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Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret

Soft Cell

1981

Buy At Rough Trade
Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret
Album Summary

Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret is the debut studio album by English synth-pop duo Soft Cell. It was released in the United Kingdom on 27 November 1981 by Some Bizzare Records. The album's critical and commercial success was bolstered by the success of its lead single, a cover version of Gloria Jones's song "Tainted Love", which topped the charts worldwide and became the best-selling British single of 1981. In the United States—as a result of the single's success, the album had reported advance orders of more than 200,000 copies. The album spawned two additional top-five singles in the UK: "Bedsitter" and "Say Hello, Wave Goodbye".

Wikipedia

Rating

2.87

Votes

11401

Genres

  • Rock
  • New Wave
  • Pop

Reviews

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Thu May 20 2021
3

Tainted Love is a banger, the rest not up to that standard, although Sex Dwarf stands out lyrically and Say Hello, Wave Goodbye is a good album closer. It's all quite urgent sounding and jarring in places. Bit of a punk vibe. Definitely not a relaxing listen. I'm glad to have heard it, but doubt I'd listen again.

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Wed Mar 23 2022
1

I mean, I knew I was not going to like it from the title and the front cover but goddamn this is pitiful. What is it with 80’s music being so F ing lame? And that f ing sax, I mean wtf? Is this parody? Not even tainted love saves this one, as the original is a better record and even mansons is better, again WTF? Did we needed to hear this before we died so we experience superior cringe? Is there a lower grade than 1 star? Why is not this at the bottom of the rank?

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Fri Sep 02 2022
5

Seedy clubs in Leeds in the late 70's this is the sound of Soft Cell. Marc Almond is the perfect diva and has an operatic range that goes hand in hand with Dave Ball's sparce synth symphonies. Reading the reviews some people seem to miss the whole point of the exercise. This is sleaze and this is early Brit Synth where wannabe stars bought cheap Rolands and dreamed in their bedsits writing lyrics that reflected their angst lives. This is a classic.

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Wed Jan 27 2021
2

If not for tainted love, this would be a 1 star. Some actually bad songs on here

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Sun Apr 04 2021
4

This kind of minimal synthwave is one of my comfort zones. The sound tends to lend itself to a sort of darkness/kinkiness somehow. Seems to go along with the detached approach.

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Fri Jul 16 2021
4

Definitely a surprise. I like the dark electronic mood/sound and marc almond's voice. Say Hello, Secret Life and Sex Dwarf are great in addition to Tainted Love. Very enjoyable.

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Wed May 26 2021
2

Like a cabaret, it's flashy, flamboyant, and devoid of substance. There's a song called Sex Dwarf, and it's exactly what it says on the tin. I had to know that, and now you have to know it, too. Best track: Say Hello, Wave Goodbye

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Tue Apr 20 2021
5

This album is extremely 80s but was top-to-bottom good. I'd heard three tracks from it before (and liked them) but was surprised how much I enjoyed the others as well. Will definitely listen again.

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Mon Oct 10 2022
5

The sound of sleaze synth pop - rejects from the cabaret of northern clubland. Also has a song called 'Sex Dwarf' which is cool. Best Tracks: Tainted Love; Bedsitter; Say Hello, Wave Goodbye

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Thu Nov 11 2021
4

I knew Tainted Love, obviously, and I half new Say Hello, Wave Goodbye. The album is brilliant though! Not quite a concept album, but an album obsessed with the seedy side of Soho and the contrast with suburbia - which they really hate. Hate is often a good starting point for a song, and on here it is no exception. Frustration is a great opener. The fact it's followed by Tainted Love is even better - I oscillate between wanting this version and the original a lot, but both are brilliant. It carries on in a sort of amateurishly brilliant electronica, until you hot Sex Dwarf. I honestly don't know what to make of it, but it is as barmy as its title. I think that's a good thing. And it continues in this vein, until it hits Say Hello Wave Goodbye. While I have heard this song plenty of times I'd never listened to it. It's sad, but a ferocious kind of sadness. I am glad to have listened to it, as its ten times the song I had previously heard in passing. Absolutely astounding. Save for a lull between Sex Dwarf and Say Hello, this is a brilliant album, and I'll definitely be coming back to it. I'm giving it 4/5, but I suspect repeat listens might actually make me love it all the more.

