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One Hit Wonder - SOFT CELL (1982)
One Hit Wonder - SOFT CELL (1982) Photo


"Tainted Love" by Soft Cell - 

This is a cover of a 1964 song by Soul singer Gloria Jones, whose original version became something of a hit on the UK Northern Soul circuit. She was good friends with Marc Bolan and joined his group T-Rex as a backup singer and keyboard player in 1974. They later married, and she was driving the car (a Mini) at the time of the accident that killed him in Barnes Common, South London in 1977.
This was written by Ed Cobb, who was the manager of the Standells and the Chocolate Watchband, for whom he also wrote songs, including "Sometimes Good Guys Don't Wear White."
Soft Cell is the duo of Marc Almond and David Ball. They started recording this as a "throwaway cover song." The choices were "Tainted Love" or a Frankie Valli song.
In the book 1000 UK #1 Hits by Jon Kutner and Spencer Leigh, Marc Almond called this song "A mixture of cold electronics with an over-passionate, over-exuberant, slightly out of key vocal." Almond recalls, "Dave (Ball) introduced me to the record and I loved it so much and we wanted an interesting song for a encore number in our show. Dave loved Northern Soul and it was a novelty to have an electronic synthesizer band doing a Soul song. When we signed with our record company, they wanted to record it. They told us to put bass, guitar and drums on it as they said it was too odd. They put it out anyway and the next thing it was gathering radio play and then it was #1. I was fascinated that it was originally by Gloria Jones, the girlfriend of Marc Bolan and I'd always been a T-Rex fan."
The whip-crack sounds were made on hand-held synth-drums.
The style of the backing vocals were copied from "Heart Full of Soul" by the Yardbirds.
As AIDS began to spread, this song took on new meaning. Soft Cell's Mark Almond thinks there is an unintentional relation to this song to the rise of AIDS in gay communities when it was released.
In the US, Soft Cell is a one-hit-wonder, but they did very well in the UK, scoring many other hits like "Bed Sitter," "Say Hello Wave Goodbye" and "Torch."
In 1981, this was Britain's Top Single of the Year. It recharted there in May 1991, hitting #5.
The 12-inch dance single features a medley of "Tainted Love" and "Where Did Our Love Go."
This was used in a Levi's commercial where the sound of an EKG in an operating room starts to sound like the song and the staff begins singing along.
Marilyn Manson covered this in 2001 for the film Not Another Teen Movie. While performing at Glastonbury in 2002, Mark Almond jokingly said "This is a Marilyn Manson song" before performing it.
This was used in the movie Coneheads in the scene where Dan Akroyd's character is bringing his daughter and some friends to school. The friends mock the musical notes after the vocal phrase, "Sometimes I feel I have to...Get away"
Gloria Jones has said that she considers the Soft Cell version to be the best one: "I loved the emotion in his voice. Their version was far better than mine."
This reached #1 in 17 different countries. In the US, it spent 43 weeks on the Top 100 chart, which was a longevity record at the time.
Rhianna's sampled this on her 2006 song "S.O.S (Rescue Me)."

Billboard Top 10 Songs of 1982

1 Olivia Newton-John Physical
2 Survivor Eye Of The Tiger
3 Joan Jett and The Blackhearts I Love Rock N' Roll
4 Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder Ebony And Ivory
5 J. Geils Band Centerfold
6 Human League Don't You Want Me
7 John Cougar Jack And Diane
8 John Cougar Hurts So Good
9 Steve Miller Band Abracadabra
10 Chicago Hard To Say I'm Sorry
11 Soft Cell Tainted Love

| Closed on 09/14/13 at 05:00PM
FanIQ Pts? No | Locker Room, Music | Multiple Choice Opinion Poll
6 Fans 
50%a. 10 (Great Song)
33%b. 7-9 (Good Song)
0%c. 5-6 (Song is ok)
0%d. Who? What? Huh?
17%e. Did you say TAINT?!?! :O

5 Comments | Sorted by Most Recent First | Red = You Disagreed
Vote for your favorite comments. Fans decide the Top Comment (3+ votes) and also hide poor quality comments (4+ votes).
#1 | 434 days ago
Nick__ (+)

Definitely, one of my favorite songs from back in the day!
10 (Great Song)  
#2 | 434 days ago

Liked it...but liked even MORE when I saw the dude who was singing
10 (Great Song)  
#3 | 434 days ago

I liked this song.....still do 
10 (Great Song)  
#4 | 434 days ago

I liked it. 
7-9 (Good Song)  
#5 | 414 days ago

don't touch me, please
I cannot stand the way you tease 
I love you though you hurt me so
Now I'm going to pack my things and go
7-9 (Good Song)  

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