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
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.
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.
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.
If not for tainted love, this would be a 1 star. Some actually bad songs on here
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
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.
Sexiest album ever made....
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.
80s music. Tainted Love is on this record, nothing else super memorable.
Interesting beats but silly lyrics just made it old fast.
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.
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?
One hit wonder? No way.
Light good electronic music
I mean I may be basic but tainted love / where did our love go is just so good lol
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
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.
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.
memories of a decade that I really was too young to remember, but love love love
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
80's pop I wish some artists still would produce (The Weeknd has the vibes, which is a nice thing)
Amazing. Relatable to me as i step into my 20s.
Very well! Sexy and dancy! 10\5
That was fun and without any duds.
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.
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
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)
Yep, loved this sordid little gem
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.
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.
the tainted love/where did our love go extended version is the most banger song of all time it literally changed my life
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.
“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.
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
Entertaining, though surprisingly not very memorable aside from Tainted Love and Sex Dwarf… 7
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!
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
Me gustó porque es bailable con todos sus sintetizadores, muy ochentero pero del lado dark no tan pop (?).
This was a nice new wave surprise. Standouts "Seedy Films" "Youth" "Sex Dwarf" "Bedsitter" "Say Hello, Wave Goodbye" and of course "Tainted Love"
How good is tainted love though
Damn great 80s synth pop reminiscent of Depeche Mode. The tainted love remixes are a great bonus.
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."
Surprisingly strong album, considering the bursting out single of Tainted Love. Very diverse and enjoyable early electronic/synth sounds.
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.
My cat didn't really like it, but I did.
Where there's Saxphone, it won't go too bad.
Excellent album. 9/10
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.
Fantastic seedy grooves. Actually not as naughty as I thought it was… Slabby synths, chunky chunk drum sounds. Really rather good.
Electro pop goodness… this is very of its time. Good tunes!
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)
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.
I love this
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.
It's pop, but it's sleazy, and it's highly dance-able thanks to the two Northern Soul covers.
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.
Very 80s not everything is my speed but some great single songs on here incl say hello, wave goodbye
Album has the New Wave hits "Tainted Love" and "Where Did Our Love Go?". Long album but great listen. 7/10.
Nice synth pop classic album
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!
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
The older I get the more I get into new wave and synth. I dug this.....Sex Dwarf
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!
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.
Luka je u pravu ovo je jako dobar album
Why Tainted Love is by far the standout from this album/band, this was a great listening experience.
Fun album to listen to. Will definitely check it out again.
Cult synth pop album Incredibly modern sound.
I weirdly loved this, it's almost a 5star album, but I'll listen to it when I'm in a different mood and think about this again
This sure was a non-stop erotic cabaret. I didn't expect it to be so erotic in nature, but it's right there in the name, so that's on me. But yeah, this album was pretty good. It definitely took some risks. Naming a song "Sex Dwarf", for instance, is a risk. Still, I enjoyed it. The music was solid throughout; there wasn't really a lull. None of songs were absolutely amazing besides maybe Tainted Love, so I can't give a higher score, but still good. My favourite song was Tainted Love.
I didn’t care for the first track, but as the album progressed it grew on me. The synth soundscape was layered well and though it does come off as dated, still sounds good. The lyrics were transgressive and interesting giving the album a feel that very much lived up to its title. Overall, I believe this album very much succeeded at what it set out to do.
Some great bops on here, a light 4. Sex dwarf made me laugh
Totally campy new wave extravaganza. Hard to judge since it’s been a favorite forever.
Here's a cool one! I remember first listening to this on Dad's turntable, this was a record in his collection. A hallmark new wave album, with one of the great hits to make it out of that era "Tainted Love." There's a bit of depth to the album too, with a handful of other tracks that I found worth the while. Sometimes we get lucky with these '80s synthpop records. Not always, but albums like this one have a good bit to love. Favorite tracks: Tainted Love, Youth, Entertain Me, Chips on My Shoulder, Say Hello Wave Goodbye. Album art: I've always dug this one, the seedy neon lighting really sells it. It's a band photo, and these guys look like huge dorks, but they nailed the aesthetic. 4/5
Three of the best synth tunes of the '80s on this, add Torch and you've got a best of. Would happily never hear Tainted Love again if offered, but hey... Rest is OK if a bit simple
Obviously Tainted Love is outstanding, it's not alone on this album of great electro 80s anthems.
Better than I expected
Some very good songs, over all a nice album to listen to
Pretty cool, I really enjoy these 80s synth pop albums. good stuff.
There's a song everyone knows in this one
I am the sex dwarf
I'm not sure it's great but I had a nice time. Lyrics are a bit weird but easy to bop along
I didn't realize that Tainted Love was a cover. It makes sense, as the rest of the album is stylistically similar but less tight. Or maybe it's not, and there are untold depths. Maybe that possibility only occurs to me because of my affection for new wave. The melodies are catchy, the production is cheesy, and Sex Dwarf is truly raunchy. Puts certain ideas about the decline of pop music to bed, methinks.
I just couldn’t get into it. Wanted to enjoy it more than I did. I think they had a lot of sexy times whilst making this album
First 2 songs kill it but the rest of the album doesn't maintain the same energy. Lots of shock value in the content of the songs though i.e.sex dwarf.
one hit wonder? I wonder.
Homo-Erotic for sure... but still a bit better than what I expected.
A fun listen
It's a pretty fun bloopy album of synthy-bdsm songs. "Sex Dwarf" is perhaps one of the goofiest songs we've listened to so far during this. "Tainted Love" and "Frustration" elevate this album dramatically.
It was a pretty average new wave album.
Not sure how to feel about this one. There are some excellent/classic tracks on here, but this LP tiptoes dangerously between tongue-in-cheek and all-out cheese. When the balance is right things are enjoyable, but some of the later ballads strain patience.