Song of the Day #5,192: ‘Tainted Love’ – Gloria Jones

I’ve mentioned that ‘Tainted Love’ is a cover a couple of other times on the blog, but it’s too good an example not to include here. Besides, this is the first time I’ve featured the excellent Gloria Jones original.

English new wave band Soft Cell took their version of this song to #1 in the UK and #8 in the United States in 1981, putting them high on any list of one-hit wonders. It’s hard to argue with the greatness of their slowed-down, synthed-up treatment. But there is more ‘Tainted Love’ to go around.

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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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