
58.8% - Somewhere
56.7% - Viva La Vida ¤
55.2% - I Started a Joke ¤
50.4% - My Girl ¤
49.6% - Girls and Boys ¤
48.7% - We're the Pet Shop Boys
48.4% - Try It (I'm in Love with a Married Man)
30.7% - Glad All Over ¤
30.4% - Sail Away ¤
30.4% - I Cried for Us ¤
28.1% - Break 4 Love ¤
27.2% - Alone Again, Naturally ¤
26.3% - Numb
18.8% - What Keeps Mankind Alive
17.9% - If Love Were All
13.7% - Je T'Aime… Moi Non Plus ¤

38.9% - Hallo Spaceboy ¤
31.0% - Philadelphia ¤
22.7% - Believe/Song for Guy
18.5% - Mr. Vain
18.7% - I Will Survive
15.8% - Rhythm of tne Night
11.0% - It's Not Unusual
08.1% - Homosexuality
07.2% - Climb Every Mountain
06.0% - I Am What I Am
03.3% - Do Anything You Wanna Do
03.0% - So Long, Farewell
02.7% - Sixteen Going on Seventeen

Interestingly, my own selections (¤) were quite different from those of the majority/plurality of voters for the previously released covers, but matched up exactly with the plurality for the covers that haven't been officially released. So I feel I ought to explain the rationale behind my own choices, at least with regard to the previously released tracks. I figured it would be best to vote for those that are the hardest to come by, so to speak. Since very popular songs like "Always on My Mind" and "Go West" are readily available on one or more albums, I decided not to vote for them. So my own choices are those that haven't yet been released on an album, but instead are available only on singles, EPs, promos, bonus discs, and the like.

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Survey 595 - Week of February 17, 2013
Have they been moving away from dance music? (375 voters)

One of my site visitors has pointed out that, with their more recent studio albums (Release, Fundamental, Yes, and Elysium) and even many of their recent single bonus tracks, the Pet Shop Boys have been moving away from dance music, toward a "softer," more ballad-oriented, more contemplative style. Do you agree with this assessment? And, if so, do you think it's a good thing?

33.9% - No, I don't agree with that assessment at all.
26.4% - Yes, I agree with that assessment, and I have mixed feelings about it. ¤*
17.6% - Yes, I agree with that assessment, but I don't think it's a good thing
11.2% - Yes, I agree with that assessment, but I really don't have any feelings about it one way or the other.
10.9% - Yes, I agree with that assessment, and I think it's a good thing.

It's worth noting that, although the "No, I don't agree" option received a plurality of the votes, it's outnumbered almost two-to-one by the total for the various "Yes, I agree" options.

*Regarding my own mixed feelings, I certainly believe that Neil and Chris should make whatever kind of music that they as artists feel like making. I can't complain about the unrelentingly great quality of their songwriting, and I admire their willingness to explore new territory, so to speak. But I can't help but feel that by moving away from more dance-oriented music they may be losing some of the less devoted members of their fan base, thereby costing them in terms of popularity and commercial success.

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Survey 594 - Week of February 10, 2013
Ranking the studio album covers (358 voters)

Please rank the covers of the Pet Shop Boys' eleven studio albums based on how much you personally like them or how you feel about their comparative quality. Rank your favorite PSB album cover #1, your second-favorite #2, and so on, until you get to your least-favorite studio album cover, ranked #11.

Final
rank
Album cover Average
rank
Most
frequent
rank
Rank
"victories"
% of
voters
ranking
#1
% of
voters
ranking
#11
Wayne's
ranking ¤
1 Actually Actually
3.472 1 1, 2, 3 29.3% 1.1% 1
2 Very Very 4.201 1 -- 20.7% 3.1% 2
3 Behaviour Behaviour 4.561 2 -- 13.4% 2.2% 8
4 Introspective Introspective 4.978 2 4 10.9% 4.2% 6
5 Please Please 5.603 5 5 6.4% 6.1% 5
6 Yes Yes 5.902 6 6 6.4% 5.6% 9
7 Nightlife Nightlife 6.511 8 -- 5.3% 8.4% 10
8 Fundamental Fundamental 7.335 9 7 2.5% 11.5% 7
9 Bilingual Bilingual 7.455 11 8 1.1% 14.5% 3
10 Elysium Elysium 7.802 11 10 1.7% 17.6% 11
11 Release Release 8.179 11 9, 11 2.2% 25.7% 4

Explanatory notes:

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Survey 593 - Week of February 3, 2013
The Rating Project: Recent miscellaneous tracks (307 voters)

Please rate each of the following bonus songs from the "Leaving" and "Memory of the Future" singles (plus one older song, "Transfer," that I overlooked along the way) 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").

Track (Listed from Highest Average Rating to Lowest) Average
Rating
% of
voters
rating
10
% of
voters
rating
0
Wayne's
Rating ¤
In His Imagination 7.081 10.7% 1.3% 8
One Night 7.023 11.4% 0.3% 9
Listening 6.845 6.2% 0.3% 6
Hell 6.089 4.2% 1.0% 4
Baby 5.952 4.6% 0.3% 2
Inside 5.785 2.3% 0.3% 5
Transfer 5.624 3.3% 0.7% 1

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

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Survey 592 - Week of January 27, 2013
Favorite remix of "Memory of the Future" (289 voters)

Not counting the original album version, the single remix, and the instrumental versions, what is your favorite "official" remix of "Memory of the Future"?

