Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret is the debut album by English synthpop duo Soft Cell, released in the United Kingdom on 27 November 1981 by Some Bizzare Records. The album's critical and commercial success was bolstered by the worldwide success of its single "Tainted Love", a cover version of a soul song by Gloria Jones, which topped charts worldwide and became the best-selling British single of 1981 in the United States—as a result of the single's success the album had reported advance orders of more than 200,000 copies. The album produced two more top five singles in the UK with "Bedsitter" and "Say Hello, Wave Goodbye".
The album was created on a very low budget; it was supposedly recorded almost entirely with a ReVox tape recorder, a borrowed Rolanddrum machine belonging to Kit Hain, a small, preset Roland bass synthesizer, and an NEDSynclavier, belonging to producer Mike Thorne. The group caused some controversy in the UK over the song "Sex Dwarf", the music video of which was banned for explicit, S&M-related content.
Reviews for the album were mixed. Melody Maker said, "Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret... confronts clubland with its patchy past, rubs perspective in its pretty painted face and acts like it means nothing... Aggressively embarrassing, Cabaret is the brashest, most brilliant and least-caring indictment of pop music's bankruptcy I've ever heard. No compassion, no sorrow, no joy, it just faces facts and moves to the motions... Like traditional cabaret, the whole thing parodies true emotion and like the best subversive cabaret its shallowness makes those devalued emotions even more painful -the very real decadence of this album springs from its callous realisation of pop's impotency, and yet its bored resignation to the ritual." However, NME found the album's premise was hollow, complaining that "the Soft Cell sex strategy should offer something spicy, rude and even a little wonderful... but Soft Cell are conceptualists who rely on too many preconceptions and play around with too many ideas to convince you of any personal energy or commitment... Soft Cell are very plain fare – unspectacular music and very drab and flat lyrics, wrapped in a hint of special promise which is never realised."
^Scott, Danny (May 1992). "Soft Cell: Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret / Non Stop Ecstatic Dancing / The Art of Falling Apart / Last Night in Sodom; Marc and the Mambas: Untitled / Torment and Toreros". Select (23): 85.