Soft Cell -- classic or dud?

Message Bookmarked
Bookmark Removed
Apparently nobody's asked this yet! And with the reunion more or less under way and my editors at the AMG asking me to review the original singles collection, I was seized with inspiration (and I'm currently listening to "Torch" right now -- what a song).

Okay, for me this is an utter, complete and *total* no-brainer -- classic? More like one of the best acts ever, for me an eternal top five in the pantheon. Like most of known humanity, "Tainted Love" was what I first heard from them back in 1982 or so and all I knew for years. I first discovered Marc Almond's solo work in 1988 and now I'm a total and complete fanatic of both his work on his own (just an amazing series of albums over time, I could go on...) and with Soft Cell itself. And when I did discover Soft Cell fully -- man. Picking up that original singles compilation was just a revelation. For me a song like "Say Hello, Wave Goodbye" is the pinnacle of romantic drama, "Bedsitter" the definition of slice-of-life depictions of reality behind fantasy, "Soul Inside" sheer desperate, frenetic paranoia. And that's both lyrically and musically, Dave Ball is such an underrated musician and arranger -- things like the steady build of the melody on "Loving You, Hating Me" and that beautiful, shimmering introduction on the extended version of "What!"

So I'd be interested to hear what everyone else thinks, even if you only know "Tainted Love." :-)

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 17 July 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

I don't know that much, but everything I've heard I love, if that's any help.

Robin Carmody, Tuesday, 17 July 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

For me 'Tainted Love' became a bit of a millstone. I've always hated it. However like yourself Ned I recently picked up a copy of their singles collection (for next to nothing) and was astonished. Suicide meets Tamla Motown, a cluster of Electro-pop jewels, lovely. Previous indifference/dislike melted away into new found respect. 'Memorabilia' proto-techno from 1981, + 'Say Hello, Wave Goodbye' is one of few tears that can cause tears in this listener. Volte-face, Soft Cell really had something, only it took 15 years after their split for me to hear it.

stevo, Wednesday, 18 July 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

they brought sodomy to the top 20 again - classic!

Geoff, Wednesday, 18 July 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Yep, I'm with you Ned, rilly top drawer, classic classic classic. And like Stevo, "Tainted Love" was a real turn off for me at the time. I didn't really pay attention until just after they broke up and never saw them live. I did get to see that Immaculate Consumptives show though, the one w/ Nick Cave, Foetus, Lydia Lunch and Marc. Marc did that Marc and the Mambas song about "waiting at the station for the train to ruination", sorry can't remember the title, with Lydia just languishing on a couch by his side spewing stuff like "Jeez, whaddya do with a guy like this?" and "Oh gawd, get out of town!" It was hysterical.

I used to love to play their version of the Heartbreakers "Born to Lose" to annoy all the dyed-in-the-wool Noo Yawk punker types who frequented the bar I DJed at. God, Soft Cell were great.

Other faves: "Numbers", a very human take on the whole John Rechy rack-em-up gay conquest thing and "Sex Dwarf"-so silly, so seedy, I never tire of it.

And the autobiography's swell, too.

Arthur, Wednesday, 18 July 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

I own : 1 album, 1 single (guess which one, duh). vaguely recall : handful of other traxxx. but , all pretty hot.

duane, Wednesday, 18 July 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

The great thing about SC (when they were good which was not always) isnt the decadence - Marc A could clearly have done fullon decadence if he wanted and was lured into doing so, boringly, for most of his career - but the tension between the straight and the seedy. For most of Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret (a totally classic album) Marc is singing about the frustrated itchy need to let go - "live a little, be a Tarzan, run a harem etc." - rather than the letting go. The silliness and shabbiness is really poignant: "Sex Dwarf" is more of a turn on because it captures the ridiculousness of amateur s & m as well as the power. And so on. And yes Ned the sounds - cheap and nasty - Dave Ball made are really key here: "Tainted Love" is one of the best singles ever mostly on the strength of the first ten seconds.

