On this day in music history: December 30, 198…

On this day in music history: December 30, 1981 – “Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret”, the debut album by Soft Cell is released in the US (UK release date is on November 23, 1981). Produced by Dave Ball, Daniel Miller and Mike Thorne, it is recorded at Advision Studios and Camden Cell Studios in London from Early – Mid 1981. The first release by the synth-pop duo from Leeds, UK (consisting of lead singer Marc Almond and keyboardist Dave Ball) is recorded on a very low budget, using mostly a Revox tape machine, two synthesizers and a borrowed drum machine. After the relative chart failure of their second single “Memorabilia”, their parent label Phonogram Records give them one more shot before they consider dropping them. For their next single they record a cover of the 60’s soul classic “Tainted Love” (originally recorded by Gloria Jones) backed with a cover of The Supremes “Where Did Our Love Go?”. The single is an instant smash in the UK hitting number one there, and in seventeen other countries around the world. “Tainted Love” is their breakthrough hit in the US peaking at #8 on the Hot 100 July of 1982, also peaking at #4 on the Billboard Club Play chart with an extended 12" mix that combines both sides of the single into a medley. The single spends a then record setting forty three weeks on the Billboard pop singles chart. While back home in the UK, the album spins off three more top five singles including “Bedsitter” (#4 UK), “Say Hello, Wave Goodbye” (#3 UK), and “Torch” (#2 UK). The track “Sex Dwarf” is another club hit whose video is banned for its explicit S&M themed imagery. The album also generates a follow up EP titled “Non-Stop Exotic Dancing” that contains remixes of songs from the previous album. “Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret” peaks at number five on the UK album chart, number twenty two on the Billboard Top 200, and number fifty five on the R&B album chart.