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Soft Cell

Art students Marc Almond and Dave Ball formed Soft Cell, a synth pop duo famed for its uniquely sleazy electronic sound, in Leeds, England in 1980. Originally, vocalist Almond and synth player Ball teamed to compose music for theatrical productions, and as Soft Cell, their live performances continued to draw heavily on the pair's background in drama and the visual arts. A self-financed EP titled Mutant Moments brought the duo to the attention of Some Bizzare label head Stevo, who enlisted Daniel Miller to produce their underground hit single "Memorabilia" the following year.

It was the next Soft Cell effort, 1981's "Tainted Love," that brought the duo to international prominence; written by the Four Preps' Ed Cobb and already a cult favorite thanks to Gloria Jones' soulful reading, the song was reinvented as a hypnotic electronic dirge and became the year's best-selling British single, as well as a major hit abroad. The group's debut LP, Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret, was also enormously successful, and was followed by the 1982 remix collection Non-Stop Ecstatic Dancing.

While 1983's The Art of Falling Apart proved as popular as its predecessors, the LP's title broadly hinted at the internal problems plaguing the duo; prior to the release of 1984's This Last Night in Sodom, Soft Cell had already broken up. Almond immediately formed the electro-soul unit Marc & the Mambas; another group, Marc Almond & the Willing Sinners, followed before the singer finally embarked on a solo career in the late '80s. After a number of years of relative inactivity, Ball later resurfaced in the techno outfit the Grid.


Soft Cell are an English synthpop duo who came to prominence in the early 1980s, consisting of vocalist Marc Almond and instrumentalist David Ball. The duo are principally known for their 1981 hit version of "Tainted Love" (#8 US) and 1981 debut album entitled Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret.

In the United Kingdom, they had ten Top 40 hits including "Tainted Love" (#1 UK), "Torch" (#2 UK), "Say Hello, Wave Goodbye" (#3 UK), "What!" (#3 UK), and "Bedsitter" (#4 UK), and also had four Top 20 albums between 1981 and 1984. In 1984, the duo split but reformed from 2001 to 2004 to tour and record new material, releasing their fifth studio album, Cruelty Without Beauty in 2002.

Soft Cell's songs have been covered by various artists including Nine Inch Nails, David Gray, Nouvelle Vague, Marilyn Manson, and A-ha. Their track, "Memorabilia", earned recognition for the band as pioneers of the synth-oriented techno genre. The duo have sold 10 million records worldwide.

 

80's Hits

Tainted Love

Members of this Group


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