("Tainted Love" is one of the great oh-but-i-prefer-the-original-OF- COURSE singles. Other examples being Shipbuilding and Money's Too Tight To Mention. But ace though Gloria Jones single's not *that* ace. Mind you I could also defend Simply Red vs the Valentine Brothers so.)

So classic for that, and for some of the singles - particularly the extended mixes - classic too. (A truly great underlooked gem is the full-length "Facility Girls" with its shivery perspective twists. The full-length "Torch" is brilliant too.) But for most of Marc A's career he's played up the Deviant Glam bits rather than the dirty- raincoat bits, and that's always seemed somehow too easy a route, to me.

Tom, Wednesday, 18 July 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink


Non stop erotic cabaret and art of falling apart are essential. They sound amazingly dramatic, passionate and lush nearly 20 years on. how people could find this music cold and distant is beyond me.

Non stop ecstatic dancing and last night in sodom both ok.

But in all cases they have one of the few CD reissues where the bonus tracks are actually worth having. Esp last night in sodom where the bonus tracks (you only live twice/007 theme/soul inside) are better than the actual album.

They're one of the few reunions when it looks as though something worthwhile may be produced other than topping up their pension scheme.

Billy Dods, Wednesday, 18 July 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

"Where the Heart Is", "Say Hello, Wave Goodbye" and especially "Torch" are utterly classic. I've never heard any of the albums. Kinda gone off "Tainted Love" - must have heard the thing 10 million times, although I don't disagree with Tom's comments. It IS one of the best singles ever, it's just that I don't want to hear it much.

Dr. C, Wednesday, 18 July 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Sex Dwarves??????

Mike Hanle y, Wednesday, 18 July 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Soft Cell are good! Soft Cell are good! Me like Soft Cell.

DG, Wednesday, 18 July 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Classic, although I don't always admit it. And speaking of things I don't admit, my image at age 15, 1983 or whatever it was, was directly inspired by Marc Almond (black trench coat, black shades, dyed black hair, and occaisonally *gasp* eyleliner)... ok, some things are better left in the past.

"Non-Stop Erotic Caberet" still sounds good tho...

Sean, Wednesday, 18 July 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

I was one of those poor sods who only knew them for "Tainted Love" and that alone made me want to classify them as total dud (The song being one of those completely played to death 80s songs). It wasn't untill recently as I was nosing around in my boyfriend's record collection that I stumbled across his copy of "Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret" and decided to give it a spin. Afterwords my first initial response was..."DUH!" and how I could have been so blind. I was completely dumbfounded by both the lyrics and music. Oh--and I confess to having a thing for "Tainted Love" now. ;)

JC, Wednesday, 18 July 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

"Non-stop erotic cabaret" was one of my fave albums for years, though listening to it now I'm kind of annoyed by all the saxaphone. The 3rd track used to really turn me on ... "isn't that you on the screen?" Whooo!

Also loved The Torch, Martin etc. Hut does anyone know that amazing Marc Almond 6 track EP (I think, I only had a copy) with Matt Johnson (The The) Starts with a proto-drum'n'bass rhythm and beautiful chord sequence, then a psychadelic indianish track, Jacques Brel's "If you go away", what I think is a Scott Walker song, plus another Dave Ball classic ... I think it was called "The Unnamable" or something ...

phil, Thursday, 19 July 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

That's weird, whatever you have sounds like some edited version of Marc's first solo album, "Untitled", which does indeed have Matt Johnson backing Marc up throughout and said Brel cover as well.

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 19 July 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

three years pass...
"say hello, wave goodbye" is magnificent. i'm not sure how well he handled this later on, but on this record marc almond's struggling with his voice's inherent limitations is put to best advantage, epitomized that last wavering high note. he really knows how to tell a story--an incredibly expressive singer, if not a notably technically proficient one.

as for the story.... well, often male prewar country singers would sing ballads from the POV of a woman, which often serves to heighten my investment in the story even though from today's perspective this habit seems odd indeed. here we have a gay man singing in the persona of a straight guy singing to a girl, and the effect seems somewhat the same--not coy, not ironic, not camp as i understand that. just a story whose emotional undercurrents are made universal via the conviction with which almond puts across the details.