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Fri Apr 01 2022
3

I've always loved "Tainted Love" but never looked past that into Soft Cell's other music. I really liked this record. Lots of electronic spunk. And, the singer has a voice perfect for the musical style. I like them because they have off-beat rhythms, a great sense of melody, and some wonderful sounding synths. Song title is dumb, but the synths on "Sex Dwarf" are rad.

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Wed Jan 17 2024
3

The best song on this one is a cover.

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Mon Jan 29 2024
3

Not bad from an era I have little interest in.

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Fri Mar 12 2021
2

80s music. Tainted Love is on this record, nothing else super memorable.

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Thu Jan 21 2021
2

Interesting beats but silly lyrics just made it old fast.

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Wed Sep 08 2021
1

Definitely not a fan of synth pop but this album is pretty bad. I have no idea how this cover of Tainted Love became so popular.

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Fri Mar 26 2021
5

I mean I may be basic but tainted love / where did our love go is just so good lol

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Mon Mar 08 2021
5

Almost the definition of 80's synth pop. Such a distinctive voice over some of the most iconic electronic sounds ever to come out of the 80's. Great lyrics and structures too, each song having there own feel, although some recycling of sounds does occur. Great pop album

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Fri Mar 12 2021
5

Una estética outrun muy característica de la época, disfrutable empleo del synth. Letras atrevidas, chistosas, desquiciadas y horny en la misma medida. Canción favorita: Sex Dwarf, me parece que el ritmito de esa es el más divertido. Mood: tengo calocha, qués eso? Calor en la depresión ochentera.

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Fri Mar 12 2021
5

Obra cumbre del synth pop. Me gusta sobre todo por lo sórdida que es la temática del disco. Sex dwarf es mi track favorito de aquí. Te dan ganas de contagiarte de gonorrea. Genios absolutos. ¿También es muy divertido, no? Sudorosón. Mil estrellas de mil.

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Tue Apr 20 2021
5

memories of a decade that I really was too young to remember, but love love love

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Fri Apr 02 2021
5

It's s good album, so catchy, but that basic catchy type, it's a good one, I like some lyrics. It's a brilliant work. A bible of synth pop in the early 80s

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Wed Aug 25 2021
5

80's pop I wish some artists still would produce (The Weeknd has the vibes, which is a nice thing)

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Mon Mar 07 2022
5

Amazing. Relatable to me as i step into my 20s.

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Fri Jul 01 2022
5

Very well! Sexy and dancy! 10\5

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Wed Aug 31 2022
5

That was fun and without any duds.

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Mon Feb 06 2023
5

Я был приятно удивлён этим альбомом, так как ожидал услышать типичную электронщину восьмидесятых, а получил абсолютно дикую и мелодичную смесь как раз электронщины и, внезапно, панка. По большей части, текст и звук соответствуют названию альбома и задают довольно специфичное настроение, которое держится на протяжении всех сорока минут, что не может не радовать. Финальный трек оказался внезапно мелодичным и красивым, он запал мне в память практически моментально и убедил меня поставить этому альбому оценку ещё выше. (8 - 8.5)

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Wed Feb 22 2023
5

Yep, loved this sordid little gem

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Fri Mar 03 2023
5

The sleaziness of Non Stop lures you, right from the front cover and into the opening cracking of the whip on Frustration. This was one of the first records I bought back in 1981. I thought at the time that Marc was holding a bag of chips in the brown paper bag. Some childhood innocence was soon overcome when I heard Sex Dwarf. It's a cold album in terms of the beats and lyrics. But also SO warm and genuinely sung from the heart. I could still play this and the sister Ecstatic Dancing every week. Say Hello is up their with the classic torch singer songs.

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Fri Mar 03 2023
5

Just the right balance of sleaze and sparkle. I loved this as a teenager, when I was probably more jaded than now. The sadness and subtext of some of the lyrics here probably passed me by at the time, but they were still quite shocking in terms of subject matter. Not quite Sister Ray, but perhaps the genteel English equivalent with synthesisers instead of guitars? And 'Say Hello' is a classy pop song. A classic of the genre, with it's own take on British life in the early 80s.

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Fri Mar 10 2023
5

the tainted love/where did our love go extended version is the most banger song of all time it literally changed my life

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Sat Jun 17 2023
5

A lengthy album that keeps getting better and more varied as it goes.

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Thu Aug 10 2023
5

While the back half of the album is definitely weaker than the front, I still enjoyed the entire thing.

