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Today's ear X-tacy: Soft Cell "Tainted Love"

Today's ear X-tacy features a classic track or deep-cut from the Alternative era every weekday at 10:10.

Today in 1981, the English synth-pop duo Soft Cell released their debut studio album, Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret. The album's critical and commercial success was in large part due to the popularity of its lead single, a cover version of Gloria Jones's 1964 hit song "Tainted Love". It became the best-selling British single of 1981. The song also became a major hit in the US spending 43 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

Marc Almond and David Ball first met at Leeds Art College and had been making music together for a couple of years before forming Soft Cell.

It was Ball who was familiar with the “Tainted Love” original. “Dave introduced me to the record,” Almond recalled. “I loved it so much, and we wanted an interesting song for an encore number in our show. Dave loved northern soul and it was a novelty to have an electronic synthesizer band doing a soul song.”

Gloria Jones has said that she considers the Soft Cell version to be the best one. "I loved the emotion in his voice," she said. "Their version was far better than mine."

John is the mid-morning host on WFPK. Email John at jtimmons@lpm.org