The Correct Use of Soap

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The Correct Use of Soap
Studio album by Magazine
Released May 1980
Recorded 1980
Genre Post-punk, new wave
Length 40:05
Label Virgin
Producer Martin Hannett
Magazine chronology
Secondhand Daylight
The Correct Use of Soap
Singles from The Correct Use of Soap
  1. "A Song from Under the Floorboards" b/w "Twenty Years Ago"
    Released: January 1980
  2. "Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)" b/w "The Book"
    Released: March 1980
  3. "Sweetheart Contract" b/w "Feed the Enemy (Live)", "Twenty Years Ago (Live)", "Shot by Both Sides (Live)"
    Released: July 1980
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4.5/5 stars[1]
Smash Hits 5/10[2]

The Correct Use of Soap is the third album by British post-punk band Magazine, released by Virgin Records in 1980. It contains some of Magazine's best-known and most popular songs, including the singles "A Song from Under the Floorboards" and "Sweetheart Contract" and their cover of Sly and the Family Stone's "Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)". A different version of this album was released in Canada in 1980, by then distributor Polygram Records. This version was titled An Alternative Use of Soap.


Some of the songs marked a return of sorts to the punkier riffs and faster rhythms of Real Life, after their second album, Secondhand Daylight. This was their last album with original guitarist John McGeoch, who left the band after the release of the album and joined Siouxsie and the Banshees. McGeoch also played with Visage, formed by his Magazine bandmates Dave Formula and Barry Adamson. He was replaced by Robin Simon (ex-Ultravox, later with Ajantamusic) to the world tour, promoting the album. The record sleeve design for this album, as for most other Magazine albums and singles, was by Malcolm Garrett.

Two songs on the album make reference to elements of works by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, namely "Philadelphia" (referring to Raskolnikov, the main character in Crime and Punishment) and "A Song from Under the Floorboards" (whose opening sentence is a paraphrase of the opening sentence in Notes from Underground).

The single "A Song from Under the Floorboards" was featured on Rhino's 2004 box set Left of the Dial: Dispatches from the '80s Underground and has been covered many times in concert by fellow Mancunian Morrissey. It was also covered by Australian band My Friend the Chocolate Cake on their ARIA Music Award-winning album Brood (1994), and by Simple Minds on the 2CD edition of their 2009 album Graffiti Soul.

Live performances[edit]

On 1 September 2009, Magazine performed the original album in its entirety during the first half of their show at the Royal Festival Hall in London.

Track listing[edit]

The Correct Use of Soap[edit]

All songs by Barry Adamson, Howard Devoto, John Doyle, Dave Formula, John McGeoch, except where noted.

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Because You're Frightened"     3:54
2. "Model Worker"     2:51
3. "I'm a Party"     3:01
4. "You Never Knew Me"     5:23
5. "Philadelphia"     3:54
6. "I Want to Burn Again"     5:16
7. "Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)"   Sylvester Stewart 3:48
8. "Sweetheart Contract"     3:18
9. "Stuck"     4:04
10. "A Song from Under the Floorboards"     4:07

An Alternative Use of Soap[edit]

Music by Magazine / Lyrics by Howard Devoto, except where noted.

Side A
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Because You're Frightened"     3:54
2. "The Light Pours Out of Me"   Howard Devoto, John McGeoch, Pete Shelley 3:28
3. "You Never Knew Me"     5:23
4. "Upside Down"     3:48
5. "Sweetheart Contract"     3:18
Side B
No. Title Writer(s) Length
6. "A Song from Under the Floorboards"     4:07
7. "Philadelphia"     3:54
8. "I Want to Burn Again"     5:16
9. "Stuck"     4:04
10. "Thank You (Fallentinme Be Mice Elf Again)"   Sylvester Stewart 3:48


Additional personnel

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (1980) Peak
UK Album Chart 28[3]
Single Chart (1980) Position
"Sweetheart Contract" UK Singles Chart 54[3]
"Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)" US Billboard Dance Music/Club Play Singles 42[4]


  1. ^ "The Correct Use of Soap - Magazine". Allmusic. 
  2. ^ Starr, Red. "Albums". Smash Hits (May 15–28, 1980): 31. 
  3. ^ a b "Chart Stats - Magazine". Retrieved 2014-06-30. 
  4. ^ "Magazine - Awards : Allmusic". Billboard. Retrieved 2014-06-30. 

External links[edit]