Past PSB Survey Results - 2017 Surveys

This page presents the results of surveys I've conducted in the year 2017. The results of surveys conducted in 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 , 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016 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 806 - Week of March 19, 2017
5-star ratings of PSB albums compared to each other (393 voters)

Please rate each of the Pet Shop Boys' albums on a scale of 0 stars (a "bomb') to 5 stars as they compare with each other—that is, just with other PSB albums, not with albums by any other artists.

The following results are arranged in order of the average voter rating on a 5-point/star scale, with the album earning the highest average listed first. The plurality (mode) response for each album is highlighted in pink. Abstentions did not count toward calculating the averages. The PSB hits collections and albums in which the Boys were not the primary performer (such as Closer to Heaven and Disco 4) were not included in this survey.

Album
Average

0 stars

1 star
★★
2 stars
★★★
3 stars
★★★★
4 stars
★★★★★
5 stars
Abstain
Very
4.468
0.3%
0.3%
1.8%
8.3%
28.9%
¤ 60.5%
1.5%
Behaviour
4.381
0.5%
0.8%
1.6%
12.7%
26.2%
¤ 58.3%
1.8%
Actually
4.348
0.3%
0.3%
1.5%
10.8%
¤ 36.6%
50.5%
1.3%
Introspective
4.164
0.3%
0.5%
2.6%
16.1%
¤ 40.3%
40.3%
2.0%
Please
3.997
0.5%
0.5%
3.6%
19.7%
¤ 45.2%
30.4%
2.0%
Alternative
3.916
0.5%
1.6%
6.0%
22.6%
¤ 36.0%
33.2%
6.6%
Yes
3.798
0.5%
0.8%
6.5%
25.4%
¤ 44.0%
22.8%
2.8%
Electric
3.789
1.0%
2.3%
7.3%
¤ 22.7%
39.2%
27.4%
2.5%
Fundamental
3.648
0.8%
1.3%
6.3%
33.1%
¤ 41.1%
17.4%
2.3%
Super
3.516
1.0%
3.9%
10.2%
¤ 29.1%
38.7%
17.0%
2.8%
Bilingual
3.488
0.3%
2.9%
9.9%
34.5%
39.7%
¤ 12.8%
2.6%
Format
3.358
1.7%
3.7%
11.8%
¤ 34.9%
35.8%
12.1%
9.7%
Relentless
3.290
1.4%
3.4%
¤ 17.6%
33.8%
29.8%
13.9%
10.4%
Pandemonium
3.241
1.8%
¤ 5.7%
13.0%
36.7%
31.6%
11.1%
15.5%
Disco
3.148
1.6%
¤ 8.8%
14.3%
36.3%
26.4%
12.6%
7.4%
Nightlife
3.142
0.8%
4.7%
17.6%
¤ 41.3%
27.4%
8.2%
3.3%
Concrete
2.979
2.1%
¤ 7.2%
18.3%
42.3%
23.1%
6.9%
15.3%
Elysium
2.932
2.6%
7.6%
21.6%
¤ 36.1%
26.3%
5.8%
3.3%
Disco 3
2.740
2.5%
9.5%
¤ 27.1%
36.9%
20.4%
3.6%
8.9%
Release
2.738
2.9%
10.6%
23.5%
¤ 40.2%
18.3%
4.5%
3.8%
Battleship Potemkin
2.701
4.5%
¤ 12.7%
21.5%
37.8%
16.6%
6.9%
15.8%
The Most Incredible Thing
2.303
7.2%
20.0%
¤ 27.8%
29.7%
10.9%
4.4%
18.6%
Disco 2
1.437
¤ 30.4%
24.2%
23.7%
15.6%
5.3%
0.8%
8.7%
Album
Average
0 stars
(bomb)
1 star
2 stars
3 stars
4 stars
5 stars
Abstain

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Survey 805 - Week of March 12, 2017
Favorite narrative "character" in a PSB song (334 voters)

Which of the following "characters" (other than himself) portrayed by Neil in the lyrics of Pet Shop Boys songs is your favorite—not necessarily your favorite song among them, or even the character you might like the most as a person, but the one in which you find the character the most interesting and memorable as expressed in the lyrics?

