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Electronic/Dance - Released July 26, 2019 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

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Electronic/Dance - Released March 15, 2019 | Cleopatra Records

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Electronic/Dance - Released September 28, 2018 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

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Electronic/Dance - Released September 28, 2018 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

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Pop - Released September 7, 2018 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

This comprehensive five-CD collection gathers singles, B-sides, rarities, remixes, and live recordings by the British new romantic/synth pop duo Soft Cell. Fronted by the flamboyant Marc Almond, the group were chart fixtures for many years with their arresting combo of melodic, then-futuristic synthetic pop and dark, melancholy, almost baroque lyrics. [A single-CD version, Keychains & Snowstorms: The Singles, is also available, featuring the newly composed double-A-side single "Northern Lights"/"Guilty ('Cos I Say You Are)."] ~ John D. Buchanan
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Pop - Released September 7, 2018 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

This single-CD compilation collects all the singles by '80s new romantic/synth pop duo Soft Cell. Fronted by the flamboyant Marc Almond, the group were chart fixtures for many years with their arresting combo of melodic, then-futuristic synthetic pop and dark, melancholy, almost Baroque lyrics. Alongside their biggest hits like "Tainted Love" and "Say Hello, Wave Goodbye," the album also contains the newly composed double-A-side single "Northern Lights"/"Guilty ('Cos I Say You Are)." [A comprehensive five-CD version, Keychains & Snowstorms: The Soft Cell Story, is also available in the UK, containing B-sides, rarities, remixes, and live recordings.] ~ John D. Buchanan
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Pop - Released June 29, 2017 | Some Bizzare

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Electronic/Dance - Released May 31, 2017 | Some Bizzare

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Pop - Released May 31, 1982 | Some Bizzare

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Pop - Released May 20, 1990 | Some Bizzare

This would seem, at least by the title, that this would be a perfect Soft Cell collection, since it has the group's singles. Thing is, most of these are remixes and reworkings from 1991, not the original recordings, which means it's hardly of interest to the audience who just wants the original versions of Soft Cell's greatest moments. It's passable, to a certain extent, since it has the songs, but it's better to hold out for a collection that contains the real deal. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Electronic/Dance - Released January 5, 1983 | Some Bizzare

While it has some mediocre moments, this tense, quirky release also has some magnificent outings, including the epic "Martin" (based on the obscure George Romero psycho/vampire movie), a cut that was originally included on a bonus 12", and the relentless title cut. Not as cheap or sleazy in its sound as Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret, the album was still prone to melodramatic writing and performance. By all means, miss the "Hendrix Medley," another bonus cut. ~ Steven McDonald

Pop - Released May 31, 1980 | Some Bizzare

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Electronic/Dance - Released January 1, 2010 | Cleopatra Records

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Pop - Released October 1, 2009 | Cleopatra Records

Pop - Released January 1, 2009 | Universal Music Group International

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Although they released three full albums, a number of EPs and a seemingly endless stream of compilations, Soft Cell will always and forever be known as "the duo who did 'Tainted Love'." This obscure R&B single, given a techno-trash workover by singer Marc Almond and keyboardist Dave Ball, was an enormous hit on both sides of the Atlantic and has been revived endlessly ever since its 1982 release. This 1994 EP, released to cash in on the song's newfound popularity due to its use in a television commercial, features one of the best of the many versions of the song, a lengthy medley which pairs Ed Cobb's tune with a languid version of Holland-Dozier-Holland's "Where Did Our Love Go." The EP also adds two later Soft Cell singles, "Loving You, Hating Me" and "Where the Heart Is," plus a negligible remix of the title track.
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Pop - Released January 1, 2008 | Island Records (The Island Def Jam Music Group / Universal Music)

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Rock - Released January 1, 2008 | Island Records (The Island Def Jam Music Group / Universal Music)

4 stars out of 5 -- "The Manhattan Clique Remix of 'Bedsitter' is excellent...a long, tense build based on that cool double-speed bassline at the end of the original."
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Pop - Released October 7, 2003 | Cooking Vinyl

4 stars out of 5 - "...Absinthe to the Pet Shop Boys' vanilla..."
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Pop - Released January 1, 2002 | Cooking Vinyl

Soft Cell's fourth studio album was released a full 18 years after the duo's third, This Last Night in Sodom (1984). During those 18 years, both Marc Almond and Dave Ball pursued solo careers to huge success, and occasionally worked together on albums (Marc Almond's wonderful 1990 album, Enchanted) and remix singles. But here, the two are together in full force. Almond's lyrics are among the best he has ever written, especially on the tragic "Whatever It Takes," which seems to be the sequel to their debut single, "Fun City," revisiting the same character 25 years later. It all comes together with brilliant writing and Ball's atmospheric and swelling arrangement of the eerie music. And the music has grown; sure, it sounds like an updated Soft Cell, but the '80s are nowhere in sight. Wisely, this is not a "retro" album with re-recordings of the duo's big hits, but rather a more mature Soft Cell. Overall, the album has a dark, semi-political tone reflecting the late '90s and early '00s. While it is dark, it is also captivating and accessible. Almond's voice is strong and emotive, living and breathing his stories and observations. Autobiographical? Perhaps, but in the end it does not matter. The stories are vivid, and the music incredible. The only real shame is that Almond and Ball were not creating music for 18 years, because this album shows the talent and ability of these two writers, and how the times have adapted to them. ~ Aaron Badgley
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Pop - Released January 1, 2002 | Virgin EMI

"Out in clubland, having fun, now I'm hiding from the sun." No lyrics could have ever wrapped up the duel nature of Soft Cell's music better, these lines (from "Bedsitter") tells of their fun new wave club hits and their intimate electronic dirges, and the effect they both have on listeners. The true magic of the band is when they could combine the two, like on their signature song "Tainted Love." But there are plenty of excellent songs by the duo that were never praised as highly, and most of them make it to this collection of their best material. "Say Hello, Wave Goodbye" is a touching ballad that floats its lush and heavenly melodies on a bed of throbbing synthesizers and minimalist percussion. "Sex Dwarf" is a sleazy anthem that features plodding keyboards, aggressive drums, and one of the ugliest vocal performances committed to record. It isn't that Marc Almond has a death metal throat, but instead it's the way he creeps and crawls over the track like a perverted lounge singer. The sweet gloss of "Where the Heart Is" reveals a bright and energetic group using their quirky approach to shape a thoughtful pop nugget, while "Numbers" predates the Pet Shop Boys' sarcastic-yet-touching synth pop with like-minded lyrics and equally lush keyboards. There isn't a wasted moment on the album, and the documentation of a brilliant pop group deconstructing their own genre to fit their needs is quite refreshing when so much music from this time period comes off as so dated. A good song overcomes any wacky '80s keyboard work ("Soul Inside") or high-concept production techniques ("Memorabilia"), and that's the lesson to learn from this excellent collection of hidden gems. ~ Bradley Torreano