Tainted Love (2:37)

Cover of Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret

From Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret and 484 other releases

Tainted Love”, composed by Ed Cobb and firstsung by Gloria Jones, attained worldwide fame after being covered by Soft Cell in 1981, and has since been covered by numerous other groups and artists.

Soft Cell’s record label chose to release “Tainted Love” on July 7, 1981 as the band’s second single (their first was “Memorabilia”, which did not chart). The label implied that this single would be Soft Cell’s final release if the single did not sell. Produced by Mike Thorne, the track was recorded in a day and a half with the first of two vocal takes being ultimately used on the record. Buoyed by the then-dominant synthpop sound of the time, and a memorable performance on Top of the Pops, it rapidly reached number one on the UK singles chart, eventually repeating the feat in 17 territories.

The following year it charted in the US. Although it took a record-breaking 19 weeks to crack the US Top 40, the song eventually reached #8 and spent a then-record breaking 43 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100.

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