17.7% - The reluctant autocrat in "The Dictator Decides"
12.9% - The kept woman (or rent boy, depending on your perspective) in "Rent"
08.7% - The rejected lover (based on Cynthia Lennon) in "I Made My Excuses and Left"
08.4% - The bewildered Russian composer in "My October Symphony"
08.4% - The sardonic Victorian graverobber in "The Resurrectionist" ¤
07.8% - The glib, hapless Euro-businessman in "Single"
06.9% - The AIDS-haunted surviving partner in "Dreaming of the Queen"
05.4% - The crass aspiring hitmaker in "Opportunities (Let's Make Lots of Money)"
05.4% - The naive (but not too native) teenaged fan in "The Night I Fell in Love"
05.1% - The middle-aged Internet hookup in "Gin and Jag"
03.9% - The AWOL Russian soldier longing for a better life in "London"
03.9% - Tony Blair—or not—in "I'm with Stupid"
03.3% - Some other character (other than Neil himself) in some other PSB song*
02.4% - The bitter lip-synching drag queen in "Electricity"

*Other narrative characters nominated by voters included:

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Survey 804 - Week of March 5, 2017
Favorite non-single cover songs by PSB (387 voters)

Of the following songs written and originally recorded by other artists that have been covered by the Pet Shop Boys in officially released studio versions that have not been released as a single (though b-sides are OK), which three are your favorites?*

*Because voters could make more than one choice, the percentage figures total to well over 100%.

40.6% - Losing My Mind ¤
38.0% - Try It (I'm in Love with a Married Man)
36.7% - We're the Pet Shop Boys

34.9% - The Last to Die ¤
24.3% - I Started a Joke
24.0% - Viva la Vida
22.7% - My Girl
15.5% - Sail Away
08.3% - Glad All Over
08.3% - I Cried for Us ¤*
08.0% - Alone Again, Naturally
08.0% - If Love Were All
07.5% - What Keeps Mankind Alive?
05.7% - Je T'Aime… Moi Non Plus

*This third choice of mine was actually rather difficult. My first two, "Losing My Mind" and "The Last to Die," were pretty easy, but for my third I was terribly torn between "I Cried for Us" and several others—namely, "Glad All Over," "I Started a Joke," and "Try It (I'm in Love with a Married Man)." But, forced to choose, I settled on "I Cried for Us." Ask me again a month or two from now, however, and I may have a different third choice.

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Survey 803 - Week of February 26, 2017
Influence of Neil's Catholic background on PSB songs (334 voters)

On more than one occasion Neil has described himself as a "lapsed Catholic." To what extent do you believe his Roman Catholic background has been a theme of or influence on the Pet Shop Boys' songs?

40.7% - I think it's been an important theme or influence, but not really "predominant." ¤
39.8% - I think it's been a noticeable theme or influence, but not really an "important" one.
09.6% - I think it's been a tremendous theme and/or influence—among the most predominant ones in their work.
06.6% - I don't think it's been very much of a theme or influence at all.
02.4% - I'm not really sure or I have no opinions about this one way or the other.
00.9% - I have a very different opinion from any of those described above.*

*Among the alternate opinions shared by voters:

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Survey 802 - Week of February 19, 2017
Opinions of PSB songs the Boys themselves don't like (397 voters)

Of the PSB songs that I've so far been able to identify as those that one or both of the Boys themselves apparently dislike (the subject of one of my "PSB Lists"), which ones are:

  1. your own personal favorite,
  2. your own least favorite,
  3. the one that surprises you the most that one or both of them dislike, and
  4. the one that strikes you as "most quintessentially PSB"?

Note: The percentage figures below are based on the total number of voters. Because some voters did not make any choices in one or more categories, the percentages in each category do not total 100%.

Your own personal favorite:

33.0% - So Hard
15.6% - A Red Letter Day
10.8% - A Certain "Je Ne Sais Quoi"
08.3% - A Different Point of View ¤
07.3% - Hit and Miss
06.8% - Was That What It Was?
04.8% - The Loving Kind
04.5% - The View from Your Balcony
04.3% - Metamorphosis
03.0% - Hell
00.8% - What Keeps Mankind Alive?

Your least favorite:

41.8% - What Keeps Mankind Alive? ¤
11.6% - Hell
11.1% - Metamorphosis
07.1% - A Certain "Je Ne Sais Quoi"
07.1% - The Loving Kind
06.5% - The View from Your Balcony
04.0% - Was That What It Was?
03.0% - A Different Point of View
02.3% - Hit and Miss
01.5% - A Red Letter Day
01.3% - So Hard

The most surprising:

36.8% - So Hard ¤
12.8% - A Red Letter Day
08.6% - Hit and Miss
08.1% - A Certain "Je Ne Sais Quoi"
06.8% - A Different Point of View
05.5% - What Keeps Mankind Alive?
04.8% - Was That What It Was?
03.8% - The Loving Kind
03.5% - Metamorphosis
03.5% - The View from Your Balcony
02.8% - Hell

The most "quintessentially PSB":

37.8% - So Hard
22.9% - A Red Letter Day ¤
10.6% - A Different Point of View
07.3% - A Certain "Je Ne Sais Quoi"
06.5% - Was That What It Was?
02.8% - The View from Your Balcony
02.0% - Hit and Miss
01.8% - Hell
01.8% - Metamorphosis
01.5% - The Loving Kind
00.0% - What Keeps Mankind Alive?

