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Soft Cell

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Soft Cell are an music duo that came to prominence in the early . They consist of vocalist Marc Almond and instrumentalist David Ball. The duo is most widely known for their 1981 worldwide hit version of “Tainted Love” and influential multi-platinum debut ‘’Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret’‘. In the UK, they had five Top 5 hits, including “Bedsitter”, “Say Hello, Wave Goodbye”, “Torch” and “What!”, and also had four Top 20 albums between 1981 and 1984. The duo split in 1984, but reformed in the early 2000s to tour and released a new album in 2002. Their songs have been covered by various artists including David Gray, Marilyn Manson, Nouvelle Vague and A-ha.

Both Marc Almond and Dave Ball grew up in seaside towns (the former, , and the latter, ), and later met while students at the Polytechnic Fine Arts University (now Leeds Metropolitan University). Almond, a performance artist, collaborated with Ball on a few avant-garde multi-media performances at the university. Although Ball’s musical background consisted of guitar, he had access to the university studio and was experimenting with the nascent synthesizer technology at the time. The two students became the prototypical duo and were initially associated with other scenesters dubbed “s” by the British Press. Other bands associated with this scene included Visage, Duran Duran, and Spandau Ballet.

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