(those details included an entirely convincing back-and-forth between denial and disgust, transcendence and pettiness. i guess that's even hinted at in the title. and left unresolved by song's end.)

(i suppose a possible alternate reading, which i'm happy to hold in my head at the same time as the previous one, is of a [closeted?] gay man falling extravagantly in love with love for a woman, as a means of denying/transcending other feelings. the resulting melodrama is less the source of emotional trauma than the projection of a trauma that cannot be admitted.)

but yeah this song feels like a kind of apocalypse, but with just enough bitter humor to keep it from feeling sticky or overwrought.

amateur!!!st (amateurist), Thursday, 9 September 2004 06:20 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

although yeah, the third interpretation is that the "girl" part is just almond being coy, and the song is about a gay man struggling to deny his sexuality and aiming instead for a conventional wife/kids/suburbs life.

though actually i think the lyric is written and delivered in such a way that it can support all of these interpretations. v. clever of almond to register the emotional overlap between radically different forms of self-denial and -disgust. (or are they so radically different?)

amateur!!!st (amateurist), Thursday, 9 September 2004 06:25 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

As for me well, I’ll find some one
Who’s not going cheap in the sales.

ouch! I always found these lyrics so dirty and cruel and true - like a slap in the face. but i'm definitely a soft cell/ marc almond fanatic...

Marco Damiani (Marco D.), Thursday, 9 September 2004 08:33 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

If I were to get one Soft Cell CD, what should it be?

supercub, Thursday, 9 September 2004 08:43 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

"non stop erotic cabaret" is the classic one with the biggest hits, but my favourite is "this last night in sodom" - frantic, violent, occasionally lost in a thick haze of cheap drugs and sleazy sex.

Marco Damiani (Marco D.), Thursday, 9 September 2004 08:55 (thirteen years ago) Permalink


amateur!!st, Thursday, 9 September 2004 15:14 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I was asleep when you posted this last night, sir. ;-)

A very fine reading of an apocalyptically great song. I was reminded recently again of Soft Cell's brilliance thanks to the weird and wonderful Non-Stop Erotic Video Show getting a DVD release, as I wibble on about here...

Ned Raggett (Ned), Thursday, 9 September 2004 15:17 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

six months pass...
amateurist's interpretation of Say Hello... is fine indeed. I just listened to Non Stop Erotic Cabaret today for the first time in ages and similar thoughts were bouncing around my head re Frustration. How angry is that song?

I'd forgotten about the genius of Seedy Films. It's his Walk on the Wild Side, I guess. Whatever, it works so beautifully. Blimey, and to think I was 14 when I first heard it

Japanese Giraffe (Japanese Giraffe), Sunday, 3 April 2005 19:09 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Oh and let's not overlook Dave Ball's contribution to Say Hello Wave Goodbye. Those 'strings' in the chorus still make me all goosepimply.

Japanese Giraffe (Japanese Giraffe), Sunday, 3 April 2005 19:12 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Me too. I have a compilation called 'The Best of Soft Cell' or something like that - without Tainted Love! Can't say I miss that song at all.

moley, Sunday, 3 April 2005 20:22 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Tainted Love will be the soundtrack to the end of the world.