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Mon Sep 25 2023
5

9/10 only like three songs here that are actually good (Tainted Love, Sex Dwarf, and Where Did Our Love Go? — the last which isn’t even on the main album) but each of those songs are such an amazing 10/10 masterpiece to me that I can overlook the sea of mediocrity that surround those perfect tracks

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Thu Oct 12 2023
5

Never heard of but before but it was so good. Loved the synth and the vocals and the energy.

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Wed Oct 25 2023
5

I can't be indifferent to that good synthpop. It isn't as perfect as Kraftwerk but it's enough to get 5/5

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Wed Oct 25 2023
5

What can I say, synthpop is just very aesthetically pleasing

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Fri Nov 17 2023
5

CUNTY AS HELL❗️❗️❗️❗️❗️

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Sun Nov 19 2023
5

To a certain group of teenagers -- all across the country -- drinking black coffee in Denny's in the early hours of the morning -- confused in Ronald Reagan's America -- not belonging -- this record was an expression of rebellion and unity -- something guaranteed to offend the people you wanted to offend. Essentially a New Wave punk album, the tunes are elevated with fantastic empathetic vocals and excellent electronic instrumentation. "Tainted Love" became an anthem, and rightly so. Peaches could never have happened without these guys, same with Frankie Goes to Hollywood (which I would argue is great but derivative, FGTH took all the things Soft Cell were doing and did a better job packaging and marketing it).

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Sat Dec 09 2023
5

Like an album from a completely different reality

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Thu Dec 21 2023
5

TIL Soft Cell didn't write "Tainted Love." TIL Soft Cell made a one of the best and goofiest albums of the 80s and it's stupidly brilliant.

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Thu Dec 28 2023
5

Liderligste plade på listen indtil videre. Lyder til at de havde det pissesjovt med at finde ud af hvad synthesizers kunne, jeg elsker det her

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Tue Jan 09 2024
5

Gut! Frustation gefällt mir.

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Mon Jan 22 2024
5

This is one of the first Queer coded albums ever recorded. There are themes of BDSM, sexual encounters, and anxiety about aging in a heteronormative society. The main character in this album is split between being a good husband & father and a gay sex fiend seeking erotic encounters. This isn't an approachable album & Marc Almond's voice can be grating, but it's an important piece of 80s Queer synth history. Everyone knows this band for their cover of Tainted Love, but the standouts for me are Sex Drawf and Chips on My Shoulder. The uncensored video for Sex Drawf is wild, so watch it if you can find it. I'm lucky to have seen Soft Cell a few months ago, but I wish I was old enough to have seen them in the 80s. I bet their shows were wonderfully slutty & gay as hell. 4.5 stars.

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Mon Feb 26 2024
5

Perfect synth-pop album with way above average vocals, and the most famous cover song ever? Its other evergreen song, Say Hello Wave Goodbye, has been a little ruined for me due to overexposure and that horrible David Gray cover. Rest of songs and the whole vibe of the album, all great. score: 10/10 footnotes: 1. Score is for the original 10-track album and not the version with all the extra material (which is not bad and even contains some of their best material such as Torch). 2. Highly recommended: the 9-minute long 12" mix of Tainted Love that at some point changes into Where Did Our Love Go, which is simply perfect.

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Thu May 02 2024
5

This is such a good album, sparse keyboards and atmospheric use of a drum machine, while you almost feel a bit voyeuristic just listening to this, such is the affect of the arrangements and Almond's fantastic vocals. I love it. How can anyone not enjoy, if not laugh at 'Sex Dwarf'. Marc Almond is probably the only front man who can get away with playing it live in this day and age and not get cancelled. 'Say Hello, Wave Goodbye' is one of those deeply moving emotional songs, which you just can't help but belt out the chorus with a tear in your eye. I feel very privileged to have seen most of these songs performed live and I personally don't think this album has dated at all compared to 99% of the artists from that point in time. (Maybe the liberal use of saxophone does pin it to the early 80's, but that's about it). It's a riot of musical colour, and a rollercoaster of fun and emotion. A 5 star debut all day long.

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Tue May 14 2024
5

It is one of my oldest records here. I loved it then, and I still do. It might seem odd or even bad from the current point of view, but back then it was simply genius. Tainted Love was THE definition of British synth-pop at that time and the album was a landmark. Plus the controversies around Sex Dwarf and the inevitable banning of the music video made it extremely popular back then.

