Past PSB Survey Results - 2014 Surveys

This page presents the results of surveys I conducted in the year 2014. The results of surveys conducted in 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 , 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 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 690 - Week of December 28, 2014
The "PSB highlight" of 2014 (361 voters)

What, in your opinion, has been the "Pet Shop Boys highlight" of 2014?

41.6% - PSB at the BBC Proms, including the debut of A Man from the Future ¤
15.5% - "Always on My Mind" voted the all-time best cover version in a BBC Music poll
15.5% - "Phase II" of the Electric Tour
14.2% - Official confirmation that Stuart Price is producing the next PSB album, which they're currently working on
07.2% - Pet Shop Boys performing at Coachella
01.7% - The special release of a "Fluorescent" vinyl single for Record Store Day
01.1% - PSB appearing on the longtime U.K. radio show The Archers
01.1% - The announcement of the closing of the official PSB Fan Club and the transitioning of Literally to an annual format
01.1% - Something else not listed here*
00.8% - Neil's guest vocal on "Were You There?" by Diamond Version
00.6% - The 2014 PSB Christmas card/e-card

*Among the alternate highlights suggested by voters:

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Survey 689 - Week of December 21, 2014
Favorite PSB "boy" and "girl" songs (376 voters)

What are your favorite Pet Shop Boys "boy" and "girl" songs? (That is, songs with "boy(s)" or "girl(s)" in the title.)

Favorite "boy" song: Favorite "girl" song:
17.2% - Birthday Boy ¤*
15.0% - New York City Boy (or Paris City Boy)
14.2% - We're the Pet Shop Boys
13.5% - The Boy Who Couldn't Keep His Clothes On
13.5% - Hallo Spaceboy
09.2% - Music for Boys
07.7% - Euroboy
06.3% - Boy Strange
02.9% - Girls and Boys
00.5% - Pet Shop Boys
55.9% - West End Girls
25.5% - Bet She's Not Your Girlfriend ¤
06.6% - My Girl
06.4% - Girls Don't Cry
04.3% - Run Girl Run!
01.3% - Girls and Boys

Note that a small number of voters made a selection in only one category rather than both. The percentages for each category are based on the votes submitted for that group alone rather than for the full set of voters.

*Although I voted for it myself, I would never have predicted that "Birthday Boy" would come out on top in this ranking; I would've guessed either "New York City Boy" or "We're the Pet Shop Boys" would end up placing first. So I suppose "Birthday Boy" is a more popular track than I thought it was. But, then again, fewer than one-fifth of the voters chose it. Perhaps it's not so much that it's especially popular but rather that its stiff competition split all the other votes in such a way that it nevertheless managed to rise to the top. By contrast, the "girl song" that received the most votes didn't surprise me at all—despite the fact that I didn't vote for it myself.

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Survey 688 - Week of December 14, 2014
Preferences for a hypothetical holiday release (300 voters)

Just for fun, let's imagine the Pet Shop Boys were in a position of owing a new release to a record company, which demanded a new studio album—not a live album, not a bunch of remixes, and not a collection of previously released material—that had to be released quickly for the upcoming holiday market. Assuming they don't have time to write a whole album's worth of new, original material, which of the following would you most like for them to record and release? And which would you least like from them?

Most like:* Least like:
35.1% - A rock/pop covers album
19.5% - An orchestral rerecording of old material ¤
13.4% - An acoustic rerecording of old material
13.4% - A "full-on" Christmas album
13.1% - A duets album
05.4% - A "standards" album
36.9% - A "full-on" Christmas album
16.4% - An acoustic rerecording of old material
15.1% - A "standards" album
12.1% - A duets album ¤
11.7% - An orchestral rerecording of old material
07.7% - A rock/pop covers album

Note that a small number of voters made a selection in only one category rather than both. The percentages for each category are based on the votes submitted for that group alone rather than for the full set of voters.

*A few voters suggested additional alternatives they would most like, including:

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Survey 687 - Week of December 7, 2014
More PSB songs fostering HIV/AIDS awareness? (286 voters)

Should the Pet Shop Boys continue to write and perform new songs about HIV and AIDS awareness?*

42.7% - "I really have no opinions about this one way or the other."
35.3% - "Yes! HIV/AIDS is still a serious problem, and PSB should continue to raise awareness of it!" ¤
14.0% - "Maybe one more new song about it at some point would be appropriate, but no more than that."
08.0% - "No. HIV/AIDS is an old issue. Besides, they've done their part, and they don't need to do any more."

*Several voters expressed their views that, as artists, Chris and Neil should write and record only what they want to write and record. I don't disagree one bit. As I stated in a footnote to this poll, I take that as a given—it almost goes without saying. But that doesn't mean fans can't quite legitimately have their own personal preferences as to what they would hope the Boys would want to write and record. That's what I was trying to get at with this survey question.

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Survey 686 - Week of November 30, 2014
Favorite PSB cover song that wasn't a single (417 voters)

Counting only those officially released on CD and/or vinyl, what is your favorite non-single Pet Shop Boys cover of a song written by another artist? (In other words, singles like "Always on My Mind," "It's Alright," and "Go West" are out of the running in this poll.)

19.7% - Losing My Mind ¤
15.8% - The Last to Die
12.7% - We're the Pet Shop Boys
09.6% - Try It (I'm in Love with a Married Man)
07.4% - I Started a Joke
06.5% - Girls and Boys
05.3% - My Girl
04.8% - Viva la Vida
04.6% - I Cried for Us
03.1% - Sail Away
02.9% - What Keeps Mankind Alive?
02.6% - If Love Were All
02.4% - Glad All Over
01.4% - Alone Again, Naturally
01.2% - Je T'Aime… Moi Non Plus

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Survey 685 - Week of November 23, 2014
Was Elysium a "contractual obligation album" (380 voters)

Some fans have expressed the opinion, in retrospect, that the Pet Shop Boys' 2012 album Elysium may have been something of a "contractual obligation album" that they created with relatively little enthusiasm in order to fulfill their contract with EMI before moving to a different record label (which turned out to be their own). Do you agree with this viewpoint?

42.6% - No, I totally disagree! ¤
25.3% - Maybe—it's certainly possible—but I have my doubts.
12.6% - I don't believe Elysium started out that way, but that's what it turned into somewhere along the line.
07.6% - Yes, I wholeheartedly agree with this opinion!
06.8% - I have no opinion about this and/or I really don't care.
05.0% - I suspect Elysium may have started out that way, but it evolved into something more.

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Survey 684 - Week of November 16, 2014
Preferred stylistic approach for the next album (316 voters)

Which of the following stylistic approaches would you most prefer the Pet Shop Boys to take with their next studio album?

30.7% - Mostly a single, consistent style, but with one or two stylistically different tracks tossed in to add variety
29.4% - Like Electric, all of the songs with a consistent upbeat, dance-oriented, synth-techno style
22.5% - No one dominant style, but instead a wide variety of styles ¤
17.4% - All of the songs with a consistent style, but this time with a very different style from that of Electric

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Survey 683 - Weeks of November 3 & 10, 2014
Favorite song on your favorite PSB studio album (495 voters)

What is your favorite song from your favorite Pet Shop Boys studio album (which may or may not be your favorite PSB song, period)?

The top six overall vote-getting songs (regardless of their albums) were:

10.5% - Being Boring
05.3% - Left to My Own Devices
04.6% - Can You Forgive Her?
03.6% - This Must Be the Place I Waited Years to Leave
03.2% - It's a Sin
03.2% - A Different Point of View

Now, the complete results, organized by album with the top vote-getting album listed first:

22.8% - Behavior
     10.5% - Being Boring
     03.6% - This Must Be the Place I Waited Years to Leave
     02.0% - My October Symphony
     02.0% - So Hard
     01.2% - The End of the World
     01.2% - Jealousy
     01.0% - Only the Wind
     00.6% - To Face the Truth
     00.6% - Nervously
     00.0% - How Can You Expect to Be Taken Seriously?

