Tainted Love

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"Tainted Love" is a song composed by Ed Cobb, formerly of American group The Four Preps, which was originally recorded by Gloria Jones in 1964.[1] It attained worldwide fame after being covered by Soft Cell in 1981 and has since been covered by numerous groups and artists.[2]

Gloria Jones version (1965)[edit]

"My Bad Boy's Comin' Home"
Single by Gloria Jones
B-side "Tainted Love"
Released May 1965
Format 7", 45 rpm
Recorded 1964
Genre Northern soul[3]
Label Champion (distributed by Vee-Jay)
Writer(s) Ed Cobb
Producer(s) Ed Cobb
Gloria Jones singles chronology
"My Bad Boy's Comin' Home" / "Tainted Love"
(1965)
"Come Go With Me"
(1966)

American artist Gloria Jones recorded the original version of "Tainted Love", which was written and produced by Ed Cobb. It was the B-side to the 1965 single "My Bad Boy's Comin' Home",[4] which was a commercial flop, failing to chart in either the US or the UK. Before Jones recorded the song, Cobb had offered it to The Standells, which he managed and produced, but they rejected it.[5]

However, in 1973, British club DJ Richard Searling purchased a copy of the almost decade-old single while on a trip to the United States. The track's Motown-influenced sound (featuring a fast tempo, horns, electric rhythm guitar and female backing vocals) fit in perfectly with the music favoured by those involved in the UK's Northern Soul club scene of the early 1970s, and Searling popularised the song at the Northern Soul club Va Va’s in Bolton, and later, at Wigan Casino.[6]

Due to the newfound underground popularity of the song, Jones re-recorded "Tainted Love" in 1976[7] and released it as a single, but this version also failed to chart.


Soft Cell version (1981)[edit]

"Tainted Love"
Single by Soft Cell
from the album Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret
A-side "Tainted Love" / "Where Did Our Love Go"
B-side "Memorabilia" / "Tainted Dub"
Released July 7, 1981 (UK)
January 16, 1982 (US)
Format 12-inch single, 7-inch single
Recorded 1981
Genre Synthpop,[8] new wave[9]
Length 2:34 (album version)
2:41 (single version)
8:58 (extended dance version with "Where Did Our Love Go?" cover)
("30 extended version of "Where Did Our Love Go?" cover) (11:04)
Label Some Bizzare
Writer(s) Ed Cobb
Producer(s) Mike Thorne
Soft Cell singles chronology
"Memorabilia"
(1981)
"Tainted Love"
(1981)
"Bedsitter"
(1981)

English vocal-and-synth duo Soft Cell became aware of the song through its status as a UK "Northern Soul" hit, and recorded a drastically different arrangement in 1981. Produced by Mike Thorne, the Soft Cell track featured a slower tempo than Jones' version, and was in the key of G rather than the original C to match Marc Almond's lower voice. Synthesizers and rhythm machines replaced the original's guitars, bass, drums, and horns. Soft Cell's version was recorded in a day and a half with Almond's first vocal take being used on the record.

The band's record label chose to release "Tainted Love" on July 7, 1981 as Soft Cell'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. The 12" single version (extended dance version) was a medley, transitioning to a cover of The Supremes' "Where Did Our Love Go" half-way through the song. Buoyed by the then-dominant synthpop sound of the time and a memorable performance on Top of the Pops, "Tainted Love" rapidly reached #1 on the UK singles chart. "Tainted Love" was the best-selling single in the UK for 1981, and it has sold 1.27 million copies as of November 2012.[10]

On the US chart dated January 16, 1982, the song entered the Billboard Hot 100 at #90. It appeared to peak at #64 and fell to #100 on February 27. After spending a second week at #100, it started climbing again. It took 19 weeks to crack the US Top 40. The song reached #8 and spent a then record-breaking 43 weeks on the Hot 100.

A video was recorded specially for Soft Cell's video album Non Stop Exotic Video and features a cricketer meeting band members Marc Almond and David Ball in togas on Mount Olympus.

Soft Cell issued a remixed version of the song in 1991. The video for the remix, directed by Peter Christopherson of Hipgnosis, features a man pacing at night and dancing with starry apparitions, while Almond sings amongst the stars. Christopherson's band Coil had covered "Tainted Love" in 1985, with a music video that included a cameo appearance by Almond.

