NON-STOP EROTIC CABARET (SUPER DELUXE EDITION)
Soft Cell formed in 1978 when Dave Ball and Marc Almond met at Leeds Polytechnic in 1977. In 1980, Dave Ball’s mother fronted the duo 2000 pounds to record their debut EP, Mutant Moments. This led to the duo signing to Some Bizarre, which was under the Phonogram/Polygram umbrella, and they released their debut single for the label, “Memorabilia”. The single did not perform well on the charts, and Phonogram gave them one more chance. They decided to record their version of a Northern Soul classic, “Tainted Love”. The rest, as they say, is history. No one, including Soft Cell, could have predicted how huge “Tainted Love” would become around the world. Of course, this meant they could record an album, and Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret was the end result. The album was an absolute classic the day it was released. It topped the charts around the world and established Soft Cell.
In North America Soft Cell became a one hit wonder (“Tainted Love”) but in the U.K. and Europe they had a number of hits, two of which were featured on Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret (“Besitter” and the brilliant and classic “Say Hello, Wave Goodbye”). Soft Cell was right at the beginning of the synth revolution in the UK, but quickly established their own style and sound. Soft Cell focused on the darker side of life and Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret is the beginning of it all.
Now, it is being given the deluxe treatment to celebrate its 42nd anniversary. This is the fourth time the album has been re-released with bonus tracks and it is the absolute best version yet. The new mix/remaster sounds absolutely stunning. The album sounds new and vibrant. One can hear the beautiful music that Ball composed and one cannot help but admire Almond’s strong and emotional vocals. It is just perfect
The bonus discs are a delight, especially to fans. However, Soft Cell was very smart to include new and old mixes of well-known songs that will appeal to the casual fan. CD Two (titled Non- Stop Extended Cabaret), for example, features 2018 12-inch remixes by Dave Ball, using only the original performances. In other words, old style remixes. The original “Bedsitter” 12-inch is included as well. These mixes are a great deal of fun and really do provide the perfect music for dancing. CD three (given the title Non-Stop Eclectic Cabaret) features rare demos and outtakes. But there are also radio and television appearances that are absolutely brilliant. The Old Grey Whistle Test features unique live recordings and are worth the admission alone. Richard X’s remix of “Seedy Films” is another highlight that fans have been looking for for a number of years.
The set rounds off with an instrumental version of the album (CD four, titled Non-Stop Instrumental Cabaret). Oddly enough it works and is quite an interesting listening experience. . And CD five (Non-Stop Original Cabaret), which features the original 12- inch mixes of many of the songs and songs released during this time period that were not on the original album. It is nice to have these old mixes dusted off and sounding fresh and new. Soft Cell’s 12-inch singles were always very unique and quite interesting. Finally, CD six (Non-Stop Live Cabaret) which is exactly as titled, live versions of the album.
This is a very complete and extremely well put together deluxe edition of the classic album. Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret broke a lot of rules and broke down many doors when it was released. A very difficult combination, but Ball and Almond got it more than right. They created an album that was a breath of fresh air and influenced a great may artists. Electronica was never the same following this release and nor was Soft Cell.
Soft Cell Links
Marc Almond Links
SPILL ALBUM REVIEW: SOFT CELL – NON-STOP EROTIC CABARET (SUPER DELUXE EDITION)