21.4% - Very ¤
     04.6% - Can You Forgive Her?
     03.2% - A Different Point of View
     02.4% - Go West
     02.0% - I Wouldn't Normally Do This Kind of Thing ¤
     02.0% - Young Offender
     01.4% - Yesterday, When I Was Mad
     01.4% - To Speak Is a Sin
     01.2% - Liberation
     01.2% - Dreaming of the Queen
     00.8% - The Theatre
     00.8% - One in a Million
     00.2% - One and One Make Five
     00.0% - Postscript

12.7% - Actually
     03.2% - It's a Sin
     02.6% - King's Cross
     02.2% - It Couldn't Happen Here
     01.4% - Heart
     00.8% - What Have I Done to Deserve This?
     00.8% - Rent
     00.8% - I Want to Wake Up
     00.6% - One More Chance
     00.2% - Shopping
     00.0% - Hit Music

09.9% - Introspective
     05.3% - Left to My Own Devices
     02.2% - I'm Not Scared
     01.2% - Domino Dancing
     00.8% - Always on My Mind/In My House
     00.4% - I Want a Dog
     00.0% - It's Alright

07.9% - Electric*
     02.4% - Vocal
     02.2% - Love Is a Bourgeois Construct
     01.2% - Fluorescent
     00.6% - Bolshy
     00.4% - Axis
     00.2% - Inside a Dream
     00.2% - The Last to Die
     00.2% - Thursday
     00.0% - Shouting in the Evening

*Two of the people who voted for Electric as their favorite PSB studio album either didn't make a choice for their favorite song from that album or their choices didn't record properly. Hence, the percentages for the songs on that album don't add up to coincide with the overall album percentage.

06.5% - Yes
     02.6% - The Way It Used to Be
     01.8% - Love etc.
     00.6% - Did You See Me Coming?
     00.6% - More Than a Dream
     00.6% - King of Rome
     00.2% - Vulnerable
     00.0% - All Over the World
     00.0% - Beautiful People
     00.0% - Building a Wall
     00.0% - Pandemonium
     00.0% - Legacy

05.3% - Please
     01.4% - Two Divided by Zero
     01.4% - Love Comes Quickly
     01.0% - West End Girls
     00.4% - Opportunities (Let's Make Lots of Money)
     00.4% - Suburbia
     00.4% - Tonight Is Forever
     00.2% - Why Don't We Live Together?
     00.0% - Opportunities (Reprise)
     00.0% - Violence
     00.0% - I Want a Lover
     00.0% - Later Tonight

04.6% - Bilingual
     01.4% - It Always Comes as a Surprise
     00.6% - Up Against It
     00.4% - Discoteca
     00.4% - Metamorphosis
     00.4% - A Red Letter Day
     00.4% - Before
     00.4% - To Step Aside
     00.2% - Single
     00.2% - Se A Vida E (That's the Way Life Is)
     00.2% - Saturday Night Forever
     00.0% - Electricity
     00.0% - The Survivors

03.4% - Fundamental
     02.2% - Integral
     00.6% - I Made My Excuses and Left
     00.2% - Minimal
     00.2% - Numb
     00.2% - Luna Park
     00.0% - Psychological
     00.0% - The Sodom and Gomorrah Show
     00.0% - God Willing
     00.0% - I'm with Stupid
     00.0% - Casanova in Hell
     00.0% - Twentieth Century
     00.0% - Indefinite Leave to Remain

02.6% - Nightlife
     00.8% - I Don't Know What You Want But I Can't Give It Any More
     00.4% - In Denial
     00.2% - For Your Own Good
     00.2% - Closer to Heaven
     00.2% - Happiness Is an Option
     00.2% - You Only Tell Me You Love Me When You're Drunk
     00.2% - Vampires
     00.2% - Boy Strange
     00.2% - Footsteps
     00.0% - Radiophonic
     00.0% - The Only One
     00.0% - New York City Boy

02.0% - Elysium
     01.0% - Leaving
     00.4% - A Face Like That
     00.2% - Winner
     00.2% - Give It a Go
     00.2% - Requiem in Denim and Leopardskin
     00.0% - Invisible
     00.0% - Your Early Stuff
     00.0% - Breathing Space
     00.0% - Ego Music
     00.0% - Hold On
     00.0% - Memory of the Future
     00.0% - Everything Means Something

00.8% - Release
     00.4% - Birthday Boy
     00.2% - London
     00.2% - Love Is a Catastrophe
     00.0% - Home and Dry
     00.0% - I Get Along
     00.0% - E-mail
     00.0% - The Samurai in Autumn
     00.0% - Here
     00.0% - The Night I Fell in Love
     00.0% - You Choose

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Survey 682 - Week of October 26, 2014
Assessments of frequent PSB remixers (308 voters)

Aside from the Pet Shop Boys themselves, who do you think is/was the best remixer from among those who have officially remixed at least three different PSB songs, and of them, who would you most like to remix one or more PSB tracks in the future?

The best remixer: Would most like him/them to remix PSB again:
35.4% - Shep Pettibone
13.3% - Julian Mendelsohn
11.7% - Trouser Enthusiasts
10.7% - Brothers in Rhythm ¤
07.8% - David Morales
05.8% - Stuart Price
04.2% - Xenomania
03.6% - Bob Kraushaar
03.2% - David Jacob
01.0% - Stuart Crichton
00.3% - Ralphi Rosario
00.3% - Tom Stephan
21.8% - Stuart Price
17.9% - Shep Pettibone
11.4% - Julian Mendelsohn
11.0% - Trouser Enthusiasts ¤
09.4% - David Morales
08.7% - Xenomania
07.1% - Brothers in Rhythm
03.6% - David Jacob
01.9% - Bob Kraushaar
01.0% - Stuart Crichton
00.6% - Tom Stephan
00.3% - Ralphi Rosario

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Survey 681 - Week of October 19, 2014
Assessments of PSB album producers (348 voters)

Who do you think is/was the best producer from among those who have produced at least one-half of a Pet Shop Boys studio album* (either "alone" or in production-collaboration with PSB), and of them, who would you most like to work with PSB again?

The best producer: Would most like him to work with PSB again:
30.7% - Stephen Hague
26.7% - Trevor Horn ¤
12.6% - Harold Faltermeyer
12.6% - Stuart Price
08.6% - Julian Mendelsohn
04.3% - Brian Higgins/Xenomania
02.3% - Andrew Dawson
35.9% - Stuart Price
17.0% - Trevor Horn ¤
14.7% - Stephen Hague
12.1% - Harold Faltermeyer
08.9% - Brian Higgins/Xenomania
04.9% - Andrew Dawson
03.2% - Julian Mendelsohn

*Stephen Hague was the producer of Please (as well as of part of Very). Julian Mendelsohn produced precisely half of Actually. Harold Faltermeyer co-produced Behaviour with PSB. Trevor Horn co-produced Fundamental with PSB (as well as part of Introspective). Brian Higgins/Xenomania produced Yes. Andrew Dawson co-produced Elysium with PSB. Stuart Price produced Electric. All other PSB studio albums (as of the time of this survey) were produced by PSB and/or by various producers none of whom produced as much as half of the album. Some voters, however, felt that I should have included Craig Armstrong (who produced four tracks and orchestrated two others out of the total of twelve on Nightlife) among the choices.

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Survey 680 - Week of October 12, 2014
Factors that contribute most to "PSB fandom" (344 voters)

Please select up to five factors that you believe play the greatest roles in making you, personally, a fan of the Pet Shop Boys.*

73.0% - The intelligence and general excellence of their lyrics ¤
61.9% - The beauty of their melodies ¤
52.6% - Their terrific "musical style" and instrumental arrangements ¤
31.9% - Their innovation, inventiveness, and imagination ¤
28.2% - Synthpop and/or dance music in general—and they're among the best at it

27.0% - Their general sense of visual/graphic style
27.0% - Their "playfulness," sense of humor, and/or use of irony
26.2% - Their vocals and/or instrumental abilities
25.3% - The harmonic sophistication of their music
19.5% - Their longevity and/or the sheer size and scope of their musical catalog
16.6% - Their excitement and "danceability"
13.4% - Their "Britishness"
12.5% - Their public personalities, individually and/or together
11.0% - Their diversity and/or willingness to try new things
11.0% - Their live performances
06.4% - Their political, social, and/or economic views
06.4% - The fact that one or both of them are gay and/or they address "gay issues" in their music ¤
06.1% - Their music videos
05.5% - One outstanding song in particular
04.7% - One outstanding album in particular
04.1% - Their "fashion sense," including "costuming"
03.8% - Something else not listed here**
03.2% - Their physical attractiveness and/or "sexiness"

**Because voters could make more than one choice, the percentages total to considerably more than 100%. In fact, since voters could make up to five choices, the figures add up to close to 500%.