Soft Cell's version of "Tainted Love" ranked #5 on VH1's 100 Greatest One Hit Wonders of the 1980s .[11]

Chart performance[edit]

Marilyn Manson cover (2001)[edit]

"Tainted Love"
Single by Marilyn Manson
from the album Not Another Teen Movie soundtrack, The Golden Age of Grotesque
Released November 2001
Genre Industrial metal, electro-industrial
Length 3:20
Label Interscope/Nothing
Producer(s) Marilyn Manson, Tim Sköld
Marilyn Manson singles chronology
"The Nobodies"
(2001)
"Tainted Love"
(2001)
"Mobscene"
(2003)

American artist Marilyn Manson covered "Tainted Love" and released it as a single from the Not Another Teen Movie soundtrack. It was released in 2001. It was later included on the band's following album The Golden Age of Grotesque as a bonus track.

Released in the UK on March 23, 2002, it is the band's biggest hit in that country. The song entered the UK singles chart at #6 the week before its official release date, as a result of substantial import sales. The song reached its peak position of #5 the following week, and spent a total of 22 weeks in the Top 75.[28] The song topped the Portuguese chart.[29] It was nominated for the Kerrang! Award for Best Single in 2002.

Music video[edit]

The video for Marilyn Manson's cover shows Manson bringing several goth friends to a high school party. It features several characters from the film Not Another Teen Movie. It also features Joey Jordison, the drummer from Slipknot, and Tim Skold, who was not a member of Marilyn Manson's band at the time.

Charts[edit]

Chart (2001-2002) Peak
position
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[30] 2
Belgium (Ultratip Flanders)[31] 18
Belgium (Ultratip Wallonia)[32] 16
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[33] 11
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Wallonia)[34] 7
Denmark (Tracklisten)[35] 3
Europe (Eurochart Hot 100)[29] 3
Finland (Suomen virallinen lista)[36] 11
France (SNEP)[37] 25
Germany (Media Control AG)[38] 3
Ireland (IRMA)[18] 11
Italy (FIMI)[39] 2
Netherlands (Mega Single Top 100)[40] 44
Norway (VG-lista)[41] 7
Poland (Polish Singles Chart)[42] 20
Portugal (Billboard)[29] 1
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[43] 4
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[44] 11
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[45] 2
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[46] 5
US Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks[27] 30
US Billboard Modern Rock Tracks[27] 33

