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Meet Soft Cell [PHOTOS, VIDEOS]

 

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Back Cover, 1982 Soft Cell Extended Single. (Craig Allen photo)

 

Soft Cell is vocalist Mark Almond, and instrumentalist David Ball. They achieved fame with one of Jersey’s Favorite Hits, “Tainted Love/Where Did Our Love Go.”

Soft Cell formed in 1978, when Almond and Ball met at Leeds Polytechnic (in England). Their first recordings appeared on an EP called “Mutant Moments.” The recording session was paid for by money loaned by David Ball’s mother! 2,000 copies were pressed, and are now collector’s items!

The duo ultimately signed with Phonogram records. While their initial songs failed to chart, the label allowed the band to record a final song in an attempt to break through.

The band opted to put their own spin on ”Tainted Love,” an obscure 1964 British record, sung by Gloria Jones.

Released in 1981, “Tainted Love” went to #1 in 17 countries, including England. It reached #8 on the American charts in 1982. It set a Guiness World Book record at the time, for the longest stay on the Billboard Hot 100 charts: 43 weeks!  The song took time to catch on: it took 19 weeks to hit the Top-40!

vinyl
1982 vintage vinyl. (Craig Allen photo)

The A-side of the 12 inch single is the medley “Tainted Love/Where Did Our Love Go,” as heard on New Jersey 101.5.  The 7 inch single has “Tainted Love” on the A-side, and “Where Did Our Love Go” (originally a hit single for the Supremes in 1964) on the flip side.

The band would spend much of 1982 recording and relaxing in New York City…where they were introduced to the drug Ecstasy.  Fame, and heavy drug use would take a toll on the band, which split up in 1984.

Ultimately, Soft Cell would place 10 hits on the British Top-40 charts (including “Bedsitter”), but fail to re-connect with American record buyers.

The 1984 split was amicable, and Almond and Ball would stay in contact over the years, while pursuing solo projects.

The guys reunited as Soft Cell in 2001, playing some live dates, and going on a mini-tour. A new album “Cruelty Without Beauty” was released in 2002.

The single “The Night” charted (#39) in England.  It is interesting to note that Soft Cell considered recording “The Night” as their 1981 desperation song, before settling on “Tainted Love!”

“Tainted Love” has remained very popular over the years, and has been covered by numerous other bands. Ultimately Soft Cell has sold over 10 million records, worldwide!

Check out Mark Almond’s official site, here!

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