**Among the other factors described by voters:

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Survey 679 - Week of October 5, 2014
Non-singles that should have been singles ("sequel") (386 voters)

Which song from the b-sides collections Alternative and Format as well as from Disco 3 do you think should have been released as a single, or at least would have made the best choice for one?

Note: Songs were excluded if they were included in other polls in this series.

From Alternative Disc 1

19.4% - In the Night
17.6% - Paninaro
16.3% - I Get Excited (You Get Excited Too)
08.3% - None of them ¤
06.7% - Do I Have To?
06.5% - That's My Impression
06.0% - A New Life
03.6% - A Man Could Get Arrested
03.6% - Don Juan
02.8% - You Know Where You Went Wrong
02.3% - Your Funny Uncle
01.6% - Was That What It Was?
01.6% - Jack the Lad
00.5% - The Sound of the Atom Splitting
00.3% - One of the Crowd

FromAlternative Disc 2

42.5% - Shameless ¤
11.7% - Bet She's Not Your Girlfriend
08.8% - Miserablism
07.5% - Too Many People
04.9% - We All Feel Better in theDark
04.1% - None of them
03.6% - It Must Be Obvious
03.4% - Losing My Mind
03.1% - Some Speculation
02.3% - Hey, Headmaster
02.3% - Decadence
01.8% - Music for Boys
01.6% - Euroboy
00.5% - What Keeps Mankind Alive?
00.0% - If Love Were All

From Format Disc 1

19.4% - Delusions of Grandeur
15.0% - Sexy Northerner
14.0% - Hit and Miss
09.8% - The Truck Driver and His Mate
09.6% - The Boy Who Couldn't Keep His Clothes On
09.3% - None of them ¤
04.7% - The Ghost of Myself
03.4% - Confidential
02.8% - Screaming
01.8% - The View from Your Balcony
01.6% - Betrayed
01.6% - Lies
01.3% - Disco Potential
01.0% - How I Learned to Hate Rock 'n' Roll
00.5% - The Calm Before the Storm
00.5% - Casting a Shadow
00.3% - Silver Age

From Format Disc 2

24.4% - I Didn't Get Where I Am Today ¤
13.5% - The Resurrectionist
10.6% - After the Event
07.0% - Always
06.7% - In Private
06.2% - Between Two Islands
04.9% - We're the Pet Shop Boys
04.9% - Bright Young Things
04.4% - None of them
03.9% - Up and Down
02.3% - No Time for Tears
01.8% - Blue on Blue
01.6% - Friendly Fire
01.6% - We're All Criminals Now
01.0% - Nightlife
00.8% - Party Song
00.8% - Gin and Jag
00.5% - Transparent
00.5% - The Former Enfant Terrible
00.3% - Searching for the Face of Jesus
00.3% - Girls Don't Cry

From Disco 3

32.6% - Positive Role Model
19.2% - Somebody Else's Business
16.3% - Try It (I'm in Love with a Married Man)
14.0% - None of them ¤
06.5% - Time on My Hands
04.9% - If Looks Could Kill

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Survey 678 - Week of September 28, 2014
Non-singles that should have been singles (Part 3 of 3) (417 voters)

Which song from each of the Pet Shop Boys' four most recent studio albums that was not released as a single do you think should have been released as a single, or at least would have made the best choice for one?

From Fundamental

51.6% - The Sodom and Gomorrah Show ¤
16.3% - None of them
07.9% - Luna Park
06.5% - Psychological
04.8% - I Made My Excuses and Left
04.6% - Twentieth Century
04.1% - Indefinite Leave to Remain
03.1% - Casanova in Hell
00.2% - God Willing

From Yes

43.9% - Pandemonium ¤
36.0% - The Way It Used to Be
06.5% - More Than a Dream
04.1% - King of Rome
02.6% - Vulnerable
02.6% - None of them
02.2% - Building a Wall
01.0% - Legacy

From Elysium

51.8% - A Face Like That
13.7% - Requiem in Denim and Leopardskin
12.9% - None of them ¤
07.7% - Invisible
04.3% - Give It a Go
03.8% - Breathing Space
02.2% - Your Early Stuff
01.4% - Hold On
01.2% - Ego Music
00.7% - Everything Means Something

From Electric

26.6% - The Last to Die
20.9% - Fluorescent
12.9% - Inside a Dream
12.2% - Axis
11.8% - Bolshy
11.8% - None of them ¤
02.6% - Shouting in the Evening

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Survey 677 - Week of September 21, 2014
Non-singles that should have been singles (Part 2 of 3) (434 voters)

Which song from each of the Pet Shop Boys' "middle four" studio albums that was not released as a single do you think should have been released as a single, or at least would have made the best choice for one?

From Very

18.2% - A Different Point of View
17.1% - One in a Million ¤
15.7% - Dreaming of the Queen
15.7% - The Theatre
15.2% - Young Offender
08.5% - None of them
03.9% - One and One Make Five
03.7% - To Speak Is a Sin
00.7% - Postscript

From Bilingual

23.0% - Discoteca
19.4% - Up Against It
16.8% - It Always Comes as a Surprise
13.4% - The Survivors
10.6% - None of them ¤
06.9% - Metamorphosis
06.5% - Saturday Night Forever
01.2% - Electricity

From Nightlife

34.6% - Closer to Heaven ¤
21.4% - For Your Own Good
13.8% - Radiophonic
09.2% - In Denial
09.0% - None of them
04.6% - Happiness Is an Option
02.3% - Vampires
02.1% - Footsteps
00.7% - Boy Strange
00.2% - The Only One

From Release

31.1% - Here
24.7% - None of them ¤
11.1% - E-mail
09.4% - Love Is a Catastrophe
07.6% - Birthday Boy
05.5% - The Night I Fell in Love
04.6% - The Samurai in Autumn
02.8% - You Choose

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Survey 676 - Week of September 14, 2014
Non-singles that should have been singles (Part 1 of 3) (452 voters)

Which song from each of the Pet Shop Boys' first four studio albums that was not released as a single do you think should have been released as a single, or at least would have made the best choice for one?

From Please

27.9% - Tonight Is Forever ¤
27.2% - Two Divided by Zero
14.4% - Why Don't We Live Together?
11.5% - I Want a Lover
11.5% - None of them
02.9% - Violence
02.4% - Later Tonight

From Actually

36.3% - King's Cross
17.7% - I Want to Wake Up
16.2% - None of them ¤
15.9% - Shopping
08.8% - It Couldn't Happen Here
03.5% - Hit Music

From Introspective

53.5% - I'm Not Scared
34.5% - Neither of them ¤
08.6% - I Want a Dog

From Behaviour

30.1% - This Must Be the Place I Waited Years to Leave
23.2% - The End of the World ¤
20.1% - None of them
13.9% - My October Symphony
04.0% - Only the Wind
03.8% - To Face the Truth
03.8% - Nervously

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Survey 675 - Week of September 7, 2014
Are their best years still ahead of them? (347 voters)

Do you think the Pet Shop Boys' "best years"—however you prefer to define them—are still ahead of them?

46.7% - "No—I believe their best years are now behind them."
30.3% - "I have such mixed feelings about this, I can't say."
13.8% - "Yes—I believe their best years are still ahead of them!" ¤*
09.2% - "I believe they're having their best years right now, but I don't think they'll last much longer."

*My personal rationale—which I suspect I share with most of the others who voted this way—is simple. There can be no doubt whatsoever that the Boys' best "commercial" years in terms of record sales and general popularity are now behind them. But I prefer to judge their best years in more aesthetic/artistic terms. And I think they're writing some of their best and most important work nowadays, the excellence (in my opinion) of A Man from the Future being a case in point. From an artistic perspective, they keep getting better and better, so I have the admittedly optimistic expectation that their best is yet to come.

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Survey 674 - Week of August 31, 2014
Which albums captured the Zeitgeist? (260 voters)

For each of the Pet Shop Boys' 12 studio albums, indicate whether you feel it "captured the Zeitgeist" (that is, the "spirit of the age") or whether it was "behind" or "ahead" of its time—or, to put it another way, "backward-looking" or "forward-looking."

