Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret by Soft Cell
Released: 1981 (Columbia Records)
I hit high school in 1981 and Tainted Love was everywhere. I had no idea who Soft Cell were, but you just couldn’t escape how popular their version of that song was. Thirty years later, I saw that LP sitting on the shelf (.50 cents) and I just couldn’t help myself. I had not heard of anything else they had done and I was simply just curious!
The LP hit #22 in the US and was a top ten LP in Canada, the UK, and New Zealand. In fact, CMJ lists it as one of the top 25 college music LP’s of all time.
The single everyone knows is “Tainted Love,” which was a remake of the 1964 song originally sung by the Northern Queen of Soul, Gloria Jones.You can hear the Gloria Jones version here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LKUjI_CbIY0 Marilyn Manson also did an awesome remake of this song:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kfF7QAPduOA You can see the 1981 Top of the Pops Live version here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hwx_ZysS9oc but my favorite is the ‘Top of the Pops’ 2001 reunion version:
Soft Cell is:
- Marc Almond (Vocals)
- David Ball (Instruments)
For me, the LP itself has trouble finding a groove. Tainted Love seems out of place and much of the rest seems to struggle for something that grabs you and makes you want to remember it. It’s not that the music and vocals aren’t interesting, they just don’t really seem to go anywhere…
I give you exhibit A, ‘Seedy Streets.’
It’s not bad, but frankly I just get bored…
This was definitely an LP that I decided to take a few key tracks from and let the rest go…
As you might expect, there are a bagillion versions of ‘Soft Cell’ with Tainted Love up on Amazon and around the web. One that might be worth a look is the deluxe version which seems to be much more interesting.
Well, I clearly can’t talk about this CD without going into Sex Dwarf…
Music video mega-guru Tim Pope (David Bowie, the Cure, Neal Young, Men Without Hats, etc., etc, ) made a few videos for this LP which stirred up some controversy… to say the least. It was confiscated by police and banned before it was ever released! (all because it featured Almond and Ball in a bloody butcher shop surrounded by chainsaws, nude actors, and dwarves… Heck that’s normal Sunday TV these days…)You can see the full (lo rez) version – at least for now – on YouTube at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=39NHW8V-WEk However, I prefer this short documentary clip about the video which is just too funny… (subtitled: The Most Controversial Video Ever Made…!)