Onimo (GerryNemo), Sunday, 3 April 2005 20:57 (twelve years ago) Permalink

four months pass...
For the fanatics -- Marc Almond's site is now selling The Bedsit Tapes, which collects all/most of the original demos Marc and Dave did while still at school in Leeds. I have a hunch you might be able to find it cheaper elsewhere if you look around, but ya never know. Dave does liner notes; tracklisting:

1 .. Potential
2 L.O.V.E. Feeling
3 Metro Mr X
4 Bleak Is My Favourite Cliche
5 Occupational Hazard
6 Mix
7 Factory Fun
8 Science Fiction Stories
9 Purely Functional
10 A Cut Above The Rest
11 Paranoid
12 Excretory Eat Anorexia Nervosa
13 Cleansing Fanatic
14 Walking Make Up Counter
15 Pyrex My Cuisine
16 Tupperware Counter

Ned Raggett (Ned), Saturday, 6 August 2005 13:02 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Those titles are so great! "Walking Make Up Counter"!!! "Excretory Eat Anorexia Nervosa"!!!

I Should Coco Schwab (Arthur), Saturday, 6 August 2005 14:24 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Heheheh. I should have guessed you would approve. ;-)

Ned Raggett (Ned), Saturday, 6 August 2005 14:37 (twelve years ago) Permalink

bravo! i'd imagine it sounds pretty, umm, rudimentary, but hey, that never stopped The Normal or Cabaret Voltaire or Fad Gadget or DAF...

CharlieNo4 (Charlie), Saturday, 6 August 2005 14:41 (twelve years ago) Permalink

i bought that 12"/80s/2 compilation the other week (i'd link to the thread, but i can't be arsed finding it) and it's got the extended version of bedsitter on it. i've never heard it before, and it is absolutely spellbinding: their finest moment after the 12" of "say hello" (which might, on the day of reckoning, just end up being my favourite song in the world).

it has a little skeletal rap in the middle eight, addressed to a girl. the way the bassline comes back in during this final couplet:

make your single bed
and push the tea leaves down the drain
take a long deep breath
and start the nightlife over again

brings tears to my eyes; just the sheer perfection of it.

there's also a heartbreaking additional refrain towards the end: "i'm waiting for something/i'm only passing time". this wasn't in the original, was it?

is everyone familiar with this version or not - ie is it just me that's managed to miss its existence for all these years?

grimly fiendish, watching the mirror and counting the lines (grimlord), Saturday, 6 August 2005 15:54 (twelve years ago) Permalink


grimly fiendish (grimlord), Saturday, 6 August 2005 15:54 (twelve years ago) Permalink

normal service now resumed.

grimly fiendish (grimlord), Saturday, 6 August 2005 15:55 (twelve years ago) Permalink


it has a little skeletal rap in the middle eight

Yeah, I love that -- first time I heard that I was all 'amazing! and so good! how to improve on something theoretically unimprovable.'

Ned Raggett (Ned), Saturday, 6 August 2005 16:26 (twelve years ago) Permalink

nine months pass...
I'm hearing something now and I'm not believing my ears. It's Soft Cell doing a Hendrix Medley. Purple Haze et al. I am truly amazed.

honorary joy division roadie (Bimble...), Sunday, 7 May 2006 21:47 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Yeah I'd really like to have the Bedsit Tapes.

honorary joy division roadie (Bimble...), Sunday, 7 May 2006 21:53 (eleven years ago) Permalink

My friend's a big fan, I think he has their whole discography. I like them too, I'd say their cover of Tainted Love assures they are closer to classic status than to dud..

Harrison Barr (Petar), Sunday, 7 May 2006 21:57 (eleven years ago) Permalink

anyone else have that rare 12" mixes boot that's knocking around?

lil' merzbow wow (haitch), Sunday, 7 May 2006 22:46 (eleven years ago) Permalink

this one

lil' merzbow wow (haitch), Sunday, 7 May 2006 22:52 (eleven years ago) Permalink

that Hendrix medley is on Art of Falling Apart, isn't it? I am pretty sure my copy has it..

dar1a g (daria g), Monday, 8 May 2006 00:14 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Tainted Love will be the soundtrack to the end of the world.

-- Onimo (gerry.wat...), April 3rd, 2005 10:57 PM. (GerryNemo)

WTF was I on about?

Curse you drunken internets!