"Backward-looking"
or "Behind the times"
"Captured the Zeitgeist"
or "Of the times"
  "Forward-looking"
or "Ahead of its time"
51.9% - Release ¤
48.5% - Elysium ¤
27.7% - Nightlife
23.8% - Fundamental
23.1% - Behaviour ¤
16.5% - Yes ¤
16.2% - Electric ¤
14.6% - Bilingual
08.8% - Very
03.1% - Please
02.7% - Introspective
00.0% - Actually
80.8% - Please ¤
74.6% - Actually ¤
51.5% - Yes
43.5% - Very
40.0% - Fundamental ¤
39.2% - Electric
37.7% - Nightlife
37.3% - Introspective ¤
29.2% - Behaviour
28.1% - Bilingual
20.8% - Release
21.2% - Elysium
  42.7% - Introspective
39.2% - Bilingual ¤
32.3% - Very ¤
31.5% - Behaviour
28.8% - Electric
16.9% - Fundamental
15.0% - Nightlife ¤
13.2% - Actually
12.7% - Elysium
09.6% - Yes
09.2% - Release
00.0% - Please

Totals for each album don't necessarily add up to 100% on account of abstentions. The highest figure in each category appears in red. The highest figure for any given album appears in blue unless it also happens to be the highest in that category. (In each case, the highest figure in a category also happens to be the highest figure for that album.) It's worth noting that the greatest degree of agreement among voters was with regard to Please, and the greatest divergence of opinion was in relation to Behaviour.

Note: As I explained when I posted this poll, I intentionally left out the option to designate any PSB album as "timeless." That's an even more loaded term than the ones among the choices, and I feared that it would receive a disproportionate number of votes simply because most if not all of us voters in this survey are dedicated fans. (I know that I myself would have been tempted to designate most PSB albums as "timeless.") I also noted that being "backward-looking" or "behind the times" is not necessarily a bad thing. It only seems that way to many of us because we belong to a somewhat "progressivist" age and culture. But a work that purposefully harkens back to past times and styles, perhaps even celebrating them (or something especially good about them), can certainly be a wonderful thing. So, for instance, although I designated Release as "backward-looking," that doesn't mean I dislike that album. On the contrary, I love it. But I do feel that it harkened back to a somewhat earlier time in pop music. That, of course, is merely my personal opinion.

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Survey 673 - Week of August 24, 2014
Opinions of "Four Songs in A Minor" (276 voters)

Which of the following statements do you agree with (or come closest to agreeing with) regarding the "Four Songs in A Minor" performed at the recent "Pet Shop Boys Night" at the BBC Proms?

Overall:

30.8% - "It was OK—I neither particularly liked nor disliked it."
20.7% - "I really liked it!" ¤
18.1% - "I have mixed feelings about it."
12.3% - "I really didn't like it."

Regarding Chrissie Hynde's vocals:

32.2% - "I didn't like Chrissie Hynde's vocals."
26.8% - "I liked her vocals for some of the songs, but not for others."
22.5% - "I liked her vocals." ¤

Regarding the orchestral arrangements:

59.1% - "I liked the orchestral arrangements."
Note: This was the single most popular opinion of the poll overall, and the only one chosen by a majority of the voters (as opposed to just a plurality).
16.7% - "I liked the orchestral arrangements for some of the songs, but not for others." ¤
03.6% - "I didn't like the orchestral arrangements."

Regarding the choice of songs:

38.8% - "I liked the choice of songs."
30.8% - "I liked the choice of some of the songs, but not of others." ¤
11.2% - "I didn't like the choice of songs."

Regarding Neil's duet with Chrissie on "Rent":

48.6% - "I liked Neil's duet with Chrissie on 'Rent.'" ¤
19.9% - "I have mixed feelings about Neil's duet with Chrissie on 'Rent.'"
11.6% - "I didn't like Neil's duet with Chrissie on 'Rent.'"

Finally:

18.5% - "I can't make many (if any) of these choices because I haven't heard it (or heard enough of it to come to any conclusions)."

Regarding my own votes: I certainly liked it overall, and (being a fan, though not a big fan, of the Pretenders) I liked Chrissie's vocals. (Maybe I'm just well-accustomed to them.) But I didn't like the choice of "Vocal" (love the song, but felt it was badly out of place in this context), nor did I care for its orchestral arrangement.

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Survey 672 - Week of August 17, 2014
Favorite Disco album and time for a Disco 5? (431 voters)

Question 1:  What is your favorite Pet Shop Boys Disco album?

42.2% - Disco 3 ¤
38.5% - Disco
07.2% - Disco 2
06.5% - Disco 4
02.3% - "I'm not familiar enough with them to make a choice."
01.6% - "I don't have a 'favorite' because I don't like any of them."

Question 2:  Would you like for them to release a Disco 5 album?

54.8% - "Yes, and I would like for them to release it soon!"
15.6% - "I have mixed feelings about it."
13.0% - "Yes, I would like for them to release Disco 5, but not for a few years yet." ¤
04.6% - "No, I hope they never release Disco 5."

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Survey 671 - Week of August 10, 2014
If PSB were a color of the rainbow… (235 voters)

If the Pet Shop Boys were a color of the rainbow, what colors have they been at different phases of their year?

"Early PSB"
1984-1992,
up through Discography
 
"Middle PSB"
1993-2003,
from Very through PopArt
 
"Recent PSB"
2004-present,
after PopArt
31.5% blue   46.8% orange  ¤   31.9% blue
26.8% red  ¤   16.6% yellow   26.4% indigo
10.6% green   11.1% red   11.9% violet
08.9% indigo   09.8% blue   09.4% green  ¤
09.4% yellow   05.5% violet   06.4% yellow
05.5% orange   05.5% green   06.4% orange
03.8% violet   04.3% indigo   06.0% red

Abstentions account for the figures not totaling to 100% in each column. Regarding my own votes, I chose red for "Early PSB" because the Boys were commercially "red-hot" for most of that period, orange for "Middle PSB" on account of that phase starting with my all-time favorite PSB album, the orange-packaged Very (a rationale that appears to have been shared by a plurality of voters), and green for "Recent PSB" because I think of this as their "evergreen phase"—still proving fresh and vital even after all these years.

Incidentally, I find the patterns displayed above fascinating. Note that the color red shows a steady decline; violet shows a steady increase; orange and yellow display bell curves peaking in the middle; and blue, green, and indigo display inverse bell curves dipping in the middle. I'm really not sure what, if anything, this means. I can, however, hazard some wildly speculative guesses. Perhaps the steady decrease in red suggests a steady decrease in mainstream commercial popularity, and the steady increase in violet (which is fairly close to pink) indicates a steady increase in "gayness." The bell curves are even more difficult to interpret, so I won't even venture to speculate about those.

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Survey 670 - Week of August 3, 2014
Early opinions of A Man from the Future (311 voters)

What are your early opinions of A Man from the Future?

As one of their "outside projects"– For "PSB overall"—
30.8% - It's one of the better ones, but not the best. 27.3% - It's good. I like it.
15.7% - It's not one of the better ones, but not the worst. 18.6% - It's excellent. I love it! ¤
15.1% - It's the best one yet! ¤ 17.3% - It's OK. I don't dislike it.
10.0% - I'm not sure, or I have mixed feelings about it. 05.8% - It's not very good. I don't like it.
04.8% - It's the worst one yet! 04.5% - I'm not sure, or I have mixed feelings about it.
  01.3% - It's the best thing they've ever done!
  01.0% - It's the worst thing they've ever done!
00.6% - It's awful. I detest it!
20.9% - I can't say because I haven't heard it yet (or at least enough of it to have come to a conclusion about it).

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Survey 669 - Week of July 27, 2014
A cappella vs. instrumental (281 voters)

If you could choose between getting, as a bonus disc, an a cappella (vocals-only) or instrumental version of each Pet Shop Boys studio album, which would it be in each case?

 
a cappella
instrumental
neither / abstain
Please
16.0%
59.1%
¤ 24.9%
Actually
17.1%
59.8%
¤ 23.1%
Introspective
7.5%
71.2%
¤ 21.4%
Behaviour
27.4%
54.8%
¤ 17.8%
Very
14.6%
¤* 66.2%
19.2%
Bilingual
17.4%
60.1%
¤ 22.4%
Nightlife
11.7%
63.3%
¤ 24.9%
Release
26.0%
50.2%
¤ 23.8%
Fundamental
13.9%
63.3%
¤ 22.8%
Yes
19.2%
59.4%
¤ 21.4%
Elysium
25.6%
50.5%
¤ 23.8%
Electric
8.5%
74.7%
¤ 16.7%

*That's right—the only vote I placed was for an instrumental version of Very. I abstained for all the other albums. I don't think of PSB as a "vocal group," so I wouldn't be very interested in a cappella versions of their songs the way I would for, say, the Beach Boys. On the other hand, I consider their lyrics to be so important that instrumental vesions generally wouldn't be of great interest to me, either. (Aside from the occasional exception, I'm not a huge fan of instrumentals in general.) But, that being said, I would be interested in hearing an instrumental version of my all-time favorite PSB album, Very. And I do already own the instrumental bonus discs of their albums that have been officially released in instrumental format, despite the fact that I didn't vote for them in this poll.

