Tainted Love - Soft Cell - 80sneverend - Covered with stars

Covered with stars

Soft Cell – Tainted Love

#quotefromthe80s
I give you all a boy could give you
Take my tears, and that's not nearly all
Tainted love (Oh) Tainted love
Now I know I've got to run away
#SoftCell #TaintedLove

A lot of hit of the 80s were actually covers, and this happened continuously throughout the decade. However, we need to say that they were not simple covers with a different voice, but very often they were songs that, thanks to the progress of electronics, changed their face and suddenly became modern, and of course they were successful with an audience of young people who might not even know the original version.

Probably the first case of this phenomenon that will repeat many times happened in July 1981, but the story obviously began many years earlier, precisely in 1964. Gloria Jones at that time is an American soul singer who records a rather fast paced song about a toxic love, and although she cannot do without her love, she still decides to distance herself from him because this feeling is hurting her.

The song has moderate success, especially in the United States. Years go by, now we are in 1976, and Gloria is the girlfriend of the leader of a successful English group: Marc Bolan, leader of T-Rex. A couple of years before, Gloria has also joined T-Rex as a backing vocalist and keyboard player, and so Marc decides to produce a first cover of Gloria’s original song. To be honest, T-Rex were in a period of decline, after hits like 20th Century Boy, which would later inspire Sigue Sigue Sputnik with their 21st Century Boy. This cover of Gloria Jones’ song could revamp the careers of Gloria and of T-Rex.

But fate had different plans, because the following year Bolan dies in a car accident, and that day marks the end of the story of the T-Rex. The career of Gloria Jones also comes to an end: she was driving the car and she never found the strength to recover from the shock and from the guilty feeling.

We might think that the story of this song that we have not mentioned yet also ends here, but things went differently, because a few years later, in 1981, two guys from Leeds who had founded a new wave group decide to give another chance to the song. The guys are Marc Almond and David Ball, the group is obviously called Soft Cell, and the song is the beautiful Tainted Love.

Marc’s voice is lower than Gloria’s, so they need to change the pitch of the song. Marc Almond also slows it down, but above all he entrusts David Ball with the task of making it more modern thanks to synthesizers and electronic instruments.

Marc was a fan of T-Rex, but actually Soft Cell had something in common with T-Rex: they too were in a phase of decline, although they were all in all still in their starting period. After a couple of songs that didn’t break through, the record company was ready to end the contract if this song was a fiasco too. Of course it wasn’t: driven by ultra-modern and irresistible sounds, and also by a couple of legendary performances on Top of the Pops, Tainted Love was truly an unparalleled success. Indeed, for forty years it was considered the best selling song in the United Kingdom in 1981. After a recalculation of the data, in 2021 this record passed to Don’t you want me by the Human League.

The song, as we said, is about a poisonous, toxic love, from which you can find the strength to escape. Probably, more than the text it was also the video that helped the success of the song. The video takes place against a background of stars, with also some characters at the beginning who seem to come from the universe covered with stars. It is a very simple special effect compared to those of today, but in 1981 it was something extremely innovative and original. And above all, irresistible.

The song also found great success in the United States, where it soon became the symbol of the fight against AIDS. In fact, in those months AIDS began to spread in American homosexual communities, who adopted this song as a chant of resistance and liberation, even if Soft Cell absolutely didn’t have this in mind when they composed their version of the song.

After so many years, Soft Cell and Marc Almond have absolutely entered the iconography of the 80s, even if they only made one hit song, of course Tainted Love. A song that came from the past and which had a troubled history, but which was also destined, together with the stars surrounding Almond in the video, to enter the universe of the 80s forever.

Soft Cell on Wikipedia

Facebook comments

Hits: 46

Tags: ,

80sneverend playlists!!!

Recent Posts

Monthly Archives

  • «2022 (54)
  • »2021 (126)
  • »2020 (139)
  • »2019 (61)
  • »2018 (81)
  • »2017 (89)
  • »2016 (78)
  • »2015 (66)
  • »2014 (60)
  • »2013 (2)
  • »2012 (3)
  • »2011 (3)
  • »2010 (11)
Top