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Survey 801 - Week of February 12, 2017
Opinion of "Let's Get Lost" (309 voters)

Which of the following statements comes closest to expressing your opinion of "Let's Get Lost" by the Pretenders featuring Neil Tennant as guest vocalist with Chrissie Hynde?

33.0% - "It's OK. It's really not the sort of thing I generally care for, but I don't dislike it." ¤
30.4% - "It's good. I like it."
11.2% - "It's not very good. I don't like it."
08.7% - "It's brilliant! I love it!"
07.1% - "I haven't heard it, or at least heard it enough to form an opinion about it."
06.8% - "I've heard it, but I really don't have any feelings about it one way or the other."
02.3% - "It's awful! I strongly dislike it!"
00.6% - "I have a very different opinion from any of those expressed here."*

*Among the alternate opinions shared by voters:

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Survey 800 - Week of February 5, 2017
1st, 2nd, and 3rd singles from that imaginary album (340 voters)

As in last week's poll, imagine the following twelve highly rated Pet Shop Boys single b-sides had instead been released for the first time as tracks on a new PSB studio album. Which three of them do you believe would make the best singles from such an imaginary album, and in what order do you think it would be best for those imaginary singles to be released?

First single
Second single
Third single
29.4% - Shameless ¤
25.3% - Fugitive
15.0% - Paninaro
05.6% - After the Event
05.6% - Delusions of Grandeur
04.7% - The Truck Driver and His Mate
03.5% - Too Many People
03.2% - The Resurrectionist
02.6% - Miserablism
02.4% - Hit and Miss
01.8% - Always
00.9% - Your Funny Uncle
17.9% - Fugitive
14.4% - Shameless
12.1% - Paninaro
08.5% - After the Event
07.9% - Too Many People ¤
07.1% - Miserablism
06.8% - The Resurectionist
06.5% - The Truck Driver and His Mate
05.9% - Hit and Miss
05.6% - Always
05.6% - Delusions of Grandeur
01.2% - Your Funny Uncle
10.3% - Miserablism
10.0% - Hit and Miss ¤
10.0% - Paninaro
09.7% - Fugitive
09.4% - Shameless
09.1% - Always
08.5% - Delusions of Grandeur
07.6% - The Resurrectionist
07.1% - After the Event
07.1% - Too Many People
05.3% - The Truck Driver and His Mate
05.0% - Your Funny Uncle

As for the overall vote for being "imaginarily" released as a single at all (whether first, second, or third):*

53.2% - Shameless ¤
52.9% - Fugitive
37.1% - Paninaro
21.2% - After the Event
20.0% - Miserablism
19.7% - Delusions of Grandeur
18.5% - Too Many People ¤
18.2% - Hit and Miss ¤
17.6% - The Resurrectionist
16.5% - Always
16.5% - The Truck Driver and His Mate
07.1% - Your Funny Uncle

*Note that these final percentages total to considerably more than 100%—actually, roughly 300%—because each voter could pick up to three songs as imaginary singles.

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Survey 799 - Week of January 29, 2017
The relative quality of an imaginary album (336 voters)

Below I've listed twelve of the highest-rated Pet Shop Boys single b-sides (at least based on the results of my Rating Project), which total in length to about 50 minutes. Now imagine that these songs had never been heard before and have just now been released as a brand new PSB studio album. These tracks are listed in alphabetical order, which doesn't necessarily correspond to the order in which they would appear on this imaginary album. For the purposes of this poll, you may re-order them as you see fit:

  • After the Event
  • Always
  • Delusions of Grandeur
  • Fugitive
  • Hit and Miss
  • Miserablism
  • Paninaro
  • The Resurrectionist
  • Shameless
  • Too Many People
  • The Truck Driver and His Mate
  • Your Funny Uncle
Based on this list of songs, how, in your estimation, would this imaginary album compare to the Boys' other studio albums? But please keep in mind that how good an album is overall largely depends not only on how good the individual songs are, but also on how well they "fit together."

32.4% - It would be an above-average PSB album.
32.1% - It would be one of their best albums, but not their very best.
16.1% - It would be an average PSB album. ¤*
11.3% - It would be a below-average PSB album.
03.3% - It would be their all-time best studio album!
02.1% - It would be their all-time worst studio album!
01.5% - It would be one of their weakest albums, but not their very worst.
01.2% - I'm not familiar enough with these songs to make a choice.

