Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Luring Disco Dollies To A Life Of Vice...

Soft Cell - Martin

Soft Cell - Sex Dwarf

How many films out there have had songs written about them, I don't mean songs that were in the film or on the soundtrack, but songs written after the fact?
I'm not really sure there are too many, there are a lot of songs that mention films in them, but not so many that are based on a character or plot from a film.
The only other one I can think of at the moment is 'Suburbia' by the Pet Shop Boys which was based on the 1984 film of the same name (featuring a young looking Flea).

Anyway, 'Martin' was based on the out of print and reasonably obscure but nevertheless brilliant film of the same name (I spot a theme here) directed by George A Romero, the film being released in 1977 and the song being released in 1983. It was originally a bonus 12" with the first pressings of their 'The Art of Falling Apart' album. Nowadays though all ten minutes plus have been lovingly squeezed onto the remastered version of the CD along with a few other related tracks. Bonus.

This is quite possibly the darkest thing that Soft Cell recorded, although the choice of dark tracks is far too long to get into here, suffice to say not everything by them sounded like 'Tainted Love'. They had a wonderful knack of creating seedy and darkly atmospheric music, but generally with an eye on a dark and seedy nightclub dancefloor.

Talking of 'Tainted Love' (kind of) brings me neatly on to the very first time I listened to Soft Cell properly.
It was 1982 and I was a little (very little) die hard punk type who had moved onto new wave and post punk and early electronica (mainly of the Sheffield variety) The Human League, Cabaret Voltaire etc.
At the time I hated 'Tainted Love', but was round my mates house one night listening to records (that pretty much sums up my life!) when his big sister came home and commandeered the stereo. I used to have a bit of a crush on her, she was 2 years older than me and incredibly cool, she loved all these weird bands that it would take me another good few years to really appreciate.
She'd just bought 'Non Stop Ecstatic Dancing' and shoved it on the record player...
'Memorabilia' kicked in... Bloody hell, this was definitely not the Soft Cell I was accustomed to from listening to the top 40, it was ace.
The rest of the album washed over me a little bit until we got to the last track on side two, the track me and my mate had been secretly waiting for as it had the word Sex in the title, well not just Sex, but Sex Dwarf, what the bloody hell is that all about....
Well it came on and I was sold. That squirling woozy keyboard line had me hook line and sinker, well that and all the groaning...!
Cue a young SVC running off to buy more Soft Cell, well not really running off, more like waiting a good few weeks until I'd saved up my pocket money.
So thanks to my mates big sister, I have no idea what you're up to now and I haven't seen you in about 23 years. But Thanks.

Buy - Soft Cell - The Art of Falling Apart
Buy - Soft Cell - Non Stop Erotic Cabaret
Visit - Marc Almond
Visit - Review of Martin @ DVD Active
Watch - Soft Cell - Martin (live on The Tube '83) @ YouTube
Watch - Soft Cell - Sex Dwarf @ YouTube


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