Onimo (GerryNemo), Monday, 8 May 2006 00:24 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Hahahahaha it's all our faults.

honorary joy division roadie (Bimble...), Monday, 8 May 2006 03:54 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Tainted Love will be the soundtrack to the end of the world.

-- Onimo (gerry.wat...), April 3rd, 2005 10:57 PM. (GerryNemo)

WTF was I on about?

Curse you drunken internets!

-- Onimo

I just realised it's a Dr Who reference. Tainted Love is played by Cassandra on the "iPod" in The End Of The World

Curse you failing memory!

Onimo (GerryNemo), Monday, 8 May 2006 07:02 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I for one welcome our newly failing memory.

aldo_cowpat (aldo_cowpat), Monday, 8 May 2006 08:57 (eleven years ago) Permalink

A great song in "Bedsitter" and one of the best cover versions ever in "Tainted Love". Those two alone make them classic.

Geir Hongro (GeirHong), Monday, 8 May 2006 11:02 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Maybe I'm alone in this, but I don't even think "Tainted Love" is their best Northern Soul cover (which is "Down In The Subway").

aldo_cowpat (aldo_cowpat), Monday, 8 May 2006 11:31 (eleven years ago) Permalink


Marcello Carlin (nostudium), Monday, 8 May 2006 11:33 (eleven years ago) Permalink

You're right. My Written English Gland appears to have packed in while writing that.

What I meant to say, is I think "Down In The Subway" is Soft Cell's best cover. Feel free to disagree, as I'm sure you all do.

aldo_cowpat (aldo_cowpat), Monday, 8 May 2006 12:47 (eleven years ago) Permalink

You misread my post.

Marcello Carlin (nostudium), Monday, 8 May 2006 12:57 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I agree with Marcello.

Tim (Tim), Monday, 8 May 2006 13:02 (eleven years ago) Permalink

What, do you identify with being a sex dwarf?

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 26 February 2009 17:42 (eight years ago) Permalink

haha, no. Just the feeling and attitude of grubby urban vice and disappointment.

burt_stanton, Thursday, 26 February 2009 17:45 (eight years ago) Permalink

Bored suburban housewife?

Creedence Clearwater Couto (Billy Dods), Thursday, 26 February 2009 17:46 (eight years ago) Permalink

Nah. My friends were weirdo eccentrics and we'd go out and do the club thing, be weird, do drugs, etc. and my father was some button-down guy who secretly picked up trannies in 1980s Time Square ... and would disappear in prison for weeks (we were told he was working late). My highschool best friend (who's now dying of AIDS sadly) looks exactly like Marc Almond, so maybe that, too.

Anyway, this is a great album. Soft Cell A+

burt_stanton, Thursday, 26 February 2009 17:49 (eight years ago) Permalink

my father was some button-down guy who secretly picked up trannies in 1980s Time Square ... and would disappear in prison for weeks (we were told he was working late)

Exactly what was the explanation for weekends, then.

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 26 February 2009 17:53 (eight years ago) Permalink

No idea. We just thought he was working. What a weird upbringing. Anyway, Marc Almond really does irony well just using music ... I didn't appreciate it until now.

burt_stanton, Thursday, 26 February 2009 18:01 (eight years ago) Permalink

yeah, anyone who can cameo as well as he did in the frickin' Coil "Tainted Love" video can operate on a level higher than an "is it irony or not?" type thing.

System Jr. (Mackro Mackro), Thursday, 26 February 2009 20:12 (eight years ago) Permalink

two years pass...

I just learned what a "bedsit" is and boy did I have that song wrong. I thought a bedsit was like a babysitter for grown-ups? Which I knew made no sense because he was "all alone," but I thought maybe he felt alone spiritually next to the cold panoptic eye of this freaky adult babysitter. That and sometimes it's foolish to try & make sense of lyrics but maybe I should've tried harder with this one by employing a dictionary instead of totally making shit up.

the 'hip' thing nowadays — gay Mormon missionaries (Abbbottt), Sunday, 17 April 2011 17:24 (six years ago) Permalink

Another hypothesis was a "bedsit" was a person who works at a spanking parlor? I feel kind of embarrassed by all this but you have to admit such a figure would fit in the general Soft Cell world.

the 'hip' thing nowadays — gay Mormon missionaries (Abbbottt), Sunday, 17 April 2011 17:25 (six years ago) Permalink

I like all these alternate interpretations!