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Survey 668 - Week of July 20, 2014
Time for their autobiographies? (379 voters)

Do you think it's time for one or both of the Pet Shop Boys to be writing and publishing their autobiographies (or just one autobiography, as the case may be)?

24.5% - "Yes—the sooner the better!"
23.7% - "Yes, within the next few years." ¤
18.7% - "Only after they've 'retired' (if then)."
12.1% - "I'm not sure, or I have mixed feelings about this."
08.2% - "No, not yet, but maybe sometime after, say, 2020."
06.6% - "No, I hope they never do."
06.1% - "I really don't care about this one way or the other."

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Survey 667 - Week of July 13, 2014
The Pet Shop Boys' greatest "very short song" (441 voters)

What, in you opinion, is the Pet Shop Boys' greatest "very short song" (defined as officially released on CD or vinyl and less than three minutes in length)?

37.2% - Your Funny Uncle ¤
23.8% - Later Tonight
05.9% - Postscript
05.9% - Girls Don't Cry
05.7% - God Willing
05.0% - The Calm Before the Storm
04.5% - Opportunities (Reprise)
04.1% - Your Early Stuff
03.9% - Transfer
01.6% - The Former Enfant Terrible
00.9% - Inside
00.9% - Generic Jingle
00.7% - If Love Were All

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Survey 666 - Week of July 6, 2014
Do they tour and perform live too often these days? (344 voters)

Do you think the Pet Shop Boys tour and perform live too often these days?

40.7% - No, I think they tour and perform live about the right amount these days.
25.3% - No, but I do think they need to add more variety (especially rarely performed songs) to their live shows. ¤
15.1% - No, absolutely not! In fact, they ought to tour and perform live even more than they do!
11.3% - Yes, I do think they tour and perform live too often these days.
07.6% - I'm not sure, or I have mixed feelings about this.

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Survey 665 - Week of June 29, 2014
Are my PSB favorites also your PSB favorites? (366 voters)

Which of webmaster Wayne's personal absolute "Pet Shop Boys favorites" are also your own absolute favorites? (Please choose all that apply.)*

32.8% - Favorite PSB song: "Being Boring"
27.6% - None of them
24.3% - Favorite PSB album cover: Actually
23.0% - Favorite PSB album: Very
18.9% - Favorite PSB cover of a song originally by another artist: "Go West"
13.7% - Favorite PSB b-side: "Shameless"
04.6% - Favorite PSB music video: "I Wouldn't Normally Do This Kind of Thing"
04.6% - Favorite PSB remix of another artist's track: "Eh Eh (Nothing Else I Can Say)" by Lady Gaga
02.5% - Favorite official remix of a PSB track: "I Wouldn't Normally Do This Kind of Thing" Voxigen Remix

*Because voters could make more than one choice, the percentages total to more than 100%. Also please note that, on account of the nature of this poll, it wouldn't make sense for me to vote this time around, so I didn't; hence there are no ¤ symbols to indicate how I voted.

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Survey 664 - Week of June 22, 2014
PSB-composed but not -performed originals vs. PSB versions (399 voters)

Of the songs written by the Pet Shop Boys that were originally released by another artist, but then later the Pet Shop Boys officially released their own version, which ones do you prefer as performed by the other artist compared to the version by the Boys themselves? (Choose all that apply.)*

37.1% - "In Private" by Dusty Springfield ¤
36.3% - "Nothing Has Been Proved" by Dusty Springfield ¤
30.8% - "So Sorry, I Said" by Liza Minnelli ¤
21.3% - "I'm Not Scared" by Eighth Wonder
16.3% - "For All of Us" by Paul Keating (of the Closer to Heaven original cast)
16.3% - I prefer the PSB version of all of them!
16.0% - "Listening" by Morten Harket
15.0% - "Confidential" by Tina Turner
12.3% - "Positive Role Model" by Paul Keating (of the Closer to Heaven original cast)
09.3% - "Love Life" by Alcazar ¤
08.8% - "Baby" by Alcazar
06.8% - "Falling" by Kylie Minogue
06.5% - "Friendly Fire" by Frances Barber (of the Closer to Heaven original cast)

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

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Survey 663 - Week of June 15, 2014
Favorite PSB headgear (411 voters)

What is your all-time favorite "Pet Shop Boys headgear"?

33.1% Their striped cone-hats from "Can You Forgive Her?"
22.1% Their classic "BOY" caps
08.8% Their mirror-ball hats from the Electric Tour
06.8% Their black tophat and cap from the Fundamental era
06.3% Their spikey red wigs from the Nightlife era
05.6% Their brightlly colored derbies from the Performance Tour ¤
04.6% Their helmets from "Go West"
02.2% Their derby and ???* from the Elysium era
*Andie of the PSB Community Forum correctly identified it as a "quilted hat" by designer J.W. Anderson.
01.9% Their "Britannia" feathered helmet and derby from the mid-2000s
01.7% Their hoodie and derby from the Yes era

01.7%

(see below)
Some other headgear not listed here**
01.5% Their white fezes from the "Absolutely Fabulous" video (and elsewhere)
01.2% Their horned minotaur helmets from the Electric Tour
01.0% Their black cone-hats from the 2012 Olympics closing ceremony
00.7% Their mop-top wigs from "I Wouldn't Normally Do This Kind of Thing"
00.7% Their "Russian look" from around 1999
**Other favorite headgear cited by voters:
  Their wigs from "So Hard" on their Performance Tour
  Their feathered hat and helmet from the Pandemonium Tour
  Their orange fezes from the Electric Tour
  Their bowl-cut platinum-blond wigs from "Memory of the Future"

Regarding my own vote (the brightly colored derbies from the Performance Tour), I have to admit they're a sentimental favorite. They're part of the earliest "PSB look" that really made a strong impression on me. When I first saw it, I was immediately struck by its uniqueness: "Now, what other band would do something like that?" To be sure, many of their other choices of headgear would surely have made a similar early impression (their cone-hats, fezes, and minotaur helmets come especially to mind) But it was those colored derbies that actually did it; hence my vote.

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Survey 662 - Week of June 8, 2014
Most "representative" album for a hypothetical time capsule (395 voters)

Imagine you've been assigned the responsibility to choose one—and only one—Pet Shop Boys album to be included among other artifacts of our age in a "time capsule" that will be sealed and buried, not to be opened for 500 years. You're asked to choose the "most representative" PSB album (and you're not limited to just their "studio albums"), although it's left completely up to you as to precisely what "most representative" means. Which album would you choose?

30.6% - PopArt ¤*
19.0% - Very (or Very Relentless)
12.7% - Actually
09.1% - Behaviour
07.1% - Discography
03.5% - Please
03.5% - Introspective
02.5% - Fundamental
02.5% - Pandemonium
01.8% - Ultimate
01.5% - Disco
01.3% - Alternative
01.0% - Electric
00.8% - Nightlife
00.8% - Yes
00.8% - Concrete
0.05% - Bilingual
0.03% - Format
0.03% - Elysium
0.03% - Battleship Potemkin
0.03% - Some other album not listed here
0.00% - Disco 2
0.00% - Disco 3
0.00% - Disco 4
0.00% - Release
0.00% - Closer to Heaven
0.00% - The Most Incredible Thing

*Regarding my own vote: although Very is indeed my absolute favorite PSB studio album—not to mention one of my favorite albums of all time by any artist—I would nevertheless choose PopArt to place in a time capsule since I believe it provides their best cross-section (so far) of their work overall. Besides, it would simply allow me to provide the future with more PSB music than Very alone or even Very and Relentless combined. So I agreed with the plurality in this case.

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Survey 661 - Week of June 1, 2014
Favorite post-Format single b-side/bonus track (473 voters)

What is your absolute favorite post-Format Pet Shop Boys single b-side/bonus track?

