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The Million Sellers: Soft Cell's Tainted Love

09/11/2012

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The Million Sellers: Soft Cell's Tainted Love

By Dan Lane

To celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Official Singles Chart, Soft Cell frontman Marc Almond chats OfficialCharts.com about the group’s million selling single Tainted Love.

There are only 123 million selling singles in the 60 years of the Official Singles Chart, and Soft Cell’s Tainted Love is part of this very elite club.

Tainted Love was originally an obscure Northern soul track written by Ed Cobb (formerly of male vocal quartet The Four Preps), and recorded by American soul / gospel singer Gloria Jones (who would later go on to become the partner of T Rex frontman Marc Bolan). The track appeared as the B-side to Jones’ commercially unsuccessful 1965 single, My Bad Boy’s Comin’ Home.

While looking for covers for their early live sets, Soft Cell keyboardist David Ball suggested Tainted Love to frontman Marc Almond. The pair took the song apart, and reconstructed it to create a timeless electronic pop classic, which is now regarded as the definitive version of the track.

Climbing to Number 1 on the Official Singles Chart in September, 1981, it held onto the top spot for two weeks, and also topped the charts in more than a dozen other countries. It won the Single Of The Year gong at the 1982 BRIT Awards, and Soft Cell’s arrangement of Tainted Love has gone on to be covered by everyone from the Pussy Cat Dolls and Marilyn Manson.

To date, it has sold more than 1.27 million copies in the UK.

OfficialCharts.com caught up with Marc Almond to find out how Tainted Love came together.

Watch the interview below:

The full list of the UK’s 123 million selling singles, and the stories behind them, feature in a new Official Charts Company book, entitled The Million Sellers which is published by Omnibus Press (you can purchase it online from Amazon here, or get the Kindle edition here.

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