Most recent updates: September 1, 2014

This Week's PSB Survey
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 timeā€”or, to put it another way, "backward-looking" or "forward-looking."

Please make one choice per album (that is, per row) for a total of 12 choices. (If you're not familiar enough with any particular album to make a choice, simply skip that one.) I've very intentionally left out the option to designate PSB albums as "timeless." That's an even more loaded term than the ones among the choices, and I fear that it would receive a disproportionate number of votes simply because most if not all of us are dedicated fans. (I know that I myself would be tempted to designate most PSB albums as "timeless.") So we'll have to do without that option. Also please note 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.

"Backward-looking" or
"Behind the times"
"Captured the Zeitgeist" or
"Of the times"
"Forward-looking" or
"Ahead of its time"
Please   Please   Please
Actually   Actually   Actually
Introspective   Introspective   Introspective
Behaviour   Behaviour   Behaviour
Very   Very   Very
Bilingual   Bilingual   Bilingual
Nightlife   Nightlife   Nightlife
Release   Release   Release
Fundamental   Fundamental   Fundamental
Yes   Yes   Yes
Elysium   Elysium   Elysium
Electric   Electric   Electric

Current Results*            This Week's PSB Survey

*As in all of my surveys in which you can make more than one choice, my survey service provider automatically calculates the "Current Results" based on the number of votes, not the number of voters. This results in unusually low percentage figures. When I post the final results at the end of this poll, I will calculate them based on the number of voters, which will yield larger, less confusing percentages.

What This Website Is All About

This website has no "official" connection to the Pet Shop Boys. It merely presents my own personal commentary—often including attempted explanations and interpretations—on the songs of my favorite contemporary pop band. Of course, this commentary has often been influenced by what the Pet Shop Boys themselves, Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe, have said about their music and by what others have previously written. Nevertheless, many of the observations I make here are original with me.

By no means am I suggesting that these are the "only" or "correct" interpretations. In fact, it's typical of great art, even great pop art, to lend itself to multiple interpretations. And I do consider the Pet Shop Boys to be the creators of great pop art. So you can take or leave my interpretations as you wish. If you disagree, please don't take offense. Rather, enjoy the fact that we're both fans of music rich enough to invite different interpretations.

Despite my best efforts, I have no doubt that I'm guilty of at least some factual errors. I recognize this fact and apologize in advance for any that may have slipped past me. I'll certainly correct any errors that come to my attention.

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This site was originally posted on March 16, 2001, and was most recently revised on September 1, 2014.

Honored by Yahoo! as a "Pick of the Week" (April 9, 2001)
and a "2001 Pick of the Year" (December 31, 2001)

Rock on the Wild SideWayne StuderWayne Studer is the author of Rock on the Wild Side: Gay Male Images in Popular Music of the Rock Era (1994: Leyland Publications).

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