Song of the Day #5,170: ‘Torch’ – Soft Cell

English new wave band Soft Cell is a one-hit wonder based on the success of somebody else’s song. Their ‘Tainted Love’ was written by Ed Cobb and first recorded by Gloria Jones in 1984.

Soft Cell made it a hit, though, adding a synth-pop sheen to an otherwise faithful recreation of the original.

I wonder if it bothered them that the only breakout from their debut album was also the only song they didn’t write.

‘Tainted Love’ is the only Soft Cell song to enter the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 (it peaked at #8), but the band did release a song a year later that made it onto the U.S. dance chart. ‘Torch’ also made it to #2 on the United Kingdom charts, making it their second-best performer overall.

I kind of dig this song. It’s no ‘Tainted Love’ but it has me intrigued about the rest of the band’s original material. I especially like the use of horns.

‘Torch’ was a non-album single released after their debut album, 1981’s Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret. The band released three more albums before breaking up in 1984. They reunited for a new album 18 years later, in 2002, and again 20 years after that, dropping their most recent album in May of this year.

[Marc]
I’m lost again and I’m on the run
Looking for love in a sad song
With your avenger eyes and your catlike ways I can hold you
You are a fool for me to be cruel
I’m leaning on this bar listening to you sing
And your sad song rings in my ears and I start to cry

He’s searching
She’s showing
See him held in a deep, deep spell
He knows she’s glowing
I can find within my mind a way to go
I can look deep into your light and shout
Hold me
Hold me
Hold me
Hold me
Hold me

I hear the saxophone and it tears my soul
And we’re feeling old, feeling so cold
She is the torch and she is the theme
She could be a dream but – oh boy – is she real
Try to avoid her eyes, to avoid her words
They will hit you with all that you feel

He’s searching
She’s showing
See him held in a deep, deep spell
He knows she’s glowing

I can find within my mind a way to go
I can look deep into your light and shout
Hold me
Hold me
Hold me
Hold me
Hold me
See her eyes they are bright tonight
See the stars coming out tonight
See the moon looking down tonight
See how they light your way tonight

[Cindy]
See my eyes they are bright tonight
See my hands reaching out tonight
Hear my words they are dynamite
See how they light your way tonight

[Marc & Cindy]
See her eyes they are bright tonight
See the stars coming out tonight
See the moon looking down tonight
See how they light your way tonight

[Marc]
See her eyes they are bright tonight
See how they light your way tonight

2 thoughts on “Song of the Day #5,170: ‘Torch’ – Soft Cell

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    I’ve never heard this song. Maybe the album released this year will produce their next big hit, but somehow I doubt it.

  2. Amy says:

    From a purely financial standpoint, if not a creative one, I’m sure it’s not ideal to have your biggest (or only) hit written by someone else.

    I wouldn’t want to hear this one again. 😜

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