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Wed May 15 2024
5

Tainted Love has been and remains one of my favorite songs.

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Fri May 24 2024
5

Banger after banger, screw everyone who got this review to under 3 stars average. You can really tell marc almond's punk background peeking through in some of the songs.

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Sun Jun 23 2024
5

genius electro-pop saw them at Hammersmith Palais in 86, and the 40th anniversary of this LP at the Palladium - great shows

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Tue Nov 10 2020
4

the early 80s were pretty fucking weird for music werent they? this album specifically is really like, weirdly minimal for pop. tainted love cover owns obv. albums not as horny as i was led to believe but maybe i just wasnt paying enough attention to the lyrics?? the synth tones and the underlying songs are nice, but im not huge on the production. it still has that sorta older style of production where its more supposed to sound like its being played live, so its not rly as loud and in ur face as i like synthpop/electropop to be. still jammin though. last track is particularly good.

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Thu Mar 11 2021
4

“Tainted love” and “say hello wave goodbye” are on this album; which are absolute classics. Quite a lot of filler tracks for me on this one but “sex dwarf” just made me laugh so hard I had to rate it higher.

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Fri Mar 12 2021
4

Pegajoso, acelerado, el tipo de voz que identifico con los 80 (?) y tiene ese gran cover de "Tainted Love". Ahora me entero que igual esto puede ser new wave, pero bueno, para mi igual es pop ochentero, con sintetizadores particulares, con toda una algarabía. A veces suena como a un musical, me gustaron sobre todo "Frustration", "Sex Dwarf" y "Entertain Me". 8/10

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Sun May 23 2021
4

Entertaining, though surprisingly not very memorable aside from Tainted Love and Sex Dwarf… 7

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Tue May 04 2021
4

Catchy, sample-worthy synth riffs, cool vocals & seedy, chuckle-worthy lyrics. I didn't own this album but I remember playing a cassette of Sex Dwarf to death in University. Side 2 (of the vinyl release) is really pumpin'. I'm saving it to my WahooKickr playlist. Quite a debut!

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Sun May 23 2021
4

7/10. Honestly I enjoyed most of this. First song sucked, I don't know that I'd relisten to much of it, but kinda weird kinda fun

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Fri Mar 12 2021
4

Me gustó porque es bailable con todos sus sintetizadores, muy ochentero pero del lado dark no tan pop (?).

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Thu May 20 2021
4

This was a nice new wave surprise. Standouts "Seedy Films" "Youth" "Sex Dwarf" "Bedsitter" "Say Hello, Wave Goodbye" and of course "Tainted Love"

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Thu Aug 26 2021
4

How good is tainted love though

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Thu Oct 28 2021
4

Damn great 80s synth pop reminiscent of Depeche Mode. The tainted love remixes are a great bonus.

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Thu Nov 04 2021
4

4.1 - High camp! Two gay British men surveying nightlife at the outset of the AIDS epidemic, with an unflinching eye towards its seedier side. It's a self-aware parody of pop music but done convincingly well. They're in the music scene but also clearly over it and above it. Standout tracks: "Sex Demon", "Tainted Love" (of course) and "Seedy Films."

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Wed Nov 10 2021
4

Surprisingly strong album, considering the bursting out single of Tainted Love. Very diverse and enjoyable early electronic/synth sounds.

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Fri Nov 26 2021
4

My cat didn't really like it, but I did.

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Sun Dec 19 2021
4

Where there's Saxphone, it won't go too bad.

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Thu Mar 17 2022
4

Unmatched in its descriptions of seedy Soho, bedsitter life, sex clubs - all set to what was at the time amazingly new music. Still holds up very well, and surprisingly the original songs have dated far less than the covers.

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Fri Mar 25 2022
4

Fantastic seedy grooves. Actually not as naughty as I thought it was… Slabby synths, chunky chunk drum sounds. Really rather good.

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Fri Apr 15 2022
4

Electro pop goodness… this is very of its time. Good tunes!

