Music

Soft Cell – Tainted Love

Tainted Love” is a song composed by Ed Cobb, formerly of American group The Four Preps, which was originally recorded by Gloria Jones in 1964.[1] It attained worldwide fame after being covered by Soft Cell in 1981 and has since been covered by numerous groups and artists. English vocal-and-synth duo Soft Cell became aware of the song through its status as a UK “Northern Soul” hit, and recorded a drastically different arrangement in 1981. Produced by Mike Thorne, the Soft Cell track featured a slower tempo than Jones’ version, and was in the key of G rather than the original C to match Marc Almond’s lower voice. Synthesizers and rhythm machines replaced the original’s guitars, bass, drums, and horns. Soft Cell’s version was recorded in a day and a half with Almond’s first vocal take being used on the record. The band’s record label chose to release “Tainted Love” on 7 July 1981 as Soft Cell’s second single (their first was “Memorabilia”, which did not chart). The label implied that this single would be Soft Cell’s final release if the single did not sell. The 12″ single version (extended dance version) was a medley, transitioning to a cover of The Supremes’ “Where Did Our Love Go” half-way through the song. Buoyed by the then-dominant synthpop sound of the time and a memorable performance on Top of the Pops, “Tainted Love” rapidly reached #1 on the UK singles chart. “Tainted Love” was the best-selling single in the UK for 1981, and it has sold 1.27 million copies as of November 2012. On the US chart dated 16 January 1982, the song entered the Billboard Hot 100 at #90. It appeared to peak at #64 and fell to #100 on 27 February. After spending a second week at #100, it started climbing again. It took 19 weeks to crack the US Top 40. The song reached #8 and spent a then record-breaking 43 weeks on the Hot 100. A video was recorded specially for Soft Cell’s video album Non Stop Exotic Video and features a cricketer meeting band members Marc Almond and David Ball in togas on Mount Olympus. Soft Cell issued a remixed version of the song in 1991. The video for the remix, directed by Peter Christopherson of Hipgnosis, features a man pacing at night and dancing with starry apparitions, while Almond sings amongst the stars. Christopherson’s band Coil had covered “Tainted Love” in 1985, with a music video that included a cameo appearance by Almond. Soft Cell’s version of “Tainted Love” ranked #2 on VH1′s 100 Greatest One Hit Wonders and #5 on VH1′s 100 Greatest One Hit Wonders of the 80s.

Soft Cell – Tainted love – Long Version (Live @ Milan 2002)

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.”
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.” Songfacts®.

Soft Cell – Tainted Love Lyrics:
Sometimes I feel I’ve got to
Run away I’ve got to
Get away
From the pain you drive into the heart of me
The love we share
Seems to go nowhere
And I’ve lost my light
For I toss and turn I can’t sleep at night

Once I ran to you (I ran)
Now I’ll run from you
This tainted love you’ve given
I give you all a boy could give you
Take my tears and that’s not nearly all
Oh…tainted love
Tainted love

Now I know I’ve got to
Run away I’ve got to
Get away
You don’t really want anymore from me
To make things right
You need someone to hold you tight
And you think love is to pray
But I’m sorry I don’t pray that way

Once I ran to you (I ran)
Now I’ll run from you
This tainted love you’ve given
I give you all a boy could give you
Take my tears and that’s not nearly all
Oh…tainted love
Tainted love

Don’t touch me please
I cannot stand the way you tease
I love you though you hurt me so
Now I’m gonna pack my things and go
Tainted love, tainted love (x2)
Touch me baby, tainted love (x2)
Tainted love (x3)

Related Posts