Soft Cell Songs Ranked

Soft Cell is an English synthpop duo who came to prominence in the early 1980s. The duo consisted of vocalist Marc Almond and instrumentalist David Ball. The band is primarily known for their 1981 hit version of “Tainted Love” and their platinum-selling debut album Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret. In the United Kingdom, Soft Cell had twelve top 40 hits including “Tainted Love” (#1), “Torch” (#2), “Say Hello, Wave Goodbye”, “What” (both #3), and “Bedsitter” (#4). They also had four top 20 albums between 1981 and 1984. In 1984, the duo split; however, they reformed in 2001 to tour and release a new album and held a final reunion concert in London in 2018. Soft Cell’s songs have been covered by various artists, including David Gray, Marilyn Manson, Coil, and Nine Inch Nails. Their track “Memorabilia” earned recognition for the band as pioneers of the synth-oriented techno genre. The duo has sold ten million records worldwide. Here are all of Soft Cell songs ranked.

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12. What? (Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret, 1981)

“Carrying on the duo’s tradition of covering Northern Soul classics, this is a really good electro-pop version of the wonderful Judy Street number. Falls into the creative, yet sympathetic make-over category.”

11. Numbers (The Art of Falling Apart, 1983)

“Kind of an odd, lowkey choice for a single. Works better in the context of the album. The 12” version is a touch over-extended…Pointless crap remix of a great track from ‘The Art Of Falling Apart.'”

10. Memorabilia (Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret, 1981)

“Brings me back to the eighties and watching my older sister getting dressed for a night out in lacy black tights and stilettos with her shaggy Bob and lots of jewellery. I was too young at about 9 or 10 when Soft Cell’s Non Stop Erotic Cabaret came out so wasn’t able to go with her. But I loved listening to that music”

9. Forever the Same (The Art of Falling Apart, 1983)

“Its a pretty powerful record, detailing hidden lives with often excruciating detail. Lonely housewives, prostitutes, 9-5 slaves, young gay men in the closet. The self loathing is spectacular, and Almonds delivery goes 100% with that, he sounds completely devoted to the material which is perfectly framed by ball’s often brutally simple multi tracked keyboard lines.”

See more: Soft Cell Albums Ranked

8. Meet Murder My Angel (This Last Night in Sodom 1984)

“Too me it has always sounded fresh, innovative and waaaaay head of its time with a very contemporary feel. With the exception of the over hysterical “Soul Inside” every song packs a punch. A great way to end a career…for now.”

7. Secret Life (Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret, 1981)

“Secret Life”, a riff that sounds like it should be the soundtrack for a show. We all feel that if we were to be a little more dangerous.. we would end up blackmailed by the person rated under B in Secret Life.”

6. Bedsitter (Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret, 1981)

“Bedsitter” – is a wickedly accurate commentary on the unromantic reality of student life (all parties and squalor and pretending you’re having fun).  It’s an incredible track that defines the synth-pop genre for me”

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5. Frustration (Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret, 1981)

“”Frustration” gives us a man regretting everything he never got to do, rebelling in his mind against the utter normality of his life and violently yearning for the things he could have done but never did.”

4. Say Hello, Wave Goodbye (Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret, 1981)

“A truly exceptional piece of 80s electronica. Soft Cell had the excellent winning formula of taking Northern Soul tracks and stamping them with their own dramatic electric interpretation. Marc Almond’s vocals on this track are absolutely fabulous. The lyrics are clever and quite sad and the instrumentation is as classic as any synth music ever got during the early 80s.”

3. Where Did Our Love Go? (Where Did Our Love Go?, 1981)

“I have always liked this song. I don’t know why it didn’t occur to me before now to download this track for my outdoor powerwalking but I’m glad I did. Great song to power walk by. I was getting a bit bored with my usual playlist and add this to it. Had a lot of fun with this one! I highly recommend.”

2. Mr. Self Destruct (This Last Night in Sodom, 1984)

“Most pop fans had given up on Soft Cell’s increasingly willful behavior and ‘challenging’ material by this point, but more fool them because they missed out on what was one of their greatest singles: a riotous and intense slice of ecstatic electro-soul.”

1. Tainted Love (Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret, 1965)

” “Tainted Love” seems to be the central point of every retro night, and every retro radio broadcast I’ve ever heard.  It appears in movies, on nearly every ’80s compilation cd that ever was…yet Marc’s smooth voice and tale of love gone bad seems to ring true for so many of us.  It’s a great song, it’s stood the test of time and it’s still pretty darn great…it’s just a shame Soft Cell never properly followed this up.”