Ned Raggett, Sunday, 17 April 2011 17:28 (six years ago) Permalink

i have recently found that i quite like soft cell. not always as music (they have only a small handful of songs i hold close), but as characters, as performance, as a wonderful thing that existed in the world. like suicide, they transmute rock & pop into this wholly other language, the rinky-dink chintz of the sounds a perfect foil for marc's arch sleaze and coy torment. also enjoying the way their music and attitude - perhaps in turn channeling throbbing gristle's? - leach out into their followers and contemporaries, usually in more "palatable" (less explicitly queer) guise. berlin's "sex (i'm a)", eurythmics' "love is a stranger", even ebn-ozn's "aeiou sometimes y"...

normal_fantasy-unicorns (contenderizer), Friday, 22 April 2011 20:42 (six years ago) Permalink

classic burt itt

buzza, Friday, 22 April 2011 20:44 (six years ago) Permalink

i guess everything i just said is a cliche, the received wisdom, soft cell 101, but i never really gave them a fair shake at the time and have been entertaining myself recently playing russian roulette with nostalgia. "talk talk" vs. "it's my life", that kind of thing.

normal_fantasy-unicorns (contenderizer), Friday, 22 April 2011 20:52 (six years ago) Permalink

I still can't believe a bedsit is just a place a person lives in.

offee is for losers only, do you not c? (Abbbottt), Saturday, 23 April 2011 00:54 (six years ago) Permalink

that it is literally his (only) home
I think about this every day.

offee is for losers only, do you not c? (Abbbottt), Saturday, 23 April 2011 00:55 (six years ago) Permalink

what kind of question is this, who would ever say dud?

akm, Saturday, 23 April 2011 03:04 (six years ago) Permalink

three months pass...

The original video for Sex Dwarf remains disturbingly impressive:

(NSFW and probably illegal in a few states.)

doug watson, Friday, 12 August 2011 02:18 (six years ago) Permalink

oh man i wanna watch that but i'm at W
..Cabaret is the best €2 purchase I made this year

willem, Friday, 12 August 2011 06:48 (six years ago) Permalink

NSEC is one of those albums that sold because of the hit single, only to surprise/shock said buyers that the single isn't remotely representative of their style. Sometimes, discovering that can be a good thing. This time, it is.

Lee626, Friday, 12 August 2011 08:18 (six years ago) Permalink

seven months pass...

Here doggy doggy

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 28 March 2012 20:28 (five years ago) Permalink

now that looks like a good time

preternatural concepts concerning variances in sound and texture (contenderizer), Wednesday, 28 March 2012 20:40 (five years ago) Permalink currently banned from YouTube.


I don't know how anyone could call the band who made that video a dud.

viborg, Thursday, 29 March 2012 00:19 (five years ago) Permalink

I never got into Soft Cell as much as I did other bands from that period, but I still enjoy listening to that first album from time to time.

The Jupiter 8 (Turrican), Thursday, 29 March 2012 09:48 (five years ago) Permalink

two months pass...

The extended Torch is extraordinary. Their best moment, I think. Loving this tonight.

kraudive, Tuesday, 5 June 2012 01:49 (five years ago) Permalink

four months pass...

NON-STOP EROTIC CABARET is one of the best albums of the 80s. It has aged like fine wine. Little known secret: Soft Cell's videos are amongst the best of all-time. They were all directed (AFAIK) by Tim Pope, who worked extensively with The Cure.

Tyler Burns (, Saturday, 20 October 2012 18:26 (five years ago) Permalink

five months pass...

When I finally read the book it worked even more brilliantly, though they are two different beasts in the end.

