Back in November 2014 I asked “How Did You Find Alfie Boe” and I’m pleased to say that lots of you responded, being only too pleased to tell me how and when you first heard that beautiful voice. A few of you have been on board Alfie’s musical train right since the very beginning – and by that I mean since he was singing locally in Lancashire! One of his many nephews and nieces even filled in the survey although I don’t know which one! One respondent had followed him since he was appearing regularly in opera and another couple since his first album, Classic FM Presents. Other reasons given were his 2007 appearance on Parkinson, other TV appearances, Desert Island Discs, through friends, surfing youtube, through hearing David Miller of Il Divo talk about Alfie and his performance at the Diamond Jubilee concert in 2012.
However, like most of us Alfie fans these days, the vast majority (82%) of the respondents found Alfie through Les Miserables. Of those 82%, just over half first saw and heard Alfie on a PBS 25th anniversary promotion and the others saw him either live or on the DVD of that concert. This is what one smitten fan said
Saw him on PBS in Florida, USA in March 2011 singing Jean Valjean role and stopped in my tracks when hearing that voice. Watched the whole O2 Les Misarables concert and then had to find out who this wonderful tenor is. YouTubed him and listened and read everything I could find on him. The Alfie and Matt Lucas video Nessun Dorma with his hands in his pockets was what clinched him for me. Joined his Facebook page and his own web page and since have met many wonderful fans of his who over the last 3 years have become good friends. All this from that one O2 performance.
After finding out how and when fans found Alfie, I then wanted to find out when they made their first Alfie related purchase, be it CD, DVD etc. I admit that I was expecting most responses to be “immediately” or very quickly, given the devotion shown to Alfie by fans. However, I was slightly surprised to find that although two thirds of responses indicated that a purchase was made either the same day or next day, the next highest response was months, at least 6-12. In three cases there was a wait of at least a year and one waited for 3.5 years before making up (her?) mind to buy a CD. Incidentally, the length of time before making a purchase and considering yourself to be “Boed” does not match up; with the exception of the Lancashire locals and the fan waiting 3.5 years, every single respondent considered themselves “Boed” immediately.
The survey then went on to ask which albums fans had in their collection. For this survey, I only considered Alfie’s albums released under his own name (not including Serenata which was released after the survey) and the collaboration with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Home for the Holidays. The rest of his recording career can be found on the Alfie Boe Discography. The results are:
Classic FM Presents – 61% of respondents own this
La Passione – 82%
Onward – 72%
Love Was A Dream – 69%
Bring Him Home – 98%
Alfie – 95%
Storyteller – 95%
Trust – 90%
Home for the Holidays – 37%
As you can see, the most owned albums are the Decca ones released since the Les Mis connection although La Passione is the most popular album of Alfie’s back catalogue. It occurs to me as I sit writing these results up, that I should have asked in which order these albums were purchased; it would have been interesting to see how many people had La Passione before Les Mis. I suspect that like me, the answer would be not many, otherwise Alfie would surely not have contemplated becoming a personal trainer for the SLC police.
DVD ownership is something else again – this time, there were only four choices as only two tours have been filmed:
Les Mis 25th concert – 96% own this
Bring Him Home tour – 83%
Storyteller tour – 75%
Home for the Holidays – 43%
Perhaps the relatively high amount of people owning the DVD of Home for the Holidays reflects the low amount owning it on CD (they don’t see the need to have it twice), otherwise the completely predictable result is that Les Mis is the most owned DVD. Of course this was expected, given that 82% of us found Alfie that way to start with. This is also borne out by 66% of those owning it citing it as their favourite of the DVD’s. Storyteller comes next, followed by Bring Him Home and Home for the Holidays again bringing up the rear.
Those of you who completed the survey will remember I also asked you which album you preferred – to find out the answer, you’ll have to be a subscriber!
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