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Wed Apr 27 2022
4

Real cool sound which brings even well know covers alive. Say hello, wave goodbye is one of my favourite songs of all time (the David gray version)

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Wed May 18 2022
4

p475. 1981. 4.5 stars The sordid pale white underbelly of early 80s Britain disguised beneath brilliant electropop. Like or loathe him, Marc Almond has a terrific voice and sharp lyrics, whilst Dave Ball is simply a musical genius. At it's best this is brilliant - Youth and Say Hello Wave Goodbye are highlights, and it was a stroke of brilliance to tempt in the casual listener with Tainted Love, which proves that you can cover a song and make it your own. Set against that, some of the tracks outstay their welcome, and Entertain Me is filler. Apart from that, you get sex, kinks, self loathing, emptiness, isolation, all within the hits. I feel like I need a shower after listening to this.

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Wed Jul 13 2022
4

Of course we all know their cover of Gloria Jones’ “Tainted Love.” “Frustration” was my high school anthem, angsty line after angsty line. Soft Cell’s simultaneous punk and disco sensibilities make for the ideal new wave album. “Seedy Films” is a kind of funny one, another I listened to nonstop (erotic cabaret!) in high school. I think what’s special about this album is the not-a-hair-out-of-place layering and general attitude. I’m thinking of the girls giggling on Seedy Films, and of course the BEEP BEEP of Tainted Love. I really love the first few songs until “Entertain Me,” which is fun but a little aimless. Overall, this record has such an infectious frenetic energy and I’d want to hang out with the singer. I find most of the songs pretty relatable, which isn’t often the case with dancey pop records. This is likely due to Soft Cell’s punk edge which is a necessary ingredient for their unique musical personality. I’m gonna give this record a 4 because, while many of the songs are a bit samey (as is the case with using basically the same drum track), this record has a cohesive sound and creates a very specific atmosphere indicative of its spot on this list.

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Fri Jul 22 2022
4

It's pop, but it's sleazy, and it's highly dance-able thanks to the two Northern Soul covers.

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Sun Jul 24 2022
4

This one surprised me. A few songs were old favorites, but some new good songs and the original of a song I didn't know was a cover.

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Fri Aug 05 2022
4

Very 80s not everything is my speed but some great single songs on here incl say hello, wave goodbye

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Wed Aug 17 2022
4

Album has the New Wave hits "Tainted Love" and "Where Did Our Love Go?". Long album but great listen. 7/10.

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Mon Aug 29 2022
4

Nice synth pop classic album

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Thu Sep 01 2022
4

This is the debut album from English synth-pop duo Soft Cell. The album's popularity and successful release was boosted by the universally praised lead single - a cover version of "Tainted Love" - that topped charts worldwide. Although I had never heard of this duo or album before, I had heard and loved "Tainted Love". The rest of the album is a mix of a wonderful collection of synthesized new wave pop music, that will have everyone bouncing to the beats, and a few tracks that don't quite hit the mark compared to their bangers. These are some classic 80's hits! Overall, this was an awesome album and I'm glad I finally got around to listening to it. I highly recommend!

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Mon Sep 12 2022
4

The sound of sleaze synth pop - rejects from the cabaret of northern clubland. Also has a song called 'Sex Dwarf' which is cool. Best Tracks: Tainted Love; Bedsitter; Say Hello, Wave Goodbye

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Fri Sep 16 2022
4

The older I get the more I get into new wave and synth. I dug this.....Sex Dwarf

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Mon Sep 19 2022
4

I didn't expect to like this much, based on the two singles I knew (Tainted Love and Say Hello, Wave Goodbye). But it was surprisingly weird, and also very innovative for a pop record at the time. There were a few real dud tracks (Frustration and Youth) and some forgettable ones. I especially liked Seedy Films, Sex Dwarf, Chips on My Shoulder, and Bedsitter, all were every transporting to what must have been a very strange but exciting time in London. Not sure if I'll revisit this often, but so much of the music I listen to was obviously influenced by it. I don't think we would have gotten Nine Inch Nails without this album, so it gets 4 for innovation!

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Sun Oct 09 2022
4

a ne jok se ne osjete 80e na ovom albumu. taj synth-pop je očito zvuk koji je narastao u tom desetljeću. dost dobar album, nisam očekivao da će mi bit bolji od trojke. Vjerujem da ću se čak i vratit koji put na ovaj album, ali ovaj puta u noćnom periodu.

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Sun Oct 09 2022
4

Luka je u pravu ovo je jako dobar album

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Thu Oct 27 2022
4

Why Tainted Love is by far the standout from this album/band, this was a great listening experience.

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Fri Nov 18 2022
4

Fun album to listen to. Will definitely check it out again.

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Sun Nov 20 2022
4

Cult synth pop album Incredibly modern sound.

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