19.7% - A Certain "Je Ne Sais Quoi" ¤
14.2% - In His Imagination
08.2% - The Way Through the Woods
07.6% - One Night
07.4% - Odd Man Out
07.0% - I Started Joke
05.9% - "I'm not familiar enough with these songs to make a choice."
05.7% - Listening
05.3% - Hell
04.0% - Baby
04.0% - Entschuldigung!
03.2% - Get It Online
02.3% - No More Ballads
02.3% - I Cried for Us
02.3% - Glad All Over
00.8% - Inside

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Survey 660 - Week of May 25, 2014
Feelings about a "posthumously created" PSB album (381 voters)

Would you approve of someone taking "incomplete," unreleased PSB material and outtakes after PSB is no longer around (hopefully no time soon!) and "completing" it for release (like what has been done with the posthumous "Michael Jackson album" Xscape)?

45.4% - Maybe—it depends on who's involved in the project.
22.6% - Yes, absolutely!
15.5% - No, absolutely not!
09.2% - I have mixed feelings about it. ¤*
04.5% - It depends on some other factor(s).
02.1% - I'm not sure.
00.8% - I really wouldn't care one way or the other.

*Regarding my own vote – I would prefer to hear such incomplete, unreleased material "as is," without any additions or modifications. But if I had to choose between hearing it "completed" by others and not hearing it at all, I'd take the "completed" tracks. That being said, I would very much prefer those involved to be people with ample previous experience working with the Boys—people like Pete Gleadall, Johnny Marr, and Trevor Horn. In fact, this latter perspective coincides with the feelings expressed by a number of voters who chose the outcome that came out on top in this poll.

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Survey 659 - Week of May 18, 2014
Anticipation for A Man from the Future (327 voters)

Based on what you know about it so far, how much are you looking forward to A Man from the Future?

51.7% - "I'm very much looking forward to it!" ¤*
19.0% - "I'm somewhat looking forward to it, but I don't feel strongly about it."
08.9% - "If it's released on CD or DVD, then I'm looking forward to it. Otherwise, I couldn't care less."
07.4% - "I feel rather neutral about it."
05.8% - "I really don't know enough about it to have an opinion."
04.6% - "I generally don't much care for their outside, "artsy" projects, so I'm not looking forward to it."
02.1% - "I have mixed feelings about it."
00.6% - "I'm not looking forward to it for some other reason."

*Regarding my own vote – I suppose it's not surprising that I'm very much looking forward to it. But if it's not eventually released on CD or DVD (ideally sooner rather than later), I'll be bitterly disappointed. That's not to say I couldn't care less, which is why I didn't choose that option myself. On the contrary, I would care a great deal about it.

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Survey 658 - Week of May 11, 2014
Preferred arrangement of "live" PSB songs (353 voters)

In general, how do you prefer the arrangements of Pet Shop Boys songs in concert?

33.1% - If it's a song they've never or rarely performed live, then close to the original. But if it's a song they've performed live often, then I'd prefer them to do something "new" with it.
29.7% - Somewhat similar to the familiar single/album version, but with a "twist" or two to make it interesting.
12.7% - I don't feel I can generalize about this. (Maybe it depends on the song.) ¤*
11.6% - Like a brand new, previously unheard remix.
07.4% - A radically new "reinterpretation," completely unlike anything we've heard before for that song.
04.5% - As close as possible to the familiar single and/or album version.
00.8% - In the arrangement of a previously released remix.

*Regarding my own vote, my initial impulse was to go with the choice that ultimately ended up in first place. But then I thought back to certain specific performances, such as the acoustic rendering of "Was It Worth It?" during the Nightlife Tour. That's a song they've rarely performed live, yet I love that particular performance, which couldn't be much more unlike the original. The same is true for several other songs. So I figured I really couldn't generalize about this.

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Survey 657 - Week of May 4, 2014
Opinions of "Were You There?' (320 voters)

What is your opinion of the recently premiered track "Were You There?" by the electronic/industrial duo Diamond Version, featuring vocals by Neil Tennant?

30.3% - "It's OK—I don't dislike it."
19.4% - "It's not so good—I don't like it."
16.6% - "It's good—I like it." ¤
11.9% - "It's great—I love it!"
11.3% - "I can't say because I haven't heard it."
05.0% - "I have mixed feelings about it."
03.4% - "It's terrible—I detest it."
02.2% - "I'm neutral about it, or I really don't have any feelings about it either way."

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Survey 656 - Week of April 27, 2014
The most "conceptual" PSB studio album (374 voters)

What, in your opinion, is the Pet Shop Boy's most "conceptual" studio album? Or, to put it another way, what is their best "concept album," but not in terms of which of their "concept albums" is the best overall (the best selection of songs), but rather which has the strongest concept or is best at conveying and maintaining its underlying concept or "theme"?

20.1% - Fundamental ¤
18.4% - Nightlife
12.0% - Behaviour
10.4% - Introspective
09.4% - Electric
08.3% - Elysium
07.8% - Very
07.0% - Bilingual
02.9% - Release
02.1% - Please
01.1% - Yes
00.5% - Actually

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Survey 655 - Week of April 20, 2014
Feelings about PSB performing in Dubai (311 voters)

Considering that the United Arab Emirates prohibits LGBT rights and, despite it being one of the more "progressive" states in the Middle East, it still punishes homosexuals with long jail sentences (and sometimes worse), what do you think of the Pet Shop Boys' decision to perform at the Sandance Festival in Dubai, UAE on May 9?

33.8% - "I think it's OK. After all, why should their fans in the region be denied a chance to see them 'live' just because of their government's policies?"
22.2% - "I think it's a good idea. Perhaps through such engagement PSB can help change minds about LGBT rights in the region."
13.8% - "It doesn't bother me. Music should be separate from socio-political concerns like this."
08.7% - "I'm a little disappointed in the Pet Shop Boys, but it's an understandable business decision."
07.4% - "I have mixed feelings about it." ¤*
06.4% - "I don't care about it one way or the other."
03.9% - "I'm very disappointed in the Boys—maybe even a little angry. But I'm sure I'll get over it."
01.6% - "I think it's blatantly hypocritical of PSB. I'm so upset with them about this that it greatly changes my opinion of them for the worse."
01.3% - "I have a very different opinion than any of those listed here."**
00.6% - "I'm disappointed or upset for some other reason."
00.3% - "I'm OK with it for some other reason."

*Regarding my own vote and mixed feelings, I do believe there's some merit to all three of the more "positive" viewpoints that came out on top in this poll. But a big part of me is also somewhat disappointed and even a little upset that PSB would perform in Dubai given its shameful treatment of gay people. I have to wonder, however, whether performing there—or refusing to perform there, for that matter (and publicizing why)—would make any difference one way or the other. Personally, I think it would be good for the Boys to address this issue and clarify their position and viewpoint with regard to their decision. That might make it easier to understand, particularly for those of us who have negative or mixed feelings about it.

**Among the alternate opinions expressed by voters:

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Survey 654 - Week of April 13, 2014
Feelings about possible end of Fan Club and/or Literally (328 voters)

Which of the following statements comes closest to describe how you would feel about the possible discontinuation (as has recently been rumored)* of the official PSB Fan Club and/or its publication Literally?

*As it turns out, the Boys solicited questions on their website that they might respond to in the next issue of Literally, which strongly suggests that the rumor is false.

38.4% - "I'm not a member, but I still think it would be very unfortunate."
21.3% - "It wouldn't matter to me since I'm not a member."
11.9% - "I would be disappointed if they were discontinued."
10.1% - "I would be very upset if they were discontinued."
07.0% - "If a paper edition of Literally were discontinued, I wouldn't rejoin a continuation of the Fan Club."
05.8% - "If the paper edition of Literally were discontinued but it continued to be published in electronic/digital format for members, then I would continue as a member of the Fan Club."
03.7% - "I would continue as a member of the Fan Club if it were an option, even if Literally ceased publication, period." ¤**
00.9% - "I'm a member, but it really wouldn't bother me if they were discontinued."
00.9% - "I have a very different opinion than any of those listed here."

**Regarding my own vote and feelings, of course I would be disappointed if Literally were to cease publication. But I would nevertheless continue to be a member of the Fan Club if that were an option. After all, the Boys would almost certainly offer some sort of "perks" or advantages to membership in lieu of Literally, and I wouldn't want to miss out on those. For instance, there may be occasional special releases (physical and/or digital) available exclusively to Fan Club members.

