The Ron Kane Files

Writing About Music

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Soft Cell

3-25-08 Soft Cell

LP ART OF FALLING APART, THE SIRE US 23769.1

12" BEDSITTER SOME BIZARRE UK BZS 612

12" DOWN IN THE SUBWAY (REMIX) SOME BIZARRE UK BZSR 2212

LP NON-STOP EROTIC CABARET SIRE US SRK 3647

CD NON-STOP EROTIC CABARET re MERCURY US 586719.2

12" NUMBERS SOME BIZARRE UK BZS 1712

12" SAY HELLO WAVE GOODBYE SOME BIZARRE UK BZS 712

12" SOUL INSIDE VERTIGO DE 814249.1

12" TAINTED LOVE SIRE US DSRE 40856

12" TAINTED LOVE SOME BIZARRE UK BZS 212

CD5 TAINTED LOVE VERTIGO DE 888647.2

7" TAINTED LOVE / MEMORABILIA SIRE US SRE 49855

CD5 TAINTED LOVE re-issue MERCURY DE SOFCD 2 (GH vers.)

LP THIS LAST NIGHT IN SODOM SOME BIZARRE UK SOD 1

12" TORCH SOME BIZARRE UK BZS 912

CD5 TORCH VERTIGO DE 875397.2

12" WHAT! SOME BIZARRE UK BZS 1112

12" WHERE THE HEART IS SOME BIZARRE UK BZS 1612

Soft Cell + Marc Almond

CD MEMORABILIA - THE SINGLES MERCURY US 510178.2

Marc Almond

CD SINGLES 1984 - 1987 VIRGIN JPN VJD-32032

I knew about Soft Cell right from the beginning – I was working at an music record importer / exporter when they hit. I remember importing and selling a boatload of “Tainted Love” 12” singles from England – long before Sire Records picked ‘em up.

I couldn’t hear it then, but I like Soft Cell fine right now, especially their 12” singles (I’ve got all the important ones, apart from their debut “Memorabilia”). My favorite is the 12” extended version of “Bedsitter” – when longer / extended meant another verse or a key change – and not merely a few beats. I’d love to find a CD single of the extended version of “Bedsitter” (long out –of-print, I suspect).

There was a time when the “Non Stop Erotic Video Show” home video was difficult to find – we first had a PAL VHS of it, followed by a censored Japanese laser disc. Now I have a U.S. NTSC DVD of it! And it still makes me laugh!

I felt bad when Marc Almond had his motorcycle accident (at least I think that’s what it was). Seems like he’s OK again – so, Bravo, Marc! Whatever happened to Dave Ball? Didn’t he have a solo record that few people cared about? I can’t even recall it’s title.

I recently made a mix-MD that placed the 45 version of “Tainted Love” chronologically with a bunch of other similar material (The Buggles, M, Ian Dury et al) – and it sounded good. But I do hear it a tad too much peripherally – on the FM radio. Not so the rest of their entire recorded output!

Thanks for the music, guys!


4 Comments:

Anonymous Jim Donato said...

I had read a LOT about Tainted Love so when I saw an issue of Flexipop with a Soft Cell flexidisc [Metro Mr. X]. I liked that tune so I bought NSEC when it got released on Sire domestically. Remember that period in 1981 when WEA LPs had that reflective sticker for anti-counterfeit measures? This was among that lot.

I liked the 2nd album, The Art Of Falling Apart, just fine. I even liked the much-maligned Hendrix medley! My PDO CD of it has bronzed severely so I need to get it taken care of. But I never heard the 3rd album, Soul Inside. Not for any good reason.

About 1990 I bought a German box of all of their singles on CD, so I have the wonderful "Bedsitter" extended version. My favorite material from that collection I'd never heard before was the "Torch" single. What a great number. As you say, the 12" has a lot more stuff to make it worth your while. You can now get the contents of that box in a more sensible package:

http://www.amazon.com/Twelve-Inch-Singles-Soft-Cell/dp/B00005Q8UE/ref=sr_1_11?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1206465813&sr=1-11

The Bond theme stuff from the 3rd album period b-sides was also quite good. How could it not be? John Barry WAS James Bond, as far as I'm concerned.

David Ball did that solo album no one liked, In Strict Tempo, [I've never heard it] but after that he emerged as one half of the busy techno duo, The Grid. He even worked on soome Almond solo material in the early 90s. Mark Almond did some fabulous 60s heart-on-sleeve pop in the late 80s-early 90s. I have those albums as well as a lot of single material. All of it is among my favorite of his work. He's a big Walker Brothers fan and on those ornate albums it really showed, though his vocals are worlds away from Scott Walker's! He created impassioned, ornate 60s pop that stuck out like a sore thumb among the dead-on-arrival UK late 80s.

Soft Cell reunited for a 4th album in 2002: Cruelty Without Beauty. I'd certainly like to hear that one. But in conclusion, Tainted Love/Where Did Our Love Go is a BLACKLISTED song for me. I will never again play it ever due to overexposure. The nimble 2:43 7" version I'm fine with. It is too short to overstay its welcome. But that 8 minute monster... never again! The sad part is one often hears it to this day in the environment!

10:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dave Ball = The Grid. at least in the 90's. quite boring.

Tom

5:23 PM  
Blogger Ron Kane said...

Jim-san,

Would love a dub of yr SC CD Singles, on 2 or 3 discs (your choice, just incl Bedsitter and no need for Tainted Love or Torch - the 2 I have.

rk

9:20 PM  
Anonymous Jim Donato said...

Hey Anonymous: Well, techno is boring, isn't it?

5:13 AM  

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