*The rationale for my own vote—and I suspect others who voted this way feel pretty much the same—is that, while I think this is an astounding set of songs taken individually, I really don't feel they would "work together" well as a studio album. So I would consider it "average" for PSB—not bad by any means, but not nearly on a par with their best albums taken as a whole.

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Survey 798 - Week of January 22, 2017
Farthest from their musical comfort zone (419 voters)

This poll consisted of two questions. First—

Which Pet Shop Boys studio album do you think takes them them farthest from their musical "comfort zone"? To put it another way, on which studio album do you think they took the biggest musical risks, edging the farthest away from what they generally do best and are most familiar with?

67.3% - Release ¤
10.3% - Elysium
07.6% - Bilingual
04.3% - Behaviour
02.9% - Electric
01.9% - Yes
01.4% - Introspective
01.2% - Nightlife
01.0% - Very
01.0% - Super
00.5% - Please
00.5% - Fundamental
00.2% - Actually

And the second closely related question (330 voters)—

So far, which major PSB/Tennant-Lowe "special project" do you believe also takes them farthest from their "comfort zone"? (I'm only counting what I consider to be "major" projects, excluding remixes and one-time collaborations, such as their work with Eighth Wonder, Boy George, David Bowie, Pete Burns, Jean-Michel Jarre, and others).

55.8% - The ballet The Most Incredible Thing
20.6% - The film score Battleship Potemkin
11.2% - The song-cycle/suite A Man from the Future ¤
07.9% - The musical Closer to Heaven
02.1% - The bonus album Relentless
01.5% - Something else not listed here*
00.6% - Liza Minnelli's Results album
00.3% - Dusty Springfield's Reputation album

*One voter suggested their theatrical-release film It Couldn't Happen Here as an alternate choice. Another suggested their pre-concert "Meet & Greets"; that really doesn't strike me as a "special project," but who am I to disagree?

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Survey 797 - Week of January 15, 2017
Will there and should there be a fourth Super single? (383 voters)

How do you feel about the prospect of a fourth single from Super (the first three being "The Pop Kids," "Twenty-something," and "Say It to Me")? Do you think there should be one? And do you think there will be one?

42.0% - "I think there should be a fourth single, but I don't think there will be one." ¤*
28.7% - "I don't think there should be a fourth single, nor do I think there will be one."
19.1% - "I think there both should be a fourth single and will be one."
06.0% - "I really don't have any feelings about this one way or the other."
04.2% - "I don't think there should be a fourth single, but I think there will be one."

*Regarding my own vote – I'll be very surprised if we see any more singles from Super. But if we do, I'll be very pleasantly surprised, especially if it's "Burn." I've thought from the very start that it should have been a single, and I have little doubt that it would have extended the Boys' run of #1 U.S. Dance Club hits.

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Survey 796 - Week of January 8, 2017
Three favorite recent single b-sides (399 voters)

What are your three favorite post-Format* Pet Shop Boys single b-sides/bonus songs?

*I included among the choices a few single bonus tracks that were actually released before Format but weren't included in that collection. Because voters could make up to three choices, the percentages total to more than 100%. Voters could, however, vote for fewer than three if they wished, so the total comes to less than 300%.

39.8% - Fugitive
33.8% - A Certain "Je Ne Sais Quoi" ¤
27.3% - In His Imagination
¤
16.0% - Wiedersehen
15.5% - Viva la Vida/Domino Dancing (medley)
15.0% - I Started a Joke
14.8% - One Night
13.8% - Listening
13.3% - The Way Through the Woods
12.3% - My Girl
10.3% - In Bits
09.8% - Hell
08.8% - A Cloud in a Box
07.0% - Entschuldigung!
06.8% - Baby
06.5% - One Hit Wonder
06.0% - Odd Man Out ¤
05.8% - No More Ballads
05.5% - Glad All Over
05.0% - I Cried for Us
04.8% - The Dead Can Dance
03.5% - The White Dress
03.0% - Get It Online
01.3% - Inside

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Survey 795 - Week of January 1, 2017
The most "apt" PSB album title (396 voters)

Which Pet Shop Boys studio album* has, in your opinion, the most "apt" title? To put it another way, which of the following titles do you believe most accurately describes or reflects the album's musical, lyrical, thematic, and/or stylistic content?

*For the purposes of this survey, I included Relentless, Alternative, and Format among the choices, although they're generally not considered "studio albums."

24.7% - Very ¤
16.2% - Electric
08.8% - Nightlife
08.3% - Behaviour
08.3% - Alternative
06.3% - Introspective
04.8% - Yes
04.3% - Fundamental
04.0% - Bilingual
03.5% - Relentless
02.3% - Actually
02.3% - Elysium
02.0% - Release
01.8% - Super
01.5% - Please
00.8% - Format

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