Thursday, July 31, 2008


Tip from And check out the track listing.

I'm not a big fan of remixes.

Who remembers when Soft Cell re-grouped for a short time to release a collection called "Memorabilia" in the early 90s? It also included some of Marc's solo hits. If you'll remember, most - or I think all- the Soft Cell tracks were re-done in the studio with new vocals. Which for some reason did not do it for me. I never understood the re-doing of songs. We always go for the originals no matter how much better the artist has improved on their sound and vocals. Because in the original songs is where the real memory of it all is. I remember the newer version of "Say Hello..." and I said to myself "I just don't feel anything with this new version." The original one was full of heartbreak and you can feel it in Marc's voice. So I'll be interested to hear all these re-mixes anyway, there might be some gem hidden in there somewhere.

According to Marc's website, the old Soft Cell albums are getting their re-issue/re-package routine. But according to Marc, he's not very happy at how Some Bizarre (the record label under all of Soft Cell's albums are released) are handling it. Marc wants to really give something to the fans (b-sides, etc..) and it seems that the label company is not cooperating and things are getting very complicated. At this point, Marc feels they should just release as they see fit and he wants to just concentrate on the new stuff rather than go back to the past. The reissues include "Non Stop Erotic Cabaret", "The Art of Falling Apart" (my favorite) and "This Last Night in Sodom."

"The Art of Falling Apart" to me is one of their best efforts. The images they invoke - of lonely hearts, insanity, fantasy, seedy, smokey bars aglow in deep red, on your last legs. not to mention the song based on the John Rechy classic "Numbers". The album was released as a double LP which included a synth version of a Jimmy Hendrix medley and "Martin" - "Martin" was a George A. Romero film about a kid who thought he was a vampire. Never saw the film. But I read the book while in high school.

"This Last Night In Sodom" - Marc says, this was their "Punk" album. Somehow, I don't think "L'esquelita" is so punk. About a drugged out drag queen, down in the dumps (a prequel to Saint Judy?) - Actually, L'esquelita was a drag bar here in the Times Square area, and during the time in the 80s when that area was all prostitution, drugs and XXX theaters, I'm sure the bar was quite a scene. Marc misses this part of NYC and later wrote a book of poetry which came with a CD of him reciting a few of the poems. The book/CD was titled "The End of New York"

"Sodom" was also a great effort. Songs like "Little Rough Rhinestones" and "Meet Murder My Angel" are some of my favorite tracks from this album. I've always loved Dave Ball's approach to mixing. Making it non-polished, dark and less robotic with the sequences.

There's no other like Marc. I hold him dear to my heart. I mean, he sang dark and emotional songs for the gut-wrenched, miserable person. And some were just pervy. I just loved that about Marc. I remember the first time I laid eyes on him. It was during the "Bedsitter" video. A long time ago if you had HBO, you'd remember that between feature films, they used to show music videos. And one day "Bedsitter" came on and I was transfixed. I thought to myself "My god, a poofster like me.. in eyeliner and all in black," he's my man. Must know more. Must find out. Must get..... I think I was 16 or something. The rest of the family shouted "What the hell is that!?" Well, you just knew that at the disapproval of the family, it had to be good to get into Marc Almond and Soft Cell!

Anyway, that's my thing on Soft Cell (for the meantime). Long live Marc. Long live Soft Cell.

Little rough rhinestone
Where will your love go today?
Sometimes you think
You had none to start with anyway


xolondon said...

Great post. I wish more people recognized the genius of Marc. And that voice is a classic in pop music.

V said...

Thank you! And I totally agree.

Yuяi said...

It blows me away how "Tainted Love" fills dancefloors to this day. Ahead of its time, if you ask me.

V said...

It's Dave Ball's "ping-ping" sound, I'm tellin ya.

Phil said...

I've been waiting AGES for proper re-issues. Soft Cell were a lot more prolific than 3 albums would suggest. Their 12 inch singles had, sometimes, 4 or 5 tracks on it. So it seems really backward thinking of the record company not to revisit their output properly.

It was Soul Inside that got me into Soft Cell. I then bought all 3 albums and the remix one and played them to death. I LOVED this band. Marc Almond was my teen angst and introduction to sex in pop!

V said...

Hi Phil!

I get so anxious writing these posts. There's so much more I can write about Marc & Soft cell and what they mean to me. They did have some pretty fantastic b-sides to their 12" releases. Some favorites including "Insecure Me" and "Her Imagination" - so much more. I think "Non Stop" is already released and haven't looked to see the track listing. Hope it's all there.