30.1% - Ulhrich Schnauss Remix
24.9% - "I'm unable to choose because I haven't heard enough of these remixes to make a decision."
23.2% - Stuart Price Extended Mix
15.6% - Digital Dog Club Remix ¤
04.8% - DJ Waldo Squash Remix
01.4% - Digital Dog Dub

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Survey 591a - Week of January 20, 2013
If and how you would change Elysium (374 voters)

If you could change the track lineup of Elysium to delete certain songs and add any of the associated single b-sides/bonus tracks 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, 12. So for every one you would add, you have to delete one, and vice-versa.

As it turns out, a large majority of the voters indicated that they would change the track lineup. No one song was "cut" by a majority of voters—though two of them ("Ego Music" and "Hold On") came close—but one "bonus" song actually was picked to be added by exactly half of the voters.

Songs that voters would cut from Elysium
Figures represent the percentage of voters who would have cut that song from the album
Elysium single bonus songs they would add
Figures represent the percentage of voters who would have added that song to the album
48.1% - Ego Music
46.8% - Hold On
30.7% - Winner
26.5% - Everything Means Something
26.2% - Give It a Go
21.1% - Your Early Stuff
16.0% - Breathing Space
11.0% - Invisible
08.6% - Requiem in Denim and Leopardskin
05.9% - A Face Like That
02.1% - Memory of the Future
01.1% - Leaving
50.0% - A Certain "Je Ne Sais Quoi"
43.0% - In His Imagination
39.0% - One Night
32.1% - Listening
20.3% - The Way Through the Woods
19.8% - Hell
19.8% - I Started a Joke
10.7% - Baby
09.4% - Inside
10.2% - "I wouldn't change the track lineup of Elysium even if I could." ¤

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"Bonus" Survey 591b - Week of January 20, 2013
Did you pre-order "Memory of the Future," and have you received it? (120 voters)

Did you pre-order (that is, place your order before the December 31 release date) one or both of the "Memory of the Future" single CDs online? And, if you did, have you received it/them yet?

39.2% - No, I didn't place a pre-order.
29.2% - I live in the U.K. and, yes, I have received my pre-order.
25.8% - I live outside the U.K. and, yes, I have received my pre-order.
05.8% - I live outside the U.K. and, no, I have not yet received my pre-order. ¤*
00.0% - I live in the U.K. and, no, I have not yet received my pre-order.

*I placed my vote near the start of this poll, and at that time I had not yet received my pre-order. But my pre-order finally arrived later in the week (nearly a month after it was dispated!), before the end of this poll.

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Survey 590 - Week of January 13, 2013
The best overall "PSB era" (426 voters)

What, in your opinion, has been the best overall "Pet Shop Boys era" to date considering everything they've done during these periods, including albums, singles, videos, graphic artwork, concerts, side projects, TV and radio appearances, print publications, and so on?

41.8% - 1990-1994 ¤*
29.6% - 1984-1989
11.0% - "I can't decide (for whatever reason)"
08.2% - 2005-2009
05.9% - 1995-1999
02.3% - 2010-present
01.2% - 2000-2004

*If you're wondering about my own choice of 1990-1994, it's on account of my top two favorite PSB albums (Very and Behaviour) and top two favorite PSB songs ("Being Boring" and "I Wouldn't Normally Do This Kind of Thing"), along with several others among my twenty favorites, all being from this period, plus the release of Discography (the collection that "hooked" me in the first place), their brilliant Performance tour show and its subsequent release on VHS, their (in my opinion) most consistently striking series of music videos (from "Being Boring" through "Yesterday, When I Was Mad"), the unique "bonus" of Relentless, and the incredibly imaginative and innovative Very CD packaging. As much as I love every other PSB era and nearly everything else they've ever done, if it hadn't been for 1990-1994, I doubt seriously I would have become the kind of PSB devotee than I am today.

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Survey 589 - Week of January 6, 2013
Implications of no "Memory of the Future" music video (380 voters)

Which of the following statements comes closest to expressing your opinion about the apparent fact that there's no music video (aside from the "lyrics video") for the latest Pet Shop Boys single, "Memory of the Future"?

34.2% - It's a combination of two or maybe all three of the next three factors below. ¤
19.7% - It's an indication of a decline in the general popularity and/or commercial success of the Pet Shop Boys.
12.4% - It's an indication of the declining importance of music videos in the pop music industry in general.
09.5% - It's an indication of the Pet Shop Boys' declining interest in music videos.
08.7% - It's probably an "anomalous" occurrence to which we shouldn't attach much significance. (In other words, it's no big deal.)
08.7% - I suspect there will be a music video—just done in a different way and/or on a different schedule than usual.
03.9% - I really don't have any opinions about this one way or the other.
02.9% - I have an opinion very different from any of those expressed above.*

*Among the other views shared by voters:

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