Ned Raggett, Sunday, 31 March 2013 14:48 (four years ago) Permalink

one month passes...

Go Alfred!

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 22 May 2013 20:16 (four years ago) Permalink


A deeper shade of lol (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 23 May 2013 00:17 (four years ago) Permalink

six months pass...

Really great in-depth feature on The Art of Falling Apart here at the Quietus today

Ned Raggett, Friday, 13 December 2013 16:41 (four years ago) Permalink

seven months pass...

I can't stop listening to This Last In Sodom at the moment... while not the most accessible Soft Cell album, there's something about it that keeps making me return to it a lot at the moment. 'Slave To This', for one, is just insane and wonderful.

...and the trees are all kept equal by hatchet, axe and SAW! (Turrican), Sunday, 10 August 2014 22:17 (three years ago) Permalink

This Last Night In Sodom, rather.

...and the trees are all kept equal by hatchet, axe and SAW! (Turrican), Sunday, 10 August 2014 22:21 (three years ago) Permalink

and oh my god, 'Surrender To A Stranger'...

...and the trees are all kept equal by hatchet, axe and SAW! (Turrican), Sunday, 10 August 2014 22:39 (three years ago) Permalink

Great, scuzzy and insane album. My favorite of theirs by a mile.

Acid Hose (Capitaine Jay Vee), Sunday, 10 August 2014 23:49 (three years ago) Permalink

The Art of Falling Apart is my favourite but some of my favourite songs of theirs are on Sodom. Little Rough Rhinestone, Meet Murder My Angel and Soul Inside are all so good. It does have its weaker moments, Slave to This still creeps me out a little too much and Down in the Subway is the only weak Soft Cell single.

Kitchen Person, Monday, 11 August 2014 01:44 (three years ago) Permalink

I've occasionally read Sodom being described as "unlistenable", but that's absolute bollocks really. It does have an attitude to it that I don't seem to get from the other two Soft Cell albums, though. A synth-punk from a time when mainstream synth-pop was getting increasingly chirpier.

...and the trees are all kept equal by hatchet, axe and SAW! (Turrican), Tuesday, 12 August 2014 11:28 (three years ago) Permalink


...and the trees are all kept equal by hatchet, axe and SAW! (Turrican), Tuesday, 12 August 2014 11:29 (three years ago) Permalink

Neil Tennant's review of This Last Night In Sodom from Smash Hits:

Out with a bang. For their final LP together Marc Almond and David Ball have put together a hot, rockin' collection of new songs about sin, squalot, suffering etc. The rock'n'roll rhythm of 'Down In The Subway' isn't restricted to that track; several others, particularly 'Mr Self Destruct' could be jived to with ease. Others are steeped in a luscious, Spanish sensuousness, hot and revengeful, with richly textured synthesizers and a twangy guitar. A triumphant farewell. (8.5 out of 10)

...and the trees are all kept equal by hatchet, axe and SAW! (Turrican), Wednesday, 20 August 2014 00:24 (three years ago) Permalink

five months pass...

Hungry4Ass, Thursday, 12 February 2015 00:00 (two years ago) Permalink

five months pass...

So I'm listening to 'Fun City' for what must be the hundredth time now, and it still hasn't lost any of its power. Their best ever song? I'm beginning to think so.

You’re being too simplistic and you’re insulting my poor heart (Turrican), Wednesday, 29 July 2015 15:23 (two years ago) Permalink

I'm listening to This Last Night In Sodom again and... man, this album is just fucking incredible. Why aren't this and The Art Of Falling Apart seen as being up there with the first album? They're all excellent!

You’re being too simplistic and you’re insulting my poor heart (Turrican), Wednesday, 5 August 2015 19:05 (two years ago) Permalink

seven months pass...

'Soul Inside' just came up on shuffle and my god, why this song wasn't the huge hit it deserved to be is a huge mystery.