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Survey 653 - Week of April 6, 2014
Biggest hit of the 2010s if PSB were a "young" band (481 voters)

Which of the Pet Shop Boys' singles released in the current decade do you believe would have proved the biggest hit—or would have had the best chance of being a big hit—if they were a young band (say, in their 20s) just starting out?

34.9% - Thursday
25.8% - Vocal
08.9% - Together ¤
08.1% - "I honestly don't believe any of them would have been a big hit."
07.1% - Love Is a Bourgeois Construct
04.8% - Axis
04.0% - Leaving
04.0% - Memory of the Future
02.5% - Winner

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Survey 652 - Week of March 30, 2014
"Unheard" PSB song you'd most like released (332 voters)

Based on the bits of information available about them, which of the following* unreleased and thus far never heard Pet Shop Boys songs would you most like for them to complete and release?

41.0% - I Can Always Rely on You to Let Me Down
13.6% - Heads Will Roll
11.1% - Love and War
09.6% - Fat Northern Bastards ¤**
08.4% - A New Boy in Town
08.1% - We're Not Going to the Opera
07.8% - In Slow Motion

*I limited the choices in this poll to just the seven unreleased and unheard PSB tracks that I personally found most intriguing. A few voters, however, suggested some others: "Yes in a No Kind of Way," "Heaven Is a Playground," "Unbelievable Scenes," and "Living Legends." One voter, in fact, listed no fewer than 18 such tracks, which I won't list here. After all, I already have an entire page of my website devoted to such unreleased songs (where you can read about the songs listed above as well).

**Surprised that I chose "Fat Northern Bastards"? I did so mainly for two reasons: (1) it apparently contains a sample of the Beach Boys' "Barbara Ann," and I'm a huge Beach Boys fan, and (2) I find the very notion of the Pet Shop Boys writing, recording, and releasing a song with a title like that irresistible.

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Survey 651 - Week of March 23, 2014
Have they become "too gay"? (442 voters)

In light of (among other things) such recent tracks as "Odd Man Out" and "Oppressive (The Best Gay Possible), have the Pet Shop Boys become "too gay"?

26.9% - "I dispute the very premise of the question. It's no more legitimate than asking whether someone is 'too straight.'"
26.5% - "No. I don't think they're any 'gayer' now than they've ever been."
18.8% - "No. I think they strike a good balance." ¤*
14.3% - "Yes."
08.8% - "I really don't have any opinion about this one way or the other."
02.9% - "No. In fact, I don't think they're 'gay enough.'"
01.8% - "I have an opinion different from any of those listed here."**

In sum, 48.2% voted "No" for one reason or another (this doesn't count, however, the essentially "No" viewpoints among the "different opinions"), compared to the 14.3% who said "Yes" (again not counting the essentially "Yes" viewpoints among the different opinions).

*Regarding my own vote – Actually, my initial inclination was to choose the option that ultimately came out on top, "I dispute the very premise of the question.…" But then I figured that would be something of a cop-out, bordering on outright hypocrisy, coming from the guy who's asking the question in the first place. So instead I went with "No. I think they strike a good balance," which is quite accurate in my opinion.

**Among the different opinions offered by voters:

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Survey 650 - Week of March 16, 2014
Primary method of listening to PSB nowadays (413 voters)

How do you most often listen to Pet Shop Boys music nowadays?

37.0% - mp3s or other audio files on some device other than a computer (such as a smartphone or an mp3 player)
23.0% - mp3s or other audio files on my desktop or laptop computer ¤*
22.3% - CDs
11.1% - It's very evenly divided between two or more of these formats
02.9% - websites like YouTube, SoundCloud, etc.**
02.2% - Some other format not listed here**
00.7% - vinyl
00.7% - tapes

*Regarding my own vote: I still insist, whenever possible, on having my PSB music on CD. I always buy them (when available), and that's always how I prefer to listen to new albums the first few times. But these days I view CDs mainly as an "archival" format. These days I listen to music, including PSB, most often on either my home or office computer. I've also put nearly my entire CD collection (hundreds of them) on a hard-drive device hooked up to my stereo system, and that's how I now usually listen to music that I wish to hear only on occasion.

**I'm not sure whether these count as "websites" or "some other format," but some voters offered TuneIn, Radionomy, and Spotify as alternatives. Another voter cited CD-R copies, but personally I would consider that equivalent to listening to PSB on CD—it's just a different type of CD.

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Survey 649 - Week of March 9, 2014
Early impression of "Oppressive (The Best Gay Possible)" (372 voters)

What is your early impression of the brand new Pet Shop Boys/Panti Bliss track "Oppressive (The Best Gay Possible)"?

29.8% - "I like it."
24.5% - "I love it!" ¤
13.7% - "I'm rather neutral about it."
09.4% - "I don't much like it."
07.0% - "I dislike it intensely."
05.1% - "I have mixed feelings. I like the music but I don't like the message."
04.6% - "I can't say because I haven't heard it yet."
03.5% - "I have mixed feelings. I like the message but I don't like the music."
02.4% - "I have mixed feelings for some other reason."

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Survey 648 - Week of March 2, 2014
Feelings about "Decade PSBs" (310 voters)

If you were to divide the Pet Shop Boys' career into decades—the 1980s, '90s, '00s, and '10s (so far)—and consider everything they have done (music, videos, concerts, etc.) during each of those periods as if they came from completely different recording acts, how do you think you would feel about each of those separate "Pet Shop Boys" of each decade?*

  They would be my all-time favorite recording artist
They would be my favorite of that decade, but not
of all time
They would be one of my favorites of that decade, but not my absolute favorite I would like them well enough, but they wouldn't be one of my favorites I probably wouldn't be very interested
in them
1980s PSB
33.7%
¤ 33.0%
25.9%
5.8%
1.7%
1990s PSB
21.3%
¤ 41.2%
30.7%
6.1%
0.7%
2000s PSB
7.2%
32.9%
¤ 40.1%
16.1%
3.8%
2010s PSB
6.8%
¤ 38.4%
34.7%
15.6%
4.4%

*The percentages in each row are based on the number of voters who placed a vote for that particular "Decade PSB"—not on the total number of voters. Each decade had some abstentions. But since those abstentions don't count toward the totals, the percentages in each row (that is, for each decade) do add up to 100%. Note that voters were not permitted to make more than one choice in the first category, for "all-time favorite recording artist," although they didn't have to make any choices in that category at all if it weren't applicable. They could, however, make as many choices as they wished in the other categories. Incidentally, the percentage of voters who chose the Pet Shop Boys of any single decade as their "all-time favorite recording artist" was 65.5%. This is a lower figure than the sum of the percentages in the corresponding column above because it is based on the total number of voters as opposed to only those who placed a vote in any given decade. And if you're surprised that I didn't choose any particular decade's PSB as my all-time favorite artist, please keep in mind that I've never made any bones about the fact that PSB is my favorite contemporary recording act, but not my all-time favorite; both the Beatles and the Beach Boys have, for me, always superseded them in that regard.

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Survey 647 - Week of February 23, 2014
The most and least "typical" PSB studio albums (358 voters)

What, in your opinion, are the Pet Shop Boys' most "typical" and least "typical" studio albums?

Most typical¹
Least typical¹
33.0% - Actually
23.2% - Very²
13.4% - "There is no "typical" PSB studio album!" ¤³
07.3% - Behaviour
04.7% - Please
04.5% - Yes
04.2% - Fundamental
03.1% - Introspective
02.5% - Electric
01.7% - Elysium
01.4% - Nightlife
00.8% - Bilingual
00.3% - Release
57.4% - Release ¤³
15.6% - Elysium
09.5% - Electric
04.3% - Bilingual
03.1% - Behaviour
03.1% - Nightlife
02.5% - Fundamental
02.1% - Introspective
01.2% - Very²
00.9% - Yes
00.3% - Please
00.0% - Actually

¹Quite a few voters—nearly 10% of them—made a "most typical" choice without making a "least typical" choice. The percentages in each column are calculated based on the number of votes in each respective category rather than on the total number of voters. Therefore the total in each category, after rounding, equals 100%.

²One voter told me that he would have liked to have voted for Very as the "most typical" album and Relentless—which wasn't included among the choices—as the "least typical." I didn't include Relentless because, although I do personally consider it a "studio album," it doesn't appear to hold that status either in the general community of music critics or even with the Pet Shop Boys themselves. Besides, a great many fans really aren't familiar with this increasingly obscure album. At any rate, since it was released as the second disc of the "special edition" of Very titled Very Relentless, this particular voter chose to express his preference by voting for Very as both the most and least "typical" album.

