Soft Cell – Tainted Love

This is a classic song for me. It is one of the first songs of the 80s I ever liked. I had this song on an old compilation when I was about 13, and I played it to absolute death. Its definitely become the song Soft Cell are remembered most for, which I do feel is a bit of a shame because they’ve got some other brilliant songs that surpass it. This was Soft Cells second single release, and it was made very clear to the duo that if this song didn’t sell, it would be their last release, as previous single Memorabilia failed to chart. The group decided to produce a cover of an obscure Northern Soul track by Gloria Jones called Tainted Love. You’ve got to admire a risk like that, as the obscurity of the song probably meant the chances of it being a hit were small. Amazingly though, the song quickly became #1 in the UK and in another 17 territories worldwide. It also became the best selling single of 1981. In the US it peaked at #8 (taking 19 weeks to do so) but then held the Guinness World Record (at the time) for most consecutive weeks in the Billboard Hot 100 chart (43 weeks). I think those are extremely impressive stats for a supposed one hit wonder group (Personally I would say they’re not, they did have other hit singles) It was released on 12″ as an extended dance medley with another cover, this time of The Supremes Where Did Our Love Go. Marc Almond’s only musical contribution to the song itself was deciding it should start with a “bink bink” noise that would feature periodically throughout the track. I love how they’ve made the song sound just like an original Soft Cell song (It was a few years until I found out it was a cover and I was shocked). A great song that’s become an 80s classic, just remember to check out their other material!

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