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Soft Cell

  • Soft Cell are an English synthpop duo who came to prominence in the early 1980s.
  • Released in 1981, Soft Cell's "Tainted Love" was a number-one hit in seventeen countries, including the United Kingdom, as well as a number eight single in the United States during 1982, and went on to set a then-Guinness World Record for the longest consecutive stay on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart (43 weeks).
  • By 1983, the shadow of "Tainted Love" was beginning to haunt the band, and the pressures of stardom, not to mention the constant drug use, were taking their toll. Marc Almond also formed the group Marc and the Mambas, featuring collaborations with The The's Matt Johnson and future Almond collaborator Annie Hogan, as an offshoot in order to experiment out of the glare of the Soft Cell spotlight. Soft Cell followed their remix album with a full length album appropriately titled The Art of Falling Apart. The singles were modest successes in Britain. Again, Soft Cell courted some controversy when their second single from the album, "Numbers," was banned from the BBC due to references in the song to the drug speed.
  • By 1984, they had decided amicably to dissolve the band and released one final album called This Last Night in Sodom, a critical success but a commercial failure. The album departed from its predecessors by having a much grittier feel, featuring more live drums and guitars than previous albums. However, the controversial subject matter still remained true to the Soft Cell ethos, with songs such as "L'Esqualita" that glamourized transvestite culture in Manhattan.
  • Almond and Ball's reunion as Soft Cell became official with well-received initial concerts - they performed at the opening of the Ocean nightclub in London in March 2001 to strong reviews, and a mini tour followed later in the year. The track "God Shaped Hole" featured on the Some Bizzare compilation titled I'd Rather Shout at a Returning Echo than Kid Someone's Listening, released in 2001. The album Cruelty Without Beauty was released in late 2002, followed by a European tour and a partial US tour in early 2003. The new album featured their first new songs together in almost twenty years. One of those songs was their 2003 single "The Night" (UK #39). Interestingly, Soft Cell had considered recording "The Night" in place of "Tainted Love" back in 1981 as their last-ditch attempt to score a chart hit. In a 2003 interview with BBC's Top of the Pops, keyboardist David Ball asserted, "I think history has kind of shown that we did make the right choice [in 1981]."
  • In August 2007 the band announced plans to release a remix album, "Heat - The Remixes". The remix album was released in November 2008 and includes classic Soft Cell tracks remixed by such acts as Paul Dakeyne, The Grid, Manhattan Clique, Cicada, Richard X, Ladytron, MHC, Atomizer, Mark Moore, Kinky Roland, Spektrum, George Demure, Yer Man, The Dark Poets and many more.

80's Hits

Tainted Love

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