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.

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Song of the Day #386: ‘Tainted Love’ – Soft Cell

softcell20 Best Songs of the 80s – #16

Here’s an example of an 80s song that didn’t make much of an impression on me at the time of release (after all, I was only 9 in 1981 when it came out) but has muscled its way into my brain as a quintessential 80s song in the years since. ‘Tainted Love’ so typifies that 80s sound that, coming out as early as ’81, I suppose it really should be credited with creating that sound.

And that makes it all the more surprising that this is actually a cover of a 1964 song recorded by Gloria Jones. I had no idea this song wasn’t an original. Somehow that takes away from what Soft Cell accomplished. I mean, doesn’t that make them even less than a one-hit wonder? Sort of a half-hit wonder? I don’t know, maybe not. Here’s the Gloria Jones version if you’d like to compare.

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