// 166,000 W A N K E R S // LOVE (Turrican), Friday, 11 March 2016 21:21 (one year ago) Permalink

Lol at "luscious, Spanish sensuosness" in that Neil Tennant review if you read it in his voice.

Acid Hose (Capitaine Jay Vee), Friday, 11 March 2016 21:51 (one year ago) Permalink

Ha, yeah!

Of course, being a Pet Shop Boys fan, I was delighted when I found out that Tennant liked This Last Night In Sodom. It's become my favourite Soft Cell album of them all, and without question one of my personal favourite synthpop albums of all time. I love the relative abrasiveness of it, and such great songs.

// 166,000 W A N K E R S // LOVE (Turrican), Saturday, 12 March 2016 23:35 (one year ago) Permalink

Putting 'Slave To This', the most "out there" track on the album, as the second track was an absolute stroke of genius, IMO. After the catchy synth-rock of 'Mr. Self Destruct' it just pours a bucket of ice cold water over the listener immediately. I suspect it was at this point that most turned off the LP, thinking that the rest of the album was going to be some kind of far-out endurance test. It's one of those "are you with us or not?" songs, and remains fucking brilliant. Then it's followed up with songs like 'Little Rough Rhinestone' and 'Meet Murder My Angel'... Superb.

// 166,000 W A N K E R S // LOVE (Turrican), Sunday, 13 March 2016 00:00 (one year ago) Permalink



// 166,000 W A N K E R S // LOVE (Turrican), Sunday, 13 March 2016 22:22 (one year ago) Permalink

one year passes...

New box set on the way, apparently! music and chicken have become intertwined (Turrican), Thursday, 13 April 2017 21:44 (nine months ago) Permalink

Makes sense. Any reports on the contents?

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 13 April 2017 21:45 (nine months ago) Permalink

Not yet - although on their FB page a picture of a master tape box from 1980 was posted, which was apparently being digitised. music and chicken have become intertwined (Turrican), Thursday, 13 April 2017 22:02 (nine months ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

More news on this...


We’re pleased to officially announce that we are working on a Soft Cell anthology via Universal Music Catalogue, who did such a fantastic job on Marc’s box set. Release date is not yet scheduled, but we are currently expecting the box set to include 9 CDs and 1 DVD. We are unearthing some amazing content and unreleased/unheard material from the archives of Universal, and the personal collections of Marc and Dave.
However, it’s a mammoth task putting such a project together, especially as it’s over thirty years since the key releases, long before the days of the internet, e-mail, digital photography and modern recording formats as we know them today. We’re keen for this project to ultimately deliver a fully documented archive for posterity, and to remind how seminal this band are for decades to come.
We are therefore inviting Soft Cell fans to make this a really interactive experience by helping us fill in any gaps, and sharing their memorabilia (no pun intended) with us for possible inclusion in the box set and accompanying book. We are especially seeking rare live and other audio and video recordings, bootlegs, remixes as well as photos, press clippings, ticket stubs, merchandise, imports, adverts, posters, set lists – anything with a Soft Cell connection that might deserve a wider audience. All material used will be fully credited to contributors. You can send WeTransfer links, MP3s, scans, documents, or if easier, please just send us an email detailing how you’d like to get involved, or even your suggestions on what you’d like to see (or not for that matter!) on the box set.
We are also looking for written pieces from fans about their own Soft Cell experiences, whether it be general comments, memories, live experiences or anything on topic, some of which we hope to include in the book.
Modern studio techniques allow us to improve both audio and visual content to a certain extent, so as long as it is of a reasonable standard, we might be able to use it – if in doubt, please let us know anyway.

Please email your content to he✧✧✧@softcelloffic✧✧✧.c✧.u✧

We really appreciate your help!

Soft Cell HQ

and on a related note, 'Soul Inside' is one of the most perfect songs ever.

The Anti-Climax Blues Band (Turrican), Friday, 28 April 2017 19:27 (eight months ago) Permalink

You must be logged in to post. Please either login here, or if you are not registered, you may register here.