³Regarding my own votes, I believe the Pet Shop Boys have demonstrated so much variety in their studio albums to render the matter of what is "typical" for them somewhat moot. On the other hand, I still think it's possible for certain albums to be rather "atypical"—that is, quite different (when taken as a whole) from their more common, familiar styles. In my opinion, Release takes the proverbial cake in that regard—and clearly a majority of voters agree.

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Survey 646 - Week of February 16, 2014
Rating the music video for "Thursday" (373 voters)

Please rate the music video for the Pet Shop Boys most recent single "Thursday" on a scale of 1 to 5 as it compares to all other PSB music videos (as opposed to how it compares 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

 
1
2
3
4
5
Average
Thursday
13.7%
¤ 29.5%
38.6%
12.3%
5.9%
2.673

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Survey 645 - Week of February 9, 2014
The last (most recent) real PSB "hit" single (450 voters)

What, in your opinion, was the Pet Shop Boys' last (at least so far) real "hit" single?

38.2% - Love etc.*
11.8% - Go West
06.4% - Thursday
06.4% - New York City Boy
06.0% - I'm with Stupid
05.8% - Vocal ¤**
02.7% - Did You See Me Coming?
02.2% - Domino Dancing
02.0% - Love is a Bourgeois Construct
01.8% - Leaving
01.6% - Se A Vida E (That's the Way Life Is)
01.3% - Winner
01.1% - Home and Dry
01.1% - Always on My Mind
00.9% - Flamboyant
00.9% - West End Girls
00.7% - Minimal
00.7% - You Only Tell Me You Love Me When You're Drunk
00.7% - I Don't Know What You Want But I Can't Give It Any More
00.7% - Yesterday, When I Was Mad
00.7% - I Wouldn't Normally Do This Kind of Thing
00.7% - Can You Forgive Her?
00.4% - All Over the World
00.4% - Beautiful People
00.4% - Together
00.4% - Numb
00.4% - Miracles
00.4% - Paninaro '95
00.4% - Absolutely Fabulous
00.4% - Where the Streets Have No Name (I Can't Take My Eyes Off You)
00.4% - Being Boring
00.4% - It's a Sin
00.2% - Memory of the Future
00.2% - Break 4 Love
00.2% - A Red Letter Day
00.2% - Liberation
00.2% - Jealousy
00.2% - How Can You Expect to Be Taken Seriously?

Other singles didn't receive any votes.

*"Love etc." is the final PSB single to date to reach the U.K. Top 20, which probably accounts for it coming out on top in this poll—and by a very wide margin, receiving more than three times as many votes as the runner-up.

**Regarding my own vote for "Vocal": my rationale was that "Vocal" was indeed a major U.S. dance hit, reaching #3 on the U.S. dance chart. The two follow-up singles, however, performed much more disappointingly on the dance chart, so as only minor "hits" on a sub-genre chart, I don't really think of them as real "hits." Admittedly, a "dance hit" that wasn't a hit on any other chart probably wouldn't be considered a true "hit" by most observers. But I readily concede that I'm atypical in that and many other respects.

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Survey 644 - Week of February 2, 2014
Has your opinion of Electric changed? (396 voters)

Has your general opinion of Electric significantly changed since shortly after you first heard it? If so, how has it changed?

60.4% - "No, my opinion hasn't changed. I like it now about as much as I did early on." ¤
24.0% - "Yes, my opinion has changed. I like it more now than I did early on."
11.4% - "Yes, my opinion has changed. I like it less now than I did early on."
03.5% - "No, my opinion hasn't changed. I dislike it now about as much as I did early on."
00.8% - "I can't say because I still haven't heard the album, or I heard it for the first time only very recently."

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Survey 643 - Week of January 26, 2014
Songs you'd delete from the 2014 leg of the Electric Tour (333 voters)

The following songs were, to the best of my knowledge, performed in all of the shows in the first leg of the Pet Shop Boys' Electric Tour in 2013. If it were up to you to delete any of them from the set list for the second leg of the tour in 2014—with the understanding that, by doing so, you would be able to replace it with any Pet Shop Boys song of your choice—which one(s) would you delete?*

18.0% - Miracles
18.0% - "I wouldn't delete any of them—not even to replace them with other songs of my choice!"
16.2% - I Wouldn't Normally Do This Kind of Thing
15.6% - Suburbia
12.6% - Always on My Mind ¤**
10.8% - Opportunities (Let's Make Lots of Money)
10.5% - Fugitive
10.5% - Integral
09.3% - West End Girls
07.5% - Domino Dancing
06.3% - I'm Not Scared
06.3% - It's a Sin
05.4% - One More Chance/A Face Like That (medley)
05.1% - Vocal
04.8% - Axis

*Because voters could choose more than one song, the percentages add up to more than 100%. Some voters suggested alternate songs as "replacements" for those they would cut, but sometimes their suggestions greatly exceeded the number of deletions. As a result, simply too many songs were suggested to make it very meaningful to list them here.

**Regarding my own choice of "Always on My Mind" – Don't get me wrong: I love the PSB version of this song. But I'm so tired of hearing the Boys perform it live. I could easily name a hundred other PSB songs that I'd much rather hear in its place. Actually, I would be inclined to choose "West End Girls" for deletion as well, but I'm enough of a realist to know that there's simply no way on God's green earth that the Boys would drop it from their setlist. In my opinion, that would be like voting for the sun not to rise tomorrow.

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Survey 642 - Week of January 19, 2014
#1 "PSB wish" for 2014 (445 voters)

Which of the following would you choose as your #1 personal "PSB wish" for 2014? In other words, if you could choose only one of the following things to occur in 2014, which would it be?.

21.3% - The release on CD and/or DVD of A Man from the Future (that is, not just a live performance unavailable to fans worldwide) ¤
19.1% - The resumption of the Electric Tour with a conveniently located show that you're able to attend
19.1% - An EMI/Parlophone PSB CD boxed set, including rarities and previously unreleased tracks
15.0% - The re-release of the studio albums from Nightlife through Elysium with "Further Listening" bonus discs
14.8% - The release of the Electric Tour show on DVD (and perhaps Blu-ray as well)
03.8% - The release of It Couldn't Happen Here on DVD (and perhaps Blu-ray as well)
03.6% - Something else not listed here*
02.0% - The release of DiscoVery (Live in Rio) on DVD (and perhaps Blu-ray as well)
01.1% - The release on DVD/Blu-ray of some other previous PSB video release*

*Among the many alternate "PSB wishes" suggested by voters were:

A couple voters said they wanted "all of the above," but that of course circumvents the objective of the survey ("… if you could choose only one…). wink

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Survey 641 - Week of January 12, 2014
"PSB obsession" assessment (431 voters)

Are you obsessed with the Pet Shop Boys? To find out, check each of the items below that apply to you…. Now please share the results of this survey with the rest of us. Indicate below which of the following results you got after answering the questions….*

*This was a very unusual two-part survey. In the first part, voters selected items in a list of two-dozen characteristics that described them. They then received an assessment of their level of "PSB obsession" based on their choices. (Some characteristics carried greater weigh than others.) In the second part of the survey, voters indicated the outcome they received for their level of obsession. Those results are reported here. I have no way of knowing the breakdown for the selections of the individual criteria in the first part, so I cannot report on them.

40.6% -"You're mildly obsessed with the Pet Shop Boys." ¤
30.9% - "You're not obsessed. You simply have the interest of a fan."
19.0% - "You're indeed rather obsessed with the Pet Shop Boys."
06.3% - "You are seriously obsessed with the Pet Shop Boys."
03.2% - "Are you sure you're actually a fan of the Pet Shop Boys?"**

**Those who ranked in this category scored very low in the first part of the survey—less than 5% of the total number of points available in the poll.

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Survey 640 - Week of January 5, 2014
Rating 2013 as a "PSB year" (428 voters)

Now that it's all done, how would you rate 2013 as a "PSB year"?

45.6% - It may not have been the best, but it was definitely one of the best! ¤
42.5% - It was an above-average PSB year.
04.9% - It was the best PSB year ever!
04.7% - It was an average PSB year.
02.3% - It was a below-average PSB year.
00.0% - It may not have been the worst, but it was definitely one of the worst!
00.0% - It was the worst PSB year ever!

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