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Tainted Love - Songlexikon". Songlexikon.de. Retrieved July 25, 2013. 
  2. ^ Various Versions Of Tainted Love. YouTube. Retrieved October 12, 2013. 
  3. ^ Chuck Miller (2011). Krause Publications, ed. Warman's American Records. p. 119. ISBN 978-1-4402-2821-6. 
  4. ^ Rob Finnis; Tony Rounce (2008). You Heard It Here First! (CD booklet). London: Ace Records Ltd. p. 2. CDCHD 1204. 
  5. ^ Nick Talevski (2006). Knocking on Heaven's Door: Rock Obituaries. Omnibus Press. p. 90. ISBN 1-84609-091-1. Retrieved February 29, 2012. 
  6. ^ Dave Haslam, Manchester, England, chapter 6, p.172
  7. ^ Saint Cad. "10 More Famous Songs With Unknown Originals". Listverse.com. Listverse Ltd. Retrieved June 21, 2013. 
  8. ^ William Ruhlmann. "Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret review at Allmusic". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved June 24, 2013.  "the remake of Gloria Jones' "Tainted Love," which dominated dance clubs and eventually peaked in the pop Top Ten with its synth-pop sound and Almond's plaintive vocal in 1981-1982."
  9. ^ Tim Sendra. "Pop & Wave, Vol. 1 review at Allmusic". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved June 24, 2013.  "the collection has some of the biggest hits of the new wave era. Songs like "Cars" by Gary Numan, "Tainted Love" by Soft Cell (...) are the type of tunes that define the era."
  10. ^ Ami Sedghi (November 4, 2012). "UK's million-selling singles: the full list". Guardian.co.uk (The Guardian). Retrieved November 4, 2012. 
  11. ^ Ali, Rahsheeda (2013-05-02). "100 Greatest One-Hit Wonders of the '80s | Music News + Gossip | VH1 Music - Page 97". Vh1.com. Retrieved 2014-03-29. 
  12. ^ "Australian n°1 Hits - 80's". Worldcharts.co.uk. Retrieved June 9, 2013. 
  13. ^ "Soft Cell – Tainted Love – Austriancharts.at" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved July 25, 2013.
  14. ^ "Ultratop.be – Soft Cell – Tainted Love" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved July 25, 2013.
  15. ^ "Top Singles - Volume 36, No. 3, February 27, 1982". Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved July 25, 2013. 
  16. ^ "InfoDisc : Tous les Titres par Artiste". Dominic DURAND / InfoDisc (in French). InfoDisc.fr. June 24, 2013. Retrieved June 24, 2013.  You have to use the index at the top of the page and search "Soft Cell"
  17. ^ "Soft Cell - Tainted Love". Charts.de. Media Control. Retrieved July 25, 2013.
  18. ^ a b c "The Irish Charts - All there is to know". IRMA. Retrieved July 25, 2013.  Only results when searching "Tainted love"
  19. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Soft Cell - Tainted Love search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40. Retrieved July 25, 2013.
  20. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Soft Cell – Tainted Love" (in Dutch). Mega Single Top 100. Retrieved July 25, 2013.
  21. ^ "Charts.org.nz – Soft Cell – Tainted Love". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved July 25, 2013.
  22. ^ "South African Rock Lists Website SA Charts 1969 - 1989 Acts (S)". Rock.co.za. John Samson. Retrieved July 25, 2013. 
  23. ^ Fernando Salaverri (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2. 
  24. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Soft Cell – Tainted Love". Singles Top 60. Retrieved July 25, 2013.
  25. ^ "Soft Cell – Tainted Love – swisscharts.com". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved July 25, 2013.
  26. ^ a b c "Soft Cell". Official Charts Company. Retrieved May 31, 2013. 
  27. ^ a b c d e f g "Soft Cell awards at Allmusic". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved May 31, 2013. 
  28. ^ Tobias Zywietz. "Chart Log UK: M - My Vitriol". Dipl.-Bibl.(FH) Tobias Zywietz. Zobbel.de. Retrieved August 14, 2008. 
  29. ^ a b c Danyel Smith (ed.). Billboard 18 May 2002. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved September 15, 2012.  cf. last week position for Portugal peak position
  30. ^ "Marilyn Manson – Tainted Love – Austriancharts.at" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved July 25, 2013.
  31. ^ "Ultratop.be – Marilyn Manson – Tainted Love" (in Dutch). Ultratip. Retrieved July 25, 2013.
  32. ^ "Ultratop.be – Marilyn Manson – Tainted Love" (in French). Ultratip. Retrieved July 25, 2013.
  33. ^ "Ultratop.be – Marilyn Manson – Tainted Love" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved July 25, 2013.
  34. ^ "Ultratop.be – Marilyn Manson – Tainted Love" (in French). Ultratop 50. Retrieved July 25, 2013.
  35. ^ "Danishcharts.com – Marilyn Manson – Tainted Love". Tracklisten. Retrieved July 25, 2013.
  36. ^ "Marilyn Manson: Tainted Love" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved July 25, 2013.
  37. ^ "Lescharts.com – Marilyn Manson – Tainted Love" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved July 25, 2013.
  38. ^ "Marilyn Manson - Tainted Love". Charts.de. Media Control. Retrieved July 25, 2013.
  39. ^ "Italiancharts.com – Marilyn Manson – Tainted Love". Top Digital Download. Retrieved July 25, 2013.
  40. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Marilyn Manson – Tainted Love" (in Dutch). Mega Single Top 100. Retrieved July 25, 2013.
  41. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Marilyn Manson – Tainted Love". VG-lista. Retrieved July 25, 2013.
  42. ^ S.A. "TAINTED LOVE - Marilyn Manson". Nowe Media, Polskie Radio. LP3.polskieradio.pl. Retrieved July 25, 2013. 
  43. ^ "Spanishcharts.com – Marilyn Manson – Tainted Love" Canciones Top 50. Retrieved July 25, 2013.
  44. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Marilyn Manson – Tainted Love". Singles Top 60. Retrieved July 25, 2013.
  45. ^ "Marilyn Manson – Tainted Love – swisscharts.com". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved July 25, 2013.
  46. ^ "Archive Chart" UK Singles Chart. Retrieved July 25, 2013.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"Japanese Boy" by Aneka
UK number-one single (Soft Cell version)
September 5, 1981 – September 18, 1981
Succeeded by
"Prince Charming" by Adam and the Ants
Preceded by
"Trouble" by Lindsey Buckingham
Australian Kent Music Report number-one single (Soft Cell version)
February 22, 1982 – March 8, 1982
Succeeded by
"Centerfold" by The J. Geils Band
Preceded by
"Centerfold" by The J. Geils Band
Canadian "RPM" Singles Chart number-one single (Soft Cell version)
February 27, 1982 – March 13, 1982
Succeeded by
"I Love Rock 'n' Roll" by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts