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HITS AND PIECES – THE BEST OF MARC ALMOND AND SOFT CELL – AVAILABLE MARCH 24

As a youngster growing up in Southport, Merseyside Marc Almond was immersed in the magical world of the three-minute single. Tuning in to Radio Caroline, Radio Luxembourg and a weekly fix of Top Of The Pops acted as catalysts for the aspiring singer’s dreams and ambitions. The 45-rpm single was king, and Marc Almond worshipped at its throne. Marc had always aspired to become a great singles artist; he wanted to follow in the footsteps of two of his heroes, David Bowie and Scott Walker in turning the single into an art form. And he achieved exactly that when Tainted Love rocketed to the top of the UK chart in September 1981 (and became the biggest selling single of the year), commencing a singles chart love affair that has played a huge part in Marc’s 40 + year career and has seen him shift in excess of 30 million sales. Now that impressive singles career from Soft Cell through to his solo work and collaborations is celebrated on Hits And Pieces – The Best Of Marc Almond And Soft Cell, which comes available as a 2 CD disc, single CD disc or download March 24 via Universal Music Canada.

Almond has always excelled at recording superb singles – he has secured a body of work that encompasses truly outstanding originals, covers and duets. Highlights of Hits And Pieces include Tainted Love, What!, Say Hello Wave Goodbye, the Number One reaching Gene Pitney duet Something’s Gotten Hold Of My Heart, his interpretation of Scott Walker’s cover of Jacques Brel’s Jacky with its epic kitchen sink production from Trevor Horn, a cover of Donna Summer’s I Feel Love with, Bronski Beat, Melancholy Rose and Ruby Red from the Mother Fist album, a Tony Visconti produced nugget The Dancing Marquis, last year’s superb The Velvet Trail, the glam stomper Varieté and another unforgettable cover in the form of The Days Of Pearly Spencer.

To complete the package is the newest track on this compilation: the previously unreleased A Kind Of Love, three effortlessly breezy minutes that hint at Almond’s past – the “light summery psychedelic sounds” on that mid-60s transistor radio, the Northern soul scene that inspired Soft Cell to cover Tainted Love and What! – without really sounding much like anything Marc Almond has recorded before. A Kind Of Love was co-written and produced by Chris Braide, a man with excellent pop credentials having worked with Beyonce, Sia, Lana Del Rey and Trevor Horn. A Kind Of Love is Marc Almond the singles artist showing once again how to turn 3 and a half minutes into pure listening gold.

A Kind Of Love comes accompanied by a brand new video which sees Marc Almond reunited with the legendary director Tim Pope. Tim directed Soft Cell’s ground-breaking videos back in the early ‘80s, including Bedsitter which served as both the band’s first-ever video and Tim’s own directorial debut. Based on the 1969 Russ Meyer flick Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls, the A Kind Of Love video features an all-girl backing band, The Flicks, a cast of freaks and groovers, plus cameos from The The’s Matt Johnson and Bowie guitarist Mick Ronson’s daughter, Lisa. Also making an appearance are reality TV star Eileen Daly, who was Marc’s love interest in Tim Pope’s 1982 video for Say Hello Wave Goodbye, and jazz chanteuse and fellow ‘80s hitmaker Mari Wilson, who appeared in the original video for Soft Cell’s What!

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Hits And Pieces – The Best Of Marc Almond And Soft Cell Track Listing

Single CD Version

  1. Soft Cell – Tainted Love

  2. Soft Cell – Bedsitter

  3. Soft Cell – Say Hello Wave Goodbye

  4. Soft Cell – Torch

  5. Soft Cell – What!

  6. Bronski Beat with Marc Almond – I Feel Love

  7. Marc Almond – Stories Of Johnny

  8. Marc Almond – Tears Run Rings

  9. Marc Almond with Gene Pitney – Something’s Gotten Hold Of My Heart

  10. Marc Almond – A Lover Spurned

  11. Marc Almond – Jacky

  12. Marc Almond – My Hand Over My Heart

  13. Marc Almond – The Days Of Pearly Spencer

  14. Marc Almond – What Makes A Man (Live)

  15. Marc Almond – Adored and Explored

  16. Marc Almond – The Idol (Part 1)

  17. Marc Almond – Child Star

  18. Marc Almond – Scar

  19. Marc Almond – A Kind Of Love (Radio Edit)

2CD Version

CD1

  1. Memorabilia (Soft Cell)

  2. Tainted Love / Where Did Our Love Go (Original 12” Version) (Soft Cell)

  3. Bedsitter (Soft Cell)

  4. Say Hello Wave Goodbye (Soft Cell)

  5. Torch (Soft Cell)

  6. What! (Soft Cell)

  7. Where The Heart Is (Soft Cell)

  8. Soul Inside (Soft Cell)

  9. Down In The Subway (Extended Single Version) (Soft Cell)

  10. I Feel Love (Full Length Version) (Bronski Beat with Marc Almond)

  11. Black Heart (Marc & The Mambas)

  12. Stories Of Johnny

  13. Melancholy Rose

  14. Tears Run Rings

  15. Ruby Red

  16. Something’s Gotten Hold Of My Heart (Marc Almond with Gene Pitney)

  17. A Lover Spurned

CD2

  1. The Desperate Hours

  2. My Hand Over My Heart

  3. Jacky

  4. The Days Of Pearly Spencer

  5. What Makes A Man (Live)

  6. The Idol

  7. Adored and Explored

  8. Brilliant Creatures

  9. Child Star

  10. Tragedy (Take A Look And See)

  11. Glorious

  12. Variety

  13. Burn Bright

  14. The Dancing Marquis

  15. Bad To Me

  16. Scar

  17. A Kind Of Love (Full Length Version)

  18. Tainted Love (Marc Almond with Jools Holland and the Rhythm & Blues Orchestra)

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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